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Delta Gamma (ΔΓ) is one of the oldest and largest women's fraternities in the United States and Canada, with its Executive Offices based in Columbusmarker, Ohiomarker.

History

Delta Gamma was founded in December 1873, in Oxfordmarker, Mississippimarker, at the Lewis School for Girls near the University of Mississippimarker. The group was founded by Mary Comfort Leonard, Eva Webb Dodd, and Anna Boyd Ellington.

The badge of Delta Gamma is a golden anchor and may be worn only by initiated members. Before the adoption of the golden anchor, the symbol of Delta Gamma was simply an "H" for the word "hope." 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. Delta Gamma's motto is "Do Good," and its flower is the cream rose. The Hannah Doll is their mascot.

The early growth for Delta Gamma was confined to women’s colleges in the southern United Statesmarker. 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. Because of the assistance provided by Banta, Delta Gamma retains close historical ties with Phi Delta Theta.Delta Gamma was one of seven charter members of the National Panhellenic Conference when the first inter-sorority meeting was held in Boston, Massachusettsmarker in 1891. 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.

Today Delta Gamma has over 143,400 members with 146 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada, as well as 253 alumnae groups in the United States, Canada and England. The oldest existing chapter of Delta Gamma, Eta, is located at the University of Akron in Akron Ohio and was founded in 1879.


Philanthropy

Protecting the gift of sight is one of Delta Gamma's highest priorities. Since 1936, Delta Gamma's philanthropic purpose has been to stop blindness before it starts. For men and women for whom blindness is a fact, the mission has been to impact the quality of their lives in myriad positive ways.

Through Delta Gamma schools begun more than 55 years ago, children who are blind or visually impaired learn specialized skills. Adults receive personal attention through volunteer hours with 150 organizations, which share their mission. Grants to organizations sharing their mission recently exceeded a grand total of $2,000,000 through the Foundation. Delta Gammas have funded genetic research, low-vision adaptive devices, tapes, Braille books and hundreds of life-enhancing programs. Members have helped men and women in hundreds of ways to obtain independent living skills, increased communications and mobility skills.

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. Ruth would be overwhelmed by the accomplishments of the members of her Fraternity.

Collegians embrace the Delta Gamma mission and lend their energy and enthusiasm to the cause. Delta Gammas give more than 96,000 Service for Sight volunteer hours each year, one volunteer at a time, each leaving her mark on the world.

More than 100 Delta Gamma collegiate chapters host Anchor Splash to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation. This competitive swim meet for sororities, fraternities and campus organizations include events ranging from the serious to the zany. Collegians compete in synchronized swimming, relay races and individual competition. Many Anchor Splash events also include a Most Beautiful Eyes Contest, a banner contest, or skit competition. Some chapters distribute sight saving materials, hold eye screenings, and collect Campbell's Labels for the "Labels for Education Program." Delta Gamma preschools, which aid those with visual impairments, use these to purchase needed equipment.

Mission

Delta Gamma 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.

The objects of this Fraternity shall be to foster high ideals of friendship among college women, to promote their educational and cultural interests, to create in them a true sense of social responsibility and to develop in them the best qualities of character.

Delta Gamma’s primary purpose is to create an environment for its members in which lasting friendships are established and in which members find the processes, the experiences and the disciplines that will stimulate clear thought. Its aim is to foster an atmosphere in which women will develop a deeper love and consideration for mankind, a more profound understanding of the purpose of life and a basic wisdom upon which to build their lives.

Delta Gamma’s purpose is accomplished through planned collegiate and alumnae programs that provide intellectual motivation, the opportunity for graciousness in daily living, and community awareness which will enrich the lives of members and instill in them a respect for the enduring values to be gained from the Fraternity.

Collegiate Chapters

Omega

The University of Wisconsin-Madisonmarker is home to the Omega Chapter of Delta Gamma . As a part of The University of Wisconsin-Madison Greek System , Delta Gamma participates in the production of the annual Humorology show. This musical performance includes acting, dancing, and singing. Delta Gamma placed first place in the 2009 "This is It!"-themed show. Proceeds go to both Camp Heartland and the Chris Farley Foundation.

Famous Delta Gamma firsts

  • First fraternity in the United States to establish an independent philanthropic foundation in 1951 in Ohiomarker (Service for Sight)
  • 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 Colored Rose"
  • One of the seven original groups that began the National Panhellenic Conference
  • First Panhellenic group to build its own facility, the Delta Gamma Executive Offices in Columbus, Ohio.
  • First and only fraternity to sponsor a traveling art exhibit Art of the Eye, which benefits 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 conservation.
  • First recipient of the Virginia Boyce Award presented by Prevent Blindness America
  • First woman’s fraternity to employ a full-time staff member to address the health and wellness needs of its members
  • First to have an archivist handling historical materials at the international headquarters
  • First to receive recognition from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for Distinguished Public Service
  • First to establish challenge grants in values in ethics, through the Dorothy Garrett Martin Lectureship in Values and Ethics


Notable Delta Gammas



Trivia

  • Initiation fees pay for a member's lifetime subscription to the Delta Gamma publication ANCHORA.
  • Number of scholarships and fellowships awarded (2007): 240
  • Delta Gamma has over 143,400 members. Approximately 15,650 collegians and 127,777 living alumnae.
  • Delta Gamma has 39% legacies pledged.
  • As of 2006, Delta Gamma has:
    • 2,437 25-year members
    • 1,289 50-year members
    • 778 60-year members
    • 92 75-year members


References



External links




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