Through conversations with our members, we learned heartfelt stories of a role that Sorority played in their “truly making it.” They spoke of five things we knew were wired into the experience, but they may not be part of public perception.
They related stories of empowerment, personal growth, community involvement, and of lifelong friendships being played out against a backdrop of the values we share.
We were moved. It reminded us of the promises we make to one another—and to the world—through our Creed.
The women we talked to described one another as genuine, open, faithful, compassionate, focused and ready for whatever comes their way. These are attributes we hope for in the women we know, and our organization mirrors these women. In the years since our founding, we’ve created a sorority that enhances the collegiate years and remains relevant for all the years of our lives.
MAKE FRIENDS AND IMPROVE SELF
Friendship is where sorority begins, and the promise of lasting friendship starts with being the best version of our self. To that end, Delta Zeta created Being More! a four-year peer-led experience that prepares women to live their values. During her collegiate years, each woman participates in programs that will help her develop six core competencies: effective communication, personal life balance, valuing and maintaining relationships, having confidence, critical thinking and conflict resolution.
LEARN NOW AND LEARN FOR LIFE
Learning is the highest priority of the collegiate experience, but focusing on that and learning to manage competing interests can be a challenge to a young woman. Delta Zeta reinforces the pursuit of academic excellence through specific programs that include minimum grade point averages for members and chapters, and maintaining faculty advisors for each chapter. This has helped Delta Zeta women earn a reputation for maintaining above average GPAs on the vast majority of our affiliated campuses.
SERVICE IS CITIZENSHIP AND GIVING IS A LIFESTYLE
Doing something that matters is an ideal brought to life in Delta Zeta’s Creed—something each Delta Zeta woman embraces as a promise to herself, her friends and her community when she says, “to those whom my life may touch in slight measure, may I give graciously of what is mine.” Since the early 1920s, each member has committed to community service and philanthropy as part of her membership experience. In fact, collectively, Delta Zeta’s collegiate women serve more than 700,000 hours and $1,500,000 raised each year.
In 1954, Delta Zeta named Speech and Hearing as its philanthropy focus, partnering with Gallaudet University, the world’s only university making undergraduate programs accessible to the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students. Delta Zeta named Starkey Hearing Foundation as a National Philanthropy Partner in 2006. The Sorority sponsors Learn 2 Listen week each April, raising awareness of noise-induced hearing loss and raises money year-round to improve the quality of life for those with hearing challenges. In 2015, Delta Zeta launched the DZ Hike for Hearing (now Heart for Hearing) with a goal to raise $5,000,000 for the Starkey Hearing Foundation in support of After Care Clinics around the world. The work will help those with hearing challenges overcome obstacles and empower their pursuit of a fulfilled life.
SHARED VALUES OPEN DOORS
While many women tell stories of including college classmates in their weddings, our women also relate stories of reaching out to those they only know of as sorority sisters to help find their way around a new city. Or, they speak fondly of a sorority sister become mentor who guided them toward a promising career or through a critical life moment. Stories like this are possible because of the values shared among these women. If one Delta Zeta collegiate or alumnae member reaches out to another, the relationship has a head start informed by the values they share through their member experience. It’s more than a way to enrich the collegiate experience. It’s truly the sort of thing that adds value as a lifelong experience.