|Founded||December 25, 1873
Lewis School for Girls, (Oxford, Mississippi)
|Mission statement||Delta Gamma offers to women of all ages a rich heritage based on principles of personal integrity, personal responsibility and intellectual honesty. Its primary purpose is to foster high ideals of friendship, promote educational and cultural interests, create a true sense of social responsibility, and develop the finest qualities of character.|
|Colors||Bronze Pink Blue|
|Philanthropy||Delta Gamma Foundation Service for Sight|
147 active chapters131 alumnae chapters
|Members||more than 200,000 initiated members, more than 171, 788 living alumnae, more than 15,000 current collegians collegiate
|Headquarters||3250 Riverside Drive
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Delta Gamma (ΔΓ) is one of the oldest and largest women's fraternities1 in the United States and Canada, with over 200,000 members worldwide. It has 147 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada and 131 alumnae chapters.2 The organization's executive office is in Columbus, Ohio.
Delta Gamma was founded in December 1873, in Oxford, Mississippi, at the Lewis School for Girls near the University of Mississippi. The group was founded by Mary Comfort Leonard, Eva Webb Dodd, and Anna Boyd Ellington.3 Leonard, Dodd, and Ellington sought to maintain high ideals, as to encourage the intellectual growth and a dedication to service for college women to be their best selves.2
Before the adoption of the golden anchor, the symbol of Delta Gamma was simply a "H" for the word "hope."4 In 1877, the original "Hope" badge was changed to the traditional symbol of hope, the anchor. Today's badge has a small rope wrapping around the top of the anchor, with the Greek letters Tau Delta Eta (ΤΔΗ) on the crosspiece.4 Delta Gamma's motto is "Do Good," and its flower is the cream rose.4 The Hannah Doll is their mascot.5
The early growth for Delta Gamma was confined to women’s colleges in the southern United States. Within a few years, Delta Gamma had established itself in the northern United States and later to the East with the help of George Banta, a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and Delta Gamma's only male initiate.5 Banta played an integral part in the expansion of Delta Gamma chapters from Oxford, Mississippi, to well-recognized northern colleges.6 In 1882, Banta married Lillian Vawter, a Delta Gamma at Franklin College. After Lillian died in 1885, he was remarried to Ellen Lee Pleasants.7 In his latter years of life, Banta assisted with the rewriting of the Delta Gamma ritual.7 He also frequently visited Delta Gamma conventions, often participating as a guest speaker. He appeared for his last speech in 1934, a year before his death.6 Because of the assistance provided by Banta, Delta Gamma retains close historical ties with Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Delta Gamma was one of seven charter members of the National Panhellenic Conference when the first inter-sorority meeting was held in Boston, Massachusetts in 1891.8 Delta Gamma and the six other charter members formally joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1902. Today, the National Panhellenic Conference is the governing body of sororities in America with 26 members.9
Today Delta Gamma has 147 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada,10 as well as 230 alumnae groups in the United States, Canada and England.10 The oldest existing chapter of Delta Gamma, Eta, is located at the University of Akron in Akron Ohio and was founded in 1879. The largest chapter is currently Beta Psi - at the University of Alabama with 323 members.11
The official symbol is the anchor.
The official flower is the cream-colored rose.
Delta Gamma has no official jewel or gemstone.
Delta Gamma's philanthropic focus is on service for sight. Delta Gammas have funded genetic research, low-vision adaptive devices, tapes, Braille books and hundreds of life-enhancing programs.12 Delta Gamma has also sponsored city service centers for the Visually Impaired and Schools for the Blind.
Ruth Billow, who was blinded in a childhood accident, made an impassioned plea to Convention in 1936. She asked that Delta Gamma make a difference in the lives of those with limited or no sight. Her wish was also to help society appreciate the talents of those who are visually impaired.12 Delta Gammas give more than 150,000 Service for Sight volunteer hours each year.12 In 2013, the Delta Gamma Foundation donated over 500,000 dollars to Fraternity leadership and educational programs. As well, they helped to grant 26 different Service for Sight organizations over 174,000 dollars.11 The most common Delta Gamma fundraisers for service for sight are Anchor Splash12 and Anchor Slam. Many chapters participate in one of these events, with the decision being largely dependent on the climate in which the school is located.
Anchor Games are Delta Gamma's national philanthropy fundraising events that are hosted on college campuses across North America.13 These games include Anchor Splash, a swimming event that is held in the spring, as well as Anchor Slam, a basketball event that is held in the fall. The proceeds raised at these events support Delta Gamma's philanthropies, such as Service for Sight, scholarships, fellowships and loans, values and ethics lectureships, as well as educational programs for members.13 The most popular of the games is Anchor Splash, which was started by the Beta Tau chapter, University of Miami in 1966.13 The event is one of the largest philanthropy events on every college campus because so many groups are involved in it. Anchor splash lasts between one or two days and involves a synchronized swimming competition, belly flop competition,"save the mermaid" competition, dive competition and anchor man comepetition. These competitions are between fraternities, sororities and other non-Greek affiliated clubs on college campuses. Depending on the campus, not every single competition may be done but that is based on the individual decisions of universities chapters.1415
- First sorority in the United States to establish an independent philanthropic foundation: Service for Sight, founded in 1951 in Ohio16
- The first sorority to have its own in-house printing press
- The only panhellenic group to have its flower registered with the American Rose Society: Delta Gamma Cream Rose
- One of the seven original groups that began the National Panhellenic Conference8
- The first sorority to build an international headquarters specifically for that purpose16
- The first sorority to have seminars and house corporations16
- First and only fraternity to sponsor a traveling art exhibit, called Art of the Eye, to benefit Service for Sight
- First recipient of the Helen Keller Philanthropic Service Award, given by the American Foundation for the Blind, for assistance to those who are visually impaired and for sight conservation17
- First recipient of the Virginia Boyce Award presented by Prevent Blindness America18
- First woman’s fraternity to employ a full-time staff member to address the health and wellness needs of its members16
- First to have an archivist handling historical materials at the international headquarters16
- First to receive recognition from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for Distinguished Public Service16
- First to establish challenge grants in values in ethics, through the Dorothy Garrett Martin Lectureship in Values and Ethics16
- Paige Adams-Geller - model, fashion designer, founder Paige Premium Denim, Miss California 199119
- Caitlin Hale- Actress, School of Rock
- Jill Arrington - former sports reporter for CBS20
- Sabrina Bryan - co-star of Disney Channel's original TV film series and musical group The Cheetah Girls, contestant on Dancing with the Stars seasons 5 and 1520
- Mette Boving Castor - Miss Louisiana 199719
- Kristy Cavinder - Miss California 200919
- Cheryl Crawford - Broadway producer; founder of Group Theater and Actor's Studio20
- Ann Daly - DreamWorks Animation’s chief operating officer20
- Stacy Deffenbaugh - “Good Morning Southwest Florida” anchor on WZVN-TV (ABC 7) in Naples/Fort Myers, FL20
- Judith Ford Johnson Nash - Miss America 196919
- Mary Frann - actress, Newhart, Days of Our Lives20
- Noelle Freeman - Miss California 201119
- Camilla Morgan Grove - screen writer, Balls To The Wall19
- Samantha Harris - former host of Dancing with the Stars and host of various shows on E!, model and actress.19
- Patricia Heaton - actress, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle20
- E.D. Tarbox Hill - co-host of Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel20
- Dagney Hultgreen - former channel hostess for E! Entertainment Television20
- Nadine Jolie - beauty journalist and author19
- Amy Lamare - writer, author, sports writer, radio personality19
- Anne Michael Langguth - Miss Iowa 200919
- Debbie Turner Larson - actress, played Marta Von Trapp in the 1964 Julie Andrews’ classic The Sound of Music20
- Christine Lahti - actress, Chicago Hope20
- Simone Lewis - America's Next Top Model Contestant - Cycle 14, 2010
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Emmy Award-winning actress19
- Joan Lunden - former host of Good Morning America20
- Caroline McGowan - Miss Oregon 201119
- Leslie McLaren - Miss Canada 199120
- Kari Kathleen Markussen - actress, Gimme A Break!20
- Donna Mills - actress, Knots Landing20
- Terry Murphy - Emmy Award-winning journalist of Hard Copy20
- Helen O'Gorman - sculptor, painter and botanist20
- Melanne Pennington - Miss West Virginia 198419
- Cristina Perez - successful lawyer, television personality, radio host, entrepreneur/business owner, author and national columnist20
- Kyra Phillips - anchor on CNN20
- Emily Poeschl - Miss Nebraska USA 2006
- Alice Ripley - Broadway actress; Tony Award winner, "Next to Normal"19
- Allyn Rose - Miss District of Columbia 2012, Miss Maryland USA 2011 - Miss USA Top 8 Finalist19
- Eva Marie Saint - actress, On the Waterfront20
- Holly Shand - reality star, Road Rules: Latin America, Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons20
- Jennifer Smith - producer for CNN's Crossfire20
- Susan Spencer - staff correspondent on 48 Hours20
- Julia Sweeney - actress and comedian from Saturday Night Live20
- Pandora Vanderpump-Todd - cast member, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and founder of the online magazine, The Divine Addiction20
- Anita Vogel - Fox News Channel correspondent20
- Sydnee Waggoner - Miss Alaska 200919
- Lizz Winstead - creator of Comedy Central's The Daily Show20
- Jillian Pukesh - Canada's Next Top Model Contestant - Cycle 3, 2009
- Marilyn Barrett - author20
- Phyllis Battelle - nationally syndicated columnist20
- Christine Clifford - author and motivational speaker20
- Ann Coulter - author of nine New York Times bestsellers, legal correspondent for Human Events and syndicated columnist20
- Brenda Wang Clough - author20
- Kate Coscarelli - author20
- Heloise Cruse - advice columnist20
- Carolyn Englefield - former Senior decorating editor for House Beautiful magazine, current freelance Producer for House & Garden, Elle Decor, Veranda, Vanity and House Beautiful magazines20
- Suzanne Farrow - nationally syndicated cartoonist20
- Ellen Bromfield Geld - author20
- Donna Handly - editor, Ms. magazine20
- Jackie Martin - became the first woman photo and art editor of the Washington Herald in 1931, served as a war correspondent and director of photo operations of The Marshall Plan20
- Lauren Purcell - author and Deputy Editor of Self magazine20
- Heather Buchanan Spohr - writer, author, philanthropist19
- Terry Tempest Williams - author20
- Edith Abbott - first woman to become dean of a graduate school at an American university, The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration20
- Kelly Ayotte - United States Senator from New Hampshire (2011–pres.)20
- Grace Abbott - highest ranking woman in the United States government for over a decade as the head of the United States Children's Bureau; first woman to be nominated for a Presidential cabinet position — Secretary of Labor in the Herbert Hoover administration; first American sent to the League of Nations to represent the United States20
- Carol Bellamy - President and CEO of World Learning, Executive Director of UNICEF (1995-2005), former Director of the U.S. Peace Corps (appointed by President Clinton)20
- Molly Hering Bordonaro - US Ambassador to Malta, appointed by President George W. Bush (2005-2009)20
- Patricia Lemay Burr - Administrator, Small Business Administration, appointed by President Jimmy Carter20
- Ada Louise Comstock - first full-time president of Radcliffe College20
- Rita Colwell - chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc.; Distinguished Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Purdue University Distinguished Alumni honoree; first female to be named Director of the National Science Foundation20
- Deborah Cook - Federal Judge for the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, appointed by President George W. Bush (2003-pres.)20
- Ann Coulter - Lawyer, Political Commentator, Author19
- Nancy-Ann DeParle - Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the administration of President Barack Obama (2011–present). Previously, she served as the director of the White House Office of Health Reform (2009-2011).20
- Jo Ann Emerson - U.S. Congresswoman from Missouri (1996-pres.)20
- Susan Shannon Engeleiter - first woman to head the Small Business Administration20
- Dorothy Felton - former Atlanta State House of Representatives20
- Mary Gladwin - American Red Cross nurse who served in three wars from 1898 to 1919, decorated by the United States, Russian, Japanese and Serbian governments20
- Jan Hart - former Dallas City Manager20
- Melissa Hart U.S. Congresswoman from Pennsylvania (2001–2007)20
- Judge Sarah Tilghman Hughes - swore in President Lyndon B. Johnson on the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, first female federal judge20
- Merry Hull - redesigned the basic construction of the glove in 1939 which became the industry standard and is the design we wear today20
- Sharen Jester Turney - President and CEO of Victoria's Secret 20
- Mary Landrieu - United States Senator from Louisiana (1997-pres.)20
- Francess Lucas-Taucher - first female President of Millsaps College (2000–2010)20
- Ruth Bryan Owen - US Ambassador to Denmark, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1936)19
- Patti McGill Peterson- former Executive Director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), former Vice President of the Institute of International Education (IIE)20
- Gretchen P. Purcell, MD, Ph.D. - first woman to graduate with MD and PhD degrees in medical informatics, a multi-disciplinary field that addresses problems in information management in biology and medicine; Assistant Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University20
- Cylda Stokes Rent - President of Mississippi University for Women (1989-2001)20
- Ruth Bryan (Owen) Rohde - U.S. Congresswoman from Florida, as Florida's first woman elected to Congress (1929-1933); Minister to Denmark, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, she was the first woman to represent the United States in so high a diplomatic post20
- Kathleen “Kathy” Higdon Wilson - Chairwoman of the National Women’s Political Caucus (1981-1985)20
- Judy Bell - first female president of United States Golf Association (1996-1998), Lifetime Achievement Inductee in the World Golf Hall of Fame, 200120
- Emilee Klein - professional golfer20
- Bonnie Lauer - professional golfer; 1977 Rookie of the Year20
- Susan Nattrass - first woman shooter in the 1976 Summer Olympics20
- Jill Savery - member of the gold medal U.S. synchronized swimming team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta20
- Carin Cone - champion swimmer20
- Anne White - nationally-ranked tennis player in the late 1980s20
- Dori Carter- golfer on the LPGA tour
The official Delta Gamma magazine is the Anchora. The goal of the magazine is to inform readers about the relevant Fraternity information and keep everyone informed about what Delta Gammas are doing to "Do Good." The magazine has been published continuously since 1884. Sisters from all the chapters can submit pictures as well as articles to be featured in the Anchora. The Anchora also helps to serve as an archival resource of member activities.21 5 year's worth of archived issues can be found at: http://www.deltagamma.org/content.aspx?item=/About_Us/about_us_resources/anchora_archves.xml
- Most organizations typically referred to as sororities are officially fraternities
- Delta Gamma (2012-09-25). "History". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- Delta Gamma (2012-09-25). "Symbols". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- Delta Gamma (2009-10-20). "DG Trivia". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- National Panhellenic Conference (2009). "NPC History". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- National Panhellenic Conference. "Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- Delta Gamma (2012-04-09). "And This Is Our Story...". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- Delta Gamma (2012-08-17). "Philanthropy". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
- Delta Gamma (2009-05-28). "Fraternity Firsts". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- American Foundation for the Blind (2012-05-30). "AFB Announces 2012 Helen Keller Achievement Award Winners". American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- Optometry Times (2009-09-01). "Prevent Blindness America mourns loss of sight-saving pioneer". Advanstar Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
- "Noteworthy Delta Gammas". Delta Gamma. June 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- "Noteworthy Delta Gammas". Delta Gamma. August 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09.