My Delta Zeta Mother

My Mother, Phyllis Davis Fisch, began her association with Delta Zeta’s Delta Xi Chapter in the late 1930’s during her college years at Colorado State College of Education, now known as the University Northern Colorado (UNC).  Just before her passing November 2022, Mother was honored to be welcomed as a member of the Delta Zeta Order of the Pearl.  The honor, as described in a letter received from the National President, was awarded with “an abundance of love and appreciation” for Mother’s “unwavering dedication and devotion to Delta Zeta.”

The recognition, so fondly received, reminded both my Mother and me as well of times past and memories recalled of service and loyalty given by my Mother to her Delta Zeta sisterhood.  Conversations were soon sparked regarding Mother’s college years of living in the Delta Zeta house with sisters with whom she maintained relationships well after college, as well as the opportunities the Greek life afforded her throughout college and beyond.  Mother expressed great joy in the comradery felt by her sisters and the fun they had together.  I recalled, as a child, the influence Mother’s Delta Zeta affiliation had upon my life

As a young woman, Mother was not expected to attend college even though she was an astute scholar who envisioned education beyond high school.  Her upbringing dictated men were afforded the opportunity of higher education, not women.  As a result, Mother ventured determinedly as a high school graduate from Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on her own “working dime” to attend and graduate from UNC.  I was quite impressed that, being responsible for her own tuition, room and board, Mother invested additional funds into sorority life.  This factor alone demonstrated the inherent value Mother saw in Delta Zeta affiliation.

As a child, I acutely remember the pride, loyalty and commitment Mother had toward being a Delta Zeta.  I spent many hours outside of the UNC Delta Zeta chapter house doing my homework while Mother engaged in functions not just as an alum member but also as an officer.  Through the years, I observed Mother being very involved at the local chapter as well as at the regional and national level.  She particularly was engaged in supporting scholarship efforts for current and future sisters.  Great comradery was found serving in roles that involved flying to surrounding states to assist with Delta Zeta campus chapters.  All of the Delta Zeta work was accomplished while at the same time being a full-time professional, working Mother.

Seeing Mother role model the importance of living university life to the fullest, taking advantage of every opportunity to expand your horizons and being relentless in achieving your desired goals had a great impact on me to pursue higher education.  From a young age, I knew I was university bound with Greek affiliation in my bones.  I attended the University of Colorado, where there was not a Delta Zeta chapter.  As a Kappa Alpha Theta, I experienced sorority life much like my Mother.  The Delta Zeta pride, loyalty and commitment traits fared both of us well in life.

I am grateful that I was able to witness the enjoyment my Delta Zeta Mother experienced in her attainment of the Order of the Pearl membership at 101 years old.  Her encounters and adventures with Delta Zeta groomed and influenced both of our lives professionally and personally.

Hats Off to the Sisterhood of Delta Zeta, who TRULY remembers and recognizes their members from university life STRAIGHT THROUGH THE GOLDEN YEARS!

Carla Steinforth, Kappa Alpha Theta