Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Picture is Worth at Least a Thousand Words

The members of a sorority at Penn State University are learning that firsthand after a photo of members stereotyping Mexican immigrants went viral and put the chapter and national office in a public relations crisis. It’s caught the attention of The TODAY Show, Anderson Cooper and countless TV and newspaper outlets. What the women of this chapter likely thought was a carefree and funny moment, has no one laughing now. 

The women have expressed “deep remorse” according to the university and it’s likely they never meant to hurt anyone. The students admitted the photo didn’t reflect the values of their organization, but this photo is all some people may ever know about the group.

Delta Gamma’s heart goes out to the women of the national organization. This could have happened to any of us.

When we saw the photo making its way around the Internet, Delta Gamma Fraternity Council and EO staff stopped. There were a few ways we could handle this situation. We could ignore it; after all it wasn’t a Delta Gamma chapter that did it. We could address it closer to Halloween and use it as a proactive reminder to our women. Or, we could use this moment to teach our women about how a “fun” photo could damage or embarrass others.

A good rule of thumb: If you would be uncomfortable reading your statement or posting your photo on the front page of The Washington Post or the New York Times, you shouldn’t take the picture or write the post. Your words and photos make their way to millions via the Internet.

Delta Gamma has intelligent, charismatic, funny and wonderful women as part of its rich heritage and sisterhood. We love Delta Gamma and we want to protect it and our members. The Fraternity is only as strong as each member. Our decisions impact our sisters. Our thoughts and opinions are important. We want you to have fun, but not at the expense of others. Are we projecting our thoughts in a constructive way, a way that can bring about change for the good?

We are going to make mistakes. No one is expecting you to be perfect. Delta Gamma wants to give you the foundation you need, in order to make good choices on your own. We want you to understand that the actions could have global implications and that each time you chose to interact on social media, your words, actions and photos will be seen by millions. Are you posting quality content? Do your photos reflect who you are and what Delta Gamma stands for? Are you using words and phrases that reflect upon your character?

Delta Gamma challenges you to “Do Good.” It’s not an empty motto. It’s something we expect of every member right down to the bio you use on Twitter, the photo you take on Instagram, the blog you post on WordPress and status you write on Facebook. If you are a Delta Gamma; act like a Delta Gamma. Carry yourself with poise, charm, intelligence and class. Don’t swear and curse, don’t put down others and don’t retweet comments that are degrading to anyone. 

What you do one moment, just for laughs, could have immense repercussions down the road, for you and the Fraternity. Think before you post and act. “Do Good!”

For more information on how one university and even the United Nations are embracing cultural diversity and education visit these sites:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Saving a School

Penny Hensley and her students.

One Delta Gamma’s Crusade to Keep the Door Open to a School She Adores

When I returned to my classroom after Thanksgiving break, I was met with the news that the school I love would close at the end of the year due to budget constraints.

I teach second grade at the Horizon Charter School’s Accelerated Learning Academy in Sacramento, California. The closing of a school would be bad enough, but the closing of THIS school is a catastrophe for some of my students.

Our curriculum is an accelerated, project-based program that allows students to be fully immersed in the subject matter. Despite being a second grade teacher, I do not teach much second grade material. These children are on a 3rd, 4th, and even 5th grade level. These students have been in traditional schools where they got in trouble because they were bored and not challenged. These children will go on to do great things. I refuse to let them go back to not being challenged in school. I will do whatever is needed to continue teaching these children; even if it means holding class in my home.

Since the news that our classrooms would close, I have rallied other teachers and parents. We are in constant contact with another charter school that is willing to take us under their wing until the end of this school year. We will know by tomorrow if this plan is approved. We are hopeful that we will remain open. We are devising a fundraising plan to pay for the remainder of the lease on our building.

I am meeting nightly with parents to keep our class together, with teachers to come up with our plan, with the parent group to finalize details of the move and praying that we will be able to remain open.

This has been total devastation to all involved but we have come together to save our school. When I became a Delta Gamma, I took on our motto “Do Good.” This is a time when I must “Do Good” to save this school for these children.

I urge you to be thankful for the stable education that you and your children have received and “Do Good” to keep supporting it.

Penny Lain Hensley, Gamma Alpha-Tennessee, currently lives in the Sacramento, California area and is active with the alumnae group there. Penny works as a second grade teacher and believes passionately in education. You can reach her at

For more information on Penny’s crusade to save her school:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do Good for Life

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”
– Barack Obama

Do Good
You can “Do Good.” You can change the world.
Christmas break is just around the corner and nerves are high as finals approach. Chapters all have newly installed CMT. New opportunities are right within grasp. This should be a new and exciting time for everyone, especially new officers. This next semester holds opportunities for great things to happen. New jobs, new relationships, new beginnings lay ahead. Don’t be afraid to take risks this semester. Stand up for your beliefs. Be courageous. And continue to “Do Good.” Hold one another accountable and don’t be afraid of failure.
There is a difference between true failure and a lack of success. Being unsuccessful is something a person can’t control. Failure is something a person can control, because failure is giving up on the learning process. It’s refusing to take something from the situation and using it to be better in the future. Anyone can be unsuccessful, but only people who choose to, can fail.
If you learn from your mistakes that is a success!
If you learn from your mistakes that is a success!
Success is something everyone strives for and it feels good. But being unsuccessful is what makes a person learn the most about themselves. Remember that life doesn’t have a set of rules. There’s no formula to make you whole. You might hurt to heal, and you will risk to love. But you will find yourself if you truly search.
So no matter what your plans are for finishing finals, Christmas break, or even next semester, remember that as long as you are learning it’s not a failure. Leave here in the knowledge you are a part of this family, this sisterhood, this movement. You are a part of a community that has always had the same goal: to “Do Good.”

Make mistakes, take risks, live life, and most importantly love the learning. Don’t forget the lessons you learned during your time with Delta Gamma. Take the lessons and the successes you have had here and remember them wherever you go, no matter where your successes, or lack thereof, take you.
Delta Gammas part of the movement to "Do Good," and learn from their mistakes.
Delta Gammas part of the movement to “Do Good,” and learn from their mistakes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Gift of Hope

Parents Club Gives Members the Gift of Quality Time and DG History

Parents are our foundation. They shape our lives in many ways. The parents of Eta Kappa-North Carolina State women started something new this year to continue to serve as examples of hope to their daughters during this holiday season.

Chapter president Maria Dimopoulos, Eta Kappa-North Carolina State, and her mother Kathy wanted a fun way for members to connect with the history of Delta Gamma and bond with their parents.

Ornaments made by the Eta Kappa Parents Club
The parents club made ornaments and sponsored a holiday gift exchange. Gifts, gift cards, jewelry, gift baskets and monetary donations valued at $5 were wrapped and brought to the chapter house. Members chose a gift, sat in a circle and listened to the history of Delta Gamma. At certain points in the story, the reader would say “left” or “right,” indicating the direction the member was to pass her gift. At the end of the story, most of the women had a different box than they originally chose. Not only did they receive a nice gift, they had the opportunity to spend time with their parents and reflect on the history of Delta Gamma.

Kathy Dimopoulos is the mother of the Eta Kappa-NC State chapter president Maria Dimopoulos. Kathy lives in Wilmington, North Carolina and works as an accountant. You can reach Kathy at

If you want to do this project in your chapter, here is a link to their Pinterest Board with all the information:

If you’d like inspiration for starting a parents club in your chapter, here is the Facebook fan page for the Eta Kappa Parents Club:

We want to hear from you. Write to with your story.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In the Midst Very Far Away

My name is Rachel Kodner, Tau-Iowa; I am a 2010 graduate. I came to Israel in August 2012 as an Israel Teaching Fellow, a program heavily funded by the government and through Masa grants. I live in Petach Tikva, which is about ten kilometers from Tel Aviv. I came to Israel because I wanted to move abroad, I always liked being at Jewish summer camp, and quite frankly, the program agreed to reimburse my flight ticket.

Israel is a small country. To travel from top to bottom by car or bus it takes about eight hours, and four hours across at the widest parts. When I first moved here and getting lost was becoming a daily ritual, I'd ask for directions. What happened next occurred many times over, in different Israeli cities and neighborhoods. When I asked for directions, the friendly local would tell me I was very far from my destination. They'd even looked scared for my well-being to make such a journey. They'd wish me good luck ("mazel tov!") with a fun wave or laugh, still with eyes full of pity. When I'd get to my destination, the trip was always about a 10-15 minute walk - 20 minutes tops. Not quite the epic journey the Israelis prepared me for. I've discovered Israeli perspective differs from mine, a Chicagoan.

When bombs go off (like the one in the Tel Aviv bus yesterday morning) ten kilometers away, the Israeli teachers I work with barely flinch. They call their daughters and sons who live in the area, read the news on their iPhones, but finish their coffee and return to the classroom. When missiles land twelve kilometers away (like in Rishon L'zion or Tel Aviv), my roommates get calls from their Israeli boyfriends, but the boyfriends carry on to work, class, life. To them, it is very far away. An epic distance away. To me, it's a bus exploding in Chicago's Loop while I'm just north of Wrigley Field.

About 20 minutes after the news of the bus explosion broke, a teacher not native to Israel asked me if I was scared. I said, "yes," and she told me the chaos that surrounds Israel was part of her life now, and she isn't worried about dying, nor should I. To change the subject, I asked her to tell me about her first couple years in Israel. It took her a minute, but after she launched into a monologue about the Lebanon War in 1980, she revealed how frightened she was. Bingo! We nodded at each other, and she didn't tell me how to think again.

I can't blame Israelis for going on with their everyday lives. The buses continue to run; stores are open; school is in session. My coworkers will continue to tell me things are fine  - that driving a car is more dangerous statistically than living in Israel  -  and that it's a part of life. But I'm scared. My roommate Grace just got off the phone with her parents and is beginning to pack. She's moving back to Texas indefinitely. I don't know what's going to happen, and I don't know if I'll come home just yet, but I know that every single acknowledgement of the situation via Facebook, Tweets, texts and calls makes me feel better. I hope to update next with good news, but we'll see. What's even good news? Before last week, good news meant a last-minute trip to Greece or Hebrew class getting out early. It's all about perspective.

Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your perspective. Your DG sisters are sending hope.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stingray Photobomb Starring Three DGs

Photobombing. It may be a new term to some of us. For those of us who are still learning some of today's evolving vernacular, we'll share here.

The online Urban Dictionary tells us that the term photobomb is a verb and means "to drop in a photo hop in a picture right before it is taken."

The results can be humourous and some images gain quick notority. With instant communication tools as the mode of transportation, interesting photos can become world travelers over night.

We recently heard from one of our members who informed us that she and her friends are a part of one of those viral photos. Kendall Harlan, Gamma Tau-Texas Christian writes, "I thought you might like seeing three rather newly-famous faces and learning that we are DGs!"

The photo, which was taken five years ago in the Cayman Islands, now has a name. It is aptly titled the "Stingray Photobomb" and the women featured (from left) are Sarah Bourland, Natalie Zaysoff and Kendall Harlan, all initiates from Gamma Tau chapter at Texas Christian University.

Harlan tells us, "When we were sophomores at TCU, we took this photo on a sorority sister cruise. It has now been recently featured on famous websites such as People Magazine, Huffington Post, CelebrityGossip, Yahoo and many more! It was also on Good Morning America and we were also contacted by the Ellen Show!"

The trio (or foursome) have been told they will soon be featured on ESPN Presents. The group has gained international popularity. They had people dressing up as them for Halloween and their photo was featured in Austrailian and Chinese newspapers.

"It has been such a fun ride as this photo has gained instant recognition."

Take a minute to Google the term "Stingray Photobomb." Chances are, your search results will yield multiple copies of the hilarious photo series. And, chances are... you'll smile when you look at the pictures.

Kendall wanted to share her story with her DG sisters. She says, "Who knew that three DGs from Texas would be in such an instantly viral photo."

Take a look at the "before" and "after" photos below. The talented photographer captured one terrific image worthy of framing. In the next moment, he captured the suprising, now-famous Stingray Photobomb which would travel the world.



Thanks for getting in touch with us, Kendall. We'd love to hear from others. If you have a story that you would like to share on our blog, please be in touch. Email with your story.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wear Your Badge with Pride

We, as members of a women’s fraternity, have symbols of our membership. These symbols and their meanings are special and known only to us, those who have the privilege of wearing them, yet we wear them as demonstrated pride of our commitment to Delta Gamma. It is more than a piece of jewelry; it is a symbol of our love, devotion and pride.

Former Fraternity President Maureen Sweeney Syring, Nu-Idaho, once said, “Our badge is our outward symbol of our inner commitment.” It is important to remember why we wear our badge and when we wear our badge. To wear our badge, you should be aligned with the meanings and purpose of Delta Gamma. The purpose of wearing our badge is to show our understanding, love and commitment for the organization and those things for which Delta Gamma stands.

Consider this: you are always wearing your letters, but you should wear your badge to show your additional pride and love for the Fraternity and our mission and values.

When to wear your badge:
  • Any time you are feeling your best, looking your best
  • On chapter badge day to show pride in membership and the strength of the beliefs and commitment to Delta Gamma
  • At formal chapter
  • At Initiation
  • At the Pi Alpha ceremony
  • Founders Day
  • Delta Gamma alumnae meeting
  • Panhellenic meeting or gathering
  • Delta Gamma memorial service or funeral

When it’s not a great idea to wear your badge:
  • When you just rolled out of bed and are not necessarily looking your personal best.
  • If you are having a really bad day and are in a not-so-good mood.
  • If your behavior is not reflective of Delta Gamma standards or values.

Q: “I thought I could only wear my badge if I was wearing formal chapter attire like a dress.”
A: There is no Fraternity policy for badge attire. Each chapter has different dress requirements for formal chapter in its bylaws and standing rules. Some state dresses; some state no strapless dresses; some state business attire; some state nothing. The badge may be worn at any time; however, as long as you look neat, polished and presentable and your behavior reflects the standards of the Fraternity.

Q: “Is there a specific place I have to wear my badge?”
A: The badge may be worn anywhere, as specific in Fraternity policy. It may be worn as a pendant, on a bracelet or as a pin. If it is worn as a pin, it is over the heart. A helpful tip for placement: place your thumb on your throat, right above the sternum, spread out your palm, and place the badge where the base of the pinky finger meets the base of the fourth finger.

Q: “I never ordered a badge. Is it too late for me to get one?”
A: Any initiated member of Delta Gamma Fraternity may order a badge at any time from the Fraternity jeweler, J. Brandt. New members order their badges with the help of their chapter's vice president: member education.

Q: “I cannot afford a badge.”
A: J. Brandt offers a sterling silver badge option for $45. For the price of a few lattes, you can have your badge for a lifetime.

Q: “I am in poor standing and on probation with my chapter. I was told I cannot wear my badge.
A: Only members in good standing may wear the Delta Gamma badge. When a member is no longer on probation, she may again wear her badge with pride and as emblem of aligning with the standards of membership and the values and meanings of the Fraternity.

Q: My friend resigned her membership, but she still wants her badge. Is that okay?
A: If someone is no longer a member of the Fraternity, she may not wear the badge. A badge must be returned to Executive Offices if a member resigns or is expelled.  By owning or wearing a badge, a woman is demonstrating her beliefs and values are in line with those of the Fraternity and she agrees to uphold the meanings and secrets of Delta Gamma. If she no longer is a member, these no longer apply, and her badge must be surrendered.

Thank you to Director: Scholarship & Rituals Staige Davis Hodges, Beta Theta-Duke, for this submission.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Celebrating Betsy

As of November 4th, Betsy Inch Fouss will celebrate her 20 year anniversary working at the Delta Gamma Executive Offices. We are so proud of Betsy and the work she has done with Delta Gamma. For years she has been the Executive Director of the Foundation and initiated several programs that have been key to Delta Gamma's success. Today the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Staff honored her with a dozen cream colored roses. Thank you, Betsy! We cherish you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A "Q and A" Session with Staige

Periodically, DG Anchors asks some of our most loyal members ponderous questions. Today's responses come from devoted DG Cabinet member Staige Davis Hodges, Beta Theta-Duke.

Staige proudly sporting her letters.
Q: What is your all time favorite Delta Gamma memory?
A: It is really so hard to choose one, as there are so many - some poignant, some hilarious, some incredibly moving. It could be the night I pledged, on my 20th birthday, or it could be watching my chapter receive the George Banta Award in 1992, or it could be having my CDC group at my wedding, being an active part of my alumnae chapter and seeing us set records for our dues-paid members, or taking cream roses to a special member dying of cancer in the hospital who could not make it to Founders Day. However, I will choose one I think that is something a bit out of the ordinary. As a member of the Archives Committee, I discovered we were missing images/photos of many Delta Gamma Fraternity Presidents and the first Delta Gamma to serve as NPC Chair. Most served prior to 1900. Thankfully, the Internet and are full of leads, so Maureen Hollmeyer and I began to search old obituaries and family trees. She would find the obituaries, then I would look online to sleuth out the most likely family contact within the given geographic area. I made quick friends with archives directors at various universities like Northwestern, and their assistance was invaluable, and they, too, became vested and curious in our hunt. I made a number of cold calls to great-grandchildren, many now in their 80s, and a number of times, the delight in these relatives' voices brought tears to my eyes. I had one man who screened his calls, yet as soon as he heard on his machine I was trying to find a photograph of his great-grandmother, he picked up the phone and we talked for nearly an hour. It was a bit like putting a puzzle together combined with going on an archeological dig. We were able to track down some incredible photographs of our earliest presidents and the NPC Chair, and since that time, relatives have unearthed other artifacts and mementos which they have sent to the Delta Gamma archives. It was so fulfilling being able to place these photographs in the "hall of Presidents" at Executive Offices after they had been missing for more than 100 years! 


The hall of Presidents is a favorite stop when visitors tour EO.

Q: Which DG convention has been a favorite and why?
A: The Convention that stands out so much in my mind is 1992 in Palm Desert - the legendary "earthquake" Convention. It was my third Convention and I will remember it for two distinct reasons. The first, obviously, is the 7.4 earthquake whose epicenter was only 20 miles away and literally tossed me out of bed at 5:30 am. I will never forget watching the glass ceiling tiles sway in the ballrooms. The hotel staff had to tie the gigantic ballroom chandeliers to the walls to prevent the glass from falling on all of us. It was a rock-and-roll kind of Convention, and whether we were sitting in General Session or eating a meal, we never quite knew how bad the next aftershock would be! And I remember the food was over-the-top -  so much so, that I took a photo of our final banquet anchor dessert! The other reason 1992 stands out is that I finally met Fran Stevenson, our remarkable Fraternity Historian. She and I sat for a good hour in one of the lobbies finally getting to know one another and share our passion for the history of Delta Gamma. We became immediate friends and correspondents (These were back in the "pre-email days" - remember those?). For twenty years, I have called her friend and mentor, and she has helped educate me in so many ways with our history and how our Fraternity has been shaped. Perhaps I should count meeting Fran as one of my favorite memories!

Q: If you have one piece of advice for a new member, what would that be?
A: Perhaps the best advice I could share would be to take it all in. Be a sponge and allow yourself to listen, learn and grow within the values and meaningful relationships Delta Gamma helps to foster. It is often difficult to step back and be objective while experiencing things, but if I were a new member now, I would want to know about the organization in every way, what our mission is, and about the women who came before me. How can being a member of Delta Gamma enhance my life? What skills can I learn by volunteering for a crew position or on a committee? How can I learn from my sisters and grow as a member, student, woman and human being? All of these things are available for all of our members, and it is never too early to start taking advantage of the benefits of lifetime membership! You truly get far more than you give in Delta Gamma. I wish I knew all of this 26 years ago!

Q: What is your hope for the future of Delta Gamma?
A: My hope is broad-reaching. I hope we can continue to attract women who want to share our values and continue to "Do Good" as our Founders did for us 139 years ago. I hope we can continue to adjust to the challenges technology brings on a regular basis. Things that are so "twenty-nine seconds ago" cannot leave us behind. While we are a sisterhood-based organization, we are a business. We are in the business of sisterhood, and we must continually adapt so we are ahead of the many unseen and unimagined curves that undoubtedly lie ahead of us. I want us to thrive and share the strength of Delta Gamma for generations to come!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Half the Sky"
Maternal Mortality in Somaliland

Columbus viewing of "Half the Sky"
 I joined Delta Gamma alumnae, Epsilon-Ohio State and Zeta Rho-Ohio collegians and Kappa Kappa Gamma women in Columbus, Ohio, for a viewing event of “Half the Sky.” As a nurse, I was shocked to learn that female genital mutilation (FGM) is a tradition in some parts of the world, especially in Somaliland. FGM amplifies the risk of death during pregnancy, yet women in Somaliland are still performing it on other women. It is said to be excruciatingly painful, but so far ingrained into the culture that it has become normal and profitable. Mothers who would not wish it upon themselves demand their sons marry a “circumcised” woman. I was truly inspired by Edna Adan’s story featured in “Half the Sky,” because she courageously stands up to her own culture’s tradition and uses her knowledge and license as a nurse to advocate for the good of the entire community. One in 12 women should not be dying during childbirth and the fact that the culture cannot quickly recognize this issue is truly frightening. Adan started her own University Hospital in Somaliland in order to teach women how to be proper nurses and to spread her wisdom. 

Katie Corradini, CDC
While watching “Half the Sky,” it became very clear to me that education is key to survival everywhere. Women need to be educated in order to feel empowered. We would not know the extent of these issues if it were not for the courage and strength exemplified in each woman telling her story during the documentary. Adan is truly a conduit for hope and her courage challenged me to learn more about these issues and do what I can to eradicate this practice.
By Katie Corradini, Epsilon Gamma-Virginia
Collegiate Development Consultant


Monday, October 8, 2012

No Legacy Here - More Reflections on "Half the Sky"

The Fredricksburg, Virginia, showing of "Half the Sky"

"No legacy here."  Nope, not one daughter that I can dream will one day go off to college and find support from a group of women with the same values, character and love of “Doing Good” as I did. No passing on my anchor badge, no sharing my memories of late nights filled with serious and silly conversations, and no sharing the experiences of personal growth that I gained as a part of Delta Gamma. Nope, God choose to bless me with three very active, loveable, active, thoughtful, active and independent boys – did I mention they are active? A blessing times three!

So then what is my legacy? A more fitting question may be WHO is my legacy? My three beautiful boys will always be my greatest legacy as my husband and I do our very best (on most days) to raise them to be sensitive, responsible, accountable, aware-of-the-world-around-them young men with servant hearts.

Nothing made this more evident than viewing the documentary of “Half the Sky” at an event organized by the Fredericksburg Delta Gamma alumnae association. I left feeling a mixture of inspiration and anger, while also feeling blessed for the healthcare and education that we as women have available to us in the U.S. I was almost ashamed of having all this at my disposal while women around the world don't have even the very basics as many women are still dying during childbirth. I was overcome with guilt and shame as I reflected about those who are constantly arguing about rights, rights that if explained to the women who we met in the film must seem like luxuries.

Upon returning home, I posted on Facebook to encourage my friends to view the documentary or read the book. After some interest from girlfriends, a comment appeared on my page from a college friend, Greg, who wrote, "Wait - am I supposed to be holding up the other half? Oh crap! Gotta go!" Although Greg is always making me laugh with his brilliant comebacks and humor on Facebook, this comment was more insightful than I think we both realized in the moment. This is not just documentary about women's issues; there is a telling side story of how other cultures raise their boys to be men who show either honor or dishonor to the girls and women in their family, their communities and within their cultures. 

It is my hope that Delta Gamma, as well as other sororities and fraternities, continue to support such worldwide movements as “Half the Sky” to heighten awareness of such atrocities and disparities occurring among women and children throughout the world. We also need the support from men in our lives: our husbands, sons, brothers, fathers, and friends. Then, and only then, can we continue to raise our sons to value the women around them while acting compassionately and generously to those less fortunate in our country and abroad.  Our sons will eventually raise their own children with these same values and inspire HOPE to others. It is a circle - a circle of sisterhood - that permeates both genders and generations to come. After all, when women hold up half the sky, who is holding up the other half? My boys will be.

Erika Marcus Wright
Zeta Gamma-Richmond

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Reflections on "Half the Sky"

By Michelle Gattenio, Zeta Zeta-Boston

“You educate a girl and she can change the world around her.” --Cheryl WuDunn

On Monday, Oct. 1, the women of Zeta Zeta-Boston gathered with fellow Boston-area alumnae to watch part one of “Half the Sky.” Not entirely sure what the two-hour film was all about, I took my seat, surrounded by my sisters, and prepared to watch, what I can now say is one of the most inspiring films I have seen. An eerie silence rang through the auditorium for the entire two hours of part one. Everyone in that room seemed to be captivated by the stories told by amazing women who have stood with courage and poise in the face of unimaginable adversity.

The stories of Somaly Mam, Amie Kandeh, Urmi Basu and the other women who are making such enormous and meaningful impacts on the lives of those affected by the various horrors were not only eye opening but also motivational. Watching “Half the Sky” opened my eyes to problems that I was unaware still existed in today’s world. As a person who had no idea issues of sex trafficking, forced prostitution and domestic beatings were so prevalent, let alone rampant worldwide, “Half the Sky” gave me the means to educate myself on the issues and suggested ways that I as a college student in Boston could help. has a tab dedicated to ways we can help: donations, lists of organizations that need volunteers, links to companies that allow you to buy with a purpose - all very doable things. These are practical ways that harness energy into “Doing Good,” which is something I greatly admire and respect about the movement; it aims to call attention to the problems and then follows through by arming women with a means to mutually empower and uplift.

When the lights came on at 11 p.m. Monday night, they revealed a room full of women changed for the better. To quote Wicked, they were “changed for good,” each in her own way. Whether that meant hosting a viewing event for part two of the documentary on the following night, or a call to investigate further into the issues addressed, or a recommendation for a great book to read next, or a realization of a new career path, each woman in that room walked out unquestionably changed for good.

Columbus, Ohio –Delta Gamma Fraternity is proud to have partnered with the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to coordinate viewing parties for the launch of the PBS documentary, “Half the Sky.” If you missed the original airing, you can watch it here: until October 8. For more information, click here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do The Right Thing

Because it’s the right thing to do. How many times have we heard that line before? That famous phrase did not fully resonate with me until about two years ago when I was faced with the toughest choice I had been given thus far. 

I relied on this phrase when, as president of my chapter, the chapter was faced with an allegation of hazing. I remember reading a complaint that detailed an event that had taken place and thinking “what did I allow to happen?” There were multiple steps that needed to take place and the biggest step was deciding to either admit fault on behalf of my chapter or deny the allegation and endure an investigation to prove innocence. I knew the reality; those things happened and it was going to be really embarrassing to admit it.

The bottom line was that my chapter committed those actions and I knew about most of what had happened. Many of my sisters at the time did not feel it was wrong, but I knew that the accusation was exactly right. It was then that I was reminded that I had to take responsibility for our actions because it was the right thing to do. And, yes, telling a group of 100 sisters that I took responsibility for something we had done was one of the most difficult things I have done. But those sisters who now lead the chapter after I graduated are able to be proud of the fact that they are leaders of a chapter that does not haze and has overcome hard times to get rid of it.

You don’t have to be the president to make the decision to take that responsibility for your chapter either; anyone can overcome hazing in their own chapter. Hazing is wrong and it takes courage to stop hazing in your chapter. Take comfort in the fact that doing the right thing is enough justification. As Delta Gammas, it is our obligation to do the right thing and stand up for our sisters.

About Courtney: Courtney graduated in May, 2012. She is a Teach For America corps member in Delaware, where she teaches 5th grade math. She also serves as a Delta Gamma collegiate chapter adviser.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Keeping it in the Family

We recently received these photos featuring multiple generations of Delta Gamma members. We love to see such images. Recruitment numbers are pouring in and new members are joining Delta Gamma every day. We welcome our newest members and we extend a special shout-out to our Delta Gamma legacies.

Mom Ellen Janowicz Hunstein, Zeta Iota-Chapman, and aunt Alene Janowicz Frankel, Beta Chi-Denver, with their legacy Claire Hunstein, Gamma Chi-Cal State, Long Beach.

Grandmother, mother and granddaughter are three of four generations of DGs in this family. From left: Carla Pollard Bremer, Alpha Upsilon-Southern Methodist; Suzanne Bremer Shea, Beta Eta-Texas; Shannon Shea, Eta Gamma-Texas A and M.  (They share a special bond with deceased great grandmother Jeanne Cardwell Jarrell, Alpha Upsilon-Southern Methodist.)

Who is considered a Delta Gamma legacy? Granddaughters, daughters, sisters or the same step-relations of Delta Gamma members are considered Delta Gamma legacies.

Do Delta Gamma legacies receive special consideration? Delta Gamma legacies do receive special consideration. After all, they hopefully have had a lifetime of teaching and experiences involved to some extent with Delta Gamma. Collegiate Delta Gamma chapters are asked to invite a legacy to at least one invitational round, if local Panhellenic rules allow.

Does being a legacy of another sorority hurt my chances of joining Delta Gamma? Being a legacy of another NPC group with a chapter on your campus does not hurt your chances of joining Delta Gamma. We understand that college women may find that they do not always feel comfortable in the chapter where they are a legacy.

Should I write a Sponsor Form for my legacy?
Yes! For some chapters, a Sponsor Form is the only way they have to identify legacies during recruitment. In addition, the Sponsor Form provides a way for you to share more information about your legacy, including the connection she has with Delta Gamma. If you wish to be notified during recruitment if your legacy is not returning to a Delta Gamma recruitment event, you must include your contact information. The chapter's membership adviser cannot obtain your phone number or email from Executive Offices; you must provide it voluntarily.

My daughter did not pledge DG.
We do hear from our members who are disappointed when their legacy does not become a Delta Gamma and we understand that disappointment. We hope that with time, those members will come to realize that joining a Greek group is a choice and as individual as selecting a college or a new home. As a part of the National Panhellenic Conference, we take pride in the Greek system as a whole and the important influence it can have on members' lives, regardless of the specific letters associated with a group.

Register your Delta Gamma legacy today! Anchor Girl registration is open. Visit the Delta Gamma website for more information: DG/legacies.xml

Friday, July 20, 2012

A few Q and A's with Colleen McGuire

Welcome to Delta Gamma's 7th Executive
Director Colleen McGuire, Pi-Montana.
On August 1, 2012, Delta Gamma Fraternity welcomes its 7th Executive Director, Colleen McGuire. Colleen is originally from Missoula, Montana, and is an initiate of Pi chapter at the University of Montana where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism. Her education includes a master’s of military arts and sciences from the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and a master’s of national security and strategic studies at the Army War College. Colleen’s alma mater recently awarded her the University of Montana’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Colleen is a retired brigadier general in the United States Army, most recently working at the Pentagon as Director of Manpower and Personnel, The Joint Staff. She is the first woman in the history of the U.S. Army to hold the highest law enforcement office, Provost Marshal General of the Army; first woman to command the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigations Command; the first woman to command the Department of Defense all-male maximum security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and one of only 26 female executive leaders in an organization of over 500,000.

Below is an excerpt from a recent Q&A session with Colleen. Read more of our Q&A's on page eight of the summer 2012 issue of the ANCHORA (coming to your mailbox or inbox soon).

Q: What is your fondest DG memory (as a collegian or alumna)?

A: (This question brought the biggest smile.) I have many stories I hope to share in the years ahead but always, my fondest memories will be of my sisters of Pi chapter at the University of Montana. Peanie-toast at midnight, Heaven (sleeping quarters), the DG beach (where we sunbathed on the front porch) and the study room with manual typewriters. I know a lot has changed but my memories won't.

Q: If you weren’t entering this phase of your life with Delta Gamma, what would you do?

A: I would seek opportunities to work with and develop leadership potential and opportunities for young adults. I've witnessed tremendous transformations of young men and women who join the military, but the pace of change and high expectations challenge even the most grounded of our young adults. Every generation thinks they had it tough, but I think I had it easy compared to what these kids experience.

Q: How can you apply your military (or any other) experience to a fraternal organization? Do you see overlap, or is this role a complete departure? 

A: The military is a very fraternal organization. Its members, those who serve and have served, are bound by common values, ethics, and principles. In that manner, it is not too unlike a Greek Fraternal organization. Wherever you go, you have an instant "family."

Q: What do you imagine will be most challenging? 

A: To promote and reward our robust and active alumnae and volunteers will continue to be a challenge. Time is so valuable and DG is reliant on our active alumnae backbone. This isn't a new challenge but one that must always be in the forefront.

Q: What’s been your biggest frustration in your career so far? 

A: So much to do and so little time! 

Q: Do you have any hidden talents? 

A: If I do, they are still unknown to me. I have so many interests that probably distract me from honing any hidden talent!

Friday, July 6, 2012

What a Race!

Staff Director of Events Amanda Trueman
with blog contributor Kate Stanton.
 What a race! Our engines started. The laps (and iPhone flashes) were many. Flags waved with excitement all week. And, the victory lap of Convention 2012 concluded Saturday night with an award winning evening of excellence. Thanks to the Pit Crew (aka: EO Staff) and the hundreds of volunteers not a detail of this race plan was left to chance. From airport arrivals to Sunday’s goodbye hugs, the four day thrill was one of adventure, forever memories, and lasting laughter. You know that kind of laughter filled moment that makes you giggle even months (or years) down the line. Yep, that kind of laughter is how we laugh at Convention.

Similar to the rapid pace of an Indianapolis 500, Delta Gammas from every corner of our grand stand lands celebrated, shared, and united over sisterhood. The 65th Biennial Delta Gamma Convention represents my 6th Convention to attend, participate, and enjoy. I fondly remember 1998 Anchored in Atlanta as my first Delta Gamma Convention experience. Standing there in an Atlanta ballroom of 900+ Delta Gammas, I realized the Fraternity is so much bigger than one person, one chapter, one region. If you will, it is one of those “ah-ah” moments for my Delta Gamma heart. I can still remember seeing the lady in my Shield (aka: Dorris Flint) and becoming (only for a moment) speechless with the ultimate meeting of sisters from around the globe, but as well as the ladies who wear the emerald badges (aka: Council). Over the last four days, I met many collegians experiencing the same inspiring moments as well as alumnae enjoying their first Convention ride. From sitting in General Session watching Fraternity business conducted to sitting next to a sister you’ve never met (and discussing shared trials and tribulations of online dating), to singing Dream Girl with 900+ Delta Gammas (hello, tears), Convention continues to fill hearts (and tires) with the energy, courage, and hope to take home to our respected regions and chapters.

As a higher education administrator and a self proclaimed hostess that adores theme worthy favors, I’m always searching for the “take away” moment or representative item for any occasion. For me, my truest take away 2012 Convention moment came during Saturday’s Panhellenic Lunch featuring Ginny Carol, founder of Circle of Sisterhood and CEO of GiNuity. With her passionate and humor based presentation style, Ginny asked each of us to discuss the following: “With one other person, share the time when you’ve felt the most proud to be a sorority women.” As my tablemates turned to one another, many had tears in their eyes as they shared their moments. Later, Ginny asked us to ponder: “Why are you proud to be a DG?” Ginny explained each and every one of us needs to be prepared to loop our answers into our responses when one asks why we serve, volunteer, and give to our organization. Think about it. Think of how many times someone inquires about your Delta Gamma membership and the responsibilities of our oath. When we wear our letters. Traveling to a meeting. Attending an event. When we take time off of a paying job for our DG job. Setting aside time for our Delta Gamma roles. And, the list goes on. Realize we are given multiple opportunities to promote our beloved Delta Gamma. Within those moments, we have the possibility to forever impact another’s perception and therefore their reality of Delta Gamma - the finest women’s organization in North America.

Ginny encouraged Convention attendees to continue to share our responses to one another as we “Set the Pace” for Delta Gamma pride. I did. As I saw two collegians (aka: young women wearing DG shirts and holding convention bags were my clues) claim their baggage, I asked them these “Ginny questions” and instantly I witnessed their passion and belief in our values based organization. I challenge each of you to share with another why you are proud to be a Panhellenic woman as well as why you wear the golden anchor. If not today, hopefully you’ll consider using this exercise as you open your chapter and alumnae meetings this fall. Can you imagine the ripple effect if each of us spoke to the “do good” acts we find within our circle of sisterhood? I think it would be better than a room full of balloons, a fireworks finale, your love meeting you at the airport with flowers, and a 50% off sale on your must have dress for a sister’s wedding. Let’s do it.

I am so grateful to be a Delta Gamma. I am grateful for yet another Convention experience that reminds me why I’m anchored to this organization. I ask each of you to keep our 2012-2014 Council in your thoughts and hopes as they strive to continue our founders’ mission and be the truest examples of doing good.

139 years ago, our three founders formed an organization on mutual friendship and hope. Pete Smithhisler, current president and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), told us during Friday’s lunch, “Do good. Every day.” It is that simple my sisters. Be the soul that reflects our founders’ mission in all that all that you do, say, and believe. For hope. For strength. For life.

I’m full of hope to see you in Phoenix, Arizona for the 66th Biennial Convention!

Your champion,
Kate Stanton, Alpha Iota–Oklahoma

PS: Rest assured, I did find a few event favors to take home as well. Every Convention meal, event, script, and PowerPoint is matched perfectly to our Convention theme, Set the Pace. For my event planner heart, it is beyond impressive (Thanks Amanda!). As I worked to pack the favors in my overfilled suitcases, I realized they are merely trinkets. I already received the best favor in the world – my membership. October 27, 1995. Norman, Oklahoma. The day that connected me to each of you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another Lap, Another Lesson

Coming around the track for its 65th lap, convention has flown by, leaving us in a state of heightened inspiration and contemplation. With the swiftness of a racecar, Delta Gamma Convention 2012 presented itself with sleek glamour and shameless intention of leaving its mark – in true Delta Gamma fashion. Although only a few days, this year’s biennial session has offered much in experience and instruction for collegians and alumnae alike. Together we experienced the swooning power of a musician’s charm and observed time-old Fraternity traditions. We were inspired by countless speeches and further educated through general sessions. We fostered friendships with other like-minded fabulous women, and had a great time doing it all.

Over the past few days we have learned, or perhaps relearned, several things. For example, we discovered that mysterious looking food is actually quite tasty, but should still be approached with caution (just in case), and that expecting to remain well rested is quite simply unrealistic. While convention has been filled with innumerable, arguably trivial realizations, it has also produced many deeper thoughts. Lectureship guest speaker Michael Hingson reminded us that being a Delta Gamma is a privilege that provides us with a unique opportunity to positively influence the lives of others. In the Leadership luncheon lecture, “From My Perspective,” guest Pete Smithhisler reiterated our duty as Fraternity women to encourage others to “join the family” by living our ritual in our everyday lives and showing others exactly what membership in “the family” truly means. During the Panhellenic luncheon Alpha Xi Delta spokesman Ginny Carroll impressed upon us the significance of Greek life, articulately reasoning why Greek life is unique, necessary and, if done properly, self-sustainable.

Throughout the week we have been challenged to look deep within ourselves, striving to align our personal values with the Fraternity’s. And finally, any misconception that Delta Gamma thrives only at the collegiate level was effectively popped. For me this meant finally bursting my Alpha Zeta bubble and embracing the impressive scope that is our international Fraternity.

As these lessons are just the tip of the iceberg, one can only imagine the full breadth and wealth of knowledge disseminated throughout convention. A Founder’s Day speaker once told my chapter to place “attending a convention” on our Delta Gamma bucket list. I, and my fellow convention attendees, may now vouch for this statement; there are few things in life that will stick with you forever, and the convention experience is absolutely one of them.

Cadence Peckam, Alpha Zeta-Lawrence
2012-2013 Collegiate Development Consultant

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Smiled the Whole Way

Specialist meetings opened
the weekend of DG smiles.
I smiled the whole way through the airport on the way here. I smiled on the plane, and even talked with people when I normally might nap. Delta Gamma Convention has that effect on me, and many others I know. It’s a huge reunion, one filled with anchors, faces of old friends, faces of team members, and of new ideas and concepts.

Pit crews are at work. There is a lot of energy in the air, with Thursday being a day for last minute set up, and for special meetings. The staff is checking people in, handing out huge tote bags. They’ve been setting up and taking down the opening meetings without a hitch. Delta Gamma volunteers split up for pep talks and to learn about goals for the future (e-learning, anyone?).

Anchor Market place is already in full speed, selling out of items left and right. They’re only open until 11 p.m. tonight (Thursday), so their speedway is swarmed with Delta Gammas.

The opening banquet included an introduction from a local TV news anchor, a live acapella performance from Butler Universities singing group "Out of the Dawg House," and I have to mention the plate of mini desserts at dinner!

Spirits are high at the raceway. Sometimes I think Delta Gamma Conventions could break a record for most hugs given in one day. Today was no exception. It's neat to see old friends reunite, but even more special to see friends meet for the first time, forming what could be a long lasting friendship. Delta Gammas are instant friends here, no matter which "pit crew" or region they're from. And speaking of regions, how amazing it is to see the unique styles and personalities of each region, collaborating in workshops and presentations.

Tomorrow is set to be another day of smiles on the raceway.

Paige Browning, Pi-Montana
Council Appointed Coordinator, Eta Iota- Universty of Nevada, Reno

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Packing my Anchors

An illuminated logo welcomes DGs at the
front door of the JW Marriott in Indy.
 Delta Gammas are in Indy! We will be blogging from our biennial convention each day and sharing our thoughts and experiences. Today's entry is from BOA member Pam Fellows Jamieson, Alpha Delta-Oregon. Be sure to check back every day. "Wow!  Convention time is HERE!  I can’t believe this will be my 11th Convention.  As I get older, it seems I keep saying things like "time really flies" - but it does!  I’ve learned that we need to pay attention to things along the way and DG Convention is one of those times when you need to stop and take it all in. I’m smiling as I write this because I can’t wait for:  

• Squeals of delight as old friends meet again  
• Anchors – E V E R Y W H E R E!!!  (And with stores like J Crew and others in the nautical moment – it should be quite an anchor-palooza this year.)  
• The look of amazement on the collegiate president’s faces when they walk into the convention body meeting room for the first time and realize they are part of this huge sisterhood and they have a voice!  
• The late nights hanging out with friends that I don’t get to see very often, and  
• Laughing – oh my goodness - we laugh - and have so much fun at Convention and I cannot wait!    

My bag(s) are almost packed!    One last check of the shoes – I mean you can’t have enough shoes - and a stop at the drycleaners and I’ll be ready. So see you all tomorrow – with ANCHORS on!    

ITB,   Pam Fellows Jamieson Alpha Delta ‘77"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where Were They?

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you; it's been more than a week! (We wanted to keep you guessing but really, life just got in the way a little.) We did have some good guesses about our previous post's location but the correct answer came from alumna Angela Howard, Alpha Epsilon-Washington University. The 1924 Delta Gamma Convention was held in Estes Park, Colorado at the Stanley Hotel. The register contained more than 600 names, one of Delta Gamma’s largest conventions at the time, as a capacity crowd was on hand to celebrate the Fraternity’s Golden Jubilee.

The spectacular Golden Jubilee photograph of 1924 convention-goers is set against the background of an out-cropping of rocks, high in the Rocky Mountains.

Highlights of Convention actions:

  • A Birthday Fund, organized by Jesse Roberson Kingery, Rho-Syracuse, sky-rocketed beyond expectations to raise a total of $57,000 which was presented to the Fraternity. The total living membership in Delta Gamma was 8,000, thus the amount raised represented more than $7.00 per member. A reserve fund was established for investment in chapter house loans with the interest earned being used for scholarship loans. 
  • Three fellowships of $500.00 each were created and would honor each of the three founders, to be awarded to three graduate Delta Gammas whose graduate work would bring scholastic distinction to themselves and Delta Gamma.
  • The Delta Gamma Home in Marchienne, Belgium, would receive $1,000, with the interest from this fund to be set aside as an emergency fund for special assistance for any member in need.
  • Financing conventions was a growing problem so the convention body adopted a plan by which a per capita tax of $1.00 per member and $10.00 per year from alumnae chapters would be collected.
  • A National Convention Chairman would be appointed to serve four years.
  • The ANCHORA's official pronunciation should be with the accent on the first syllable. (Take note; that is still the pronunciation today - anchor-uh.)
  • 1924 Convention marked the beginning of a campaign for a centralized office. Nancy Brown Woollett, Phi-Colorado, Fraternity President 1922-1928, constantly promoted the establishment of a central office with a “permanent executive secretary.” (The post convention Council meeting in 1924 did authorize the permanent executive secretary to serve for the next two years. There is, however, no record that this came to pass until 1942.)
  • Delta Gamma’s first Distinguished Service Medal was given at this convention to Jessie Roberson Kingery, Rho-Syracuse, for her  work on the Birthday Fund.  The medallion was a special medal, not to be duplicated by sculptor, Julio Kilyeni. 
  • Blanche Garten, Psi-Lewis School, presented the Fraternity with a gavel and box made from wood taken from Lewis School. The gavel would be used to open convention gatherings and the box was to be used for it to rest in between conventions.
  • A finance committee was formed and since Mrs. Woollett’s term of office was ending, she was asked to be responsible for organizing this.
Check back during Convention week, next week, as we will post regularly from Indianapolis. We will look forward to guest posts throughout the week. Subscribe to this blog so that you can receive an email each time there is a new post. Thanks for reading!