H I S T O R Y
Tri Delta was founded Thanksgiving Eve, 1888 at Boston University by Sarah Ida Shaw, Eleanor Dorcas Pond, Florence Isabel Stewart, and Isabel Morgan Breed. Although there were three women’s groups represented at Boston University in 1888, Sarah Ida Shaw saw a need for a group which would be different from the others. She said to her friend, Eleanor Dorcas Pond, “Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl’s inner self and character than of her personal appearance.”
So the two young women began the work of creating a new national fraternity. Later Sarah wrote, “…The two enthusiastic friends were unaware of the fact that there was something stupendous about the task they had set hands, heads and hearts to accomplish. They were working for a principle, and it never occurred to them that there could be such a thing as failure. Earnestness of purpose, energy and enthusiasm had brought them both success in college and why should not these same qualities bring assurance of good fortune to the new venture.”
The Tri Delta symbols were chosen to represent the three stages of growth and development in Tri Delta.
The pearl is the jewel of Tri Delta. It was chosen to symbolize the new member because it is the one jewel that grows, developing from a tiny grain of sand into a thing of great value and beauty.
The pine tree is a symbol of Tri Delta’s collegiate members because it represents growth and lofty aspirations.
The pansy is Tri Delta’s flower. It is a symbol of alumnae membership and the third step in the lifetime development of Delta Delta Delta’s members.
The dolphin was considered a good omen by the ancient Greeks. It symbolized rebirth, friendship and leadership. In Tri Delta the dolphin is symbolic of clear skies and smooth sailing and has special significance for Fraternity leaders.
Tri Delta’s colors are silver, gold and cerulean blue. Green is also significant for Tri Delta as it represents the union of the three colors.
The Phi Epsilon Chapter of Delta Delta Delta was established on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in 1951.