Delta Zeta History

Delta Zeta sorority was founded on October 24, 1902 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Although there were fraternities on campus at the time, there were no groups like this for women. With the help of the University President, Dr. Guy Potter Benton, six women came together to form this social organization with the goal of lifelong sisterhood and friendship. These women were Alfa Lloyd, Julia Bishop, Anne Simmons, Mary Collins, Mabelle Minton, and Anna Keen.

Today, Delta Zeta has grown to over 160 chapters within the United States and Canada, and over 200 alumnae chapters. There are over 254,700 initiated members total, and more than 16,700 collegiate members at any given time.

Delta Zeta’s purpose is this: to make life fuller, more meaningful, more rewarding; put simply, enriching. The sisters of Delta Zeta strive for personal growth, lasting bonds of friendship with each other, and for each member to do her part serving the community.

“The purpose of this sorority shall be 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. The purpose of this sorority shall be advanced through the National Convention, the National Council, and the college and alumnae chapters.”

Constitution of the Delta Zeta Sorority, Article II, Sections 1. and 2.

FOUNDED OCTOBER 24, 1902 Delta Zeta Headquarters and Museum
DELTA ZETA'S FOUNDERS Alfa Lloyd, Julia Bishop, Anne Simmons, Mary Collins, Mabelle Minton, and Anna Keen
FLOWER Pink Killarney Rose
BADGE Created by Tiffany & Co. and on display at the Smithsonian as the most beautiful Sorority badge created

Facts and Symbols

  • Founded: October 24, 1902, Miami University, Oxford Ohio
  • Founders: Alfa Lloyd, Julia Bishop, Anne Simmons, Mary Collins, Mabelle Minton, and Anna Keen
  • Grand Patron: Dr. Guy Potter Benton, D.D., LL.D, (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Colors: Rose & Green
  • Flower: Pink Killarney Rose
  • Badge: The Roman Lamp
  • Jewel: Diamond
  • Mascot: Turtle
  • Official Publications: The LAMP of Delta Zeta is the official magazine. It is published three times a year and mailed to all initiated members whose addresses are current at National Headquarters. An online version is offered to those members who prefer not to receive a hard copy.
  • National Philanthropic Partners: The Painted Turtle camp, Speech & Hearing: Starkey Hearing Foundation and Gallaudet University
  • Number of Collegiate Chapters: 166 in the United States & Canada
  • Number of Alumnae Chapters: Over 200 alumnae chapters offer continuing association in 49 states, including Hawaii as well as the United Kingdom and Canada. Surfing Sisters is our first virtual alumnae chapter, established in 1998 as an option for alumnae who do not live near an established college or alumnae group.
  • Number of Initiated Members: Over 260,000
  • Number of Collegiate Members: At any given time, Delta Zeta has more than 16,700 undergraduate members.


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