News en-us Wed, 04 Mar 2015 10:34:54 -0600 Costumes and Cultural Sensitivity
Themes and costumes say a lot about Tri Delta and our members. Let's talk a little more about how you can be mindful of your costume/theme choices.

Sometimes there is a lot of thought that goes into an event theme or costume. Sometimes there isn't. Sometimes a chapter may start with an innocent enough idea, selecting costumes or themes based on something that could be fun or popular such as a cute slogan, pattern, trend or song. Maybe, as you talk out your idea with other members or officers, you add to it until you've come up with something for your members that is fun, creative and seems perfect! As a result, you may not even notice that it could also be offensive. Take for example the mustache trend. Somehow the mustache is popular and seemingly printed all over everything! So you want to incorporate the mustache. Then the conversation turns into adding sombreros, ponchos, chips and salsa, and by the end of the conversation, it has turned into a Mexican fiesta. Now instead of representing your theme with a costume, you're representing a culture with one. This is offensive. This is not appropriate.

Let's take another seemingly popular trend now: the tribal pattern. It's appearing on shoes, shirts, bedding...everywhere. So you want to paint some Tri Delta letters with a similar pattern. Before you know it, you have decided to play off the pattern and have "TRIbe" as your theme! Afterall, your chapter is close, you're a sisterhood and the word "tribe" could be synonymous with the message you're trying to convey. But as it progresses further and further, members incorporate war paint, feathers, chants or even a teepee. Again, instead of your theme being a costume, you're representing a culture. This is offensive. This is not appropriate.

Tri Delta and The Center for Living, Learning & Leading have provided chapters with the Party Smart Event Planning Guide. This resource is available to assist in planning themes for chapter events. When considering a theme or costume, it's important to ask yourself the following:

  • Is this theme appropriate?
  • If someone knew nothing about fraternities and sororities and this was their first impression, what impression would it leave?
  • Does the theme include slang or terms that non-fraternity/sorority students or the general public could find offensive?
  •  Could someone get the wrong idea?
  • Would I be embarrassed to tell my professors or my parents about the event? 
  • Does the theme match the Purpose of Delta Delta Delta?
  • Will members or guests dress in costumes that could be sexually explicit or culturally insensitive?
  • Does the theme promote an environment that is centered around sexual behavior and/or alcohol?

As we approach yet another opportunity for our members to put on a costume, show their creativity, show their personalities and have fun,  it's important to talk about the difference between a costume that is all in good fun and a costume that sends out a negative message about you as an individual or Tri Delta as an organization. Have a conversation with your sisters about the messages that they are putting out there about themselves and Tri Delta when they go out in costume on Halloween. Consider asking yourself the following:

  • Is your message offensive to a race or culture?
  • Is your costume provocative in nature?
  • What message does your costume send about you?
  • Are you degrading a person, religion, group, etc.?
  • What ways could your theme be interpreted or misinterpreted?
Tri Delta wants to ensure that its members are having a fun, safe and rewarding experience. It's important to remember that it only takes the actions of a few to reflect poorly on the entire organization. Make smart choices and think them all the way through. Protect yourself, your members and your organization from harm, shame or negative consequences. If you or your chapter have any questions, please contact The Center.

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Proven Leader Karen Hughes White Named Executive Director of Tri Delta KHughes_crop.jpgThe Tri Delta Executive Board is pleased to announce that Karen Hughes White, Georgia, has been named Executive Director. Karen will lead Tri Delta in our continued efforts to empower women - throughout their lifetimes - through truth, self-sacrifice and friendship.

Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist, said, "Karen has a vision that will move Delta Delta Delta to greater levels of growth and influence. She will be a tremendous advocate and spokesperson for our sisterhood and for the women's fraternal movement. I am looking forward to working with her."

Before joining Tri Delta, Karen served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In this role, she led the organization's corporate, sports and fitness fundraising and awareness efforts, working with Fortune 500 companies and premier sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA and PGA. She also oversaw St. Jude's fitness portfolio, including the St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk., St. Jude Heroes, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend and St. Jude Country Music Marathon.

Karen adds, "I am honored and thrilled to have been selected to serve our sisterhood during such a dynamic time of growth and change for Tri Delta and our members. I look forward to working with our amazing Board and to leading our talented and passionate staff at the Executive Office as we strive to assist our members in every possible way."

Karen is a results-oriented executive who has provided leadership for successful nonprofit organizations including ALSAC/St. Jude and Susan G. Komen. Her background is in marketing and communications, and from 1988 to 1996, she served in various roles at advertising agencies in the southeast. In 1996, she started Karen Hughes White Communications and for four years owned and operated a successful monthly home and garden magazine distributed in North Texas.

Karen played varsity tennis at Brenau University where she joined Tri Delta. She later transferred to the University of Georgia and affiliated with Alpha Rho Chapter, where she served in various leadership roles. She graduated from Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and served as an alumna advisor to Gamma Xi Chapter at Furman University. She is the proud mother of three children: Mary Patrick, 19, a sophomore at the University of Missouri; Will, 15; and Tee, 13. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking/entertaining and sports

About Tri Delta
Founded in 1888, Tri Delta is a leader among social Greek organizations through its passion for progress and visionary thinking. Through partnerships with nationally recognized organizations like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, award-winning publications like The Trident and innovative collegiate and alumnae initiatives, Tri Delta is committed to leveraging our timeless values to revitalize the sorority experience. For more information, please visit 

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta announces 10-year, $60 million commitment to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.® Tue, 07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0600 Tri Delta receives 2014 St. Jude Partner of the Year Thu, 09 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0600 Following the Footsteps of Sarah Ida Shaw "Beacon Hill, the Common, the Church beside God's Acre! How full of suggestion the Tri Delta that was to be, how symbolic of the Tri Delta that is! Church, State, and the Common Wealth — each separate, each distinct, yet with each touching the other. Each representative of an organized effort to stand for the eternal verities, to make life sweeter and more soul-satisfying." -Sarah Ida Shaw, Thanksgiving 1925

The city of Boston is filled with history. You can hardly turn a corner without running into some vestige of America's past: Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, the site of the Boston Tea Party, the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The same is true of Tri Delta's history. Our Fraternity was founded in this city, and all around Boston there are markers of Tri Delta's past. The buildings are no longer utilized in the same way they once were, and some are no longer standing. Much about Boston has changed since 1888: cars now line the streets, people now walk briskly down sidewalks, talking on cell phones or listening to iPods, and modern amenities are found on every corner.  

But when you walk down a Boston street, if you ignore the cell phones, the cars driving by, the Starbucks across the street, you can almost imagine the Boston of Sarah Ida Shaw. And you can know that Sarah, the other Founders and the earliest members of Alpha Chapter also walked the same path.

Back Bay

131Common.jpgThe long streets of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood are lined with old Victorian brownstones. The neighborhood is mostly quiet and, due to its proximity to the Charles River, a popular place for joggers. The main street that runs through Back Bay is Commonwealth Avenue — a wide, shady boulevard with a long, narrow park in the center. At 131 Commonwealth sits a lovely white mansion, nearly hidden by the trees out front, that has been turned into an apartment building. An elegant cast iron gate separates the building from the sidewalk, and cars are parallel parked along the street. This was once the Panhellenic house, used by Tri Delta and other sororities on the Boston University campus in the 1940s. The house included common rooms, rotating chapter rooms for the eight sororities and a dormitory where three women from each group lived.
If you walk directly across Commonwealth Avenue and stop on the corner of Commonwealth and Dartmouth Street, you'll be standing in front of another large, white building. A sign near the entrance identifies the building simply as The Vendome and lists the offices housed inside: several doctors, a couple of realtors and a tailor. The Vendome was once Hotel Vendome, originally built in 1871 in the Boston Sarah Ida Shaw knew. Hotel Vendome was the site of Tri Delta's fifth Convention in 1902 and Tri Delta's 50th Anniversary Convention in 1938. It was here where the 50th Anniversary Convention attendees heard a radio address from Sarah Ida Shaw, who was in her home in Roxbury.

The Twinkling Lights of Beacon Hill

"One may still look up to the wide expanse of sky, brilliant with the eternal stars. A single glance can still take in Beacon Hill, aglow with twinkling lights, the Common alive with hurrying throngs, the Church with its stately spire, symbol of truth that can alone set man free, and close beside it God's acre." -Sarah Ida Shaw, Thanksgiving Eve 1925

In contrast to the long, linear streets of Back Bay, Beacon Hill's streets are mostly short and extremely narrow. The neighborhood is steep, the streets are sloped, and the sidewalks are an uneven red brick. The area, largely residential, is lined with federal-style row houses and gas-lit streetlights. The edge of Beacon Hill, Beacon Street, borders the idyllic Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States. Although today the Boston University campus sits farther west alongside the Charles River, in 1888 parts of the campus were right here, and students would stroll through the park to reach classes. In February 1892, Charlotte Joslin, Boston, wrote in The Trident: "One of the pleasant features of B.U. life is the delightful walk across the Commons on a fresh spring day."

Joy Street in Beacon Hill runs alongside the Massachusetts State House. The houses in this area were the residence of some early Tri Deltas, including Emily Allen, Boston, who boarded at 16 Joy Street. The red brick home, several stories tall, still stands and the front door leads directly inside from the sidewalk. It was in this home on Jan. 15, 1889, that Alpha Chapter held its Initiation. Around the corner from 16 Joy Street is 33 Mt. Vernon Street. The house that stands here is another home where Alpha Chapter held many early meetings.  

Two streets over from Joy Street is Somerset Street. If you Google the address 12 Somerset, the directions will lead you to an empty lot, now beginning new construction. Today the lot belongs to Suffolk University, but on this spot once sat Boston University's College of Liberal Arts — a building called Jacob Sleeper Hall after one of the university's founders. This was the building where Sarah Ida Shaw and Eleanor Dorcas Pond sat and drafted their plans for Delta Delta Delta. And with its close proximity to the Beacon Hill residences, it's easy to imagine the group of Tri Deltas making the three-minute walk from Jacob Sleeper Hall, around the corner to Emily Allen's home on Joy Street to prepare for their Initiation.

In the Shadow of Park Street Church

parkstreet.jpg"A great many other places in Boston have passed through a metamorphosis, but one may still stand on the old historic corner, where Eleanor and I parted on that memorable evening, our hearts a thrill with a joy akin to motherhood." -Sarah Ida Shaw, Thanksgiving Eve 1925

Park Street Church, situated in Beacon Hill, is an important piece of both Tri Delta history and American history. This stop on the Freedom Trail was built in 1804 and is adjacent to the Granary Burial Ground, the final resting place of revolutionary patriots such as John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. It's located directly across from the Boston Commons and the Park Street Station of the subway system's green line. The area is a bustling one, and there's no escaping the steady flow of traffic and the constant stream of people along the sidewalk. The square across from the church is lined with food vendors, souvenir stands and the occasional person dressed in revolutionary-era garb, providing snippets of history to tourists stopping along the Freedom Trail.

If you arrive by train, as you ascend the escalator of the Park Street Station and look up through the glass roof, you can see the steeple of the church slowly appearing above you. Stepping out of the station, you'll cross Park Street to find yourself directly in of the red brick church, staring up at the stately steeple which seems to climb forever into the heavens, casting its shadow back onto the ground. As you stand in the shadow of Park Street Church — blocking out the buzz of traffic, people and nearby vendors — you can imagine that on this same spot stood Sarah Ida Shaw and Eleanor and Dorcas Pond as they clasped hands and swore "eternal loyalty and fealty to Delta Delta Delta" on Thanksgiving Eve 1888.   

Visiting Sarah

"Be assured ... that I am with you in spirit, that my good wishes go with you now and always, that it is my special hope and my special prayer that Delta Delta Delta may stand through its members for all that is best in life, for all that is worth the living." -Sarah Ida Shaw, Nov. 2, 1907

On the corner of Cobden and Cardington Streets in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury there sits a yellow wooden home, ivy growing up the side, a turret on one side with three delta-shaped windows at the top. For 30 years, Tri Deltas all over the country received letters and correspondence from 5 Cobden Street, the home of Sarah Ida Shaw. It was here where she married William Holmes Martin in 1896. It is here where she gave her radio address to the 50th Anniversary Convention attendees who gathered at the Hotel Vendome in 1938, and it was here were she passed away on May 11, 1940.  

However, if you drive up to the house today, the turret's windows are boarded up, and the top, near the deltas, is very badly burned. The house sits empty and abandoned. If you speak to a neighbor, he will tell that the house caught fire and burned. And he will tell you when it happened: Thanksgiving 2012.

Not far from Cobden Street is Forest Hills Cemetery. The cemetery spans 271 acres. As you drive up to the entrance you'll pass through a large gate and to the left will be a giant, 200-year-old Weeping Beech tree. The cemetery is quiet; the only noise heard is from the nearby birds. And there, in a far corner of the grounds, sitting beneath a shady tree along the Artemesia Path, is a headstone engraved with the name Shaw.

Here, Sarah Ida Shaw is buried alongside her parents, Edwin and Eliza Shaw. On the ground, a few feet in front of the headstone, lays a marker presented by the Fraternity on its 100th anniversary in 1988. The marker, inscribed with three deltas, reads: Sarah Ida Shaw Martin Founder of Delta Delta Delta at Boston University Thanksgiving Eve 1888.

Here, the footsteps of Sarah Ida Shaw end. However, her dream and her vision in the form of Delta Delta Delta continues its journey 125 years after it first began in Beacon Hill, in front of Park Street Church.

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Tragedy at University of California, Santa Barbara UCSB campus.jpg

UPDATE: May 30, 2014

Tri Delta has been so touched by those reaching out to give in memory of Katie and Veronika. We will continue to gratefully accept gifts for a UC Santa Barbara chapter scholarship fund in memory of Katie and Veronika. On behalf of the chapter, we thank you.

UPDATE: May 27, 2014
Media Contact: Holly Thompson

A Message from Gamma Theta President Lauren Maxfield

Veronika Weiss and Katie Cooper were the definition of "Super Deltas" -- a term our chapter uses to describe our most inspirational women who go above and beyond to embody Tri Delta's values. Words will never be able to express the pain and sorrow in our hearts from experiencing the loss of our two beautiful sisters.

Katie was such a strong individual, and had the most optimistic outlook on life. She was known around the house as the "mama bear," exemplifying true selflessness and generosity toward everyone she came in contact with. In any situation, she was the first to offer any and everything she could (most frequently while wearing anything patriotic with tons of glitter).

Veronika was a constant, energetic presence, always wearing Converse shoes and a positive attitude. She spent more time at the chapter house with us than anywhere else on campus. Her smile lit up every room and her enthusiasm for life motivated us to become better versions of ourselves. We could always count on her effortless humor and wit to brighten up our days.

In the wake of this tragedy, we are committed to appreciating the value of life and to emulating the amazing attributes that Veronika and Katie shared so generously with us. We are grateful for and hold close to heart those who survived on Friday, including one of our own.

We want Veronika and Katie's stories to live on in the world, however, we ask the media to respect our privacy as we take time to grieve.

A Message from Tri Delta Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom

May 25, 2014
Media Contact: Holly Thompson

Dear Sisters, 

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the tragic news immediately affecting the members of our Gamma Theta chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Katie Cooper, 22, and Veronika Weiss, 19, were tragically lost in the Isla Vista shootings. Another member was injured in the incident and is expected to recover from her injuries. We ask for continued prayers for her healing.

Katie will be remembered for her generous spirit and warm heart. Veronika will be remembered for her vibrant personality and enthusiasm for life.

The chapter is working together with university personnel, Tri Delta staff and volunteers and local Tri Delta alumnae to determine how they will honor the memory of their sisters and care for one another in the wake of this traumatic loss.

Tri Deltas everywhere extend our deepest sympathy to the families of our sisters, friends and the entire UCSB and Isla Vista community. We are devastated by this news. When Tri Deltas lose a sister, the pain and loss is shared by us all.

Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist 
Fraternity President

Sun, 25 May 2014 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Leaders Lobby On Capitol Hill Five Delta Delta Delta Fraternity student leaders will travel to Washington, D.C., on April 27 to act as advocates for the Greek agenda. Lindsey Bach, Arkansas, Samantha Block, Florida, Tara Campbell, Southern California, Jaclyn Graham, Central Florida, and Sydney Hodnett, Delta State will represent Tri Delta's 138 collegiate chapters as they lobby for legislation affecting fraternities and sororities.

"Tri Delta wants to ensure that its members have a meaningful and rewarding Greek experience," says Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist. "That's why providing these women with the opportunity to lobby for legislation, such as the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act, is so important. We want to give our members the chance to be the voice of Tri Delta and have a hand in effecting change that will benefit them and other members of the Greek community."    


For more than 10 years, the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition, which includes the National Panhellenic Conference, North-American Interfraternity Conference and the Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee have met annually with congressional leaders to lobby for the passage of legislation affecting members of fraternities and sororities, such as the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA). CHIA gives equal tax rights to non-profit organizations providing student housing. If adopted, the act would benefit fraternal entities like Delta Delta Delta's National House Corporation. Fraternities and sororities provide housing for over 250,000 students each year, nearly one out of every eight students in America. The passing of this act will allow non-profit student entities to use charitable contributions to build and maintain housing for these students. Student participation is one of the biggest factors for helping to gain support in Congress for legislation important to the success of these Greek organizations.


Jaclyn Graham, Central Florida, says, "I have been fortunate enough to have had such a positive, supportive experience in Greek life and want to share that with our legislators to ensure that others are able to have an amazing, if not better, experience. Having the opportunity to sit down and talk with congressmen and women will provide the best opportunity for us as students, especially members of the Greek community, to convey the importance of student interests."


Accompanying Tri Delta's student leaders are: Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Fraternity President; Alison Ream Griffin, Tri Delta Executive Board Member; Sarah Coons Lindsay, former Fraternity President and Tri Delta's National Panhellenic Conference Delegate; Tori Campbell, Tri Delta Foundation Trustee; Julie Coffman Doss, The Center for Living, Learning & Leading Board Member; Cile Jolly, Tri Delta Foundation Executive Director; and Diana Crawford, Tri Delta Chief Operating Officer.  


The official hashtag used to follow the lobbying efforts of our student leaders is #passCHIA

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0600
The PICColina Foundation: Sister Fights Cancer, Helps Others When Katie Murphy, Chapman, started her junior year of high school she was a normal teenager. But just after her 16th birthday she got the shock of a lifetime when she was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin's Disease, a form of lymphoma, a blood cancer.


katietreatment.jpgKatie was determined not to let her illness get in the way of her life. Even after she started chemotherapy at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Cal., she still managed to attend school every day and achieved her first 4.0 GPA. Though the chemo caused her to lose her hair, she wore different wigs every day depending on her mood or how she wanted to look. When two-hour drives to the hospital for radiation became part of her daily routine, Katie kept a positive outlook.


As part of her treatment, Katie had a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) surgically placed into her arm. The medical staff covered the line with a standard cotton webbed cover, but it just didn't feel right to Katie. "The cover made me look and feel like I was sick, and it was a constant reminder that I was a patient," she says. Katie, a self-proclaimed free spirit, longed for a way to regain her sense of style. This desire led Katie to fashion a more attractive cover for her PICC line. Her newfound form of self-expression helped keep her spirits up while battling her serious illness.PICC covers.jpg


Now in remission and a sophomore studying art at Chapman University, Katie has formed the PICColina Foundation as a way to share her creations with other children undergoing chemotherapy. The PICColina Foundation recognizes the need for pediatric cancer patients to have creative expression while undergoing intense medical treatments by designing and providing them with attractive arm covers to protect PICC lines. Katie is dedicated to ensuring that her designs are made available to pediatric oncology patients in addition to donating funds raised to various cancer charities.


This year, Katie is representing the PICColina Foundation in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man & Woman of the Year fundraising campaign. Throughout the 10-week campaign, which takes place in communities across the country, participants vie for title of Man or Woman of the year. This title is awarded to those in each community who raise the most funds during that time. The top local fundraisers in the country also receive national titles. Starting March 7, Katie will be accepting donations for her campaign. She is also accepting items to be auctioned off at the final campaign event.


You can learn more about the PICColina Foundation on their website and follow Katie's campaign on Facebook.

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Members Visit Capitol Hill On April 21, members of Delta Delta Delta will travel to Washington, D.C., to lobby on behalf of issues affecting the Greek community.

The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) gives equal tax rights to non-profit organizations providing student housing, including fraternal entities like Delta Delta Delta's National House Corporation. Fraternities and sororities provide housing for over 250,000 students each year, nearly one out of every eight students in America. The passing of CHIA will allow non-profit student entities to use charitable contributions to build and maintain housing for these students. 

Read the official Delta Delta Delta press release here.

Meet the 2013 representatives:


Danielle Dobrusin.jpgA senior at the University of Arizona, Danielle will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and gender and women's studies. Throughout her collegiate career, she has dedicated herself to public service through her role as senator for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and through her internship with the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Danielle is also a current fellow for Young People For, a national fellowship that serves to empower young progressive leaders. Over the past year, she has had the privilege of serving as vice president/chapter development for Phi Beta Chapter of Delta Delta Delta. "Tri Delta has truly defined my collegiate years and has helped to shape me as both a woman and a leader," says Danielle. "I am honored to have the opportunity to utilize my passion for politics as a means of advocating for my Tri Delta sisters."


Stamana Ivanov Pic.jpgStamana Ivanov is a political science major at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During her time there, she has had the privilege of serving as vice president/administration of Mu Chapter, and she currently sits on the Panhellenic Judicial Board. "This trip will serve as the perfect opportunity for me to gain valuable political lobbying experience and be able to give back to the Greek community, which has given me so much," says Stamana. "I already know that the experience of working alongside fellow Greek women and men on Capitol Hill to benefit Greek life is one I will cherish forever." 

Liesle jensen

Liesle Jensen Pic.jpgLiesle is from Boise, Idaho, and has a passion for the Idaho outdoors, including rafting, hiking and backpacking. A senior at the University of Idaho, Liesle is pursuing a bachelor's degree in public relations. While she dedicates most of her time to academics and her Tri Delta chapter, she also enjoys volunteering and advocating for the League of Women's Voters. Her involvement with the League along with her campus leadership positions has motivated her interests in politics and has allowed her to become an active voice in politics in her state. "I look forward to this experience and feel honored to represent the Greek system as well as my chapter," says Liesle.


Victoria Tran Pic.jpgVictoria Tran, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, is an active member of Theta Gamma Chapter of Tri Delta in Norman, Okla. Throughout her years as a member, Victoria previously held positions as chapter correspondence, Fat Talk Free coordinator and peer leader facilitator, vice president/public Relations and academic development chairman. On campus, she is a member and serves as an officer for the president's student ambassador society known as the University of Oklahoma's Crimson Club. She is also a member of the Political Science Club and College Republicans.

Victoria is majoring in political science and international area studies with a minor in French. She takes great interest in politics, especially in international affairs. During her years at the University of Oklahoma, Victoria has lived in various types of housing including her sorority house and has served as a member of Tri Delta standards. From her personal experiences of living in her sorority house and seeing the process and benefits of Greek housing, she is determined to endorse better, safer and more affordable housing at Capitol Hill. Victoria is very honored and excited to be one of the four collegiate members chosen to represent Tri Delta in Washington, D.C., in April.

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Celebrates Raising over $125,000 for the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital supporters in 90 cities across the country joined together to participate in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk, an exciting 5K walk to raise money for the children of St. Jude.

A total of 125 Delta Delta Delta teams, along with their family and friends, participated in the event by walking, volunteering at the walk or raising money virtually. With all of their efforts combined, members raised more than $125,000.  

"I am so proud of our members for reaching our goal of raising $125,000 for St. Jude in the Give thanks. Walk in honor of Tri Delta's upcoming 125th anniversary," said Fraternity President, Phyllis Grissom, Southern Methodist. "Our collegiate and alumnae members are all passionate about this cause, and it's amazing to see how much money we can raise when we all unite on one day for one event. I'm excited to see this tradition continue in the upcoming years."

Tri Delta alumna Tricia DeCamp, Drury, said, "I got involved with the walk because a sorority sister's daughter, Natalie, a precious 8-year-old, has a brain tumor and is a patient at St. Jude. It was amazing to see all the support from Drury members and others that I didn't even know. We even had members create teams in other cities in support of Natalie."

Out of all the Tri Delta participants, the top fundraising team was "Team Natalie" in Kansas City. They raised more than $13,700.

All money raised by Tri Delta will go towards supporting its $15 million in 5 years campaign for St. Jude. Tri Delta has raised more than $8.9 million for the campaign since the $15 million goal was announced in July 2010.

The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk serves as a grass-roots kickoff to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving fundraising and awareness campaign. The St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign is an unprecedented union of celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners that asks consumers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."

Thanks and Giving was created in 2004 by Marlo Thomas and her siblings Terre and Tony Thomas, children of hospital founder Danny Thomas. Funds raised by the campaign support the lifesaving work of St. Jude — to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

Tue, 27 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0600
The 411 on Greek Licensing LICENSE TO SELL
All of Tri Delta's emblems are owned and a protected trademark by the Fraternity. It is written in the Bylaws of Delta Delta Delta that it is prohibited to manufacture or sell these emblems without the approval of the Executive Office. As owner of these various trademarks, Delta Shop, in conjunction with Affinity Marketing Consultants, Inc., works to ensure that all vendors are producing socially responsible products. We DO NOT approve any products that attempt to glorify alcohol, hazing, racism, sexism or any other image or design that is offensive or hurtful to others.  If any chapters are using unlicensed vendors, please direct them to our list of approved Greek Licensed vendors at, and please notify Delta Shop immediately. All licensed vendors use the "Official Licensed Product" seal on their websites and merchandise.  Help protect Delta Delta Delta's trademarks and check for the Seal before you buy.

Designing a perfect shirt for your chapter event sounds easy: Pick the design, print the shirts, pay the bill. Unfortunately, the process is slightly more complicated. All licensed vendors have a contractual obligation to abide by the branding guidelines set forth by Delta Delta Delta. Then those vendors must submit their designs for approval to Affinity Marketing Consultants, Inc. (AMC).  If there is a question about the integrity of the design, AMC will forward it to the Director of Merchandise at Executive Office. Designs sent to Executive Office for approval will be denied if they include any of these three characteristics:
  1. Sexual innuendos
  2. Alcohol and/or drug references
  3. Manipulation of Delta Delta Delta insignia
Although it may seem like it, the Fraternity and Executive Office are not trying to diminish your fun. It is possible to have a great time and adhere to the Delta Delta Delta brand and standards. If you are having a problem developing a design or a theme you think would be approved, please contact Delta Shop at  

Why is licensing important?

  • Licensing ensures high quality, good service and a positive image.
  • Without protection of our trademarks we run the risk of losing control and ownership of our marks. 
  • Licensed products portray the best image to all of Tri Delta's publics. 
  • The licensing program protects the history and heritage of Tri Delta's trademark. 
  • You may be the only Tri Delta someone ever sees or meets.
Click here for more information about licensing and to download a Greek License Application. 

For more information please contact Delta Shop at

You can also visit for a list of approved vendors.
Mon, 05 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Lilly Lover Earlier this year, Katherine Blake, Wake Forest, was selected as a Lilly Pulitzer Sorority Brand Ambassador. Along with ambassadors from the 13 other Panhellenic organizations that are included in the Lilly Pulitzer Sorority Collection, Katherine works to promote the products and facilitate group orders. Here, she tells us about her experience with the brand.

Why were you interested in this opportunity with Lilly Pulitzer?
I was interested in this because the Lilly brand and Tri Delta are two things that I love very much. My mother dressed my sisters and me in Lilly Pulitzer when we were little girls for parties, family gatherings and everyday outfits. As I grew older and developed my own style, I still gravitated toward Lilly's fun prints and classic tailoring. Tri Delta has been the most significant part of my college experience at Wake Forest University. In the last four years my Tri Delta sisters have become my best friends. Tri Delta has also bonded me closer to my oldest friends from home, who also chose to become sisters of Tri Delta at their respective colleges. When I first was made aware of the Greek Ambassador Program I wanted the opportunity to combine two of the things I value the most.
Katherine with sisters 1.jpg

How do you work with the other Lilly Pulitzer sorority ambassadors?

We work as a team to promote the Sorority Collection from Lilly Pulitzer as a whole. We each promote our respective sorority lines, but all follow one another's specific Twitter accounts and promote the Panhellenic community. We have never met before since we all go to different schools and are in different sororities but we have a private Facebook group where we can post questions and bounce ideas off of each other. 

How do you think this experience will help you in the future?

I think this experience has taught me the importance of networking, especially long distance when much of that communication requires multiple emails, phone calls, etc. This position has sharpened my interpersonal, organizational and project management skills, and for that I am very grateful.

How can sisters apply to be part of the program in the future?
New Tri Delta Sorority Merchandise for Lilly.jpg
The process for application for the Greek Ambassador Team for 2013-2014 is still to be determined. If you want to be the next Tri Delta Sorority Representative for Lilly Pulitzer regularly check the Lilly Pulitzer Facebook page and blog, "The Juice Stand" in this coming spring and summer for more information.

You can follow Katherine at @DDDLillyRep.
Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer Create-A-Pepper.png

Each September during National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Chili's® Grill & Bar kicks off a nationwide fundraiser for longtime charitable partner, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® in an effort to raise $50 million in 10 years to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. Throughout the Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign, guests at locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico can help support the lifesaving work of St. Jude through several in-restaurant, digital and interactive promotions. For additional information about the campaign, please visit

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 00:00:00 -0600
Delta Delta Delta Launches Foursquare Badge DDD Badge.jpgDelta Delta Delta Fraternity announced today that it partnered with the location-based social network foursquare to launch a custom "True to Tri Delta" badge for members. The organization is the first national fraternity for women to offer a custom foursquare badge.

Foursquare is a location-based mobile app where users can share and catalog their experiences by "checking in" at real locations. Foursquare users can unlock the new Tri Delta badge by following the Fraternity on foursquare and checking in at a collegiate chapter location three times. Users are offered incentives called Specials for checking in at a Tri Delta location, including discounts on merchandise from the Fraternity-owned store Delta Shop.

"Tri Delta is committed to leveraging social networking such as foursquare to facilitate communications for our collegiate and alumnae members," said Phyllis Grissom, Delta Delta Delta Fraternity President. "We hope members will use this app as a way to share their sisterhood with others."

Users can add "tips" to foursquare venues, which offer suggestions and information regarding the location. Delta Delta Delta added tips to all 138 collegiate chapter locations throughout the United States and Canada that includes information such as founding date and names of significant Tri Deltas that belong to the chapter. Collegiate members are encouraged to add their own tips and pictures to their chapters' foursquare site.

"Foursquare augments our social networking channels by providing our collegiate members with the opportunity to become familiar with each chapter. We hope that by using foursquare, our members will be able to learn more about their sisters all across North America from the sisters themselves," said Cari Cook, Executive Director.

To follow Tri Delta on foursquare, click here.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0600
From Stars and Crescent to Stars and Stripes Tri Delta would like to thank all the men and women who have served our country in the United States military and especially honor those Tri Deltas who have made such a wonderful sacrifice.

Please join us in recognizing the women listed below who have served in one of the armed forces. If there is a woman who belongs on this list, not currently listed, please contact us at

Melissa Acheson, Drury

Michelle Jewell Adams, Boise State

Accursia Baldassano, Jacksonville

Susan Boswick Bellon, Indiana

Kirsten Bertsch, William & Mary  

Amy Allen Boyd, Oklahoma State

Kara C. Bragg, Tennessee

Noelle Briand, Cornell

Deborah Davis-Brutchen, Rose Hulman

Louise Rowe Brown, Michigan State

Catherine Carbone, Charleston

Cynthia Cearley, Coe

Karen McBride Clearly, Cornell

Katherine Cole-Miller, Centre

Jacque Coley, Wake Forest

Cheryl Wertzberger Cottrell, Tulsa

Kathleen Craig, Northwestern

Kristin Cravens Hutton, Oklahoma State

Maria Cribbs, Baylor

Kristina Derbin Green, Purdue

Dawn Perkins DeYoung, Michigan State

Jill Dulaney, Centre

Teresa Markel Doerr, North Dakota

Elizabeth Naegeli Eitutis, Colorado

Rickee Eddleman, Oklahoma

Terry Walter Gabreski USAF, Louisiana State

Kelly George, Maryland

Kristine Golian Shulman, Ohio State

Robyn Griffith, Nevada

Elizabeth Hall, Spring Hill

Janet Masako Johnson Haug, California/San Diego

Kathleen Rich Holtman, Toledo

Gillian Howell, Canada Delta

Megan Hylton, South Carolina

Kristen Jeffrey, Auburn

Carolyn Johnson, Carnegie Melon

Kathleen Johnson, Northern Arizona

Laurel Kappedal, North Dakota

Courtney Rouke Karres, Emory

Tammy Kuhn King, North Dakota

Jill Kuhn, Cal State/North Ridge

Amy Lent, Butler

Gelynn Middleton Majure, Texas/Arlington

Annie Boles Marshall, Witchita State

Airon Shuler Mothershed, Idaho

Stephanie Brewer Normand PhD, South Carolina

Aurora Schul, Alleghany

Katherine Kasarjian Murphy, Vermont

Lori Palmer, Oklahoma State

Justine Peters, St. Lawrence

Amanda Metzger Piscitelli, Southeast Missouri State

Janine Randazzo, Adelphi

Karyn Crawford Rich, Toledo

Mindy Johnson Shaw, Idaho

Lisa Bosies Sullivan, Syracuse

Nora Wingfield Tyson, Vanderbilt

Elizabeth Welch, Purdue

Erin West, Wichita State

Leigh Widdowson, Canada Delta

Sandra Bitney Witthauer, North Dakota

Virginia Sleap Wilkinson, Florida State

Stephanie Tracy, Southeast Missouri State

Patricia Heubner Wooden, Wyoming

Amanda Martin Zuber, Rose-Hulman

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Getting Things Done for America McGinley_americorps.jpgIn our spring issue of The Trident, we focus on service. In keeping with that theme, we wanted to highlight an organization dedicated to addressing the critical needs in America's communities and utilizing volunteers to help those communities. The AmeriCorps program began in 1993, and since then, more than 500,000 people have volunteered across the country— including many Tri Deltas.      

Brittany McGinley, Colorado State, served 10 months in the National Civilian Community Corps branch of AmeriCorps. As a member of a 10-12 person team, she traveled to different parts of the country in a 15-passenger van, taking on various service projects. She likens the experience to "living like a roaming gypsy" but says that was all part of the appeal.

"I liked the idea of traveling and seeing more of the country," she says. Ultimately, she chose service in AmeriCorps over service in the Peace Corps because "There was so much that could be done here in America."

One major project her team undertook was the rebuilding of the parts of the South affected by Hurricane Katrina. But the project that had the most impact on Brittany was organizing an environmental conference back East. She had the opportunity to help arrange speakers and meet big thinkers in the green movement, leading her to the realization of what career path she wanted to take.

"I decided I wanted to get into the environmental sustainability field," she says. "Without AmeriCorps, I never would have figured that out or have been exposed to all those things."

She believes her experience in AmeriCorps helped her not only learn new skill sets, but also taught her a lot about herself.

"You get so much more out of the experience than you put into it," she says. "AmeriCorps really helps you spread your wings."

Ashley Crockett Lohr, Franklin, has experience on the other side of the AmeriCorps operation. Though she has never directly been an AmeriCorps volunteer herself, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA supervisor while working for the nonprofit Girls Inc. According to Ashley, one benefit of AmeriCorps for nonprofits is capacity-building.

"We were a really small staff of less than 10," she says. "VISTA helped us build the capacity we needed to grow and serve more girls in a year."

AshleyCrockett_VISTAs.jpgVISTA volunteers are typically responsible for developing projects within organizations. For Girls Inc, the volunteers took on such projects as developing a speakers' bureau, sponsorship programs and building an online presence with social media. Ultimately, the purpose is for these projects to continue even after the volunteers' service term is completed.   

Ashley is a strong believer in the AmeriCorps program and the experience it provides college graduates. "VISTA is a great way to develop as a professional, get substantive experience in your field and give you a leg up over other graduates coming right out of school."

And when it comes to service and nonprofit work, Ashley says, "It's not something where you're doing the most glamorous work, and you may not make a ton of money, but at the end of the day when you come home, you know you've made a difference."

Photos: Top - Brittany McGinley, Colorado State. Bottom: Ashley Crockett Lohr, Franklin with VISTA volunteers.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Halfway Through Morgan Wolber, Oklahoma, reflects on her first semester on the road as a Tri Delta Field Consultant.Emily Blog.JPG

After 18 visits, over 300 meetings and introductions to over 1,000 Tri Delta women, I am halfway through my time as a Tri Delta field consultant. Wam bam thank ya mam'. I'm almost a Gold Member on American Airlines. I can't wait for my special welcome over the intercom prior to them announcing where the lavatories are. I mean goodness. I'm usually seated next to them anyway.

Throughout these past five months, I have been writing to keep the people I love updated on my life away from all that I know. What a journey Tri Delta has taken me on. I can't begin to express and illustrate all of the life lessons I have taken away from this very unique experience, but here are a few.

Number One: Be in the moment in your interactions with others

On July 11, I began my first journey as a Tri Delta field consultant, and I met a woman named Jan on flight 2564 service to Dallas, Texas.

Every time you sit on a plane and you're the first to arrive to your aisle, you sit nervously waiting to see who your row mates will be. As the woman with three crying children passed me, I had a mental celebration — until she sat right behind me with her screaming children. Then, a woman named Jan appeared and sat right next to me. She was your typical tourist traveler. She had tennis shoes, ankle socks, knee shorts, her black fanny pack with travel sized items as well as that T-shirt with some heart-warming quote and butterflies all over.DSCN0546.JPG

I'd like to think I have the courage to ask other people to "quiet their little angels," but I don't. Jan does. She whipped her head around as if someone had just wet-willied her and said to the mother behind us, "Excuse me, but I can't do this for the entire trip. Please control your children" (or to something of that extent). Um, wow. Thank goodness for Jan and her boldness. I knew we were going to be great friends on our 30-minute flight to DFW.

We began talking about her vacation and my new job, and as we stepped off the plane she stated, "I don't know you that well, and I'm not that familiar with what you're doing, but enjoy it and God bless you and your many travels. And oh yeah, have fun."

In life, I think we meet people for a reason. They give us subtle and blatant reminders of our life's journey, whether we internalize that or not. Jan, a small town teacher from Wilburton, Okla., reminded me that life is a journey. And although we may plan what we want to do up to a certain point, there are always surprises and turns on the road.

Number Two: Promises are journeys

Ritual was the name of the game and the topic of speech for our guest speaker, Dr. Mari Ann Callais, during summer training.

Have you ever been to a public speaking event where the premiere speaker has some off-way of breaking the ice? It's always these uncomfortable things that get the audience looking around with a nervous smile like, "Is she freaking serious?" There's always a reason they do this.

Anywho, Mari Ann opens up with her guitar. She started to play as I look around, Morgan blog.JPGnervously giggling like a seventh-grader because I have no idea what this tune or song is. It was a Taylor Swift song. People, I don't listen to T. Swift. For those of you who do, I respect your love; however, I don't partake in it. Therefore, I do not know the lyrics.

Continuing, Mari Ann posed questions like, "When did we start accepting the minimum?" "When did we stop pushing the envelope?" "Are we afraid?" Ritual should be who we are, reflect who we desire to be every day and embody one day. It's our yesterday, today and forever, and we can choose to commit ourselves to it. Dr. Callais asked, "Are we choosing our Ritual every day like we promised?"

In Tri Delta, we share among us both lighthearted and heartbreaking stories. But, because of Tri Delta, they become beautiful, touching stories of growth in our perpetual bonds of friendship, womanly character and ideals. Ritual is the medium by which we share our stories of sisterhood. But Ritual doesn't automatically happen for you and me because we choose Tri Delta. It's an effort you must exude in daily living.

You become the best version of yourself in what you believe. That doesn't mean that what you believe is an easy, drawn-out path with answers. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Read our Ritual again sometime and sing that song you never know the lyrics to. I think you will be humbly satisfied you did.

Number Three: Know what molded you

Finally, it was time to come home. It was Homecoming Weekend at the University of Oklahoma which is one of the most exciting times — always. Of course this year was different. I was now the alumna...coming home.

And, you know what? I finally realized why it's called "Homecoming." It connotes the idea that this place I am returning to is in fact home, not just an institution. It's not just a place where I learned and obtained an education — it's a place where I grew a great amount. It's a home, a refuge and a battery charger. founders day.jpg

A while back, I attended Northern California's Founders' Day where alumnae chapters and collegiate chapters alike gathered to celebrate 123 years of sisterhood. I had the pleasure of seeing Jackye Brown Clark who was the keynote speaker at the event. Looking around the room, there were women who had their certificates of membership signed by Jackye herself in 2011; however, there were also women whose certificates were signed in 1970 by Kathleen Davis Nye, former Fraternity President. All ages. All Tri Deltas. All different stories.

In her proclamation, Jackye stated, "This Founders' Day I encourage you to wear your badge and celebrate our sisterhood with Tri Delta...and reflect on how you will honor our Founders. Remember: YOU are Tri Delta."

That resonated with me. Events like Homecoming and Founders' Day give you the unique opportunity to go back. You go back to what created you, molded you, shaped you and made you what you are in the present. You have the ability to feel what has been shared among many generations — a history of growth and dedication because a simple dream was made a reality. As an alumna of both OU and Tri Delta, history has become more and more important to me. What has equally become a part of me is the idea that each of us has a defined role in writing the history that, one day, people will look back to.

So, no mmorgan blog 2.JPGatter the organization, institution, group of people or religion, honor the opportunities of growth and development that each of these respective things, with their rich histories, has given you, and come home to each of them every now and then. Without them, where's home anyhow?

This has been one of the most enlightening, culturally shocking and unequivocally neatest adventures of my life. The chapters keep me young, the travel makes me laugh and my fellow FCs are my rock. I can't wait for next semester's journey — the final lap!

Wed, 08 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Life on Campus Online - Beta Xi BetaXi_2011.jpg

This group of women from the Beta Xi chapter at Stephen F. Austin University met Tim McGraw before his concert last week. They even talked him into throwing up a Delta for a photo. From left to right: Bobbi Patterson, Carter Lovelace, Tim McGraw and Mary Kinsey.

Do you have a fun photo you'd like us to share online? Send an email with the photo and story to

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Maggie Dunne Competes for a Classy Award For the second year in a row, a Tri Delta is up for a Classy Award. Maggie Dunne, Colgate, is a Midwest finalist in the "Most Influential College Student or Organization" category.

After a trip to South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in 2007, Maggie founded the Lakota Pine Ridge Children's Enrichment Project Ltd, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides essential resources to children, families and schools on the Reservation. Over the past few years, her organization has provided over $120,000 in aid and reached approximately 3,000 children annually. Projects include PEN-PAL-PLUS, a pilot program linking elementary school classrooms on and off the reservation through educational programs and video discussions and other technology and a girl's scholarship writing competition for middle and high school girls. The organization also runs supply drives throughout the year, supports community events and provides support to families, children, schools and prenatal center.

maggie and boy.jpgIn May, Maggie was featured in Glamour as the grand prize winner in the magazine's Top 10 College Women Contest. Not only did she donate her entire $20,000 prize to Lakota Children's Enrichment, but she persuaded billionaire mogul Sir Richard Branson to match her contribution. He agreed on the condition that a Colgate University alumni do the same, and the three of them together donated $60,000.

To vote for Maggie, go here. Select the Midwest region on the map and find Maggie's category, "Most Influential College Student or Organization." Voting ends on July 26th. Support a sister, and help Maggie make it to the next round!
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Members Say Thank You to Chapter Advisors In honor of National Panhellenic Conference's Advisor Appreciation Month in April, we asked our collegiate members what makestheir advisors so special. Below are just a few of the nominations we received for outstanding advisors — our members love their volunteers!


Shannon Kennedy, Ottawa, is the alumna advisor for her own chapter. She was nominated by both Jennifer Lau and Jordan Cendrowski. In their nominations, both Jennifer and Jordan praised Shannon for going above and beyond for their chapter. Jordan said about Shannon, "She is the woman you can call in the middle of the night to vent to, and she will undoubtedly be there. She is the one to laugh with over coffee, and she is the one who will remind you what it means to be wearing your letters at all times."


Dionne Schley, Idaho, is the alumna advisor for Gamma Lambda Chapter. She was nominated by Pallavi Johary, Gamma Lambda's collegiate chapter president. In her nomination, Pallavi cited Dionne's attendance at nearly all of Gamma Lambda's events without even being asked. Additionally, Dionne makes a point of checking in with every officer, always encouraging them to ask questions. Finally, Pallavi said of her advisor, "Gamma Lambda chapter would be nothing without Dionne, and we cannot express how happy we are to have her as a part of the chapter."


Katie McCay, Tennesee, is the alumna advisor for her own chapter at University of Tennessee. She was nominated by Delta Sigma members Lizzy Holt and Elizabeth Colloredo. In her role as AA, Katie is not only an asset to the chapter, but has the opportunity to be a part of important Delta Sigma history. As the University of Tennessee prepares to build sorority houses for the first time ever, Katie has worked diligently with the house corporation and the chapter to make the construction process as transparent as possible, assisting with everything from helping to re-structure the chapter payment plan to selecting a house director. Elizabeth said about Katie, "She brings her positive attitude to every Tri Delta event and inspires us. She is loved by each member of the chapter and has made a difference in each and every one of our lives."


Sue Lucas, West Virginia, lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is the alumna advisor for Iota Chapter. She was nominated by Katherine Lind, Iota's VP/CD. Balancing a husband, two children and a hectic work life, Sue still finds time to serve as Iota's AA. As Katherine said in her nomination of Sue, "There have been countless nights that I have called Sue in tears, and she has woken up to help me and never once complained...After a rough standards, she never fails to give me some inspiration and assure me that the right choice may be harder, but will never be regretted."

South Central

Natalie Lackey, Kansas State, and Amber Bloome, are co-alumna advisors for Theta Iota Chapter. Through their leadership, Natalie and Amber have helped the chapter grow and thrive. They were nominated by Geneva Jahnke, , who says they "get it." They have grown through their service to the chapter and are excellent examples of self-sacrificing leadership. Their leadership sets an example to the chapter and helps show members that there is life in Tri Delta beyond collegiate membership.

Thank you to all of our wonderful advisors!

Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Membership for a Lifetime The beauty about membership within Tri Delta is that it is for a lifetime. Have your collegiate years come to an end and you want to stay plugged in with Tri Delta? Then you should check into a local alumnae chapter in your area. Currently, Tri Delta has 270 alumnae chapters. Each chapter will offer a fun unique experience as you continue your lifetime journey with the organization. Alumnae chapters host philanthropy events, social gatherings and support local collegiate chapters throughout the year. They offer leadership opportunities just as your collegiate experience did. If you have not checked to see if there is a local alumnae chapter near you CLICK HERE to find out.

Listen to what some of our alumnae shared about their lifetime journey:

Sandra Holman.JPGLife has taken me too many different locations--I have moved about 16 times--In each location I would find a Tri Delta alumnae group and instantly find a connection--even in England--how delightful--and comforting-- to find a DDD sister in the school parking lot!! In my job as a flight attendant, I often found sisters as passengers as well as fellow crew members--There IS a bond--have no doubt.

-Sandra Holman, Iowa State

Linda Juba.jpgI feel so blessed to have a fifty-four year relationship with Tri Delta Fraternity and the women who have been part of my life through the years. Upon graduating and marrying my husband and I move to Oklahoma City and I immediately joined the Tri Delta Alumnae Chapter. Then it was back to Texas where I joined the Richardson Alumnae Chapter where I became a part of an incredible vibrant, fun alumnae chapter.  This led me to leadership roles within Tri Delta and also the opportunity to become a District Chairman over 25 Alumnae Chapters in Texas. This opportunity led me to know Tri Delta's across the country, attend two Leadership Schools at Purdue University, attend two National Conventions (including the 1988 Celebration honoring the founding of Tri Delta). My family referred to this time away and with Tri Delta's as "Tri Delta Heaven". The women from my collegiate years at the Phi Eta Chapter have remained extremely close through the years. We have frequent reunions (the most recent was held in July in Ruidoso) and celebrated with each group our Golden Circle Ceremonies in Lubbock. Once again the alumnae who were our advisers were there to honor this special time. So to sum up the years, the Tri Delta friendships have been Silver, Gold, and Blue. Sarah Ida Shaw and our Founders must be smiling at us as we have fulfilled the friendships they must have envisioned 123 years ago. Tri Delta is not a four year experience. It is yours for a lifetime and can be found from coast to coast. 

-Linda Juba, Texas Tech

Gloria Rowell.JPGTri Delta presents a lifelong connection to special women.  As an active Tri Delta alumna, my adulthood has been enriched through women from all walks of life, all ages, many diverse interests, and yet common bonds which time cannot diminish...we are all Tri Deltas, and part of a fraternity with purpose and foundation that reflect the essence of virtue and excellence.  As an alumna, the opportunity to continue to serve, to contribute, to grow, and to share wonderful friendships is ongoing.

-Gloria Rowell, Miami/Ohio

Ashley.jpgUpon graduating college I was not sure where my life would take me. All of my pledge sisters were going in different directions now that our collegiate experience was coming to an end. I had no idea the impact that Tri Delta would have in my life once I found myself settled with a job in the DFW area. The Richardson North Dallas Alumnae Chapter was there for me with their arms wide opened. Here was a group of Tri Deltas that I did not know, each of them came various parts of the country, and none of them were my age. It did not take me long to realize that this did not matter. They showed me that when I made the decision to join Tri Delta that there would be sisters to support me no matter what stage of life I was in or where I decided to plant my roots.
My friendships within the chapter grew very strong very fast. I found that the connection I was having with my new found sisters was even stronger than the relationships I had with some of the women I pledged with. My collegiate experience is something that will always be very special to me but looking forward I am so excited about the journey I still have and the memories I still get to make with other Tri Deltas that I meet along the way. My relationship with Tri Delta has only been for 12 years thus far, but my journey is truly just beginning. My arms will also be wide open for each new Tri Delta I meant along the way!

-Ashley Coleman, Stephen F. Austin

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Mythbusters: Delta Delta Delta Here at EO, we've heard some pretty interesting versions of Tri Delta history over the years. Everything from alleged sisters to facts about our badge to company names that supposedly have something to do with us - they're all rumors that have been thrown around out there in Delta-land. So this year, we're setting the record straight. Follow along as we tell you what's true and what's just wishful thinking.

  1. grace-kelly (1).jpgGrace Kelly was a Tri Delta. She even wore her badge when she married Prince Rainier Grimaldi III of Monaco.

     We would love for this to be true, really we would. Unfortunately, it's not. Grace did not attend college, choosing instead to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. This means she never had the opportunity to be a sister or get herself a Stars & Crescent badge to wear in her wedding. We're not really sure how this one got started, but hopefully we can put it to rest.

  2. When Neil Armstrong placed the flag on the moon, he attached his wife's Tri Delta badge.

    250px-Full_Moon_Luc_Viatour.jpgFALSE. Aside from the fact that Mr. Armstrong did not actually place any badges on the moon (including his from Phi Delta Theta), his wife is actually a member of Alpha Chi Omega. Capt. Alan Bean's wife is a Tri Delta (Sue Ragsdale Bean, Texas), but he did not place a badge on the flag either. Additionally, the flag on the moon is actually made of plastic, which would make pinning a badge to it incredibly difficult.

  3. Katie-Couric-250x377.jpgKatie Couric , Deborah Norville, and Hoda Kotb are all proud Tri Delta sisters.

    It would appear that Delta Delta Delta has a monopoly on producing anchors for the most-watched morning news show in America. Katie (Beta Sigma), Deborah (Alpha Rho), and Hoda (Beta Nu), are all proud sisters, in addition to being current or former anchors for Today. Additionally, they have all been named as Women of Achievement in 2002, 2006, and 2008, respectively.

What are some Tri Delta myths you've heard? Let us know here, and we'll confirm or deny them throughout 2012.

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Of Mothers and Daughters In celebration of Mothers Day, join us in reading this story from the Tri Delta Archives. Share with us in the comments your Tri Delta Mother / Daughter stories.

priddy3.jpgMothers and daughters often share a unique bond, and when this bond is shared by mother—daughter Tri Deltas, it can be even more extraordinary. While there have been many mother—daughter Tri Deltas over the years, perhaps one of the most exceptional is Bessie Leach Priddy, Adrian and her daughter Frances Priddy McDonald, Missouri.

Bessie Leach Priddy was a remarkable woman who, though widowed at a young age managed to raise three children, serve the Fraternity, and earn master's and doctorate degrees in history at the same time. Bessie was a charter member of the Gamma chapter at Adrian, and in 1893 was sent to the first Tri Delta Convention to serve as her chapter's voting delegate. She later served as National Historian from 1902-1931, and was so knowledgeable that she was often consulted about Tri Delta's history.

She, along with R. Louise Fitch and Amy Parmelee, formed what has been called the Great Triumvirate and their extraordinary efforts were significant to Tri Delta's growth and development. Bessie edited the first and second Tri Delta history books.

Although she was offered the position of Fraternity National President several times, she felt that her work as Historian and her academic commitments were too time consuming to priddy_spoon.jpgallow her to devote enough time to the presidency. She finally accepted the post in 1931, while she was Dean of Women at Missouri. She only served one term as president due to failing health, and died in 1935 one year after her retirement.

At 10 weeks old, Frances Priddy McDonald attended her first Tri Delta Convention with her mother. To keep her occupied during a banquet, her mother gave her a spoon to play with. Tri Delta engraved the spoon with Fanny's name and sent a note saying that they hoped to see her in another 18 years.

Frances joined Tri Delta at Missouri and went on to serve in many other roles for the organization. When she was elected President in 1946, she was the first Tri Delta daughter to be National President and to date she is the only daughter of a Past President to serve as President. After hepriddy1.jpgr term as President, she was appointed editor of the Trident, a post she held for over 26 years.

Like her mother, Fanny had tremendous knowledge of Tri Delta history, traditions and policies. After her death in Arkansas in 1979, then Associate Director Jeanne Carson Gable, Miami—Ohio, wrote: "Fanny's dedication and pride [in Tri Delta] were never in doubt or hard to see. Can ours, then, in tribute to her and on behalf of Tri Delta, dare be any less?"

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Pansies for Thoughts pansy_breakfast3.jpgEach year, Tri Delta seniors are honored at Pansy Breakfast celebrations across the country, which mark the transition between college life and life in the real world. This beautiful tradition honors graduating seniors and celebrates their accomplishments. It is also used to present Circle Degree to the seniors and to show these new alumnae that Tri Delta can continue to be part of their life long after graduation.

The tradition of honoring graduating senior members of a collegiate chapter is nearly as old as the fraternity itself. One of the earliest mentions of the custom goes back to 1908 when the December 1908 Triton suggested a "pansy luncheon" for spring. The article goes on to say, "Practically every chapter gives a farewell of some kind for the seniors. What more appropriate than pansies for thoughts of them?"

Theta Xi chapter at the University of Southern California hosted the first Pansy Breakfast in 1927, and the following year started the tradition of a creating large ring covered with thousands of live pansies for all of the engaged graduating seniors in the university to step through as their names and the names of their future spouses were announced. This unique Pansy Breakfast tradition gained national attention in 1945, when Life Magazine pansy_breakfast5.jpgattended the celebration and published a photo essay on the event in its July 23 edition. The Life article chronicled the tremendous amount of work involved in hosting the event: from gathering thousands of fresh pansies from all over Los Angeles, to keeping the flowers fresh in water filled buckets, sinks and even bathtubs, to the dinner party where Tri Delta members would tie thousands of pansies to toothpicks for assembly onto the giant ring, and finally the organization of the breakfast usually held in the garden of the Tri Delta house. Along with the pansy ring ceremony, the breakfast would highlight senior accomplishments and awards. There would often be a fashion show featuring wedding gowns and trousseau items.

The idea then began to spread to other chapters and became so popular that a 1952Trident featured an article on "How to Give a Pansy Breakfast," highlighting many chapters at Beloit, DePauw, Indiana, Ohio State, Oregon and Tennessee and their celebrations.

pansy_breakfast4.jpgThe tradition continues today, with an emphasis on the accomplishments of the chapter's graduating seniors, including academic awards, new jobs and post-graduate education plans in addition to the traditional engagement announcements. Some chapters will change the name of the event to a Pansy Brunch or Pansy Dessert depending on the specific event plans. Because this is a time to recognize the transition from collegian to alumnae member, many alumnae chapters will the occasion to celebrate the Circle Degree for the seniors and welcome them to alumnae membership.

This long standing tradition of Pansy Breakfasts give our alumnae chapters the opportunity to show graduating seniors that the bonds of Tri Delta extend beyond college years and collegiate and alumnae chapters are able to nurture and strengthen the ties that bind them.

Tue, 03 May 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Promise a Prom with Creighton University 3-4-2010_creightonprom.pngTri Delta's newest chapter is getting excited about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by kicking off their sorority experience with a philanthropy event.

Epsilon Mu Chapter currently has 97 new members who will be installed the weekend of March 26.

Over the next several weeks these newest Tri Deltas at Creighton University will be collecting used formal dresses to donate and send to St. Jude. Each year, St. Jude hosts a "Teen Formal" for patients so they don't miss out on the exciting milestone of attending prom just because they are sick.

Instead of purchasing dresses, St. Jude depends on dress donations so that each child has a dress to choose from. The chapter is accepting all fashionable, gently-worn formal dresses from now until March 19. To protect the patients, dresses must be dry cleaned; the dry cleaning tag should be left on the dress.

For more information about the event and to contact stationary Field Consultant Alison Lackey regarding donating a dress, visit Contact Alison also, if you would like to send congratulation messages for the new chapter's Installation.

Additional Links

Tri Delta's partnership with St. Jude

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 00:00:00 -0600
The Foundation Spotlights Dr. Fay Reifsnyder Biles slide_dr_biles.jpgAs a long-time member of the Tri Delta Foundation Crescent Fund Committee, Dr. Fay Reifsnyder Biles, Duke, reviewed numerous applications for Crescent Fund assistance, each a heart-rending plea for help.  "I was so thankful that the Tri Delta Foundation has made grants available for Tri Deltas in dire need."  She continued, "When we were Tri Deltas in college . . . we were convinced our lives would be filled with successful ventures, happiness, good health, and a happy marriage, if that's what we desired. Unfortunately . . . some of our sister's lives have included severe struggles with poor health, loss of financial stability and problems related to divorce to name just a few.  For many, the grant from the Tri Delta Foundation is a real lifesaver.

"I would like every Tri Delta to understand that there are sisters in dire need who need our help, and that the Foundation is there to provide such help.  Your contributions to the Foundation support our sisterhood and give back to the many sisters—collegians and alumnae— who need us."

Gifts to the Foundation are used to "help our sisters in every possible way."   Every gift, large or small, is a gesture of Delta love.  When you add your gift to those of your sisters, you build a resource that not only benefits sisters in need of help, but also creates scholarship and leadership programs that keep Tri Delta strong.  Please make or add your gift soon.

 Dr. Fay Reifsnyder Biles was named a Tri Delta Woman of Achievement in 2002.

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Celebrates Raising $3.4 Million in One Year for St. Jude The last weekend in July, more than 200 Tri Delta members attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at St. Jude Children's Research hospital, commemorating their newest fundraising commitment, raising $15 million in 5 years.


This latest pledge, the third fundraising goal Tri Delta has set for St. Jude in the past 11 years, is dedicated to the naming of one of the St. Jude Specialty Clinics, which ensures patients receive expert care for specific needs. In 2010, Tri Delta completed its $10 million goal, six years ahead of schedule, which went towards naming the Tri Delta Patient Care Floor.

The ceremony unveiled the newly named Specialty Clinic and announced that in the last school year Tri Delta raised $3.4 million and has raised a total of $4.1 towards the $15 million goal in one year.

"It's such a humbling experience to be a part of," said Jill Shirley, Southern Mississippi. "I'm in awe of the phenomenal goals Tri Delta has accomplished."

Also recognized at a Saturday luncheon were the top collegiate chapters from each group who have raised the most money during the 2010-2011 academic year. The gold group includes chapters with more than 131 members, the silver group includes chapters with 91-130 members, and the blue group includes chapters with 90 members or less. In the gold group Louisiana State University raised the most with $84,852; in the silver group, the University of Southern Mississippi raised the most with $54,480; and in the blue group, the University of Tulsa raised the most with $31,340. The flags for these schools will be hung in the Tri Delta Patient Care Floor at the hospital in recognition for all their support during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Download the official press release.

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Celebrates Raising $4 Million in One Year for St. Jude Members of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity have gathered in Tucson, Ariz., this week for the organization's 54th biennial Convention, and today, the Fraternity announced that during the 2011-2012 academic year, its collegiate and alumnae chapters have raised $4.2 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

This $4.2million donation is part of the Fraternity's latest pledge, made in 2010, to raise $15 million in 5 years for the hospital. For the 2010-2011 academic year, Tri Delta raised $3.7 million, and since Aug. 1, 2010, Tri Delta has donated a total of $8.5 million for St. Jude.

"It is amazing what Tri Delta members have been able to accomplish toward their goal of raising $15 million in 5 years," said Richard Shadyac, Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Their commitment and passion play an important role in helping St. Jude continue to treat childhood cancer and other deadly diseases with pioneering research and exceptional care, all while ensuring that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything."

Tri Delta had four chapters raise over $100,000 in just one year: Louisiana State University, University of Mississippi, University of Alabama and University of South Carolina. This marks the first year any chapter has raised more than $100,000.

Additionally, the organization had three alumnae chapters that raised more than $10,000 in one year: the New York City Alumnae Chapter ($19,965), the St. Lawrence Alumnae ($12,150) and the Fredericksburg, Va., Alumnae Chapter ($11,250).

During Convention Tri Delta launched its new Give application, created and funded by Billhighway to help raise more funds for St. Jude. The "iSwipe 4 St. Jude" uses swipe devices on iPhones or iPads which allow individuals to use credit and debit cards to donate easily. Forty-five hundred dollars were raised onsite at Convention. Another Convention fundraising effort was the St. Jude Legends Bowl, a competition between schools to see who could raise the most. Tri Delta surpassed the $25,000 fundraising goal it set for its chapter, bringing in a total of $40,624. The St. Jude Legends Bowl concluded with a luncheon where the University of Texas, Arlington was named the winner after raising the most funds — $778.

Also recognized at the luncheon were the top collegiate chapters from each group who have raised the most money during the 2011-2012 academic year. The gold group includes chapters with more than 131 members, the silver group includes chapters with 91-130 members, and the blue group includes chapters with 90 members or less.

In the gold group Louisiana State University raised the most with $126,000; in the silver group, Rhodes College  raised the most with $100,000; and in the blue group, Oregon State raised the most with $64,000. The flags for these schools will be hung in the Tri Delta Patient Care Floor at the hospital in recognition for all their support.

Fraternity President Jackye Brown Clark said, "It's wonderful to see both collegiate members and alumnae members working together, not to just simply meet a fundraising goal, but because they are so passionate about helping the children of St. Jude and they are dedicated to this cause. That passion and dedication is what allows us to raise the bar and raise more money every year."

This is the third fundraising goal Tri Delta has set for St. Jude in the past 11 years, is dedicated to the naming of one of the St. Jude Specialty Clinics, which ensures patients receive expert care for specific needs. In 2010, Tri Delta completed its $10 million goal, six years ahead of schedule, which went towards naming the Tri Delta Patient Care Floor.]]>
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Foundation Raises $29,576 for New Scholarship

We did it! A NEW fully endowed undergraduate scholarship has been established! Tri Delta alumnae donated $29,576 to the Foundation's scholarship campaign that ended January 1, 2012.  Since the $25,000 goal was exceeded by over $4,500, the scholarship will be awarded for the 2012-13 academic year. A heartfelt thank you to all the alumnae who participated. Every year, one more Tri Delta will receive a scholarship because of you.

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Leaders Visit Capitol Hill IMG_3368.JPGCommunity leaders from around the country converged this week on Capitol Hill, joining together to lobby on behalf of issues affecting the collegiate members of fraternities and sororities.

Katie Cusack, the current president of the Tri Delta chapter at University of Wyoming, was honored to be selected as a part of the lobbying team. "This exciting opportunity to join my fellow Tri Deltas in our nation's capital is the perfect blend of my passion for Greek life and my involvement with student government," she said. Cusack was joined by 140 collegiate students, including four members of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, who met with congressional representatives to discuss the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act.

The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) gives equal tax rights to non-profit organizations providing student housing, including fraternal entities like Delta Delta Delta's National House Corporation. Fraternities and sororities provide housing for over 250,000 students each year, nearly one out of every eight students in America. The passing of the CHIA will allow non-profit student entities to use charitable contributions to build and maintain housing for these students.

Selected from a pool of over 30 applicants, Anisha Chikarmane, California/Davis, Emily Rankin, California/Los Angeles, Katie Cusack, Wyoming and Kelsey Castleberry, Arkansas, represented the 139 chapters of Delta Delta Delta throughout the visit.

"As the fall of 2009 brought drastic budget cuts and fee increases for UC students, I realized that now more than ever was the time for students to stand up for education on the national political agenda," said Anisha Chikarmae, a student at the University of California Davis, studying International Relations.

Also from California, Emily Rankin is a senior at University of California Los Angeles. She is majoring in political science and public policy and was motivated to be a part of the lobbying effort to show her support for the CHIA. After spending a quarter interning in D.C., Rankin was recognized as a Robert T. Matsui UC Congressional Fellow and will return to begin a career in politics following graduation. 

Kelsey Castleberry is a junior at the University of Arkansas. "I want to provide my Tri Delta sisters and fellow Greek members the opportunity to live in as wonderful a house as I have, and at the same time, I'm hoping to improve Greek housing on my campus," said Castleberry.

While in Washington, the women worked alongside fellow collegians and alumni from the National Inter-fraternal Conference and National Panhellenic Conference to meet with over 400 representatives, requesting support of the CHIA. 

"This trip was an incredible opportunity to see firsthand how the values and leadership skills taught by fraternities and sororities helped many of our Representatives and Senators to pursue this career path and achieve their goals," said Emily Rankin, "Their commitment to the fraternity experience inspires me to work to keep college affordable so that future students may have the same opportunities I have been allowed to have as a member of Tri Delta."]]>
Wed, 20 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta mourns loss of member We are devastated upon hearing the news of the passing of a Tri Delta member from our Alpha Psi Chapter. We are working with area volunteers, University officials and Fraternity staff to provide resources and support during this very sad time.  Our thoughts and condolences are with Molly's family and with our members at the University of Florida," said Fraternity President Jackye Brown Clark, Texas/Arlington.

In lieu of flowers, the Ammon Family would like any donations to be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in honor of Molly. Donations may be made online at

If members or chapters would like to express their condolences, all correspondence may be sent to: Alpha Psi Chapter, c/o Delta Delta Delta Executive Office, 2331 Brookhollow Plaza, Arlington, TX 76006.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Takes Capitol Hill
ginnye.jpgI could hardly contain my excitement when I received an email early in February telling me I was heading to Washington, D.C. in a few months to participate in the annual fraternity and sorority Capitol Hill Visits. Before I knew it, I was flying into D.C. and passing the Washington Monument—I had no idea what an amazing experience I was in for.

The first couple of days in D.C. were spent in training with the Patton-Boggs team to learn the ins and outs of not only lobbying, but what we were lobbying for. The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) is a non-controversial bill trying to make its way through Congress. Despite its non-controversial nature, there were a lot of facts and points to learn, and the Patton-Boggs team made sure we knew all of it. Training consisted of a series of lectures and then practicing lobbying with our teammate. We spent two days in training, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., all in preparation for the final day.

The morning of our visits to Capitol Hill I was a little nervous. What if I forgot one of the facts? Or what if the Congressional staff members we were meeting with were uninterested or staunchly opposed to the bill? During the car ride into D.C., I kept checking my facts and going over my prepared spiel. At last we made it to Capitol Hill, and we rushed to the first office. Before I could catch my breath we were seated at a round table in Congressman Todd Rokita's office. The legislative assistant we talked to was openly supportive of the bill and incredibly warm. Our group sat and joked with her before we were whisked away to the next office. All of my nervousness had suddenly evaporated—this was going to be fun!

The rest of the day followed in a similar fashion. The legislative assistants we met with were all warm and open and took everything we said seriously. Despite their very busy schedules they still took time to listen to our pitch and even gave us encouraging pointers along the way. I was thrilled at how easy they were to talk to.

Pretty soon we were breezing through offices, and by the time we came to the last one I couldn't believe it was over. We had spent a day successfully lobbying for CHIA and had made some friends along the way. Leaving Capitol Hill I had never felt so excited and proud of the work we had accomplished. We may not have been the driving force that got the bill passed, but we were definitely chipping away at the stone.

Tue, 15 May 2012 00:00:00 -0600
Two professors benefit from Tri Delta’s annual National Humanities Center Fellowship American Scholars

Two professors benefit from Tri Delta's annual National Humanities Center Fellowship

In an 1837 address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard University, Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of the American Scholar, whom he envisioned as being not just a thinker, but a creator — one who would become an intellectual leader. Rather than simply studying the theories which lay hidden among the pages of dusty, old books in libraries, this American Scholar would write the books and develop the innovative theories.         

Just as Emerson imagined, today in the world of academia, there are numerous men and women who dedicate themselves to contributing new knowledge to their fields, hopeful that their ideas may influence fellow scholars and future students. Drs. Matthew Gordon and Paul Losensky are two such scholars whom Tri Delta has chosen to support through the National Humanities Center Fellowship. This fellowship — which Tri Delta has awarded annually for the past 23 years — will allow Drs. Gordon and Losensky to take a sabbatical from teaching and focus exclusively on their research at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Recently, Drs. Gordon and Losensky took a short break from the books to discuss their projects with us.

Gordon.jpgDr. Gordon:

What are you working on at the National Humanities Center?

My project is a study of slavery and social mobility in the ninth-century Arab/Islamic Near East (my area is medieval Near Eastern social history). I am particularly interested in the cities of Baghdad and Samarra. All indications are that the populations of both cities relied heavily on slave labor; even modest households probably owned at least one slave. It is also clear that slaves were transported into the urban Near East from a variety of regions; the evidence points to a substantial slave market in this period.

I will have much to say about two specific groups of urban slaves. The one group consisted of elite female entertainers, most of whom were singers and musicians. The sources (medieval Arabic texts) refer to the careers of certain of these women, making much of their rise to prominence. The second group was made up of military men, officers and soldiers, of predominantly Turkish/Central Asian origin. Here, too, social mobility played its part, in that much like the slave singers, the soldiers entered Near Eastern society as slaves, bereft of social standing, wealth and local attachments. Only with considerable effort (and good fortune) did certain of these men, like a small number of the singers, rise to positions of standing.

In terms of gender, access to decision-making and the forms of labor they provided, the singers and soldiers followed distinct paths. I will discuss issues particular to each group such as gender relations and legal discrimination faced by the young women slaves, and those related to ethnic and social stigma targeted at the young Turkish recruits (as an Other to urban imperial society). Despite these divergences, however, there is good reason to take stock of singers and soldiers together. My aim is to carry out a particular kind of collective history, taking slavery and social mobility as the organizing questions.

How and when did you fall in love with your subject matter?

The project derives from the research I carried out for my first monograph, "The Breaking of a Thousand Swords" (SUNY Press, 2001), a study of the slave military system put in place by the ninth-century Arab/Islamic imperial state. I have also written separately about the women singers and courtesans. My hope now is to make better sense of the context in which the two very different groups of slaves provided their labor to contemporary society: the rise of a substantial slave economy in the early medieval Islamic Near East.

What does this fellowship mean to you as a scholar?

To put it simply, the fellowship provides me with the time — nine months! — to devote to my research and writing. I love teaching, and I am perfectly willing to carry out the other duties asked of me in a typical year on campus. But, for now, I am delighted to have this opportunity to focus my time and energy. It is an opportunity for which I am enormously grateful.
Losensky.jpgDr. Losensky:

What are you working on at the National Humanities Center?

Everyone is probably familiar with iconic images of the Taj Mahal. What few know is that this monument is but one representative of a far-flung cultural and literary realm, where Persian was the language of poetry and administration across much of South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia in the 16th-18th centuries. My book project focuses on the master poet of the age, Mohammad Ali Sa'eb Tabrizi (d. 1676). Arguably the most famous living poet in the world in the 17th century, his poetry was renowned not only in his native Iran, but as far away as Istanbul and Delhi. I am particularly interested in his poetics of effulgence, which is based on the idea that a single creative force animates all reality but is manifested in an infinite variety of material forms. According to this theory of the world, all objects contain a surplus of meaning, and any object is potentially comparable to any other. As a result, Sa'eb's poetry is characterized by an intricate and unending play of metaphor and simile. In my project, I will work to bring to light some of the principles of this network of metaphorical relations by examining several key images found repeated in his work. In the process, I will attempt to show the similarities between Sa'eb's poetry and the contemporary poetry of the European baroque, as well as the poetry of our own time and culture.

How and when did you fall in love with your subject matter?

I began to study Persian as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. As a linguistics major and comparative literature minor, I was required to take a non-Western language. I had met the Persian professor in an elective course on Middle Eastern folklore and knew a little something about Persian literature through the "Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám" and some translations by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I started Persian in 1980. This was a year after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and political exiles and refugees were arriving in droves in Chicago. In the two years that I took off between college and graduate school, I worked for community organizations dedicated to helping Iranians displaced by the revolution settle into new lives in the U.S. I had always hoped to continue my studies in comparative literature. As my Persian improved, I came to know many Iranians personally and to appreciate their love for their poetry and ancient culture, and Persian became the inevitable choice for my graduate concentration. My research has since led to extended stays in the Middle East, Central Asia and India. I have even lived in Iran for several months on two occasions, one of the few American scholars to have this opportunity since the revolution. Although my initial choice of Persian was somewhat serendipitous, it has proven to be a richly rewarding career and vocation.

What does this fellowship mean to you as a scholar?

As a professor at Indiana University, I have to fulfill a hundred and one duties, big and small, during the school year. There are classes, the hours of preparation that go into them (professors have homework, too!), meetings with students and grading exams and papers. Students, both graduates and undergraduates, come to me frequently with questions about their studies, their progress on their degrees and career plans. Hours each week can be taken up with faculty meetings and committee work, all necessary to keep the programs and the university running smoothly and growing toward the future. What is often lost in all this is the opportunity to think, to read and to write — precisely the activities that got me the job in the first place. This fellowship provides a rare and precious opportunity to devote myself fully to the life of the mind in a fostering, scholarly environment. Not only will the fellowship allow me to complete a research project that has been developing over the last eight years, but it should also provide the opportunity to let my imagination run free, to gain a new perspective on my field and to begin to formulate future projects.

Incidentally, my office at the National Humanities Center is located at the east end of the building, mere footsteps from the Tri Delta garden where I often go to catch a breath of fresh air and collect my thoughts in its calm and tranquil atmosphere. I have no end of reasons to be grateful for your sorority's commitment to the noble goals of the National Humanities Center. [if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 [if gte mso 9]> [if gte mso 10]> ]]>
Mon, 21 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0600
What a Sister Does - The Crescent Fund Jen Pugh CF Recipient,  Annette Basham.JPGIn January of 2009, Jennifer Sandman Pugh, Ball State, wasn't worried when she went for a mammogram, even though she had found a lump. Married and the mother of a 7-year-old son, she was just 36 and had no family history of cancer. The result was devastating.  Jen had breast cancer and needed surgery.

The months that followed were miserable.  Chemotherapy took away her energy and her hair, and a rare complication nearly took her life. She spent weeks in the hospital struggling to breathe. During this troubled time, her Tri Delta sister and best friend, Annette Basham, Ball State, was her "rock." Jen said, "Annette had been downsized from her job, but she believes things happen for a reason . . . and her job loss happened so she could be there for me.  That is what a sister does."

When recovering, Jen turned to her Tri Delta sisters for help with another problem—the huge stack of bills related to her illness. She applied for and received a Crescent Fund grant from the Tri Delta Foundation.

Today, Jen is cancer-free and doing well. For more information about Crescent Fund and how to make a donation, please visit the Foundation website.

Wed, 23 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0600
With Purpose: Eye of the Storm
Rev. Cassie Tritthart, Westminster, grew up 20 minutes from Joplin. She attended Westminster College where she majored in philosophy and religious studies. After graduation she attended seminary school at Liberty University where she received her master's degree. She worked as a pastoral counselor in Joplin for three years. Though she no longer lives in Joplin, when the tornado hit she was at her parents' house — out of harm's way, but close enough to answer the call for assistance.

"One of my sorority sisters is a firefighter in Jay, Okla., and initially told me about the tornado that hit the Grand Lake, Okla., area about an hour from Joplin," Cassie says. She arrived on the scene to find they needed help pulling people out of the lake, but only a short while later, she received the news that another tornado had touched down in Joplin. Initially, she feared for her mother's safety — Cassie's mom had been at the Macy's there when the storm hit. "I finally got through to her by cell phone and tried to notify as many people as we could that she was ok," Cassie remembers. The cell lines were mostly down, so she relied on Facebook and email to contact people. Cassie knew her help was needed once again, so she made her way into town only two hours after the tornado had left its mark. The scene was shocking. "There were people covered with debris, people with broken bones walking down the street to try to get to the hospital. What they didn't realize was that the hospital was gone." People were everywhere, and the town itself was nearly unrecognizable. "The tornado knocked out all the street signs and landmarks," Cassie says. "You could be driving along thinking you're at one place, but you might be several blocks from there." She says that as far as volunteering to help, it was "whatever you could do." One friend's father was the manager of a Wal-Mart outside of Joplin. When he heard what happened he got a truck and filled it with supplies from his store to take to the people. While the immediate help was vital, in the days and weeks following the natural disaster, people still needed help with coping. That's where Cassie really stepped in. "I did crisis counseling, mostly with kids. I worked with anyone from four years old to college age." Cassie explains that her background in pastoral counseling allowed her to help those who may not have been able to go to regular counseling because there were some experiences they just couldn't explain. For instance, she says, there was one four-year-old who had been in the direct path of the storm. The twister had picked him up and dropped him two blocks from his house. When his dad found him, the child was perfectly fine — no bruises, no scratches. Cassie says, "When his dad asked him how he had ended up there, the boy said 'An angel took me and dropped me.'" She further explains, "People had a difficult time coping with why those who had taken all the necessary precautions were gone, but some who were in the middle of harm's way had survived." While the majority of her work was done immediately after the tornado, she still receives the occasional call from people who need to talk. And as Cassie works to help rebuild the people of Joplin, there are volunteers who are still working every day to help rebuild the town.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Graduate Receives Prestigious Award

Maggie Dunne, Colgate, has many accomplishments and much to be proud of.

At graduation recently, she received the Alumni Corporation's 1819 Award, (Colgate's most prestigious prize given to the member of the senior class whose "character, scholarship and service best exemplify the spirit that is Colgate"), the Voice of Conscience Award (given to students who promote bridge-building or collective vision among culturally diverse groups), and the Academic Excellence Award from the Native American Studies Department.  Maggie graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University, with honors in Native American studies and a minor in religion.

She is now working full time as the president of Lakota Children's Enrichment, Inc., (LCE), a nonprofit organization that she founded while in college. LCE envisions equality for all of America's children and provides needed resources to children, families and schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, our nation's most marginalized community and home to the Oglala Lakota Nation.  Maggie is thrilled to now devote her full time to LCE and hopes to expand the organization even more.  They just opened their first pro bono summer office space in Scarsdale, N.Y., and she will be managing her team of interns this year (one of the interns is a Tri Delta member, too).

In addition to her work with LCE, she also spent three summers in Bangladesh studying social enterprise and micro finance-first with Grameen Bank, and then twice as a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar. Maggie shared, "I believe that my global experiences have been essential to my approach trying new and innovative approaches to the NGO sector in the USA."

And Maggie also received numerous national awards too, including the Grand Prize in Glamour Magazine's Top Ten College Women Contest in 2012, a Newman Civic Fellowship from Campus Compact, and a Daily Point of Light Award from the Points of Light Institute. Her written work has been published by Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs (2012), Autism Speaks (2009), Colgate Maroon News (2009-12), on the LCE Blog and other on- and off-line publications.

Maggie joined Delta Delta Delta at Colgate University and in 2011 and held the position of co-chair of philanthropy. In 2012, she was named Greek Woman of the Year by Colgate's Panhellenic Association. 

When asked what she had gained from her Tri Delta experience that will help you moving forward, her response was, "I valued the many diverse backgrounds and diverse passions of my sisters.  It was impressive to witness how a group of women came together to support one another.  I look forward to maintaining my relationships with sisters after graduation, linking into the national network, and I hope to have the opportunity to mentor other Tri Delta's in the future too.  I'm proud to be part of a community that values philanthropy and helping others, like our work with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital."   

Learn more about Lakota Children's Enrichment:
Presentation from Maggie     

Mon, 10 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Theta Kappa and The Center Work Together on Capital Campaign Web_HouseRendering.jpgGreek organizations have become the largest not-for-profit student landlords in the country, housing more than a quarter million students each year. Unfortunately, many of these homes, including many of Tri Delta's existing chapter facilities, need major updates and renovations to remain viable and healthy housing options for our members. The Center for Living, Learning & Leading, a 501 C3-tax deductible foundation, addresses these concerns by providing professional, innovative and effective solutions to generate the needed funding to renovate, refurbish and/or build new facilities that ensure the safety and security of Tri Delta's living environments.

Housing Campaigns are an opportunity for local house corporations as well as National House Corporation to contract with The Center to organize housing related fundraising projects. These projects may include capital campaigns that help to raise funds to build, renovate or add on additional space to an existing Tri Delta house. An example of such a campaign is Theta Kappa at Southern Methodist University. Mary Martha Gibson Stinnett , Southern Methodist, the capital campaign chairman for Theta Kappa shares her story of working with The Center to build the Theta Kappa "dream house":

The excitement grows on the Southern Methodist University campus as collegians and Tri Delta alumnae witness the approaching completion of the completely rebuilt 28,855 square foot Theta Kappa house. The August move-in day is fast approaching and challenging all to have every item in its proper place. thetakappa_web2.jpg

Five years ago SMU informed Theta Kappa that a house sprinkler system needed to be brought to code. So, in good Tri Delta fashion, a committee was formed to investigate whether to remodel our original 50-year old house or completely rebuild a new Theta Kappa house on the existing corner lot. The decision was made to completely rebuild. So, with the co-ordination of the House Corporation, House Steering Committee and Capital Campaign Committee, work began designing the new house and raising tax-deductible donations for the educational space in the new house.

Jacqueline Galli Converse, Southern Methodist, Design Team Lead, Building Steering Committee and Past President of Theta Kappa House Corporation, says: "When the Theta Kappa House Corporation was looking for the best way to receive donated funds to build the new house, we exhausted all our options short of creating a new entity to which donations could be received tax free. Since that would take much more time than we had available, our dear Tri Delta sister and "adopted" Theta Kappa, Jane Spikes, steered us toward The Center. Theta Kappa has since enjoyed the huge benefit of being able to accept tax-free donations through The Center. Without this relationship with The Center, I wonder if we would have exceeded our fundraising goal. This home would not be a reality without The Center's generous support."

Theta Kappas are thrilled when they enter the new house for the first time to see how the new house design follows the familiar footprint of the original house, including a side courtyard. The original hardwoods were saved and recycled in the new house as an extra treat. The lower level accommodates the new chapter room plus educational space, of course.

Thanks to the many donations from our Theta Kappa sisters, local Tri Delta sisters and community friends, Theta Kappa thus far has raised over $1,464,278 from 439 donations while almost doubling our original fundraising goal. Donations are always welcome as the Design Team adds many items still needed for the new house.

Thanks also to The Center for helping to make our Theta Kappa dream house a reality.

Thu, 11 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Alumna Shares UIFI Facilitator Experience The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) is a five-day experience that brings together fraternity men and sorority women from across North America to create opportunities to explore, define and enhance their leadership skills, personal awareness and commitment to their values-based organizations. At UIFI, students will be provided the opportunity to improve their own leadership abilities and learn the skills to positively affect their chapter, council and community.

The Center for Living, Learning & Leading annually provides scholarships for Tri Delta collegians to attend this valuable experience, but we also have numerous Tri Delta alumnae current working or serving the fraternity and sorority community who volunteer their time to facilitate. We are thankful for the service and dedication of each Tri Delta and are thrilled to have them representing our organization at UIFI.

Kristen Kardas, Adelphi, Assistant Director for Greek Life at Ohio University shares her story of facilitating at UIFI this summer.

I decided to apply to be a facilitator for UIFI following an extremely positive experience as an intern for NGLA [Northeast Greek Leadership Association] in February. I was overjoyed to not only be selected as a facilitator, but to be placed for my first choice session: Session 2 - Iota Pi. I went into the experience with a completely open mind, not quite certain what to expect, but being told by others that the experience would be completely life-changing. It not only met, but exceeded those expectations. UIFI came at a perfect time in my life, as I transition from being a graduate student to a new professional as the Assistant Director for Greek Life at Ohio University. UIFI let me recharge my batteries and proved to me that serving in my role not only matters to students, but that it truly is my passion. I believe in the fraternity/sorority movement, and being able to represent Tri Delta in a positive light was extremely rewarding.

The most powerful moment for me was standing up to say my purpose with the other Tri Deltas in the room, and feeling the connection of our common values. I was able to connect with the other three Tri Deltas present for Iota Pi (one facilitator, two collegians) and share in the perpetual bond of friendship. I am so lucky to have worked with an incredible group of facilitators, over 80 students dedicated to making a positive change, and led by presenters Peter Smithhisler and Libby Anderson, both of whom shared their extreme commitment to believing in fraternity and sorority done right. I am proud to wear my badge, have a deeper appreciation for its meaning, and I know that Tri Delta can be a part of making this change in our community, and I am overjoyed to be a part of that change.

Fri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Foundation Raises $555,000$555000 image002.jpg

Delta Delta Delta Foundation is excited to announce that they have exceeded their goal for The Trilogy, raising $555,000 to help our sisters in need.

At the 2012 Convention, the Delta Delta Delta Foundation introduced The Trilogy - a new way to give that benefits Tri Deltas through emergency financial assistance, scholarships and leadership grants.

In the first year of The Trilogy, 168 Tri Deltas donated over $555,000, surpassing the original $500,000 goal. The Trilogy is an endowment that will provide perpetual funding to help our sisters in need for years to come.

"An endowed fund like The Trilogy is perpetual - just like our bonds of friendship - as well as good business and good stewardship. It also speaks to the heart of what we do for Tri Delta, allowing the Foundation to meet extra needs for scholarships, Crescent Fund assistance, and leadership and education grants. The donors who have made such a success of the launch of The Trilogy are ensuring Tri Delta's long-term ability to assist its members in every possible way," said Foundation President Ginger Hicks Smith, Emory.

Thank you to our donors and volunteers for their support and commitment to making a difference in the lives of Tri Deltas.

Help your sisters by joining The Trilogy.
Mon, 12 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0600$555000
In the Land of the Delta Blues

An excerpt from The Trident is below:

Both Zsila and Shelby, who moved to Memphis within a week of one another, separately reached out to the Tri Delta Memphis Alumnae Chapter to help them feel more at home in their new community.

Zsila initially got in touch with the Tri Delta alumnae when she was in Memphis for her two-month fellowship rotation. Even though she was staying with family friends at the time, she wanted to connect with other sisters. When she decided to make the move permanent, having those connections eased the transition. "Most of the friends I have in Memphis, I have through the alumnae group," she says.

Then, when Shelby sent her information to the alumnae during her first week in Memphis, they immediately put her in touch with Zsila. Shelby recalls: "I had sent my information to the alumnae group and within 30 minutes I had an email back introducing me to Zsila."

Within an hour the two Tri Deltas had set up a friend "blind date." The women went out for drinks and after two sips decided to get dinner. They sat for a couple of hours and talked — about their families in Texas (both of their mothers live in Austin), about Tri Delta and about their similar paths that intersected at St. Jude. 

It was an instant connection between the women who had much in common that they may not have discovered had it not been for Tri Delta. Now, the two have become close friends and have begun to explore the town and get to know their new home together. They've also been able to get involved in the Memphis Alumnae Chapter and the local Delta Psi Chapter at Rhodes College. Recognizing the role Tri Delta played in helping them both adjust to their new lives in Memphis, Shelby and Zsila have also started reaching out to other
Tri Deltas who are new to the city. For both women, moving away from their homes in Texas was made easier by having a built-in support group through Tri Delta.
"The sole reason why I made the transition, and why it's been so easy, has been because of the Tri Delta connection," admits Shelby. "And Tri Delta introduced me to someone who is now my dearest friend here."

Be sure to read The Trident for the whole story!

Thu, 05 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Delta Delta Delta Addresses University of Alabama Recruitment Allegations Dear Sisters,

By now you may have seen media reports revealing disturbing allegations that race was a factor in membership selection at the University of Alabama earlier this fall. Tri Delta was named in the original story published in the university newspaper, The Crimson White.

Allow me to be blunt - Tri Delta will not tolerate discrimination. As a part of our comprehensive response to these allegations, a team of Tri Delta staff members and volunteers traveled to Tuscaloosa to meet with the chapter, chapter officers, chapter advisors, alumnae and campus administration. Our objectives were clear:

  • To conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations
  • To provide media relations support to the chapter
  • To provide continuing education on Fraternity policies and procedures to collegians and alumnae
We have concluded our investigation, and our findings support the assertion that there is a perceived pressure to conform to long-standing societal norms on that campus. As University President Judy T. Bonner acknowledged in a videotaped segment recently, the university's "Greek system remains segregated." Together with the university, we have since made significant progress towards removing those pressures, empowering our members and providing the necessary support for change. We still have work to do.

Tri Delta, both locally and internationally, will be a positive, contributing force towards ending segregation in the University of Alabama Greek system.  Our chapter welcomed the opportunity presented by President Bonner to continue recruiting high-quality women this semester. Members have begun building relationships with a diverse group of potential new members, with the intent to extend bids in the near future.

A team of staff and volunteers will continue to visit the campus to provide ongoing support for change during key transition points, such as chapter elections and recruitment training, and will also be present during sorority recruitment in the Fall of 2014.  In addition, a task force will be named shortly to conduct a more in-depth review of Tri Delta's policies, procedures and practices, to ensure that their application encourages and supports an environment of inclusion at all of our Tri Delta chapters.

This is the kind of endeavor that will require continued effort and focus from all of us - our collegiate members, our alumnae, our volunteers and our leadership.  Together we can ensure that our decisions and choices are guided and inspired by the ideal that Sarah Ida Shaw set forth so many years ago, to "be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance."

We thank you for your patience as we conducted our investigation and your willingness to remain steadfast in your support of Tri Delta.




Phyllis Durbin Grissom

Fraternity President

Fri, 20 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Team Captains Lead the Way Chicago Loop Group
St. Jude Give thanks. Walk Team, Chicago

Marissa Rose, Miami/Florida

Chicago Loop Group_Marissa and Mark Rose.JPGSt. Jude Children's Research Hospital is something Marissa Rose, Miami/Florida, has been passionate about ever since she joined Tri Delta. She has passed that passion on to her family as well, recruiting the help of her father, Mark, whose company was the title sponsorship for the Tri Delta Tees Fore Tots Golf Tournament for two consecutive years while she was in college. "As a father, it is with pride that we are involved in supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Marissa's passionate commitment to this worthy cause," Mark shared about their family involvement in the Walk.

Marissa and Emily Winchell, serve as the philanthropy co-chairs for the Tri Delta Chicago Loop Group.  Getting involved in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk was a perfect fit, and they are continuing to recruit other Tri Deltas to participate on Nov. 23.

To date, the Chicago Loop Group has raised $6,300. The majority of donations for the walk have come from members of Avison Young, the company where Marissa and Mark work. During the annual company-wide meeting a few weeks ago, the organization raised more than $6,000 from selling T-shirts to support the kids at St. Jude.  If you live in the Chicago area, join the Chicago Loop Group Team today.

Delta Dukes
St. Jude Give thanks. Walk Team, Memphis, TN

Nicki Reed, Delta State

Gayle and Nicki_Delta Dukes.JPGThe Delta Dukes team has returned again this year, and its members are raising the bar! They are already over halfway to their goal of $10,000. Gayle Holland and Nicki Reed, Delta State, worked together for many years. In 1987, Gayle lost her only son, Mikey, to cancer. Mikey was diagnosed a few days after his eighth birthday and lived 20 months after his diagnosis. 

When Nicki learned about the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk and Tri Delta's involvement, she asked Gayle about starting a team in Mikey's memory. "As a mother, one of my biggest fears is that people will forget about Mikey, and forget what a gift he was to us all. What we have learned is that no one has forgotten, and participating in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk is an amazing experience for me and for our entire team," Gayle says.

"St. Jude gave me several months that I was able to enjoy with my son.  And giving back gives other families a chance to have more time with their child," says Gayle. "Cancer isn't going away, but St. Jude fights the good fight. They cure a lot of sick kids.

Neil Loftiss, Gayle's brother and Mikey's uncle, shared, "When Mikey was diagnosed with cancer, I was in my mid 20s and witnessed the most horrible 20 months any child should go through.  The pain and suffering of Mikey was horrible to watch, but his strength, love and charm pulled everyone through. " 

"I saw what cancer did to him," continues Neil. "I saw the effect on his parents. I saw it impact everyone around him. I'm confident that if this would have happened to Mikey today, he would have lived. Research has come far in 30 years, and that is why I got involved in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. For families and children going through this now, I hope and pray it is easier and with better results.  St. Jude saves lives, and I wanted to support those efforts." 

Join and support Nicki, Gayle and Neil on the Delta Dukes team in Memphis, TN.  Every donation counts, and several team members have personal piggy banks at home that collect spare change year round to be donated. What a wonderful way to remember Mikey and help save other children's lives.
Thu, 10 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Delta Iota Centennial
Centennial Marker.jpgDelta Iota, Arkansas, celebrated their Centennial in grand style on the weekend of November 1-3.  Fraternity president, Phyllis Grissom spoke to a group of over 400 collegiate Delta Iota members and noted, "The celebration really highlighted the dedication and loyalty that Delta Iota alumnae feel for their school and their chapter. Being with sisters in a reunion setting is probably one of my most favorite Tri Delta events. It was an honor to share in the warm and welcoming sisterhood of the Arkansas chapter".

Attendance for the Friday night event totaled 960 collegiate and alumnae making it one of the largest gatherings of Tri Deltas ever.  Guests attending were two Delta Iota members from the class of 1942, Mary Carolyn Cherry Pendleton from Fayetteville and Charlene Majors Springgate from Katy, TX.  They have been best friends since their collegiate days as Tri Delta sisters!

In the Tri Delta spirit of giving, the proceeds from the Centennial weekend will help establish the new Delta Delta Delta Centennial Scholarship. The committee announced an initial donation of $10,000! Support was also given to St Jude Children's Hospital in the form of a Centennial Walk which raised over $5,300.

The best part of the weekend was the laughter, hugging, smiles and memories relived.  Great weekend, great fall foliage and wonderful remembrances of how Delta Delta Delta played a big part in members' college experience.

Thu, 07 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0600
Tri Delta Celebrates Raising over $215,000 for the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk St. Jude Give thanks. Walk., an exciting 5K walk to raise money for the children of St. Jude.

More than 180 Delta Delta Delta teams, along with their families and friends, participated in the event by walking, volunteering at the walk or raising money virtually.

Tri Delta set a goal of raising $150,000, and far exceeded that goal by raising $217,000.

"It's so exciting to see our collegiate and alumnae members uniting once again for this event and doing great things for St. Jude," said Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist. "The fact that our members continually surpass the fundraising goals we set in place is a real testament to their dedication to this cause and their passion for philanthropy."

Out of all the Tri Delta participants, the top fundraising team was The Chicago Loop Group in Chicago. These alumnae members raised more than $21,300.

All money raised by Tri Delta will go towards supporting its $15 million in 5 years campaign for St. Jude. Tri Delta has raised more than $14.9 million for the campaign since the $15 million goal was announced in July 2010.

The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. serves as a grass-roots kickoff to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving fundraising and awareness campaign. The St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign is an unprecedented union of celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners that asks consumers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."

Thanks and Giving was created in 2004 by Marlo Thomas and her siblings Terre and Tony Thomas, children of hospital founder Danny Thomas. Funds raised by the campaign support the lifesaving work of St. Jude — to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

View pictures from different walks around the US!

Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0600
$15 Million Raised for St. Jude in 3.5 Years$15millionraisedforstjudein35years

On Saturday, Feb.1, more than 350 Tri Delta members and St. Jude staff celebrated this huge milestone together in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the 2014 St. Jude Leadership Weekend.

The partnership between Tri Delta and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has seen extreme growth over the past 15 years.  Since officially naming St. Jude as our national philanthropic partner in 1999, Tri Delta has raised move than $27 million. 

This partnership has proven that together we can accomplish big things.  We are making childhood moments possible for kids around the world through the lifesaving mission that St. Jude eagerly tackles each and every day.

See photos from the weekend on our Facebook page

"We are so excited for the next step in our relationship with St. Jude," said Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist. "It's an exciting time for Tri Delta, and our members are as dedicated as ever to helping the kids of St. Jude."

Don't forget to share this great accomplishment on Facebook and Twitter!

View the official press release here.

Check out the Memphis news clips: WMC | WREG | WATN

Sun, 02 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0600$15millionraisedforstjudein35years
Tri Deltas Compete in Winter Olympics 2014
Sophie Caldwell, Dartmouth, is competing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in cross-country skiing. Sophie, who grew up in Vermont, comes from a family of skiers with her grandfather and uncle both competing in the Olympics. Her father is a ski coach and her mother was a ski racer.

In 2013 she proved she belonged on the highest international stage, skiing in her first World Cup events and placing as high as 14th against the best skiers in the world. At her first World Championships, she finished in the top 20. In her senior year at Dartmouth, Caldwell podiumed twice at NCAA Championships, earning her All-America honors two times over (giving her five for her career).

Sophie was initiated into Gamma Gamma Chapter at Dartmouth College in 2010.

Meryl Davis, Michigan, is one half of the American ice dance team competing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Meryl began skating with her partner Charlie White in 1997, and the duo are the favorites to win gold in Sochi. This past weekend they skated in the team portion of the figure skating competition where they helped the U.S. team win the bronze medal.

In 2010, Meryl and Charlie competed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics where they won silver, and in 2011 they became the first American ice dancing team to win the World Championships. They are currently the longest lasting dance team in the United States and have won the U.S. National Championships every year since 2009.

Meryl is a member of Iota Chapter at the University of Michigan. In 2010, she became the first collegiate member to be named a Tri Delta Woman of Achievement.

Tue, 11 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0600
Cultural Appropriation on the College Campus In the past year, there has been a lot of discussion in the media about cultural appropriation; it's become something of a buzz word. The press criticized pop star Katy Perry for dressing like a Geisha, fashion designers were censured for having Native American headdresses on the runways, and there is still much debate on whether the Washington Redskins should change their name.

Cultural appropriation, in its most basic definition, is the adoption of some specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group. In current media discussion, such as the above examples, the term specifically refers to the use of elements of a minority culture by a dominant culture; most often, these elements are misused or taken from their original context. 

While cultural appropriation is a more widespread societal issue, it also occurs frequently on college campuses, specifically within the Greek community. More and more, we're seeing instances of fraternity and sorority members wrongly using cultures for party themes and costumes. And ever so often, a party makes headlines for incorporating offensive and racist material. Each time this happens, no matter the organization, the entire Greek community is cast in a bad light.

Most of the time, the issue isn't that members are being intentionally racist. Often, participants either took a theme idea too far or didn't fully understand that the material is viewed as offensive. But after several inappropriate themes reoccurring in Tri Delta chapters, it's time for our collegiate members to reevaluate how they plan their themes and look at why culturally-based themes are inappropriate.

Misappropriation and Misrepresentation  

The problem with culturally themed parties is that far too often these events rely on cultural stereotypes as a way to illustrate the theme. The two inappropriate themes Tri Delta has seen most often are the Mexican "fiesta" theme and the Native American "tribal" theme.

Usually, these offensive themes are not intentionally racist or malicious. Often, participants haven't taken the time to think through how a theme will look to others and the effect it will have on members of the culture represented.

In fall 2013, several tribal-themed Tri Delta Bid Days showed up on different campuses. These Bid Days not only incorporated the idea of Tri Delta as a "TRIbe" but also included members with painted faces, wearing feathers or headdresses and displaying other "Native American" traits. Sometimes props were involved: a bow and arrow and a teepee. The purpose of these Bid Days was not to denigrate Native Americans or their heritage, but they were still offensive.

Here's why: Outsiders to a culture aren't always able to grasp the significance of certain symbolism, dress or traditions and how important these things are to a person of that culture. And by chapter members using what they think are Native American characteristics, they are both misappropriating and misrepresenting that culture.

One example is the choice to wear feathers and headdresses. In Native American tradition, feathers are sacred items that hold a lot of meaning. There are also different types of feathers worn under certain circumstances, and some tribes have specific rules about who can wear what types of feathers. A non-Native American wearing generic fake feathers to appear "native" is not only culturally inaccurate, but it also contributes to the perpetuation of stereotypes. On top of that, there are hundreds of different tribes, each one carrying its own set of traditions. These differences weren't represented by how the Bid Day participants chose to illustrate the tribal theme. Instead, the entire Native American culture was inaccurately portrayed by a few common stereotypes.

Jason Rodriquez is the Director of Multicultural Programs at Linfield College in Oregon and is a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. He explains: "The tribal pattern is really popular right now. You can go to store and buy all these different patterns. But the patterns themselves aren't the problem; it's the way people are using them." Jason adds that incorporating a tribal pattern by itself would have been ok, if members had stopped there. However, when participants start adding braids, fake feathers and face paint, it becomes a problem because it turns into an exaggerated, cartoon-like stereotype. Jason adds, "[Native American] is not a cartoon culture; it's real. And seeing all the fakeness of it is really hurtful."

Another often stereotyped theme is the Mexican fiesta theme. It's one thing to use Mexican-inspired prints and patterns or to serve Mexican food, but when people start incorporating other "Mexican" traits (that are not actually traits but stereotypes) or begin dressing up as Mexican people, they are misappropriating and misrepresenting an entire culture. Just think about how many times a fiesta theme has included ponchos, sombreros, piñatas and fake mustaches. Again, adding these elements contributes to making the culture seem cartoonish and over the top.

In most cases, a person's cultural background makes up a large part of their self-identity. And while party-goers may think dressing up as another ethnicity is harmless fun, basing themes and costumes on another culture trivializes what it means to be a member of that culture as well as that culture's place in society. It is both insensitive and disrespectful to these populations.

What Would Sarah Ida Shaw Do? 


Another problem with using cultures as themes is that they aren't congruent with Tri Delta's values and our Purpose. There are many party themes out there that so clearly go against this organization's values. In the same way that a sexist themed "Bros and Hos" party doesn't support the values of this organization, neither does a culturally insensitive theme. One is degrading to women; the other is degrading to other minority populations. Neither is upheld by the Purpose.

Dr. Mari Ann Callais, senior director of development for The Center for Living, Learning & Leading, explains: "Part of the Purpose of Delta Delta Delta is 'to promote and develop mutually beneficial relationships between the Fraternity and the colleges and universities where the Fraternity has established chapters.' The Founders put that in there because women were not seen as important on college campuses at that time. The Founders wanted to make sure we were going to be respected."

One way for Tri Delta women to be respected is to be engaged on the college campus where Tri Delta has a chapter, to bring the Fraternity's values to that campus and add meaning to the collegiate experience. But, as Mari Ann notes, "When we degrade a culture or a subset of our population, we're contradicting what [the Founders] fought to do: to be seen as valued."

To ensure a chapter's themes and costumes are appropriate, place that idea side by side with the Purpose. Think through what the theme will look like in its entirety and what it will represent: How will people dress? What kind of activities will there be? Do those things match the values upheld in the Purpose of Tri Delta?

How does dressing as a cultural stereotype contribute to developing a more womanly character? How does it promote a devotion to moral and democratic principles? Simple answer: It doesn't.

If chapter members find that they're unable to rationalize a theme with the values of Tri Delta's Purpose, then they should go back to the drawing board.

Mari Ann points out that, "People come up with inappropriate themes for the same reason why people haze; they do it because it's easy. They can easily come up with ideas that are contradictory to our values, but it's more of a challenge to come up with ideas that are actually in line with our values."

"People just need to take a moment and reflect," says Jason. "If something about a theme seems like it might be offensive, then it probably is."

For Jason, educating members and helping them understand why using a culture as a theme is inappropriate is the best way to confront the issue. "I want exposure, and I want people to learn. It's especially important for chapters to recognize that [cultural misappropriation] is an issue. Be intentional [with your theme] and really think about it."

Sarah Ida Shaw's reason for creating Tri Delta was to "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." That quote conveys the idea that Sarah would have looked at people, not because of their ethnicity, but because of what value they would hold. Having chapters devaluing a culture or race through a distasteful party theme ultimately devalues Tri Delta as an organization.

There's a lot of discussion about what is and is not considered cultural appropriation, and the main issue of cultural sensitivity can get lost in the debate. Tri Delta isn't trying to play the role of the "P.C. Police," but we want our members to be aware that culturally insensitive themes are a reoccurring issue in the Greek community. The most important thing is for chapters to be mindful of their themes and how those themes affect others.

Above all, members should be respectful of all people with their actions and how they present themselves on campus. Treating people with respect means being sensitive to what's important to them, and this understanding and sensitivity is all part of developing a more womanly character.

Thu, 13 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0600
Information Regarding Theft of Stars and Crescent Badges On Feb. 27, during a routine inventory of a secure storage area, an Executive Office staff member noticed that a significant number of Stars and Crescent badges were missing. Local police were notified and began an investigation. On March 12, Arlington police arrested an employee and her husband in connection with the theft. The employee is not a member of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity. Her employment has been terminated.

The badges which were stolen were being stored at Executive Office following the deaths of the members which they had belonged to. This practice is in accordance with the Bylaws of Delta Delta Delta. Since the initial discovery, two years' worth of badges that had been returned to Executive Office by women who either resigned from the Fraternity or whose membership was terminated have also been found to be missing, as well as badges for newly initiated members of as many as eight collegiate chapters. Standard procedure is for new badges to be sent directly from Herff Jones, the Fraternity's official jeweler, to the collegiate chapter that ordered the badges. This procedure was not followed. Reorders for all missing badges for new members have already been placed.

Following the arrest of the employee and her husband, Arlington police conducted a search of their residence in an attempt to recover missing badges. This search uncovered part of an order of new badges intended for one collegiate Tri Delta chapter. It is unlikely any other badges will be recovered. The loss has been documented for insurance purposes.

Executive Office has custody of several antique badges and other pieces of heirloom jewelry which were owned by Delta Delta Delta Founders and other early members of the Fraternity. These historical pieces are secure and were not among those badges that are missing.

Following the theft, Executive Office conducted an immediate review of internal procedures. Strengthened security measures and dual controls are being put into place regarding access to our buildings and the location of badges and heirloom jewelry.

We understand that this matter is of utmost concern to our members. Providing you with accurate information regarding this situation is our highest priority. Updates concerning this matter will be posted here as they become available. We thank you for your cooperation and support as we remain focused on the investigation. If you have any questions about this matter, please direct inquiries to Holly Thompson.

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0600
Celebrate Tri Delta's St. Jude Month! March is Tri Delta's St. Jude month, and we have so much to celebrate!


On Feb. 1, Tri Delta officially announced the completion of our $15 million fundraising goal for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The original campaign, which began in July 2010, was to raise $15 million in 5 years for the hospital. Tri Delta completed the goal a year and a half ahead of schedule.


As a Tri Delta member, take pride in knowing that we are having a significant impact on the kids at St. Jude. We have raised more than $27 million since our partnership began in 1999!


Be sure you stay connected and get engaged through social media during St. Jude month. Use#TriDelta4StJude to join the conversation! (Not yet connected with Tri Delta via Facebook & Twitter? Do so today!) Make sure you take some time this month to spread the word about our love for St. Jude. Sign up here to dedicate a social media post to our campaign.


Here's to celebrating our "perpetual bond of friendship" with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0600
Founders' Day 2014: Reflections on Our Purpose For a print friendly version of this message, please click here.

This written message delivered by the Fraternity President on Founders' Day is a Tri Delta tradition. In sharing this message with you, I join Fraternity Presidents who have come before me in celebrating the past and dreaming about the future of our Fraternity.

Dear Sisters,

Our Purpose is a promise to our sisters. It says that Tri Delta will provide friendship and assistance and will encourage its members to be of strong character and to always be learning. It also says that our organization will value the partnership of our host institutions and that our chapters will provide opportunities for our members to serve and lead others so that each member will be ready to assume the responsibilities that lie ahead.

If our Purpose is a promise to our members then it stands to reason that each individual Tri Delta must play a role in fulfilling that promise. The act of enjoying the benefits of membership and making those benefits available to others is what perpetuates our bonds of friendship. Our collective Tri Delta experience is brimming with stories of sisters who have been inspired by Tri Delta and who seek new ways to live according to our treasured values and ideals.

Courtney devours books about leadership and business but her commitment to being a lifelong learner does not stop there. When she finishes a book she makes it a point to pass that book along to a friend, a client or to someone with whom she shares a mentoring relationship.

Lenora provides coaching and support to several collegiate chapter recruitment teams. Her pledge to assist our members in every possible way also extends to the alumnae in the city where she lives. She is currently leading the team that hosts a popular and successful event that will raise thousands of dollars for children with cancer.

Tara is a collegiate member well on her way to assuming the highest responsibilities of a college woman. She represents Tri Delta on the Fraternity/Sorority Political Action Committee and ensures that issues that are of importance to Tri Delta and the interfraternal community are discussed among the lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Courtney, Lenora, Tara and countless others among us have been nurtured by the Purpose and the sisters of Tri Delta. In turn each of these extraordinary women has found a unique way to fulfill the promise of our Purpose for others. Our Founders would be so pleased to see that the sisterhood they imagined on Thanksgiving Eve in 1888 continues to inspire so many today.

Before the rush of the holiday season how will you make time to help Tri Delta deliver the promise of our Purpose? Connect with an old friend and let her know how she touched your life. Make a gift to Tri Delta that will support academic scholarships or our Crescent Fund. Join a group or an effort that improves the lives of those with whom you share your community. There are so many ways to honor and celebrate the gifts of a lifetime of membership in Tri Delta!

Tri Deltas everywhere love this season of our founding when we pause to honor the young women who established Tri Delta. I can think of no better way to honor our Founders than to spend time together with Tri Delta sisters reflecting on how our Purpose has enriched our lives. It is my hope that this Founders' Day reminds you of the love and joy we feel when we connect with sisters!

In the Bonds,
Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist
Fraternity President

If you're hosting your local Founders' Day make sure you have everything you need for it to be a successful one. 
  • The Fraternity has provided great graphics for you to use on your website or social media sites.
  • Share both Part 1 and Part 2 of "Tri Delta Through Time" presented by Archives Coordinator Beth Des Applebaum and Past President Sash Vaughn Gabbard with your chapters. 
Engage on social media by using #DDD126.
What to post?
  • This month me and my Tri Delta sisters reflect on our Purpose created by our Founders' 126 years ago. #DDD126
  • "Our Purpose is a promise to our sisters." @pgrissom #DDD126
  • I encourage all my Tri Delta sisters to reflect on our Purpose. Are you living the Purpose in your daily life? #DDD126
What to do?
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0600