On A Centennial

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Today is January 13, 2013.

One hundred years ago today, 22 college educated black women conceived an organization for the betterment of women, the African American race and on a larger scale, mankind. The fact that they were even able to visualize such an ideal during a time when most woman and all blacks were considered lesser than in greater society is amazing itself.

I’m not going to go into the history of my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. You can go online and look at our website or pick up the excellent book, “In Search of Sisterhood” by Soror Paula Giddings. I’m not going to get into the struggles that affect black Greek lettered organizations, because what affects one, affects them all.

Instead, I’m going to tell you what being a Delta means to me. I was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. via the Eta Beta chapter in the spring of 1994. I was 20 years old. I was a finance major and active in several clubs on campus. I was watching the Deltas like a hawk. The Deltas on campus were the bomb..they were the president of this club and that club, our campus queen was a Delta, top administrators were Deltas and I wanted to be just like them.  I went to the rush, along with several hundred other girls, and submitted my application. I waited on pins and needles for a call for an interview and when it came, I cried. But I wasn’t there yet. I interviewed and waited some more. It was make or break time. Did my service, grades and recommedations speak enoiugh on my behalf?? It all came down to the vote of those women in that chapter. It did. I “made line” and entered into the sisterhood with 28 other women on that spring day in April.

I reflect on that day nearly 19(!) years ago and I think of the hours of service to those less fortunate, the thousands of dollars collected in dues in fundraisers for scholarships and donations to other non-profits, the hours spent planning and meeting thinking of programming that assist our communities and youth and I don’t think people really truly realize that all this WORK is done by an ALL VOLUNTEER ARMY. This is not a boast or a a “humble brag” but simply the truth. While it is certainly true that you don’t need to be in a sorority to do community service, I certainly believe that the collective efforts of my sorority have a greater impact as a whole.

Growing up without any sisters, my sorors have become the sisters I never had. Whenever I have needed a listening ear or to be tapped on the shoulder because I may have been getting out of line, my sorors have been there for me. Through college and grad school, marriages, babies, divorces and deaths, we’re still standing together. We all get busy with life, but one phone call is all it takes to reconnect. That type of bond is invaluable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Sorority life is not for everyone, and I respect that. But it was for me and I am glad to be in the fold.

Happy Centennial to my beloved Delta Sigma Theta!!! My first love is, and will always be..D-S-T!!!!

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8 responses »

  1. Congratulations on 100 years! I always wanted to pledge but with having to work, I just didn’t have the funds or the time. I considered doing a grad chapter, but thought I would miss out on the sisterhood that comes from the pledging process. Now I am too old! :)

    Congratulations again!

    • You are not too old to join a grad chapter if you are so inclined. The process is the same at the collegiate or alumnae level, you just aren’t in college anymore. One of my good friends from college just crosses alumnae chapter and she is 39. My chapter’s last line in 2006, had grandmothers on it.

  2. Congratulations to you and DST for 100 years of service. I’m here in DC…it was a sea of Crimson and Cream all weekend!

  3. Curious how those how are “traditional pledges” feel about those that pledge in a graduate chapter? I went to a predominantly white college with no black greek organizations, now that I am in my late 20′s I’ve been thinking about possibly pledging a grad chapter but still unsure.

    • Hi, Melani: The process for undergraduate and alumnae initiation is the same. If you are interested them research the local chapter in your area, make sure to attend their public events and make sure you are doing community service. You are definitely not too old to seek membership, if that is your desire.

  4. I went to a small, private school that was predominantly white. There were BGLOs on other campuses in town, but being a big introvert back then, I didn’t do much socializing on the other campuses, so I didn’t get exposed to the offs much back then. If I had, I might have pursued it. I love reading about what the orgs do, and the grad chapters here seem to be pretty active. I have a cousin in ATL who is a Delta and I think she’s going to DC this summer.

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