Delta Gamma History
Delta Gamma was founded in 1873 in Oxford, Mississippi, at the Lewis School for Girls by three young women who were unable to go home for the Christmas break. Together, Anna Boyd, Mary Comfort and Eva Webb created a club of "mutual helpfulness."
They chose the Greek letters Delta and Gamma because of their desire to "Do Good." It remains Delta Gamma's motto today and a driving force in all we do. Delta Gamma is a sisterhood built on a commitment to making the world better through not only service, but also a deep appreciation for each individual.
What started with three women in Oxford, Mississippi, has since grown into an international Fraternity with 150 collegiate chapters and more than 215 alumnae groups. Delta Gamma's sisterhood continues to inspire women through the values that were built into our very first Constitution. Article II, written by our 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."
While the Constitution spells out the values of a Delta Gamma woman in Article II, you can't tell the story of Delta Gamma without speaking of hope. The original pin of the Fraternity was the letter "H," which the Founders meant to stand for hope. A few years before she died, Founder Mary Comfort Leonard described the first pin:
"We went to a local jeweler and had our pin made-the letter 'H,' which stood for hope, for we hoped great results and have not been disappointed…" - The Shield
Delta Gamma Fraternity does not discriminate in its membership selection on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or other characteristics protected by state, provincial or federal law. Membership is open to all individuals who identify as women. Those selected for membership in Delta Gamma must have good scholarship, be of good character and standing, have an interest in activities that will enhance the academic atmosphere at the college or university, and have a sincere desire to contribute to the work of Delta Gamma.
All efforts are in place to guarantee those selected for membership in Delta Gamma have good scholarship, are of good character and standing, have an interest in activities which will enhance the academic atmosphere at the college, university or community, and have a sincere desire to contribute to the work of Delta Gamma. The Executive Offices will continue to work with the individual chapters to ensure that all policies and procedures are followed at all times.
For a complete list of our policies, please visit our library.
Epsilon Eta Chapter at IUP
Delta Gamma arrived at IUP on Sunday, October 26, 1980. On that day, several of Delta Gamma's Council members and the sisters of the Alpha Chi chapter from Penn State came and held the first round of rush parties. Invitations were extended to the women who were invited to attend the second round of parties the following evening. A slide show and displays were major attractions at those parties.
Following this, appointments were made for interviews to be conducted by the Fraternity officers. On Thursday morning, special invitations were given to 65 women for a preference party to be held that evening. These women were to be the first pledges of the IUP colony of Delta Gamma. That evening the preference party was held in the Alumni Lounge in Pratt Hall.
At the end of the party, invitations to pledge Delta Gamma were extended to 65 women. On October 31, the pledge ceremony for these women was held. The following morning, November 1, the first meeting of the IUP colony was convened with officers being elected and pledge education commencing.
Following Christmas break, the pledge test was administered on February 8. Thereafter, the colony enjoyed a weekend retreat at the University Lodge from February 27-28.
March 15 marked Founders Day and the beginning of Inspiration week. On Friday, March 20 the Alpha Chi chapter arrived from Penn State to present our Inspiration night. The following day, March 21, 1981, the members enjoyed Initiation and the presentation of the charter of the Epsilon Eta Chapter of Delta Gamma. Fifty-nine women were initiated. A reception banquet was held at the Holiday Inn in honor of this occasion. Parents and friends were in attendance.