|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)|
150 active chapters131 alumnae chapters
|Members||more than 210,000 initiated members, more than 171,788 living alumnae, more than 15,000 current collegians collegiate|
|Headquarters||3250 Riverside Drive
Delta Gamma (ΔΓ) is one of the oldest and largest women's sororities in the United States and Canada, with over 230,000 members worldwide. It has 150 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada and 131 alumnae chapters. 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. Delta Gamma creates an environment for its women to establish long lasting friendships.
- 1 History
- 2 Symbols
- 3 Philanthropy
- 4 Anchora
- 5 Firsts
- 6 Notable members
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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. 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.
Before the adoption of the golden anchor, the symbol of Delta Gamma was simply a "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. Article II, written by the Founders in 1873, states: "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."The Hannah Doll is their mascot.
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. Banta played an integral part in the expansion of Delta Gamma chapters from Oxford, Mississippi, to well-recognized northern colleges. In 1882, Banta married Lillian Vawter, a Delta Gamma at Franklin College. After Lillian died in 1885, he was remarried to Ellen Lee Pleasants. In his latter years of life, Banta assisted with the rewriting of the Delta Gamma ritual. 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. 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. 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 150 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada. It also has more than 250 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. The largest chapter is currently Mu at the University of Missouri with 330 members.
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 The Delta Gamma Foundation. The Delta Gamma Foundation's mission is that it, "fosters lifetime enrichment for members, promotes Service for Sight and partners with the Fraternity to ensure the future of our sisterhood."Delta Gamma has funded genetic research, low-vision adaptive devices, tapes, Braille books and hundreds of life-enhancing programs. 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 a plea to the Delta Gamma Convention in 1961. 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. Delta Gamma gives more than 150,000 Service for Sight volunteer hours each year. 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. The most common Delta Gamma fundraisers for Service for Sight are Anchor Splash 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.
The Delta Gamma Foundation has three main focuses: Service for Sight, grants to the fraternity for educational and leadership purposes and grants to individual members.  Service for Sight has three pegs. The first peg is the four schools for the visually impaired that are funded by Service for Sight. The schools assist with adults and children experiencing visual impairments as well as helping to promote sight preservation. The second peg is Joining Forces. The third peg is The Golden Anchor Program.
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. 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 Golden Anchor Program
The Golden Anchor program was started to bring joy and companionship to senior citizens, especially Delta Gamma senior citizens. With the Golden Anchor Program, Delta Gammas visit senior citizens in health care facilities to spend time together and foster friendship.
Anchor Games are Delta Gamma's national philanthropy fundraising events that are hosted on college campuses across North America. 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. The most popular of the games is Anchor Splash, which was started by the Beta Tau chapter at the University of Miami in 1966. 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.
The official Delta Gamma magazine is the Anchora ("aNGkərə" not "ankôrə"). The goal of the magazine is to inform readers about 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. Five years of archived issues can be found here.
- First sorority in the United States to establish an independent philanthropic foundation: Service for Sight, founded in 1951 in Ohio
- 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
- The first sorority to build an international headquarters specifically for that purpose
- The first sorority to have seminars and house corporations
- 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
- First recipient of the Virginia Boyce Award presented by Prevent Blindness America
- First women'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 its 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
Arts, entertainment and broadcast journalism
- Lisa Angelos McKenzie — Founder of You Night Empowering Events, an empowerment program for men and women who are learning to embrace life after cancer.
- Diem Brown - Reality TV star from MTV's The Challenge, FOXnews.com, Associated Press, and SkyLiving
- Mona Kosar Abdi – multimedia journalist with WSET ABC 13, the Al Jazeera Media Network and KGTV Channel 10
- Paige Adams-Geller – model, fashion designer, founder Paige Premium Denim, Miss California 1991
- Caitlin Hale – Actress, School of Rock
- Jill Arrington – former sports reporter for CBS
- 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 15
- Mette Boving Castor – Miss Louisiana 1997
- Kristy Cavinder – Miss California 2009
- Nadine Jolie Courtney – beauty journalist, author, Bravo TV personality Newlyweds: The First Year
- Cheryl Crawford – Broadway producer; founder of Group Theater and Actor's Studio
- Ann Daly – COO of DreamWorks Animation
- Stacy Deffenbaugh – Good Morning Southwest Florida anchor on WZVN-TV (ABC 7) in Naples/Fort Myers, Florida
- Ivy DePew – Miss Rhode Island 2014
- Judith Ford Johnson Nash – Miss America 1969
- Mary Frann – actress, Newhart, Days of Our Lives
- Noelle Freeman – Miss California 2011
- Camilla Morgan Grove – screenwriter, Balls To The Wall
- Samantha Harris – former host of Dancing with the Stars and host of various shows on E!, model and actress.
- Patricia Heaton – actress, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle
- E.D. Tarbox Hill – co-host of Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel
- Dagney Hultgreen – former channel hostess for E! Entertainment Television
- Amy Lamare – writer, author, sports writer, radio personality
- Anne Michael Langguth – Miss Iowa 2009
- Debbie Turner Larson – actress, played Marta Von Trapp in the 1964 Julie Andrews' classic The Sound of Music
- Christine Lahti – actress, Chicago Hope
- Simone Lewis – Contestant in America's Next Top Model (Cycle 14; 2010)
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Emmy Award–winning actress
- Joan Lunden – former host of Good Morning America
- Caroline McGowan – Miss Oregon 2011
- Leslie McLaren – Miss Canada 1991
- Kari Kathleen Markussen – actress, Gimme A Break!
- Donna Mills – actress, Knots Landing
- Terry Murphy – Emmy Award–winning journalist of Hard Copy
- Helen O'Gorman – sculptor, painter and botanist
- Melanne Pennington – Miss West Virginia 1984
- Cristina Perez – lawyer, television personality, radio host, and author
- Kyra Phillips – CNN anchor
- Alice Ripley – Broadway actress; Tony Award winner, "Next to Normal"
- Allyn Rose – Miss District of Columbia 2012, Miss Maryland USA 2011 - Miss USA Top 8 Finalist
- Eva Marie Saint – actress, On the Waterfront
- Holly Shand – reality star, Road Rules: Latin America, Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons
- Jennifer Smith – producer for CNN's Crossfire
- Susan Spencer – staff correspondent on 48 Hours
- Julia Sweeney – actress and comedian from Saturday Night Live
- Pandora Vanderpump-Todd – cast member, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and founder of the online magazine, The Divine Addiction
- Anita Vogel – Fox News Channel correspondent
- Sydnee Waggoner – Miss Alaska 2009
- Lizz Winstead – creator of Comedy Central's The Daily Show
- Mekayla Diehl – Miss Indiana USA 2014
- Alex Guarnaschelli – Celebrity chef on the Food Network, executive chef at New York City's Butter restaurant.
- Amanda Debus - Miss Delaware 2016
- Hannah Talarico - Fox News 2016
Authors and publishing
- Marilyn Barrett – author
- Phyllis Battelle – nationally syndicated columnist
- Christine Clifford – author and motivational speaker
- Ann Coulter – political commentator and syndicated columnist
- Brenda Wang Clough – author
- Rebecca Martinson – email author
- Kate Coscarelli – author
- Heloise Cruse – advice columnist
- Carolyn Englefield – former Senior decorating editor for House Beautiful magazine, current freelance Producer for House & Garden, Elle Decor, Veranda, Vanity and House Beautiful magazines
- Suzanne Farrow – nationally syndicated cartoonist
- Ellen Bromfield Geld – author
- Donna Handly – editor, Ms. magazine
- Jackie Martin – first female photo and art editor of the Washington Herald in 1931, served as a war correspondent and director of photo operations of The Marshall Plan
- Lauren Purcell – author and Deputy Editor of Self magazine
- Heather Buchanan Spohr – writer, author, philanthropist
- Terry Tempest Williams – author
Business, education and government
- Edith Abbott – first female dean of a graduate school at an American university, the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration
- Kelly Ayotte – United States Senator from New Hampshire (2011–2017)
- Grace Abbott – highest ranking woman in the United States government for over a decade as the head of the United States Children's Bureau (1921–1934); 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 States
- 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)
- Molly Hering Bordonaro – U.S. Ambassador to Malta (2005–2009)
- Elizabeth M. Boyer – lawyer, writer/publisher, and feminist founder of WEAL
- Patricia Lemay Burr – Administrator, Small Business Administration
- Ada Louise Comstock – first full-time president of Radcliffe College
- Rita Colwell – first female to be named Director of the National Science Foundation and chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc.
- Deborah L. Cook – Federal judge for the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (2003–pres.)
- 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).
- Jo Ann Emerson – U.S. Congresswoman from Missouri (1996–2013)
- Susan Shannon Engeleiter – first woman to head the Small Business Administration (1989–1991)
- Dorothy Felton – former Atlanta State House of Representatives
- Mary Gladwin – American Red Cross nurse who served in three wars from 1898 to 1919, decorated by the United States, Russian, Japanese and Serbian governments
- Jan Hart – former Dallas City Manager
- Melissa Hart – U.S. Congresswoman from Pennsylvania (2001–2007)
- Sarah Tilghman Hughes – first female federal judge who swore in President Lyndon B. Johnson on the day of President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
- Merry Hull – redesigned the basic construction of the glove in 1939 which became the industry standard and is the design we wear today
- Sharen Jester Turney – President and CEO of Victoria's Secret
- Mary Landrieu – Senator from Louisiana (1997–2015)
- Francess Lucas-Taucher – first female President of Millsaps College (2000–2010)
- Ruth Bryan Owen – U.S. Ambassador to Denmark (1933–1936) and Florida's first woman elected to Congress (1929–1933)
- Patti McGill Peterson – former Executive Director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, former Vice President of the Institute of International Education
- Cylda Stokes Rent – President of Mississippi University for Women (1989–2001)
- Kathleen "Kathy" Higdon Wilson – Chairwoman of the National Women's Political Caucus (1981–1985)
- Leah Pike Honey – Mission Specialist at NASA and part of HERA IX, the first simulation with an all female crew 
- Judy Bell – first female president of United States Golf Association (1996–1998), Lifetime Achievement Inductee in the World Golf Hall of Fame, 2001
- Emilee Klein – professional golfer
- Bonnie Lauer – professional golfer; 1977 Rookie of the Year
- Susan Nattrass – first woman shooter in the 1976 Summer Olympics
- Jill Savery – member of the gold medal U.S. synchronized swimming team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta
- Carin Cone – champion swimmer
- Anne White – nationally ranked tennis player in the late 1980s
- Dori Carter – golfer on the LPGA tour
- Most organizations typically referred to as sororities are officially fraternities
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