Women's History Month: Community

March 28, 2022


History of service to others has been long a part of the Delta Zeta experience. Though service and philanthropy projects may have changed over the years, the commitment sisters have to help and serve others is of the greatest importance. As early as 1914, we see that the National Convention felt that the responsibility of setting a good example was a valuable quality. Mildred Van Dusen McVay, Beta-Cornell, served as the chairman of the social service committee and in her report to the convention reiterated “upon Delta Zeta the importance of being prepared to serve before undertaking the service of others.” Her report emphasized the need of helping members solve the vital problems they faced in college life, and that an organization is useful only as it serves others. At that time, the most effective service Delta Zeta could give was a “united effort to make the individual chapter a force in college life; a force that would raise the social, intellectual and moral standards of college women.”
Delta Zeta has had many different service and philanthropy projects through the years, however hearing and speech has been a prominent part of our history. Starting back in 1944, the Detroit alumnae chapter provided a hearing aid for a child in the name of Delta Zeta. At the time, there was little state or federal aid for the deaf, and this philanthropy spread to other chapters. The 1954 National Convention voted to make this a national project and so started our involvement on a national level.
From our first national service project in 1922 building a school in Vest, Kentucky, to our current efforts in 2022 to build community through our commitment to philanthropy and service, Delta Zeta has gone on to impact the lives of others globally through our commitment to being in service to others.