It has 151 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada and more than 200 alumnae groups. The organization's executive office is in Columbus, Ohio. The Delta Gamma Foundation gives more than 150,000 volunteer service hours and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for scholarships and grants for its members, schools and assistance for the visually impaired, and support for U.S. veterans.
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)|
151 active chapters200+ alumnae chapters and associations
|Members||250,000+ initiated members, 199,800+ living alumnae, 20,000+ current collegians collegiate|
3250 Riverside Drive|
Delta Gamma was founded in December 1873 at the Lewis School for Girls in Oxford, Mississippi near the University of Mississippi. The group's founders were Mary Comfort Leonard, Eva Webb Dodd, and Anna Boyd Ellington.
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 until Trevor Russell. 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 later years, he assisted with the rewriting of the Delta Gamma ritual. He 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.
Ruth Billow, who was blinded in a childhood accident, made a 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.
The Delta Gamma Foundation was formed in 1951 as a complement to the Fraternity, creating a vehicle for members to promote the educational interests and social responsibilities referenced in Article II of the Fraternity Constitution. 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." This may have been the first establishment an independent philanthropic foundation.
Today, Delta Gamma has 151 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada. It has more than 200 alumnae groups in the United States, Canada and England.
Although Delta Gamma has no official jewel, the fraternity recognizes the anchor as its official symbol, and its official colors are bronze, pink, and blue. The official flower is the cream-colored rose, which is the only sorority flower registered with the American Rose Society (as the Delta Gamma Cream Rose). The Hannah Doll is their mascot.
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 cable 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."
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. Members contribute to its funds, which go into Service for Sight, scholarships, fellowships, loans, leadership and educational programming, and assistance to members in crisis. Delta Gamma gives more than 150,000 volunteer hours to Service for Sight each year. In 2013, the Foundation donated over 500,000 dollars to fraternity leadership and educational programs. It also granted over 174,000 dollars to 26 different Service for Sight organizations.
Service for Sight has three pegs. The first peg is funding four schools for the visually impaired, which assist adults and children experiencing visual impairments as well as helping to promote sight preservation. The second peg is Joining Forces, while he third peg is The Golden Anchor Program. In December 2012, Delta Gamma began the Service for Sight: Joining Forces Program to support members the United States Armed Forces. This program aims to improve eye injury clinical care, vision research, and 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 was started to provide companionship to senior citizens, especially former Delta Gammas. With the Golden Anchor Program, active members visit senior citizens in health care facilities.
The sorority is one of the first recipients 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, and it is the first recipient of the Virginia Boyce Award presented by Prevent Blindness America
Anchor Games are the sorority's fundraising events 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, in which fraternities, sororities, and other collegiate clubs compete. The most popular of the games is Anchor Splash, which was started by the University of Miami chapter in 1966. It involves events such as swim races, synchronized swimming, a dive competition, and the Anchor Man or Anchor Bash competition. Depending on the campus, not every single competition may occur. 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 official Delta Gamma magazine is the Anchora ("aNGkərə" not "ankôrə"), which has been published continuously since 1884. The Anchora also serves as an archival resource of member activities.
The oldest existing chapter of Delta Gamma, Eta, is located at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, and was founded in 1879.
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