News en-us Sun, 02 Aug 2015 23:25:26 -0500 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 -0500
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 -0500
Tri Delta announces 10-year, $60 million commitment to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.® Tue, 07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Tri Delta receives 2014 St. Jude Partner of the Year Thu, 09 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0500 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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
The Incident at the University of Oklahoma

We are deeply disappointed by the conduct of the students involved in the incident at The University of Oklahoma. Tri Delta expects its members to uphold the highest responsibilities of college women. The behavior documented in the video is deplorable and is in no way consistent with Tri Delta's ideals and core values. Members of the chapter were not pictured in the video and have not been and are not currently the subject of any investigation. We will continue to cooperate fully with our partners at the university.   

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact

Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
$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 -0500$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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
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 -0500
A Tri Delta's Ritual Experience

kim dowd copy.jpgIn observance of National Ritual Celebration Week, fraternity and sorority chapters, campus communities and inter/national organizations will raise awareness about the importance of ritual.

And who better to explain their Tri Delta's Ritual experience than our very own Ritual Chairman, Kim Littlefield Dowd, Arizona State. Kim currently works part-time in children's ministry and volunteers in the Charleston, South Carolina community. Her greatest joys are being wife to her husband Jay, and a mom to Gibson (14) and Brauer (12). She also serves as Fraternity volunteer on the newly appointed Ritual Innovation Team. In this Q & A, Kim will open your eyes to the BIG PICTURE of Tri Delta's Ritual, the impact it's continuously making in her life, and the necessity for it to be a part of yours. 

1. What is your favorite symbol in Tri Delta and why?  
My favorite symbol is the pansy. There are no two pansies that look exactly alike. Each one is unique, and they represent beauty, majesty, and tenderness. The pansy is a symbol of growth, especially related to the development of our alumnae members and the enrichment that comes with lifetime membership in Tri Delta. I love the messages and sentiments expressed in the legend of the pansy. Pansies also symbolize what I hope others see in how I strive to live: love, service, and sacrifice.   

2. How does ritual relate to a lifetime membership experience?  
We all learned as new members that Tri Delta is "for a lifetime." We don't just join and participate during college. Once we become members of Tri Delta, we are members forever. When we take our oath during initiation, we promise to support and defend Delta Delta Delta and her members as long as we live. We also pledge to guide our lives by her precepts and to live up to her ideals.   

There are Rituals we perform as collegians, and others we do not have the privilege of experiencing until we're alumnae. The Circle Degree, Silver Circle Degree, Golden Circle Degree, and Diamond Circle Degree offer opportunities for members to be recognized as alumnae and to celebrate monumental years of membership. While our collegiate chapters are the focal points of our initial allegiance, the strength of Tri Delta lies in the continuity, leadership, and stability provided by our loyal alumnae.  

3. Why do you think our Founders created our ritual?  
In 1888, when Tri Delta was founded, few women attended college. Those who did desired to bond with other women who shared beliefs similar to their own. Rituals became effective avenues for passing down their ideals and beliefs from one generation to the next. 

In addition to this generational passing on of information, I believe our founders created our rituals in order to give meaning to Tri Delta as an organization. Without our rituals, we would be just like any other NPC group. Our rituals define us and provide the framework for our shared values and experiences. 

4. Why is our Ritual important to Tri Delta today?  
Our Rituals remain important because they are what bind all members of Tri Delta together, regardless of background, age, chapter, ethnicity, creed, or religion. The values expressed through our Rituals are timeless and powerful. Our Rituals connect us to our purpose. Establishing bonds of friendship, developing character, broadening the moral and intellectual life, assisting one another in every possible way - these purposes tie so very closely to the virtues revealed during initiation. Each time we participate in one of our Rituals, we are reminded of qualities we should strive to exemplify if we wish to live a purposeful life and make an impact in our world. 

5. Why do you think it is difficult for some Tri Delta members to live by our Ritual? 
It can be difficult to live by if we don't spend the necessary time learning our Rituals and the meaning behind them. Some chapters dust off the Ritual Book once a year, rush through initiation and other ceremonies, and never stop to think about or discuss them again until the following year. In order for the Rituals to have the individual and chapter impact our founders intended them to have, we must equip our collegians and alumnae with tools to facilitate meaningful discussions before, during, and after each Ritual. We need to help them connect the dots between what we say we are (what values are important to us) and what we do. We need to help them understand how to make our Rituals relevant to contemporary college women, and give them tangible ways to express the virtues extolled in our Rituals. Fortunately, the Ritual Innovation Team is currently studying ways to do this! 

6. How do you live our Ritual in day-to-day life? 
Although I have always valued Tri Delta's Rituals, my appreciation for them has increased throughout my life. As I entered the "real world" following graduate school, I settled in a new city and had to learn a new way of life. I began a career, got married and had children. During many life transitions, I have relied on what I learned through my experiences in Delta Delta Delta. The values shared in our Rituals are ones I could measure myself against to ensure I was "doing the right thing." In my personal and professional relationships, I strive to exhibit truth, self-sacrifice, and friendship. As a parent, I endeavor to teach my children to be sincere, modest, pure, patient, unselfish, generous, courteous, and kind. 

Through the bonds of friendship, I have learned the virtues of truth and self-sacrifice. Never have I seen these virtues exemplified more beautifully than during a medical challenge I faced last summer. In 2014, my summer was full of uncertainty, abnormal scans, biopsies, and surgical procedures. As I recovered from breast cancer surgery, I was deeply moved by the outpouring of support I received from my Tri Delta sisters. From calls and texts, to cards, gifts, and prayers, I was embraced by sisters I met during college as well as those to whom I've grown close as an alumna. These women served as exquisite examples of living our Rituals in day-to-day life. They were generous and kind, loved me steadfastly, and assisted me in every possible way. I aim to be true to the everlasting gift of friendship I received from Tri Delta as well as to the lifetime commitment I made to our Fraternity when I was initiated into the Circle Degree. 

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Please take the time to share or discuss Kim's questions and answers with your fellow sisters. Start asking questions like, what is your end-game or desired outcome? Are you seeking a return-on-investment? Do you see yourself achieving your long-term goals? Ultimately, what is your purpose for being a member of Tri Delta? 

If you are seeking additional information or guidance in living out our Ritual, please contact Executive Office. National Ritual Celebration Week was created by Phi Mu Fraternity in December 2010. To learn more about National Ritual Celebration Week, visit or join the conversation on social media at #NRCW

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0500