At the 1922 Convention, the Nominating Committee unanimously advanced current Grand Secretary Della Lawrence
, who was elected first Executive Secretary of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and paid a salary of $1,500 a year.
In her new role, The Key
noted, Della "will handle all Kappa business directly. She will have the duties of Grand Secretary, Grand Treasurer, Custodian of the Badge, Business Manager of The Key
, and Director of The Catalogue
Della wasted no time, setting up the Central Office in her home in Bryan, Texas. Though the work kept her busy, she did find time to be courted. A year later, after she married Howard Burt, she moved Kappa’s Central Office into her new matrimonial home.
Her first desk was a bridge table and later upgraded to a dinner table. She wrote of "files in the living room, Kappa boxes in the bedroom, and of Mr. Burt’s feeling that he would never be surprised to find multigraph type in his oatmeal." From morning until night, she wrote, "the subject of conversation in the Burt house is Kappa! Or if not a Kappa at least a Kappa husband; or surely a Kappa something."
Della handled the growing work in the increasingly crowded space. Between Jan. 14, 1926, and May 15, 1926, she recorded receiving 838 letters (not including postcards or packages) and mailing in that same time over 1,000 letters (not including over 5,000 form letters). That kind of volume of work, she noted with some understatement, was made more difficult due to a "lack of adequate office space."
Shortly after the 1928 Convention
, Della announced her intention to step down as Executive Secretary. When she resigned, Della was determined that her vacancy would be filled by Clara O. Pierce
, Ohio State
. Clara was highly respected and admired by other Greek-letter organizations in the National Panhellenic Conference (known then as the National Panhellenic Congress) and the North American Interfraternity Conference for her executive abilities in Kappa Kappa Gamma. A native of Columbus, Ohio, she insisted on bringing Kappa’s Central Office to Columbus immediately after she was appointed. And just like that, Kappa was moved to the Buckeye State.
Read the Nominating Committee minutes here
View a photo of Della Burt wearing the Fraternity Constitution as a stole here
Learn more about the image of Della and Howard Burt by visiting the item record here