Kappa Delta (ΚΔ) was the first sorority founded at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University), in Farmville, Virginia. It is one of the “Farmville Four” sororities founded at the university. (The others are Alpha Sigma Alpha, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Zeta Tau Alpha; a clock tower at the university campus with a clock face representing each sorority is dedicated to the four).
Kappa Delta has over 230,000 members, more than 14,000 undergraduate members in 156 active collegiate chapters. Kappa Delta also has more than 510 chartered alumnae chapters, the most of any National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) group. It is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
A chilly rain spattered against the windowpanes of the little dormitory room on Professional Hall, the dormitory floor where most of the seniors lived. Saturday meant no classes, and the dreary weather that hung over Farmville was a perfect excuse for the four friends to tuck themselves away in that cozy spot and talk for hours… It was that afternoon that Kappa Delta was born – October 23, 1897 – at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia.”
-Ordinary Miracles: 100 Years of Kappa Delta Sorority
The thought that over 100 years ago four young women could just sit down and create a sisterhood as enduring as Kappa Delta sometimes defies understanding. But that’s exactly what they did.
Kappa Delta logo
Kappa Delta’s founders were four very different women. They ranged in age from 15 to 23, yet brought a singular sense of purpose to this particular endeavor. Their dream was to create something more lasting than a club — a sorority! It was to be an entity that would grow beyond their own chapter at State Female Normal School. But they never dreamed that it would grown into an organization of nearly 230,000 women, more than 200 chartered chapters and more than 500 chartered alumnae associations nationwide.
The sorority still holds true to its original object adopted sometime before 1902…
“The object of Kappa Delta Sorority is the formation and perpetuation of good fellowship, friendship and sisterly love among its members; the encouragement of literature and education; the promotion of social interest; and the furtherance of charitable and benevolent purposes.”
Kappa Delta’s early leaders were women of vision. Today’s women live that dream and keep the vision alive!
Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick, Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, and Sara Turner White founded Kappa Delta on the beliefs of friendship, fellowship, and sisterly love.
About the Founders of ΚΔ:
- Lenora Ashmore Blackiston:
Lenora Ashmore Blackiston was unconventional. She was a dreamer and an idealist filled with enthusiasm for new ideas. Nicknamed “Nora,” she was a writer and a poet, able to put her thoughts into action. She was the one who first suggested the idea of forming a sorority, but was unable to put her lasting personal marks on Kappa Delta’s beginnings because, after Christmas holiday, she transferred to Randolph-Macon Women’s College
- Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendricks:
Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick was much loved and respected by all students at State Female Normal School. She was known for her fine character and gentle understanding. Mary had concern for others, perhaps because, at 23, she was more mature than the younger students. She was a Bible class leader. Mary stayed on and helped the fledging sorority through its early years.
- Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson:
Quiet and extremely intelligent, Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson came from a distinguished and respected family; her grandfather was John Tyler, former U.S. president, and her father was the president of the College of William and Mary. She was characterized as capable, dependable and possessing considerable artistic talent. She illustrated most of the school’s first yearbook and designed the Kappa Delta badge. After helping to found the sorority, Julia spent another year at State Female Normal before transferring to Dana Hall, a preparatory school for Wellesley College where she earned her AB degree in 1904. She joined her founding sister Sara at Kappa Delta’s 50th anniversary celebration at the 1947 convention.
- Sara Turner White:
Daughter of a Virginia senator, Sara Turner White was gracious and friendly, but known as being a bit more straight-laced than most students. She enjoyed her friends and social activities more than she did her studies. Sara did not return to college after that first year, but remained steadfastly involved with Kappa Delta throughout her long life.
Kappa Delta was the first sorority that was accepted into the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) as soon as they petitioned to join. Kappa Delta then became the first NPC group to form partnerships with various women’s organizations, such as the Association of Junior Leagues International, which has an impact on women’s community leadership, the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Women’s Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.
- President- Beth Martin Langford
- Vice President- Betty Brown Mulkey
- VP Membership- Alison Jakes Argersinger
- VP Collegians- Alane Hall
- VP Alumnae- Tricia Ruma Spence
- VP Finance- Jodi Scheurenbrand
- NPC Delegate- Julie Landgren Johnson
The official symbols of ΚΔ are the nautilus shell and the dagger, while the mascots are the teddy bear and the katydid. The official colors are olive green and pearl white. The official flower is the white rose. ΚΔ has 3 official jewels, the diamond, the emerald, and the pearl.
Kappa Delta’s coat of arms (often called the crest) is a white Norman shield, surmounted by a lamp of ancient design, against a background of ornamental scroll. A ribbon underneath the shield bears the Greek Open Motto and the date of the sorority’s founding. Each part of the crest has a special meaning, which is learned during initiation.This symbol is reserved for use by initiated members only, and most often is made into a shield or plaque to be displayed in a chapter house, or as a small insignia on clothing or letterhead.The letters K and D on clothing, stationery products and accessories may be worn and used by new members and initiates alike.
— Read More History on Kappa Delta on Wikipedia
Kappa Alpha Theta (ΚΔ)
- Founded On: October 23rd, 1897 – State Female Normal School
- Type: Social Sorority
- Colors: Olive Green and Pearl White
- Flower: White Rose
- Nicknames: KD-Kappa-Delta
- Chapters: 156 Active Chapters
- Website: www.kappadelta.org
- Motto: Ας αγωνιστούμε για αυτό που είναι τίμιος, όμορφο και υψηλότερο — “Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful and highest”