What is Delta Zeta?
Delta Zeta is a sorority in the National Panhellenic Conference. It was founded in 1902 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today, there are over 170 active chapters across the nation and over 260,000 initiated women. 7,000 or more women are initiated into Delta Zeta every year.
Delta Zeta also places a large emphasis on sisterhood and forming bonds with others. Chapters will host many events to bring chapter members together, such as by holding bonding events throughout the semester and through specific special events like Big/Little reveal. Delta Zeta is a very social organization. Chapters often host events with other Greek organizations on campus. These often include mixers, crush parties, and philanthropy events.
Philanthropy events are very important in Greek life. Many Delta Zeta chapters hold one large philanthropy event each semester. These events bring together college students and the local community to support Delta Zeta’s national philanthropic partner, Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Delta Zeta is a member-led organization. In every chapter, sisters lead a variety of efforts including recruitment, member education, personal development, philanthropy initiatives and service projects. Chapters will elect an Executive Board and Chairwomen to lead these various aspects of the sorority. Typical Executive Board positions in Delta Zeta include:
Vice President of Membership
Vice President of New Member Education
Vice President of Programs
Vice President of Philanthropy
Vice President of Administration
Vice President of Finance
Risk Prevention Chairwoman
Members of the Executive board must be in good standing with the sorority and represent all of Delta Zeta’s values in the position.
Chairwoman positions vary based on each chapter’s needs. Typically these positions are created to help assist the Executive Board positions around specific functions within the sorority. Positions generally include:
Alumnae Relations Chairwoman
Campus Involvement Chairwoman
Diversity & Inclusion Chairwoman
Greek Life Involvement Chairwoman
Mental Wellness Chairwoman
Personal Development Chairwoman
Public Relations Chairwoman
Overall, the Executive Board and Chairwoman are essential for a chapter’s success in the Greek community on each college campus.
There is even the opportunity to stay involved with Delta Zeta once graduating college. Sorority alumnae can serve as chapter advisors. Almost 2,000 alumnae hold a role as a chapter advisor nationwide. They typically work closely with the Executive Board and Chairwomen of a given chapter to help guide that chapter through decision making, implementing new rules, and sisterhood development.
What is Delta Zeta's reputation?
Delta Zeta is very well known since it is the third largest sorority in the nation. Potential New Members are usually very excited to receive a bid from Delta Zeta. Nationwide, Delta Zeta chapters are typically very social and studious, and normally place a large emphasis on service.
Most Delta Zeta chapters are extremely social within their Greek communities. The sorority usually has lots of Greek connections on campus, so they partner with many different organizations for social events. Chapters have social events which are typically organized every month with two or more organizations , called mixers and crush parties. The Social Chairwoman organizes these events. Typically members of Delta Zeta receive many invitations to other Greek events as well.
The national GPA requirement for Delta Zeta is a 2.7 to be in good standing. However, Delta Zeta chapters nationwide have a collective GPA of 3.15 or better. Chapter member’s academic success is very important to the sorority. The Academic Chairwoman works with chapter members to create unique academic plans and insure their success in the classroom. They also help facilitate connections between chapter members in the same major. Many chapters have Quizlet classrooms and test banks for members to access study materials for their classes. During the New Member period, chapters also have a set number of study hours New Members must accumulate in order to become initiated into the sorority.
Delta Zeta members must also be active in their community. Chapters will require each member to fulfill a certain number of service hours each semester. These usually range from 10 to 20 hours a semester. Chapters will even hold service events where members can earn service hours. The Vice President of Philanthropy helps to organize these events for the chapter.
Delta Zeta motto, symbols and colors
The Killarney Rose is often shown in rose and green coloring in the delta symbol. Initiated members receive a Roman lamp badge which features the organization’s official jewel, the diamond. The Roman lamp has a diamond in the flame of the lamp and four pearles at the base. It is resting on an Ionic column that spreads the winds of Mercury. The Delta Zeta crest also depicts the organization’s important symbols. The true meaning of these icons is reserved for initiated members.
The sorority’s motto is “Walk Truly in the Light of the Flame” and the slogan is “Live Truly.” The motto refers back to the badge symbol of the Roman Lamp. Delta Zeta is often referred to as DZ, deezee, and deezy.
Delta Zeta’s Philanthropy
Delta Zeta is the only global women’s organization that focuses on hearing and speech through its philanthropic efforts. Hearing and speech has been the organization's philanthropy focus since 1954. The organization uses their philanthropy to protect hearing, raise awareness of deaf culture and American Sign Language, and provide the opportunity of speech therapy and hearing aids to people in need of those resources. Delta Zeta supports this cause through partnering with many different organizations across the globe.
Starkey Hearing Foundation was named Delta Zeta’s National Philanthropic Partner in 2015. The Starkey Hearing Institute trains healthcare professionals to be Hearing Instrument Specialists which allows them to fit hearing aids anywhere in the world. In 2015, Delta Zeta also pledged to raise $5 million for speech and hearing to donate to the Starkey Hearing Foundation and in 2020 they successfully completed the pledge. Since the sorority’s partnership with Starkey, they have raised over $5.5 million for the foundation.
In 2020, Delta Zeta partnered with the American Society for Deaf Children. Since more than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, ASDC has made it their mission to help parents learn American Sign Language so families can communicate with their deaf child. This partnership has given Delta Zeta members the opportunity to learn about American Sign Language, further understand deaf culture, spread awareness, and become informed and effective allies of the deaf community.
Delta Zeta’s Global Service Project is the SeriousFun Children’s Network. SeriousFun is a support center that provides resources, funding, training, and assistance to their global family of camps and programs. The Painted Turtle is a camp SeriousFun organizes and runs in Lake Hughes, CA which is a place for children with serious medical conditions. Kids attending the camp have the opportunity to experience camping that they otherwise would not have due to their illness and it is completely free of charge. Members of Delta Zeta have the opportunity to volunteer at SeriousFun camps where they get to help the children they serve and enrich their own lives as well.
The organization also promotes awareness for speech and hearing on Heart for Hearing and Speech Day on the first Tuesday in May. This also marks the start of Better Hearing and Speech Month which is a national effort to raise awareness about communications disorders. Each member of Delta Zeta shares their personal commitment to the cause during this time.
Delta Zeta has formed a Global Ambassador Society whose purpose is to engage individuals who have supported their national philanthropy and service partners, Starkey Hearing Foundation, American Society for Deaf Children, and the SeriousFun Children’s Network. Global Ambassadors engage with others and talk about different ways they can support our national partner.
Most well known Delta Zeta chapters
Arizona State Delta Zeta - @asudeltazeta
The Pi Zeta Chapter was founded at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ on October 8, 2005. There are 251 active members in the chapter and the average GPA is 3.28. This past year, the chapter has completed 4,755 service hours in their local community and raised over $28,000 in 2018. The chapter hosts an annual Delta Zeta Dukeout philanthropy event in the Spring semester to raise money for Starkey Hearing Foundation.
University of Alabama Delta Zeta - @bamadeltazeta
The Alpha Gamma Chapter was founded at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL in 1922. There are over 200 active members and the chapter consistently receives awards for excellence from Delta Zeta Nationals. The chapter completed over 10,000 service hours in their local community and raised over $53,000 in 2019. The Alpha Gamma Chapter also supports many local philanthropies such as Tsucaloosa’s One Place, Muscular Dystrophy Awareness, International Childresn;s Heart Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, American Red Cross, and the American Cancer Society.
Texas A&M Delta Zeta - @aggiedeltazeta
The Lambda Xi Chapter was founded at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX on November 9, 1974. There are over 200 active members in the chapter. Their local philanthropy partner is Texas Hearing Institute located in Houston, TX. Their main philanthropy events are Hoops for Hearing and Craws for a Cause. The chapter has also had members travel to California to participate in Delta Zeta’s National Service Project, The Painted Turtle.
Louisiana State University Delta Zeta - @deltazetalsu
The Sigma Chapter was founded at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA on November 24, 1917. There are over 320 active members in the chapter and the average GPA is 3.52. In 2017, the chapter completed over 4,400 service hours. Their local philanthropies are the Emerge Center and St. Lillian Academy. In 2015, the Sigma Chapter raised enough money to establish a scholarship at St. Lilian Academy which helped four children attend school there. The chapter has partnered with the Emerge Center for over 50 years through volunteer efforts and philanthropic donations.
Florida State University Delta Zeta - @fsudeltazeta
The Alpha Sigma Chapter was founded May 16, 1924 at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. There are over 230 active members and the average GPA is 3.52. In 2017, the chapter completed over 1,100 service hours and raised over $3,400. Their local philanthropy partner is the L.L. Schendel Speech and Hearing Clinic and Florida State University. The chapter allocates funds raised by their philanthropy events to donate to the clinic. They also host events at their house for the hearing impaired children that receive therapy at the clinic, such as their annual Easter Egg Hunt and their Trick-or-Treating event.
University of Tennessee Delta Zeta - @dztennessee
The Beta Lambda Chapter was founded in 1933 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. There are over 300 active members and the average GPA is 3.45. The chapter’s local philanthropy is the Tennessee School for the Deaf. They raised over $24,000 during their philanthropy events, Hoops for Hearing and the Greek Olympics, to support their national and local philanthropy partners in 2021. The same year, the chapter was also selected to host the national fundraiser for the Delta Zeta Foundation where Beta Lambda raised a record breaking $28,000.
University of Georgia Delta Zeta - @ugadeltazeta
The Zeta Pi Chapter was founded in 1961 at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. There are over 280 active members and the average GPA is 3.77. Zeta Pi’s local philanthropy is The Turtle Grant where the chapter works with the deaf and hard of hearing program at Cleveland Road Elementary School in Athens by hosting monthly parties. The Turtle Grant is also 100% funded by Delta Zeta at UGA. The chapter's annual fall philanthropy is Wing Bash. In 2021, they raised over $7,000 for Starkey Hearing Foundation and The Turtle Grant.
University of Florida Delta Zeta - @ufdeltazeta
The Pi Alpha Chapter was founded in 2003 at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. There are over 270 active members and the average GPA is 3.57. The chapter partners with the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences as well as the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Florida by hosting the Conference on Pediatric Hearing Loss. This event provides education for professionals and parents working with children who have hearing loss.
Delta Zeta’s founders information
Six women came together to form a social sorority that would provide a lifetime of sisterhood at Miami University in Oxford, OH. These women were Alfa Lloyd, Mary Collins, Anna Keen, Julia Bishop, Mabelle Minton, and Anne Simmons. This was unprecedented at the time because it was a male-dominated campus and the group of women had just been given full time student status at the university.
The women met with Dr. Guy Potter Benton, the president of the university at the time, to officially form the sorority. Dr. Benton had been the leader of Phi Delta Theta fraternity so he was familiar with the processes of Greek organizations and was able to help the group of women establish the very first chapter of Delta Zeta. Benton also helped the women prepare the standing ritual, badge, and colors associated with the sorority. He was later named the ‘Grand Patron’ due to the large role he played in the formation of the chapter.
On October 24, 1902, Delta Zeta was officially incorporated and became the first sorority on Miami University’s campus. Once the chapter was formed, many Delta Zeta organizational meetings took place at Alfa Lloyd’s family home on High Street in Oxford. Later in 1907, the first National Assembly was held with Lloyd as the National President. Then in 1910, Delta Zeta officially joined the National Panhellenic Conference.
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