Monday, November 28, 2011

The Purdue Class Ring

Many of our members demonstrate great loyalty to Delta Gamma and continued allegiance to their alma maters. Purdue graduate Helen Gordon is one of those members.

Several years ago, at the Atlanta Delta Gamma alumnae chapter’s Christmas brunch, the group was looking for a way to recognize one of their outstanding members, Helen Young Gordon, Beta Iota-Purdue. Since Helen was moving to Washington, DC, the chapter wanted to do something special for her. Mary Alice Braudwell Phinney, Beta Theta-Duke, knew of the perfect gesture and presented Helen with an antique Purdue class ring.

The ring was originally given to Mary Alice by her mother Mary Jenkins Braudwell. As a teen, Mary Alice had worn the ring on a chain around her neck. The ring, engraved with Mary Jenkins’ name and 1921, the year she graduated from Purdue, is made of 18-carat gold. It features an unusual garnet stone, carved with the letters P, U, R, D, U and E. On the side, it displays the Purdue seal, and the words science and *technology.

Mary Jenkins was born in 1898 and grew up on an Indiana farm. Upon high school graduation, she taught in a one-room school and then enrolled at Purdue, where she majored in home economics concentrating on the chemistry of foods. She always told of how her world expanded when she first studied chemistry. Mary Jenkins became a life-long member of the Purdue Alumni Association and contributed to the old student union building fund. Her name appears on a plaque, to this day, along with the names of three sisters and a brother, who were also Purdue graduates.

Helen’s family tree reads like a Purdue alumni roster. Her husband John is a Purdue graduate and 1965 DG Anchor Man. Helen’s sister, two uncles, two aunts, three cousins and their spouses all are Purdue graduates. Prestigious Purdue University awards have been presented to several of Helen’s relatives over the years.

“Going to a Purdue event is like going home,” says Helen. “There are so many wonderful memories from my student days there. Since chairing the successful Delta Gamma Ethics and Values Lectureship campaign at Purdue in 2001, I have made even more friends at all levels of the University administration as well as being reacquainted with my fellow Beta Iota sisters. I look forward annually to meeting the current outstanding Beta Iota collegians. I have attended the **Purdue Lectureships since their inception.”

Helen attends the Boiler Ball each year and sits with several Beta Iota alumnae. A life member of the Purdue President’s Council as well as the Purdue Alumni Association (PAA), Helen participates in several Purdue activities annually. When the Boilermakers football team went to the Rose Bowl in 2000, Helen and John were there to cheer them on. When the band was a part of the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010, Helen and John were there to show support. Additionally, they regularly attend dinners and receptions when Purdue folks come to Washington DC.

When Mary Alice met Helen in the 1990s, she told her about her mother. Over the years, wondering what to do with the class ring was a puzzle to Mary Alice. No member of Mary Alice’s family had attended Purdue in recent generations. Learning about Helen’s love for Purdue, Mary Alice thought that the ring would be a treasured possession in Helen’s home. Mary Alice was correct. Helen wears this beautiful 1921 antique class ring with pride whenever she goes to Purdue. The class ring will always provide a special bond between DGs Helen and Mary Alice.

*It is fitting that the word “technology” bestows the special ring, as Helen continues to greatly contribute to Delta Gamma’s technological efforts such as e-Ops and local Web sites.
**Purdue Lectureship speakers have included Erik Alexander, Herman Boone, Joan Brock, Steve Ford, Bill Rancic, Robin Roberts and Amy Tan. (Pictured is speaker Robin Roberts (center) with Helen Gordon, two people to her left.)
For more about Delta Gamma lectureships, visit:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


On our Fraternity Facebook page (over 30,000 fans and growing!) this week, we posed the question, “For what are you thankful?” And, wow, we were flooded with responses. The overwhelming sentiment was simply, “sisterhood.” We stopped to read each one, and it made our day to hear what members shared.

We think Misty Byrd Foster, Delta Pi-Southern Mississippi, says it well, “I am thankful for all the wonderful friendships I made throughout school. Delta Gamma gave me the opportunity to make lifelong friends.”
Isn’t that the truth?
We love to hear members thankful for their sisterhood and we want to keep it going. During this holiday season, we challenge you to make it a priority to connect or possibly re-connect with a pledge sister, adviser who inspired you or a DG relative. Catch up, talk about Delta Gamma or make a commitment to get together. Or even easier, make a difference in someone else’s day by telling them what they mean to you.
And to prove Delta Gamma sisterhood really is for a lifetime, Marty Wynne, Beta Eta-Texas, shares, “I am thankful for DG sisters who, although they have never met you and don't know you, will do a kindness for you for no other reason than you are a DG sister.”
And for THAT we are thankful. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Note: If you wish to contribute a blog story idea, write to We look forward to hearing from you. The photo above is our Facebook featured photo and features joyful collegians from Eta Delta chapter at the University of North Florida on Bid Day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The DG Anchors blog is back

Coming soon... new blog posts highlighting some of
our most interesting members and their stories.

Check back soon and spread the word that the DG Anchors blog is back.