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!