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Delta Theta Tau

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Delta Theta Tau

Delta Theta Tau Sorority, Inc.


Nicknames: Deltas, Delts, Delta Theta

Delta Theta Tau Crest

Founded: October 16, 1903 in

Muncie, Indiana

  • Nora Spurgeon Charman
  • Olive Spurgeon Gage
  • Ethel Busch Lesh
  • Betsy Gordon Gibert
  • Charlene Prutzman Rector
Members: 180,000 Alumnae
Official Philanthropy: National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia
Official Colors: Olive Green and White
Initiate Badge: 100px
Official Flower: White Rose
Official Symbol:

Vertical Diamond

Official Jewels: Diamond and Emerald
Delta Theta Tau Website

Delta Theta Tau (ΔΘΤ) is a non-college, non-sectarian, community based sorority founded on October 16, 1903, in Muncie, Indiana. Delta Theta Tau was the first non-sectarian sorority.[1][2] Members are only required to "believe in a higher power." Today, Delta Theta Tau has 120 chapters in the United States and over 50 alumnae chapters in the United States and Canada.


In the early 1900s it was very common for Greek letter organizations to form in high schools.[3] Many of the high school organization did not extend past their immediate schools. Delta Theta Tau would become much more.

The organization began as the Tyrolean Club. On October 16, 1903, the name was changed to Delta Theta Tau. The new fraternity name was chosen at the home of Betsy Gordon. That evening there was much to discuss. Ethel Busch was chosen as their leader, olive green and white for colors, and they drew up a constitution. With the motto, "Grit Wins", the motto of their high school class, they had a new organization. Initially the organization was solely social in nature. They celebrated their new organization that evening with an oyster supper prepared by Mrs. Gordon. The first pledges were Bess Staigers, Charline Knapp Murray, Anna Hilling, Della Ault and Florence Jackson.

The Beta Chapter was installed on February 9, 1905 in Elwood, Indiana. Also in 1905, Winnie Hartley of Muncie, Indiana designed the badge, which has remained the same ever since. Nora Spurgeon Charman was the first of the founders to die and it was in her honor that the founders' names would be included in the ritual. The first convention was held in 1906. In 1907 the third chapter was installed in Tipton, Indiana. By 1913, there were 11 active chapters.

The sorority's newsletter, Grit, was first published in 1917. By 1920, Delta Theta Tau had 18 chapters. Today there are 109 active chapters total, as well as 53 alumnae chapters.


Delta Theta Tau Sorority is a service sorority and raises money through various efforts for many different charities. Over the last ten years, Delta Theta Tau has contributed a great deal of time and money to the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED). The ectodermal dysplasia (ED) syndromes are a group of about 150 heritable disorders that affect the ectoderm, the outer layer of tissue in a developing baby. ED syndromes affect both males and females of all races and ethnic groups.

The ectoderm contributes to the formation of many parts of the body, including the skin, sweat glands, hair, teeth, and nails. During embryonic development, these and/or other parts of the baby's body, including the lens of the eye, parts of the inner ear, the fingers and toes, or nerves, among others, may fail to develop normally.

When a child has at least two types of abnormal ectodermal features—for example, malformed teeth and extremely sparse hair—the child is identified as being affected by an ED "syndrome." Each of the roughly 150 ED syndromes represents a different combination of abnormalities. Physical symptoms can range from mild to extremely severe. Very few types of ED involve learning difficulties.

The Delta Theta Tau Golden Hand Fund

The Delta Theta Tau Golden Hand Fund is a non-profit entity within the organization that provides charitable contributions to various philanthropies.

Delta Home

Delta Theta Tau is unique in that it has a separate fund that is used for members entering their golden years who experience financial difficulties. Delta Home provides anonymous assistance to members who apply.

Mission statement

Delta Theta Tau Sorority, Inc. is a national women's organization dedicated to the advancement of philanthropy and charity, nonsectarian, nonacademic, promoting welfare for all and fostering the spirit of good fellowship.

Honorary Members

External links

  • Delta Theta Tau Official Webpage


  2. Golden Years of Delta Theta Tau
  3. Silver Years of Delta Theta Tau
  4. Diamond Years of Delta Theta Tau' by Teresa McAllister
  5. Grit Quarterly Publication of Delta Theta Tau
  6. Interviews with the 2004-2005 National Council, 2005-2006 National Council, and members of the Zeta Zeta Chapter
  8. NFED fundraising director
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