From the Archives: Article II
What better Delta Gamma artifact to start the sesquicentennial year with than Article II? Ask 150 Delta Gammas, “What is Delta Gamma?” and you will likely hear the word “friendship” in all 150 answers.
The origin of Article II goes back to our very founding. The very first Constitution was written the night Delta Gamma was created. Anna, Eva and Mary were sitting on “Old father Noah”, the name they had given the large four-poster bed in their room when they decided to form a society for mutual helpfulness. Because Anna was seated outside the bed, she slipped out and retrieved a pad of paper and pen. The three then wrote the first Constitution and bylaws. Unfortunately, that document has been lost to time. The oldest Delta Gamma Constitution dates to 1877 and is kept in the Frances Lewis Stevenson Archives at Executive Offices. As it was only four years after the founding, it is likely very similar to the one the Founder wrote that night.
At that time, the wording that is the predecessor of Article II of today was not its own article; it was section two of article one. It read, “The object of this club is the improvement of its members, morally and intellectually, and for the cultivation of sisterly love.” Revisions were made throughout the years, and in 1885, we see something closer to what we have today.
While the wording has changed, we can see the origins of the Article II of today, “The object of this Fraternity shall be to foster high ideals of friendship among women, to promote their educational and cultural interests, to create in them a true sense of social responsibility, and to develop in them the best qualities of character.” As we reflect on the past 150 years of our history, we will be considering not only the times when this ideal has been upheld but also times when it has failed to be upheld.
What do you think Article II will look like in another 150 years?