Kappa Delta Sorority was founded by four women at Virginia State Female Normal School, now Longwood University, on October 23, 1897.
As the nineteenth century came to a close and the role of women in society continued to change, women became more and more likely to recieve some kind of education. With the increased number of women attending schools, more organizations dedicated specifically to women began to appear.
History of Kappa Delta
Four women at Virginia State Female Normal School, now known as Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, dreamed one rainy day in 1897 to form some kind of organization that was more long-lasting than a club. Each of the women had very different personalities and ranged in age from the age of fifteen to twenty-three, so deciding on a club that could encompass something similar in all of them was difficult.
It was from that dream that Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, Sara Turner White, and Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick founded Kappa Delta on October 23, 1897.
Not much is publicly known about the early years of Kappa Delta. However, only one of the founding members, Hendrick, stayed at State Female Normal School after the 1897-1898 academic year to help the fledgling organization grow. White and Blackiston transfered at some point during that school year, while White left Longwood University at the end of the following academic year.
Kappa Delta joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1912. The organization was the last sorority or women’s fraternity to join the conference until 1951, when eight more organizations would gain membership in the umbrella organization of sororities and women’s fraternities.
A little after a year after Kappa Delta was founded, Longwood University would witness the founding of a second soon-to-be national sorority: Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity.
Kappa Delta Today
Today, there are over 200,000 initiated members of Kappa Delta around the world. In addition, Kappa Delta has 137 active collegiate chapters and 504 alumnae organizations across the United States.
Kappa Delta has four official philanthropic causes: Girl Scouts of the USA; Prevent Child Abuse America; Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia; and the Orthopaedic Research Awards. In addition, Kappa Delta has partnered with The Dove Campaign to promote self-esteem in women.
Members of Kappa Delta also have the opportunity to be chosen as interns for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. O’Keeffe was a member of Kappa Delta who made contribution’s to the organization’s initiation ritual. Future plans for the partnership include seminars hosted by Kappa Delta on the campuses where interns attend school on empowering women and the arts.
Kappa Delta can be recognized throughout the world of sororities and women’s fraternities by distinctive insignia adopted throughout the organization’s history.
- Colors: olive green and pearl white
- Symbols and Mascots: nautilus shell, dagger, teddy bear and katydid
- Flower: white rose
- Philanthropies: Girl Scouts of the USA, Prevent Child Abuse America, Richmond’s Children Hospital, Orthopaedic Research Awards, The Dove Campaign
- Motto: Ta Kala Diokomen – “Let Us Strive for That Which Is Honorable, Beautiful, and the Highest”
Kappa Delta, founded by four women in 1897 at Longwood University, quickly took off and became a national organization through the dreams of its founders. Today, members of Kappa Delta continue to further the cause of women through its philanthropic contributions and member programming.