Did you know that five chapters chartered in the first decade of Delta Gamma’s founding are still open today? The chapters are Lambda-Minnesota, Omega-Wisconsin, Sigma-Northwestern, Zeta-Albion and Eta-Akron, our oldest chapter today.
An excerpt from The Shield shares more about their history:
Delta Gamma’s chapter roll of the first decade, 1873-1883, likely reflects American education for women at that time. Of the 15 chapters founded during this decade, only five remain today. All five schools were comparable in size at that time and in fact, Albion had more students than the University of Wisconsin. The Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 allowed many states to receive federal land to build colleges. Among them were these five schools that flourish today, each of which has the distinction of having a single letter Delta Gamma chapter on its campus: The University of Minnesota (Lambda): established by the Territorial Act of 1851, opened its doors in 1868 and was coeducational from its beginning. The University of Wisconsin (Omega): is identified by the Encyclopedia Britannica as one of the state universities that was awakened to new life by the Morrill Act. Northwestern University (Sigma): had recently absorbed Evanston Female College to become coeducational. Albion College (Zeta) and the University of Akron (Eta) (then Buchtel College) were church-related schools. Buchtel was chiefly supported by its location in a busy commercial center and by parents wanting their children to enter a Universalist institution. Albion was destined to thrive by its advantageous location on a main railroad line. The various chapters used the power of the handwritten letter to keep their bonds with one another strong. Members wrote long, revealing letters expressing their innermost thoughts and aspirations to their new sisters at other schools. When the members of the Akron chapter wanted to invite the wife of President Garfield to become a member, for example, they asked their Mississippi sisters for approval, considering differences in political allegiances. The President was assassinated before her invitation, which was endorsed by the southerners, could be arranged.
We are fortunate for the preservation of our history and these chapters continued involvement in our story. You can find more Delta Gamma history here.