By Abby Knight
November 6, 2002 --
Fall Oxford, Ohio 1902; Spring Jacksonville, Alabama 1977.
No similarities at first glance, but area Delta Zeta Sorority sisters
understand the ties.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the national
organization of Delta Zeta at Miami University, as well as the 25th
anniversary of the founding of Jacksonville State University's Lambda Gamma
Chapter of DZ. Delta Zeta is one of nation's largest sororities, with 165
college chapters scattered across the U.S. and 250 alumnae chapters, which
reach as far as the United Kingdom and Canada.
The sorority's purpose is "to unite its members in the bonds of sincere and
lasting friendship, to stimulate one another in the pursuit of knowledge,
to promote the moral and social culture of its members, and to develop
plans for guidance and unity in action; objects worthy of the highest aim
and purpose of associated effort." To that aim, the sorority engages its
members and alumnae in activities which promote such growth. Additionally,
the national sorority sponsors both graduate and undergraduate scholarship
programs for its members to advance their academic pursuits.
Delta Zeta is not only focused on member development, but philanthropic
efforts as well. DZ's official philanthropy is the support of national
organizations and local projects designated for speech and hearing
assistance, such as Gallaudet University, the House Ear Institute and the
Better Hearing Institute.
On the local level, DZ's Lambda Gamma Collegiate Chapter is active on the
Jacksonville State University campus with projects related to the national
sorority's philanthropy of speech and hearing, such as all members learning
the sign language alphabet and basic conversation signs, working with a
local Girl Scout troop so they may earn badges on speech and hearing
impairments and coordinating a "Turtle-Tug" fundraiser for the National
Foundation's philanthropic efforts, with participants paying entry fees and
losers falling into pools of green gelatin. Additionally, the local chapter
also takes part in a variety of other philanthropic endeavors, including
participating in the Adopt-a-Mile program, hosting "Girls' Time" for
Mountain View foster children, and assisting in Earth Day events in
conjunction with JSU and the Anniston Museum of Natural History.
Since the chartering of its Lambda Gamma chapter, over 600 sisters have
been initiated into Delta Zeta at JSU. According to chapter president,
Tavia McMunn, " It is exciting to be celebrating our 100th year Nationally
and our 25th year locally. We are so proud to be a part of the Greek system
at JSU and such a wonderful sorority with a fantastic sisterhood. Being a
part of Delta Zeta has taught each one of us more than we ever imagined."
Delta Zeta's sisterhood does not end when its members graduate college.
Alumnae remain in contact with each other as well as assist the collegiate
chapter with its endeavors. Kim Dalesandro, president of DZ's JSU alumnae
association, acknowledges, "The role of alumnae is to give back to the
collegiate chapters some of what we gained in during our college years. The
relationships we develop through the sorority last a lifetime, and part of
our job is to communicate to the collegiate members the permanence of
sisterhood. And, wherever our sisters find themselves after college, there
will be DZ alumnae in that area willing to help with relocation information
and job networking." As Delta Zeta's National Vice President of Membership
Development Denise McCullars, an initiate of Auburn's collegiate chapter
and former Collegiate Chapter Director of JSU's collegiate chapter, sums it
up, "Delta Zeta is is a lifelong journey."
Reflecting proudly over its history, both locally and nationally, Delta
Zeta sorority is making a difference not only in the lives of its
collegiate members, but also in the lives of its alumnae and their communities.
More information on Delta Zeta is available online at
http://www.deltazeta.org . Sorority graphics are available online at