Delta Theta

Delta Theta Chapter was founded at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland on September 22, 1933. The chapter closed in 1942.

Founding Date: Sep 22nd, 1933

Closed Date: Jan 1st, 1942

Status: Inactive

University:

Location:

District: Beta

The Short Life: (From The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma 1870–1976)

Charter members: Marion Jennie Barbur, Amelia Dodson Bielaski, Jane Bielaski, Mary Rebecca Brown, Isabel Rebecca Colvin, Helen Margaret Draper, Mary Elizabeth Draper, Barbara Elberfeld, Katherine Thomas Flory, Addaline Wallace Gillespie, Catherine Grauel, Cecile Ethel Hansen, Martha Warren Hetzel, Clarissa Rinaker Howe, Margaret Graham Kaestner, Alice Hester Nye, Lucy Margaret Nye, Mary Chester Philips, Florence Louise Reich, Jean Elizabeth Sanders, Elsa Frederick Sharp, Katherine Shaw, Catherine George Tracey, Janice Laura Young.

Goucher College, chartered in 1885 as the Women’s College of Baltimore, was established in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Methodist Church. It was formally opened in 1888 and became known as independent and nondenominational. The interest in the education of women and the gifts of Dr. and Mrs. John L. Goucher caused the college to be renamed in 1910.

The History of Delta Theta

Delta Theta as a chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was short-lived, a mere 10 years. Its history as a local, Tau Kappa Phi, was distinguished. Founded as a literary society of the Women’s College of Baltimore, Tau Kap, as it was affectionately known, was the oldest fraternity in a long list of women’s groups. Approached by several nationals, it chose to retain its local identity, was chartered as a fraternity, and never lost its Panhellenic vote.

The first five women to be graduated from the college were members of this outstanding local. Throughout its existence the members assumed positions of campus leadership and, after graduation, served as trustees and faculty members.

In 1932 the group decided it was time to become national and, having been approved by various officers and committees of Kappa, petitioned for membership and was installed September 21-24, 1933.

Installation ceremonies were conducted by Grand President Alice Tillotson Barney, Minnesota. Catherine Simmons (Russell), Akron, was awarded a co-organizer scholarship to the chapter for 1933-34.

Delta Theta Chapter was always a small group. It started life during the Depression when girls were becoming less interested in fraternities. Chapter members, however, continued to hold office and to exert an effective influence on campus.

During World War II the small chapter was almost wiped out as members joined the armed forces or left college to marry and be with their husbands as long as possible. The college had already shown a growing lack of enthusiasm for the Greek system and the end of fraternities at Goucher was inevitable. Faced with this knowledge and the fact that local alumnae would have to support the chapter financially, it was decided to withdraw the chapter from campus in 1943.

Delta Theta’s major accomplishment, and one scarcely known, was the stand taken in favor of the initiation of a Japanese student, a brilliant American-born daughter of a professor, in the period just before the U.S. entered the war against Japan. She was opposed by some Kappas, but backed by the Baltimore Alumnae Association; the chapter determined that Kappa’s constitution makes no denial of membership because of race, creed, or color. Eventually the chapter position won. It was a proud moment for Delta Theta.

Early in 1942 the chapter received the scholarship cup for the 1941 fall term. In April, 1943, The Key letter began, “Delta Theta Chapter has had an extremely active year.” Members had redecorated the rooms, there had been many active-alumna meetings, and a tea was being planned in honor of Panhellenic, pledges, and initiates.

In the October, 1943, issue of The Key, the chapter was not mentioned in the directory of chapters, and in December there was no directory mention and no chapter letter. So, unsung, a chapter died.