March 26, 2024

Giving Graciously – Myrtle Graeter Hinkly, Order of the Laurel

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Delta Zeta Women's Membership Organization | Delta Zeta Sorority

March kicks off Women’s History Month, and this year’s national theme is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” Throughout Delta Zeta’s history, we have had many members who lived this through their actions on behalf of the sorority. A cherished tradition from Theta Upsilon, which merged with Delta Zeta in 1962, the Order of the Laurel honors members for sorority service of unusual merit and covering a period of many years. According to the Delta Zeta Constitution, Article XX, National Awards, Section 3, The Order of the Laurel was established to honor those members for sorority service of exceptional merit covering a period of many years.

Born October 17, 1893 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Myrtle Graeter Hinkly, Delta-DePauw (IN) was initiated into the DePauw University Chapter of Delta Zeta in the fall of 1911. She attended her first National Convention at Winona Lake in Northern Indiana the summer of 1912. At the 1968 Convention, Myrtle led other past national officers in the presentation of the initiation ritual for the entire delegation. All Delta Zetas in attendance have remembered through the years this “quickening personal experience,” in the words of Grace Mason Lundy, Epsilon-Indiana.

Myrtle served as National Treasurer from 1918-1922; National Registrar, 1922-24; and again as National Treasurer, 1924-26. Elected National President in 1928, she served through the depression years until 1934. At the 1938 Convention,  she was elected president for a two year term. Upon the certification of the Delta Zeta Foundation as a legally organized corporation of the state of Minnesota in 1961 listing Founders Mary Collins Galbraith and Alfa Lloyd Hayes and then National President Helen Woodruff Nolop as incorporators, Myrtle was elected a member of the first Board of Trustees.From 1970-1972 Myrtle served as treasurer of the Foundation and worked to promote the philanthropic activities of the sorority through the Foundation. The Myrtle Graeter Hinkly Foundation award for alumnae chapter excellence in local philanthropy was established by the Foundation in 1973. Myrtle was one of the early dreamers of a home for the Sorority’s National Headquarters in Oxford, Ohio. When this dream became a reality in 1983, she made a gift of $10,000 in memory of her sister, Hope, also a DePauw chapter member. In the summer of 1984, at ninety plus years of age, Myrtle made her first trip to Oxford and spent a night in the authentically restored Victorian home, the Delta Zeta National Historical Museum.

The Myrtle Graeter Hinkly Council award was presented in 1968 by Texas collegians and alumnae as a traveling award to recognize overall chapter excellence in alumnae work. Myrtle was named to the Order of the Laurel posthumously at the 1987 National Convention in Florida.

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