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Delta Gamma

Delta Gamma
Founded December 25, 1873; 142 years ago (1873-12-25)
Lewis School for Girls, (Oxford, Mississippi)
Type Social
Scope International
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.
Motto Do Good
Colors      Bronze      Pink      Blue
Symbol Anchor
Flower Cream-Colored Rose
Publication Anchora
Philanthropy Delta Gamma Foundation: Service for Sight & Service for Sight Joining Forces

148 active chapters

131 alumnae chapters
Members more than 210,000 initiated members, more than 171,788 living alumnae, more than 15,000 current collegians collegiate
Mascot Hannah Doll
Headquarters 3250 Riverside Drive
Columbus, Ohio, USA

Delta Gamma (ΔΓ) is one of the oldest and largest women's sororities[1] in the United States and Canada, with over 210,000 members worldwide. It has 148 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada and 131 alumnae chapters.[2] The organization's executive office is in Columbus, Ohio. The Delta Gamma Foundation gives more than 150,000 volunteer service hours and raises thousands of dollars annually for the enrichment of the lives of its members through scholarships and grants, schools and assistance for the visually impaired, and support for U.S. veterans.[2] Delta Gamma creates an environment for it's women to establish long lasting friendships. According to The Shield, the philosophy of Delta Gamma 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".[3]


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.[4] 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]

The badge of Delta Gamma is a golden anchor and may be worn only by initiated members.[5]

Before the adoption of the golden anchor, the symbol of Delta Gamma was simply a "H" for the word "Hope".[5] 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.[5] Delta Gamma's motto is "Do Good," and its flower is the cream rose.[5] Article II, written by the Founders in 1873, states: "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."The Hannah Doll is their mascot.[6]

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.[6] Banta played an integral part in the expansion of Delta Gamma chapters from Oxford, Mississippi, to well-recognized northern colleges.[7] In 1882, Banta married Lillian Vawter, a Delta Gamma at Franklin College. After Lillian died in 1885, he was remarried to Ellen Lee Pleasants.[8] In his latter years of life, Banta assisted with the rewriting of the Delta Gamma ritual.[8] 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.[7] As a result of the assistance provided by Banta, Delta Gamma retains close historical ties with the 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.[9] 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.[10]

Today, Delta Gamma has 147 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada.[11] It also has more than 250 alumnae groups in the United States, Canada and England.[11] 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.[12]

File:Delta Gamma 552 W123 Columbia jeh.jpg
Delta Gamma Sorority House at Columbia University, New York


The official colors are bronze, pink, and blue.

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 Gamma has funded genetic research, low-vision adaptive devices, tapes, Braille books and hundreds of life-enhancing programs.[13] 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 the Delta Gamma 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.[13] Delta Gamma gives more than 150,000 Service for Sight volunteer hours each year.[13] In 2013, the Delta Gamma Foundation donated over 500,000 dollars to Fraternity leadership and educational programs. They also helped to grant over 174,000 dollars to 26 different Service for Sight organizations.[12] The most common Delta Gamma fundraisers for Service for Sight are Anchor Splash[13] and Anchor Slam. Many collegiate chapters participate in one of these events, with the decision being largely dependent on the climate in which the school is located.

Anchor Games

Anchor Games are Delta Gamma's national philanthropy fundraising events that are hosted on college campuses across North America.[14] These games include Anchor Splash, a swimming competition, Anchor Slam, a basketball tournament, and Anchor Bowl, a flag football tournament. The proceeds raised at these events support Delta Gamma's philanthropies, including Service for Sight, scholarships, fellowships and loans, values and ethics lectureships, and educational programs for its members.[14] The most popular of the games is Anchor Splash, which was started by the Beta Tau chapter at the University of Miami in 1966.[14] The event is one of the largest philanthropy events on every college campus because so many groups are involved in it. Anchor Splash involves events such as swim races, synchronized swimming, "most beautiful eyes", a dive competition and the Anchor Man competition. 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.[15][16]

Service for Sight: Joining Forces

In December 2012, Delta Gamma began the Service for Sight: Joining Forces Program in honor of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. This program aims to improve eye injury clinical care, vision research, and life changing benefits for service members. Between 13 and 20% of soldiers return home with some kind of eye injury.[17] Delta Gamma is partnered with the Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and other non-profits that work to aid blind or visually impaired service members to offer aid.


The official Delta Gamma magazine is the Anchora (ˈaNGkərə') not ('ankôrə'). 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.[18] 5 year's worth of archived issues can be found at:


  • First sorority in the United States to establish an independent philanthropic foundation: Service for Sight, founded in 1951 in Ohio[19]
  • 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 Conference[9]
  • The first sorority to build an international headquarters specifically for that purpose[19]
  • The first sorority to have seminars and house corporations[19]
  • 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 conservation[20]
  • First recipient of the Virginia Boyce Award presented by Prevent Blindness America[21]
  • First women’s fraternity to employ a full-time staff member to address the health and wellness needs of its members[19]
  • First to have an archivist handling historical materials at its international headquarters[19]
  • First to receive recognition from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for Distinguished Public Service[19]
  • First to establish challenge grants in values in ethics, through the Dorothy Garrett Martin Lectureship in Values and Ethics[19]

Notable members

Arts, entertainment and broadcast journalism

Authors and publishing

Business, education and government


See also


  1. Most organizations typically referred to as sororities are officially fraternities
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [1][dead link]
  3. Delta Gamma Fraternity (2014). The Shield (8th ed.). United States of America: Fourth Printing. p. 4. 
  4. Delta Gamma (2012-09-25). "History". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Delta Gamma (2012-09-25). "Symbols". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Delta Gamma (2009-10-20). "DG Trivia". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "George Banta and the Delta Gamma / Phi Delta Theta Connection | Focus on Fraternity History & MoreFocus on Fraternity History & More". 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Miller's Meanderings - Volume #1 | Phi Delta Theta Fraternity". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 National Panhellenic Conference (2009). "NPC History" (PDF). National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  10. National Panhellenic Conference. "Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Delta Gamma (2012-04-09). "And This Is Our Story...". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 [2][dead link]
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Delta Gamma (2012-08-17). "Philanthropy". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 [3][dead link]
  15. Knutson, Cole (2013-04-18). "Greek: Delta Gamma Anchor Splash philanthropy fundraiser tries to best $32,000 | Emerald Media". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  16. [4][dead link]
  17. [5][dead link]
  18. [6][dead link]
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Delta Gamma (2009-05-28). "Fraternity Firsts". Delta Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  20. 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. 
  21. Optometry Times (2009-09-01). "Prevent Blindness America mourns loss of sight-saving pioneer". Advanstar Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  22. "Mona Kosar Abdi". Linkedin. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 23.15 23.16 23.17 "Noteworthy Delta Gammas". Delta Gamma. June 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  24. 24.00 24.01 24.02 24.03 24.04 24.05 24.06 24.07 24.08 24.09 24.10 24.11 24.12 24.13 24.14 24.15 24.16 24.17 24.18 24.19 24.20 24.21 24.22 24.23 24.24 24.25 24.26 24.27 24.28 24.29 24.30 24.31 24.32 24.33 24.34 24.35 24.36 24.37 24.38 24.39 24.40 24.41 24.42 24.43 24.44 24.45 24.46 24.47 24.48 24.49 24.50 24.51 24.52 24.53 24.54 24.55 24.56 24.57 24.58 24.59 24.60 24.61 24.62 24.63 24.64 24.65 24.66 24.67 24.68 24.69 24.70 24.71 24.72 "Noteworthy Delta Gammas". Delta Gamma. August 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 

External links