Delta Delta Delta
also known as Tri Delta
, is an international sorority founded on November 27, 1888, the eve of Thanksgiving Day. With over 200,000 initiates, Tri Delta is one of the world's largest NPC
The National Panhellenic Conference , founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 national women's sororities.Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae...
Delta Delta Delta was founded by Sarah Ida Shaw, Eleanor Dorcas Pond, Florence Isabelle Stewart and Isabel Morgan Breed at Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...
. Three women's groups were already represented at Boston University in 1888 (Kappa Kappa Gamma
Kappa Kappa Gamma is a collegiate women's fraternity, founded at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, USA. Although the groundwork of the organization was developed as early as 1869, the 1876 Convention voted that October 13, 1870 should be recognized at the official Founders Day, because no...
, Gamma Phi Beta
Gamma Phi Beta is an international sorority that was founded on November 11, 1874, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. The term "sorority," meaning sisterhood, was coined for Gamma Phi Beta by Dr. Frank Smalley, a professor at Syracuse University.The four founders are Helen M. Dodge,...
and Alpha Phi
Alpha Phi International Women's Fraternity was founded at Syracuse University on September 18, 1872. Alpha Phi currently has 152 active chapters and over 200,000 initiated members. Its celebrated Founders' Day is October 10. It was the third Greek-letter organization founded for women. In Alpha...
). Shaw enlisted the help of Eleanor Dorcas Pond and told her "Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance."
The two young women began the work of creating a new national fraternity. Later Sarah wrote "...The two enthusiastic friends were unaware of the fact that there was something stupendous about the task they had set hands, heads and hearts to accomplish. They were working for a principle, and it never occurred to them that there could be such a thing as failure. Earnestness of purpose, energy and enthusiasm had brought them both success in college and why should not these same qualities bring assurance of good fortune to the new venture."
Shaw and Pond wrote the rituals and constitution and designed the emblems. Choosing the name was a mutual decision. Pond suggested a triple letter while Shaw chose the actual letter and developed Greek mottos and passwords. Inspiration came from Egyptian Lore
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...
, Hindu mysticism
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...
, reflecting Shaw's wide and various interests.
The Founders of ΔΔΔ:
Tri Delta firsts
Tri Delta was the first sorority to:
- be founded without the help of a fraternity.
- be founded as a national organization with complete plans for governmental structure and expansion.
- regularly publish its quarterly magazine, The Trident, published continuously since 1891.
- plan and perfect an alumnae system.
- pioneer chapter visitation in 1905, appointing an officer to visit all chapters.
- publish a book-length history: A Detailed Record of Delta Delta Delta, 1888-1907.
- hold a national Leadership Conference.
- finance proper housing for collegiate chapters and has a large investment in houses, lodges and suites.
- concentrate its national philanthropic efforts on higher education through the Founders' Anniversary Fellowships, the Zoe Gore Perrin Scholarships and the endowment of the National Humanities Center.
- adopt a central accounting system for its collegiate chapters.
The PURPOSE OF DELTA DELTA DELTA shall be to establish a perpetual bond of friendship among its members, to develop a stronger and more womanly character, to broaden the moral and intellectual life, and to assist its members in every possible way.
IT SHALL ALSO BE THE PURPOSE OF DELTA DELTA DELTA to promote and develop mutually beneficial relationships between the Fraternity and the colleges and universities where the Fraternity has established chapters, to develop qualities of unselfish leadership among its members, and to encourage them to assume, with integrity and devotion to moral and democratic principles, the highest responsibilities of college women.
Traditions and legacy
The coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...
consists of a shield quartered, first and fourth quarters in blue on each of which is a silver trident, second and third gold on each of which is a green pine tree. Above the shield, the crest, consisting of a torse with six folds alternating gold and blue, from which rises a white, gold and blue pansy. Below the shield the open motto, "Let us steadfastly love one another," is inscribed in Greek on a scroll.
The colors of Tri Delta are silver, gold and cerulean blue. Green is also a significant color, symbolizing the union of the three colors.
Using the Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...
the name Delta Delta Delta is depicted above. The Greek letter Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet and is commonly seen as an isosceles triangle.
The pearl is the jewel of Tri Delta. The one jewel that grows, it symbolizes the new member, developing from a tiny grain of sand into a thing of great value and beauty.
The pine tree is a symbol of Tri Delta's collegiate members. As a tree able to grow in very challenging conditions, it represents the collegiate members ability to thrive in hard times and adversity.
The Pansy is a large group of hybrid plants cultivated as garden flowers. Pansies are derived from Viola species Viola tricolor hybridized with other viola species, these hybrids are referred to as Viola × wittrockiana or less commonly Viola tricolor hortensis...
is Tri Delta's flower. It is a symbol of alumnae membership and the third step in the lifetime development of Delta Delta Delta’s members.
The dolphin is recognized as an additional symbol of importance as it was considered to be a good omen by the ancient Greeks. It symbolizes rebirth, friendship and leadership.
New member pin
The new member pin is worn prior to initiation. It is a green and silver enamel badge described in the 1888 constitution as an “inverted Delta, surrounded by three Deltas.”
The trident symbolize the first degree of initiation and is returned prior to initiation into the Stars and Crescent degree. A gold trident may be worn as a badge guard.
The Stars and Crescent
Three golden stars, crown set with pearls, within a gold crescent of three hundred degree bearing three deltas in black enamel is the official badge of the Fraternity. Tri Delta initiates receive a Stars and Crescent Badge with her initials, the Greek letters of her chapter, and her chapter Initiation number engraved on the back. The badge belongs to Tri Delta and is lent to each member during her lifetime or as long as she remains a member.
In the early 1970s, a national survey established that Tri Delta chapters were interested in children, hospitals, and cancer. At the 1974 Tri Delta Convention the three were combined to support Children's Cancer Charities
as the designated philanthropy.
Many chapters observe "Sleighbell Day" on the first Tuesday of December, following the tradition of Sleighbell Luncheon, first held in the 1940s by 13 Southern California chapters to benefit a doctor researching blood diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
In 1999, Tri Delta partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee. It is a nonprofit medical corporation chartered as a 501 tax-exempt organization under IRS regulations.In...
. St. Jude (through the fundraising branch, ALSAC) assists Tri Delta chapters in planning philanthropy events that benefit the children and subsidize research costs at St. Jude. Many chapters coordinate fundraising activities such as pancake breakfasts and football tailgates on their campuses each year.
In 2002, Tri Deltas committed to raising $1 million to build a Teen Room at the St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....
. Tri Delta fulfilled the commitment in 2005.
In July 2006, Tri Delta committed to raise $10 million in 10 years to build a new patient treatment floor focusing on brain tumor research at St. Jude. Tri Delta instead raised $10.4 million dollars in 4 years, which caused the title to be changed to $10 million by 10.
Tri Delta's new philanthropic goal is to raise $15 million in 5 years, by 2015.
March has now also been designated as St. Jude / Tri Delta month.
In addition to the national partnership, Tri Delta continues to raise money for local Children's Cancer Charities, including the long-running Sleighbell Luncheon.
- Maryam Ahmadinia (Phi Kappa) - America's Miss Tourism 2009
- Donna Axum
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(Delta Iota) - Miss America
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1964, Public Service
- Elizabeth Banks
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(Psi) - Actress
- Lee Phillip Bell
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(Upsilon) - Talk Show Host
- Sara Blakely
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(Alpha Eta) - Founder of Spanx
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and Celebrity Judge
- Lisa Boscola
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(Gamma Beta) - Pennsylvania State Senate
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- Betsy Boze
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(Theta Kappa) - President of The College of The Bahamas
- Bobbe Bridge
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(Theta Alpha) - Former Associate Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
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- Dixie Carter
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(Delta Sigma) - Actress
- Kathy Castor
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(Alpha Omega) - Democratic
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- Kiran Chetry
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(Alpha Pi) - CNN
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- Kellie Coffey
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(Theta Gamma) - Musician
- Nellie Connally
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(Theta Zeta) - Former First Lady
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Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...
- Leanza Cornett
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(Beta Gamma) - Miss America
The Miss America pageant is a long-standing competition which awards scholarships to young women from the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands...
1993 and television host
- Katie Couric
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(Beta Sigma) - Anchor, CBS Evening News
CBS Evening News is the flagship nightly television news program of the American television network CBS. The network has broadcast this program since 1948, and has used the CBS Evening News title since 1963....
- Catherine Crier
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(Theta Zeta) - Television personality and a former district court judge.
- Mary Frances Crosby (Theta Zeta) Actress, Dallas
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- Meryl Davis
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(Iota) 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist Ice Dancer
- Elizabeth Dole
Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford "Liddy" Dole is an American politician who served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush presidential administrations, as well as a United States Senator....
(Alpha Omicron) - U.S. Senator from North Carolina, Former Secretary of Transportation
- Caroline Fayard
Cathryn Caroline Fayard , daughter of Cynthia Felder Fayard and Calvin Clifford Fayard, Jr., of Springfield, Louisiana, is a Democrat who sought the office of lieutenant governor of Louisiana in the 2010 elections....
(Gamma Gamma) - Louisiana political figure
- Terry Gabreski
Lieutenant General Terry Walter Gabreski was the first female officer to hold the rank of Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force...
(Delta Omega) - Vice Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
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, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
- Joanna Garcia
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(Alpha Eta) - Actress
- Rita B. Garman
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(Delta Pi) - Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois
- Cynthia Geary
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(Chi) - Emmy-Nominated Actress
- Bethany Gerber
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(Theta Gamma)- Miss Kansas 2010
- Leeza Gibbons
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(Alpha Lambda) - Actress, Talk Show Host
- Doris Kearns Goodwin
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(Alpha Upsilon) - Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...
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A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...
- Adele Khoury Graham
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(Alpha Psi) - Former First Lady of Florida (1978–1986)
- Cathy Guisewite
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(Iota) - Comic strip author
- Nicole Jordan
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(Delta Mu)- Miss Tennessee 2010
- Hoda Kotb (Beta Nu) - News anchor
- Dominique Kruse (Theta Beta) - Entertainment Host
- Natalia Livingston
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(Alpha Omega) - Actress, General Hospital
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- Vinita Nair
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(Upsilon) - News anchor
- Deborah Norville
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(Alpha Rho) - News anchor
- Kathy Orr
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(Omicron) - Meteorologist
- Jaclyn Raulerson
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(Beta Lambda) - Miss Florida USA 2010
- Amanda Schull
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(Delta Omicron)- Jody in Center Stage, Sara and Katie in One Tree Hill
- Savitree Suttichanond
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(Beta Upsilon) - Singer on TrueVisions
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's Academy Fantasia
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- Anne Rivers Siddons
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(Phi Theta) - Author
- Molly Sims
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(Delta Gamma) - Actress, Model
- Jaclyn Stapp (Alpha Delta)- Miss New York USA 2004 and Mrs. FL America 2008
- Sally Stapleton
-Biography:Stapleton was born Nov. 23, 1957, in Kennett, Missouri; her father was the publisher of the local newspaper, the Daily Dunklin Democrat. Stapleton is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and a 2002 Fulbright Scholar.-Career:...
(Unknown) - Award winning journalist
- Beth Ostrosky-Stern (Pittsburgh) - Actress, Model, Wife of Howard Stern
- Robbin Wasson (Lambda)- Miss Kansas 1991
- Shawn Weatherly (Beta Theta) - Miss Universe
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- Tyler Willis
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(Phi Eta) - Miss Texas USA 2005, Top 15 at Miss USA 2005
- Kelsi Welch (Theta Beta) - Pretty Princess
- Melissa Witek
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(Alpha Psi) - Miss Florida USA 2005, 4th Runner-up at Miss USA 2005
- Peyton Wright - Reality TV (the Bachelor and Bachelor Pad 2011)
- Brittany Brannon (Gamma Rho) - Miss Arizona 2011, Top 15 at Miss USA