Delta Sigma Theta sorority was founded in 1913 by 22 women in Washington, D.C. on the campus of Howard University. Delta Sigma Theta is currently the largest Greek-lettered sorority in the world. Although sorority membership consists of predominantly African-American members, it is open to women of all races and ethnicities.
In 1912, 22 members of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha voted to change the name as well as the direction of the organization to reflect more involvement in public service and less on social activities. There were many changes that were proposed for Alpha Kappa Alpha. Those members wanted to change the name of the sorority to Delta Sigma Theta as well. When conflict arose about the proposed changes, those 22 members were given a deadline to stop their efforts. Instead the members decided to leave that sorority, and form their own, which is Delta Sigma Theta.
The founders of Delta Sigma Theta were Winona Cargile Alexander, Madree Penn White, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, Vashti Turley Murphy, Ethel Cuff Black, Frederica Chase Dodd, Osceola Macarthy Adams, Pauline Oberdorfer Minor, Edna Brown Coleman, Edith Mott Young, Marguerite Young Alexander, Naomi Sewell Richardson, Eliza P. Shippen, Zephyr Chisom Carter, Myra Davis Hemmings, Mamie Reddy Rose, Bertha Pitts Campbell, Florence Letcher Toms, Olive Jones, Jessie McGuire Dent, Jimmie Bugg Middleton and Ethel Carr Watson.
Delta Sigma Theta still focuses heavily on community service and social activism issues today. The sorority headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the National Panhellenic Council.
There appears to be no official national philanthropy adopted by Delta Sigma Theta. Individual chapters are encouraged to support the philanthropy of their choice.
“Intelligence is the Torch of Wisdom.”
- Sorority colors are crimson and cream
- Sorority symbol is fortitude
- Sorority flower is the African violet
- Sorority emphasis is on service to others
- Nicknames include DST and Deltas
- Sorority headquartered in Washington, D.C.
- Sorority has an international scope
- Keshia Knight Pulliam (Actress)
- Natalie Cole (Singer)
- Aretha Franklin (Singer)
- Mary McLeod Bethune (Civil Rights Activist)
- Wilma Rudolph (Olympic gold medalist)
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