150 active chapters131 alumnae chapters
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 hundreds of 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.
Delta Gamma was founded in December 1873 at the Lewis School for Girls in Oxford, Mississippi 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 in order 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 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," 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 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. 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 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 Beta Psi at the University of Alabama with 408 members.
The official symbol is the anchor.
The official flower is the cream-colored rose.
Delta Gamma has no official jewel or gemstone.
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." The Delta Gamma Foundation provides programming that enables its members to contribute on the community, national and international levels through its philanthropies of Service for Sight, scholarships, fellowships, loans, leadership and educational programming and assistance to members in crisis.
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. 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 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.