Delta Zeta (ΔΖ) is an international college sorority founded on October 24, 1902, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today, Delta Zeta has 160 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada; and over 200 alumnae chapters around the globe. As of 2013, there are over 244,400 college and alumnae members, making them the third largest sorority in the nation (after Alpha Delta Pi and Chi Omega).[4]


Delta Zeta Sorority was founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1902, the same year that the university first allowed female students.[5] Miami is dubbed the "Mother of Fraternities" because of the many prominent men's fraternities which were founded there.

Six of the newly admitted females consulted university president Dr. Guy Potter Benton regarding the founding of the first sorority chapter.[5] Having been a leader in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity he was familiar with the processes of a Greek organization and helped the women establish the first Delta Zeta chapter. Benton aided in preparation of the ritual, badge, and colors. For his contributions, he was named the 'Grand Patron'. The Delta Zeta Sorority was officially incorporated in October 24, 1902. The founding members were: Alfa Lloyd Hayes, Mary Jane Collins, Anna Louise Keen, Julia Lawrence Bishop, Mabelle May Minton, and Anne Dial Simmons.[5]

The women were harassed for wanting to form a sorority. In one account, someone stole the constitution out of the secretary's hand but Dr. Benton pursued the offender and retrieved the constitution.[citation needed]

The sorority joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1910. Delta Zeta has absorbed four other sororities: Beta Phi Alpha in 1941, Phi Omega Pi in 1946, Delta Sigma Epsilon in 1956, and Theta Upsilon in 1962. Delta Zeta marked its Centennial Celebration in 2002.


Delta Zeta's official colors are rose and green. The Roman lamp is considered the official symbol. DZ's flower is the pink killarney rose, while the official stone is the diamond.

Delta Zeta's officially recognized mascot is the turtle.[6] Delta Zeta partners with Starkey Hearing Foundation and is committed to philanthropy. DZ implements a "Heart For Hearing" to raise money for the foundation.


Since 1954, the national philanthropy of Delta Zeta is speech and hearing. Part of the Delta Zeta creed states, "To those whom my life may touch in slight measure, may I give graciously of what is mine," in recognition of the importance of service. Delta Zeta has national partnerships with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Gallaudet University. Individual chapters may also support local organizations in their area.

In addition, Delta Zeta supports The Painted Turtle Camp as a national service project. This camp supports children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Delta Zeta is committed to supporting the camp financially through donations, as well as with their time through volunteering in the camps themselves.

The Delta Zeta Foundation

The Delta Zeta Foundation is a not-for-profit entity within the organization that provides various scholarships for members of the sorority as well as funding leadership, philanthropy, and education programs. There is a national philanthropic organization for active members of Delta Zeta known as the 1902 Loyalty Society, and members join by donating $19.02.[citation needed]

Current National Council

The National Council of Delta Zeta is an alumnae board tasked with the governance of the organization.[7]

Accusations of discrimination

At the end of 2006, the Delta Chapter of Delta Zeta at DePauw University became enmeshed in a controversy that would eventually make national headlines and result in the chapter's closure.[8] The Delta Zeta national leadership was criticized after the New York Times published an article accusing the National office of moving certain members of the Delta Chapter at DePauw University to alumnae status based on their perceived attractiveness. Founded in 1909, the Delta chapter was the sorority's second oldest active chapter and its fourth oldest chapter overall (a "single letter" chapter). Despite its long history at DePauw, the Delta Zeta chapter struggled with declining membership and had acquired a negative reputation on campus. As a result, the Delta chapter members voted to request Delta Zeta Sorority to close the chapter due to falling numbers and lack of interest in recruitment. When notified of the chapter decision, Delta Zeta Sorority arranged a chapter membership review and chapter reorganization rather than close the chapter completely. Several of the members that were moved to alumnae status (and therefore required to move out of the Delta Zeta house at DePauw) argued that they were moved to alumnae status due to their perceived unattractiveness, weight, or ethnicity and contacted the media.[9]

Notable alumnae

Michele Mitchell is a member of Delta Zeta sorority at Northwestern University.

Collegiate chapters

See also


  1. ^ The 1905 Baird's Manual lists the colors as "old rose and nile green" which some chapter websites still use.[1][2] The 1991 edition says "old rose and green". However, the official national web cite lists the colors as "rose and green".[3]


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090617212813/http://www.rmudz.com/History.html. Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2008.  Missing or empty title= (help)
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080511204439/http://www.deltazetadrexel.org/newsite/facts.html. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2008.  Missing or empty title= (help)
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120309112349/http://www.deltazeta.org/aboutdeltazeta/historyandheritage/deltazetafacts. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2012.  Missing or empty title= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Delta Zeta Sorority Selected to Colonize at University of Texas at Dallas (UTD)". Delta Zeta (press release). 18 November 2013. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Delta Zeta History". deltazeta.org. Archived from the original on 12 February 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Delta Zeta Facts - Delta Zeta Sorority". Delta Zeta. Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  7. ^ "National Council". Delta Zeta. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (March 12, 2007). "DePauw University severs ties with sorority/". MSNBC. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Dillon, Sam (February 25, 2007). "Sorority Evictions Raise Issue of Looks and Bias". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Up Close and Personal: OSU's Connection to 'Betty Crocker'". OSU Alumni Association. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  11. ^ "Women of Achievement - Law, Government and the Military". Delta Zeta. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  12. ^ "Spring 2006 - The Lamp of Delta Zeta" (PDF). Delta Zeta. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  13. ^ "Lamplighters host 50th Annual Flame Fantasy to Benefit the House Ear Institute". Delta Zeta. November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  14. ^ "Delta Zeta Sorority - Edith Head". Delta Zeta. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  15. ^ "Florence Henderson Official Site - FAQ". Florence Henderson Official Site. Archived from the original on 2000-01-19. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  16. ^ Brewer, Nancy, and Rochelle Mackey. A Century of Sisterhood: The Story of Delta Zeta Sorority 1902-2002. Phoenix: Heritage, Inc., AZ.
  17. ^ a b c "Famous Delta Zeta sisters". Tech Turtles of Delta Zeta. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  18. ^ "Delta Zeta Sorority's Woman of the Year". Indiana Evening Gazette. October 27, 1962. 
  19. ^ "Gail Patrick Believed Delta Zeta Worthy of Major Bequest". Delta Zeta. Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  20. ^ Wheeler, Lauren (November 8, 2012). "EMB grad makes a name for herself in L.A." The Northerner (NKU). Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Spring 2005 - The Lamp of Delta Zeta" (PDF). Delta Zeta. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  22. ^ "Kay Yow ΖΛ '62, 1987 Delta Zeta Woman of the Year". Delta Zeta. October 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 

External links