Delta Gamma at Indiana University in Bloonmington became a dream for
Lillian Bappert, Nellie Perigo, and Mary
E. Coleman after helping four current female members of the Greek community dress for the
annual Panhellenic fancy dress party in the Spring of 1898. They were dissatisfied with the existing sororities and decided it was time to form another
With the help of Mrs. Joseph Swain, the wife of the Indiana University president and an alumna of Kappa Alpha Theta, they were able to obtain their charter by Thanksgiving. On December 10, 1898, the three women along with Elizabeth Hedderich and Clara Snyder received the charter and were initiated in a home on Forest Place, the current location of Ballantine Hall. That evening, the members went to a Kappa Alpha Theta party, and Miss Coleman wrote, "We had felt Kappa Alpha Theta was our friend and for that reason selected Theta as our chapter letter." (Source: Coleman, Mary Effie, "Reminiscences of Our Fraternity," The History of Delta Gamma, 1874-1915.)
What became the international women's fraternity of Delta Gamma was founded by Anna Boyd Ellington, Eva Webb Dodd and Mary Comfort Leonard in 1873 in Oxford, Mississippi, at the Lewis School for Girls near the University of Mississippi.
The early growth for Delta Gamma was confined to women's colleges in the South. Within a few years, Delta Gamma was established in the North and then later expanded to the East. In 1891, Delta Gamma was one of the seven charter members of the National Panhellenic Conference when the first inter-sorority meeting was in Boston.
As the population moved West, so did Delta Gamma. What began as a club in the South soon became an international fraternity in both scope and thinking as Delta Gamma established itself not only in the United States, but also in Canada. Through the years, goals and achievements have grown as Delta Gammas continue to live by the motto set forth by the Founders, "Do Good."
See some noteworthy women who are members of Delta Gamma.
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Page last updated: March 15, 2013