GUIDING THE WAY FOR THOSE WHO Come
Building on a Legacy
We got our start back in 1873 in Oxford, Mississippi at the Lewis School for Girls. It was the holiday break and everyone was home with their families except three young women:
Anna, Mary and Eva.
They were stuck at school because of a pandemic in their hometown and impassable roads. Even though they didn’t have their loved ones around, they had each other.
So they decided to make it official, founding what they called a “club of mutual helpfulness” whose purpose was to “do good.”
Over that holiday break, our three founding sisters formed the foundation for our Fraternity, deciding on the anchor badge and Initiation, writing our constitution, and choosing the letters Delta Gamma to stand for “do good.”
Women of Character
Delta Gamma's sisterhood continues to inspire women through the values that were built into what we call Article II of our very first Constitution:
The objects of this Fraternity shall be to foster high ideals of friendship among 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.
LIVE DELTA GAMMA
Sisters live out these values each day in their own way.
Here are some examples.
Friendship is essential.
What makes Delta Gamma so special is that the relationships our members build go deeper than the traditional friendship.
The bonds are unwavering. The support systems that are cultivated are strong and last a lifetime. At each new member’s Initiation, she promises to be there for her sisters in every high and low of life.
Chapters regularly hold sisterhood events, where women are given the opportunity to socialize and focus on friendship and fun. On a deeper level, chapters hold “fireside chats” and "DG Dialogues" where women can really create deep and meaningful friendships through intentional conversations.
In light of COVID-19 creating a world where so much of our connecting is being done through virtual means, the Delta Gamma Pen Pal program was created. It serves to connect sisters offline. It is a great way to foster lasting relationships that can span generations, chapters, and geographic location. Through letters exchanged between sisters, we strive to further the bonds of sisterhood. As a Delta Gamma Pen Pal, sisters are randomly paired with two DG sisters with whom they exchange written letters sent through snail mail.
Whether together or apart, a Delta Gamma woman is never alone.
As a whole, Delta Gamma makes it easy to prioritize academics, as well as have a study abroad experience and be a member.
Thousands of sisters grow through their travel experiences and share their journeys and findings with other sisters. And from the financial side, when initiated collegians leave campus for academic pursuits, like studying abroad or co-op, they’re considered Excused Status, and pay reduced dues and fees.
DGs have many opportunities to immerse themselves in new cultures on the home front too. For example, we love that Sofia Perez, Eta Upsilon-Drexel, hosted a Venezuelan cultural immersion program to introduce her chapter to her family’s culture. Becca and Annie, members of Epsilon Phi-Loyola, chartered the Women in STEM club on their campus, Loyola’s first STEM student group. Examples like this are alive in our chapters across the U.S. and Canada!
Delta Gamma is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive environment for all women who believe in our shared values.
This commitment includes our service and philanthropic efforts to provide aid to the visually impaired community, as well as taking measures to eliminate barriers to inclusion and access to membership in our organization. If those are also personal priorities for you, we would love for you to be a part of our sisterhood.
Our popular Hope Serving trips shine a spotlight on social responsibility.
Hope Serving is a service learning experience that offers Delta Gammas the opportunity to develop as leaders on a local, regional and (inter)national level. These trips encourages learning and critical thinking through hands-on service, community involvement and civic and social justice education.
Article II Talks are webinar-style learning sessions for members and non-members.
These talks are grounded in the pillars of Article II of our Constitution: high ideals of friendship, educational and cultural interests, social responsibility and the best qualities of character. This summer we’ve hosted the following webinars which exemplifies our true sense of responsibility.
SISTERS, LET'S DISCUSS WHITE PRIVILEGE
In this Article II talk, join four sisters as they talk about their experiences as beneficiaries of white privilege while fostering a space for judgement-free learning and growth.
MENTAL HEALTH & YOU
In Delta Gamma, we believe that self-care is not selfish, and that mental wellness is for everyone. Facilitators answer questions about mental health through the lens of hope, compassion and sisterhood.
In addition to Delta Gamma programs, chapters are welcome to create initiatives on their own. Our members take on this social responsibility calling in all aspects of their life. Chapters like Alpha Omicron-Miami (Ohio) created a 10-week discussion series for the chapter to learn more about topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our Zeta Theta-Columbia chapter created their own dialogue series related to social justice. Our chapters see that doing good means doing better and use that as a call to action to create more inclusive and empowering chapters and campus communities.
Delta Gamma doesn’t force a woman to change, but she will grow and develop as a collegiate member in more ways than she thought were possible.
Across the world, Delta Gamma women are leaders in their organizations and communities — and those leadership skills are formed beginning right here within our collegiate chapters. The best qualities of character are strengthened at DG Institute each summer. Delta Gamma Institute and Lewis Institute. Leaders from all collegiate chapters take part in this leadership event focused on personal/professional development and leadership skills. They explore values congruence, identify their strengths, discuss conflict resolution and develop an action plan for returning to their chapters and leading adaptive change.
Additionally, Delta Gamma offers the Anchored in Courage program. This program was developed to promote human dignity, while ultimately supporting each Delta Gamma’s efforts to live the Fraternity’s values. The program includes a Human Dignity Workshop, which is also part of our new member program. Additionally, The Courage Award recognizes members, new members and higher education professionals who find the courage to stand up to protect their dignity and/or that of others.
Delta Gamma Fraternity is committed to cultivating an inclusive and equitable environment and experience for our members, potential new members and communities. In our membership selection processes and in the life-long membership experience, Delta Gamma Fraternity and its members do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or other protected identities. Membership is open to all individuals who identify as women and who have a sincere desire to uphold our shared values, as outlined in Article II. We resolve to eliminate inequities and address behaviors that do not align with our values.
Sisters of Impact
These sisters broke the barriers of their industries. They make us proud to be Delta Gammas. You can join their ranks too.
Alpha Sigma – UCLA
Channing Dungey is the first African American to become president of a major broadcast TV Network. After her overwhelming success at ABC Entertainment supervising the development of popular shows such as Scandal, Criminal Minds, How to Get Away with Murder, and many others, she joined Netflix as Vice President of Original Content.
Edith Abbott, Ph.D. (1876 – 1957)
Kappa – Nebraska
After completing her undergraduate at the University of Nebraska, Edith Abbott continued her academic career at the University of Chicago where she received a Ph.D. in economics. Later she would become dean at that same university making her the first woman to become dean of a graduate school at an American university.
Grace Abbott, Ph.M. (1878 – 1939)
Kappa – Nebraska
As the younger sister to Edith, Grace Abbott also attended the University of Nebraska and University of Chicago where earned her Ph.M. Her advocacy in labor movements and improving life for immigrants would lead her to become the first woman to be nominated for a Presidential cabinet position. She was also first American sent to the League of Nations to represent the United States.
Rita Rossi Colwell, Ph.D.
Beta Iota – Purdue
As an American environmental microbiologist and scientific administrator, Rita Rossi Colwell has degrees in bacteriology, genetics, and oceanography. She was a pioneer in widening the role of women and minorities in science fields. In 1998 she became the first woman and the first biologist to be named Director of the National Science Foundation. She currently chairs Canon U.S. Life Sciences and is a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Sarah Tilghman Hughes (1896 – 1985)
Psi II – Goucher
After attending Goucher College, Sarah Tilghman Hughes worked as a cop in Washington, D.C. as she was going to law school at night. After moving to Dallas, Texas, she would become the youngest woman elected to the state’s legislature in 1930 at 34 years old. Later she was appointed as the first female federal judge in Texas. In 1969, she became the first woman to swear in a U.S. President (Lyndon B. Johnson).
Ruth Bryan (Owen) Rhode (1885 – 1954)
Kappa – Nebraska
After serving as a nurse in Cairo during WWI, Ruth Bryan Owen Rhode ran for the House of Representatives in Florida. In 1929 she became the first woman to be elected as Florida’s U.S. Representative. Later in 1933 she was appointed by President Franklin D Roosevelt to serve as U.S. Ambassador, making her the first woman ever to do so.
Tracy Schandler Walder
Alpha Nu – USC
Recruited by the CIA while a collegian at USC, Tracy Schandler Walder moved right from the Delta Gamma house to the Middle East where she served on the front-lines of the Global War on Terrorism. She spent five years as a covert operative for the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, worked as a special agent for the FBI specializing in counterintelligence operations, and is currently inspiring the next generation by teaching young women about intelligence gathering and counterterrorism at an all-girls' school. Read more about Tracey in the Spring 2020 ANCHORA magazine.