International Badge Day Part V

International Badge Day is quickly approaching – Monday, March 5 – so use this time to not only learn about each NPC member group’s badge but also about what makes each member group unique. Visit the NPC website and download the About NPC Member Groups PowerPoint, and I know you will grow in your knowledge and understanding of the Conference.

Alpha Gamma Delta:
• Alpha Gamma Delta’s Badge is a monogram of the three Greek letters with the Delta plain, the Gamma chased and the Alpha, superimposed upon the two, set with pearls or diamonds or unjeweled.
• For some time after Alpha Gamma Delta’s founding, owners were permitted a choice of any jewels she wished or to have none at all. It was later ruled that only pearls and diamonds are the only jewels permitted.
• In the early years, all Badges were slightly larger than the ones today, and some were quite a bit larger. In the interest of uniformity, provisions were made for one official jeweler at the 1913 Convention.

Delta Zeta:
• The Delta Zeta badge consists of the Roman lamp with a diamond in the flame of the lamp and four pearls at the base, resting upon an Ionic column from which spreads the wings of Mercury.
• Arthur Bairnsfather, a member of Phi Delta Theta and later a nationally known illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post and Harper’s, designed the first Delta Zeta badge.
• Founder Alpha Lloyd Hayes’ (Miami University) original badge is housed in the Delta Zeta National Historical Museum.

Alpha Sigma Tau:
• Black enameled, six-point badge, with the greek letters Alpha Sigma Tau placed horizontally in yellow gold with a white pearl or yellow gold border.
• The National President may have white diamonds in the four main points of her badge; National Council members may have emeralds in the points;
National Panhellenic Delegates may have Yellow Topaz in the points and National Staff/Initiated Advisers may have rubies in the points.
• Our badge may have a chapter or alumnae guard attached. Chapter guards can be either jeweled (with pearls) or plain yellow gold, with a gold chain. The alumnae guard is an Anchor, which is the symbol of the alumna.

Delta Phi Epsilon:
• Delta Phi Epsilon is the only sorority to have its motto on the face of their badge. It was added when the sorority entered the NPC in 1951 as a way to differentiate the triangular badge from those of other member groups.
• Less than 15 badges exist today which do not have the scroll with “Esse Quam Videri” under the equilateral triangle and are sought after by many members and pin collectors alike.
• The badge of DPhiE is surrounded by 21 pearls, which are the sorority’s gemstone. The 21 pearls hold significance throughout the personal development programming of Delta Phi Epsilon. The most noted of which is the PEARL Program.

Alpha Epsilon Phi:
• The Alpha Epsilon Phi badge consists of 27 pearls (A is 8, E is 9, Phi is 10)
• Our badge has stayed consistent and has had no revisions made to it since our founding in 1909
• The Alpha Epsilon Phi badge was designed by three of our founders

Phi Sigma Sigma
• Founder Shirley Cohen suggested the sphinx as a symbol because of its mythological significance to women representing mystery and secrecy. Therefore, Phi Sigma Sigma’s first badge, a sphinxhead with sapphire eyes on a gold base bearing the Greek letters in blue enamel, was carefully crafted by all ten Founders.
• In 1950, one year prior to joining NPC, Phi Sigma Sigma announced the adoption of a new jeweled badge at its 25th Convention. The original badge was superimposed on a gold pyramid with three sapphires in each corner.
• To further identify a member and indicate the bond between the international organization and each of its chapters, a chapter letter guard is attached to the badge by a small, gold linked chain. The guard allows for members to place dangles representing positions held within the organization. Phi Sigma Sigma is one of the only NPC groups that includes the guard as a standard part of its badge.

Books That Have Shaped My Life

Books shape our lives. As a child, I was an avid reader of the Nancy Drew Adventure series. Since my first name is Nancy, I was able to pretend I was the girl in the story trying to solve the mysteries. Then during high school there was the dreaded required reading, but who could deny the impact of such classics as "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway; "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee (a Panhellenic woman); and "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The one book I remember from college that had an effect on me was "Working" by Studs Terkel. The human stories in Terkel's book were so intriguing.

In more recent years, several books that have meant something to me come to mind:
  •   "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, which took me back to my childhood in the mountains of North Carolina
  •  "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells, as a Panhellenic woman it is hard to resist a good story about sisterhood
  • "Half the Sky" by Nicholes D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, the idea of turning oppression into  opportunity for women is why sororities were originally founded, and now sorority women are inspired by the book and have a chance to give back through The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation
  •  "Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes, just because I love Italy
Currently, I'm reading Pat Conroy's "South of Broad" in which old classmates come together to help one of their number. He also wrote the bestseller, "The Prince of Tides.”

Though all these books have had an impact on me in some way, the book which best describes the opportunities that have been afforded me through sorority membership and which is one of my favorites is Dr. Seuss’, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!”  Where are your books taking you?

International Badge Day Part IV

International Badge Day is March 5 and it celebrates sisterhood and membership, but did you know that March is also National Women’s History Month? There are many notable sorority women in history. In fact, Grace Goodhue Coolidge – wife of President Coolidge – was a Pi Beta Phi. She wore her badge on her heart in many famous photos with her husband. So on March 5, wear your badge on your heart proudly because that photo someone snaps is a notable piece of sorority history.

Kappa Delta:
• In 1897, Kappa Delta founder Julia Tyler Wilson designed the sorority’s first badge in the shape of a diamond with a fluted edge, and a local jeweler crafted a dozen badges, enough for the first group of initiates at State Female Normal School, now Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
• Since 1913, each Kappa Delta badge has been engraved on the back with the member’s number and her chapter name, and with this information also stored in the sorority’s database, it is possible to connect a lost badge to its owner.
• Today the “diamond shield” of Kappa Delta no longer has fluted edges, but the gold or silver pins may be rimmed with diamonds, emeralds, pearls or any combination of these precious jewels.

Alpha Delta Pi:
• During the first three years of the Adelphean Society, the badge evolved from the satin riband in 1851 to a metal diamond-shaped badge in 1852.
• While our first all-gold badge cost $6 in 1853, more than 132 combinations of metal and gemstone are available to members today.
• To commemorate the sorority’s 160th anniversary, a badge set with turquoise stones debuted at Grand Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sigma Kappa:
• The official Sigma Kappa triangle badge was adopted on March 7, 1894, with “unjeweled maroon enamel, if possible.” Jeweled badges were approved at the 1915 convention when the pearl was adopted as the national jewel.
• Sigma Kappa’s earliest known badge, a serpent in the shape of the letter Sigma entwined with the letter Kappa, is now used as the new member badge.
• Members of national council wear a badge with two rows of alternating diamonds and pearls. After one year’s service on council, Sigma Kappa presents the members of the national council with a badge set with a single row of alternate diamonds and pearls. This type of badge is not worn by any other Sigma Kappa.

Pi Beta Phi:
• In 1888, when the Fraternity’s name was officially changed to its Greek motto, Pi Beta Phi, the Greek letters replaced the “I C” on the wings of the badge. At that time, the subject of jeweled badges arose. Although some chapters were opposed to putting jewels on the badge, the first jeweled Pi Beta Phi badge, a diamond and pearl badge, was presented to Grand President, Rainie Adamson Small, at the 1888 Ottumwa Convention.
• At the Yellowstone National Park Convention in 1934, the convention body voted to limit the links in the chain of the badge to 12 — one for each founder.
• The 1921 Charlevoix Convention body voted no member initiated after July 6, 1921, wear any other badge than the official gold standard badge. Enameled wings and stones in the chain were forbidden, as were platinum badges.

Gamma Phi Beta:
• The Gamma Phi Beta badge was designed by Tiffany & Co. in New York in 1874.
• The badge should be worn over the heart when adorning clothing, but may also be worn on a ring, necklace or charm bracelet.
• There are a total of 35 jewels – 17 stones in the Gamma/Beta and 18 stones in the Phi. Also the back of the badge is engraved with the name, chapter and year of initiation for each member.

AFLV Central

Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of the regional leadership conferences that take place each spring. These conferences are a great place to interact with campus professionals and our College Panhellenic officers. These opportunities always remind me why I love the work of NPC. Without my collegiate experience, I would not be the woman I am today. Through my interactions and presentations I was able to share the great work on NPC and the projects we are so proud of. For example, our RecruitmentPrep tool for future sorority women to prepare themselves for the recruitment process and our programs for hire, “Something of Value,” Advance Panhellenic and consulting team visits. There are so many resources available to our women and we are always coming up with more.

I am also thrilled to report that our women are sharp. They are informed, concerned and passionate about their roles as leaders on campus. They are managing large committees, budgets and expansions to engage more women in the sorority community. They are working with local and national philanthropies to positively impact their communities. They are building upon their potential. They are making great moves.

I for one look forward to what the future holds for NPC and these women, and I hope to see some of you at future regional leadership conferences this spring.

Our Potential. Your Move.

International Badge Day Part III

International Badge Day is just a month away on Monday, March 5. Today NPC launches the Facebook Event, so be sure to RSVP and invite your Panhellenic sisters to do the same. Last year 52,000 said yes to wearing their badges, so help us reach our potential by growing that number and spreading the message of lifelong sisterhood throughout the world. It’s your move.

Kappa Alpha Theta:
• Founder Bettie Locke spent more than a year designing Kappa Alpha Theta’s badge. When the design was complete, she sought a jeweler who made other fraternity badges. John Newman of New York was contacted, and in his response, he first addressed Bettie as "sir." We do not have Bettie's reply, but he does refer to her as "Miss Locke" in his next letter.
• Photographs from the early years of Kappa Alpha Theta often picture members wearing their badges as hair ornaments. Today, pin-on pendants and rings offer Thetas various ways to wear our badge with pride.
• According to Theta legend, when the cornerstone of DePauw’s East College building was laid in 1870, a Theta badge was one of the “time capsule” items enclosed.

Delta Delta Delta:
• Because Sarah Ida Shaw and Eleanor Dorcas Pond did not want the price of the badge to prevent someone from becoming a member, the original badges were simple Stars and Crescent design. The jewel promised them at $1.25 a piece, of 14k gold, but very thin provided they order two dozen.
• Early badges were ordered from a variety of jewelers and often were varying sizes, and contained a variety of stones: diamonds, opals, pearls and even turquoise. In 1938 the By-Laws of Delta Delta Delta limited the jewel to be used in the stars to pearls.
• Contrary to urban legend, there is not a Tri Delta badge pinned to the flag on the moon!

Alpha Xi Delta:
• Alpha Xi Delta’s badge, The Quill, represents the Fraternity’s motto, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
• Lewie Strong Taylor designed the first Quill in May 1893. Originally, Lewie designed Alpha Xi Delta’s badge to have a rose above the Quill, but the jeweler who fashioned the first pins feared the rose would fall off with normal wear. The original badge was approximately seven-eighths of an inch long and set on a stickpin.
• Cora Bollinger Block had the first jeweled Quill with a sapphire surrounded by turquoise jewels.

Zeta Tau Alpha:
• Zeta Tau Alpha's badge was designed in 1899 by Giles Mebane Smith, brother of Founder Frances Yancey Smith.
• The badge may be gold or silver and may be surrounded by one or two types of jewels.
• At the 1908 Convention, ZTA members voted that the badge may not be worn by men or turned into another piece of jewelry. That policy remains in effect today.

Theta Phi Alpha:
• In the early days of Theta Phi Alpha, the shape of the badge was consistent, with the gold letter (Theta), jeweled, with the letters (Phi) and (Alpha) superimposed. The jewels varied depending on the social station of the member. While the Fraternity jewels were pearls and sapphires, even rubies were featured in badges!
• In 1932, the Fraternity voted to have a uniform badge, with 19 pearls on the gold Theta. Since then, the only members of the Fraternity to wear a badge with other stones are the members of the Grand Council and chapter presidents.
• Theta Phi Alpha has unveiled a diamond and sapphire badge in commemoration of the Fraternity's Centennial year, 2012.

International Badge Day Part II

This year’s theme for International Badge Day is, “Wear Your Letters on Your Heart.” But, did you know that some groups didn’t start out wearing their badges over their heart? There was a point in time when some sorority women wore their badges in their hair. What a great sorority badge history fact. Read more about the history of our member groups’ badges below and each Monday leading up to Monday, March 5.

Sigma Sigma Sigma:
• The skull and crossed bones on the badge represent Sigma Sigma Sigma's public motto "Faithful Unto Death."
• Mr. L. G. Balfour, Tri Sigma’s longtime official jeweler, stated of our badge, “It has been the aim of the manufacturer of the Sigma Sigma Sigma badge to evolve a design majestic without severity, impressive without showiness, and emphatic in its simplicity.”
• The only man entitled to wear the official Triangle Badge was James Miller Leake, KS, who worked with the leadership to create the Sorority’s beautiful initiatory ritual, the Triangle Degree, representing full membership.

Sigma Delta Tau:
• The Torch badge of Sigma Delta Tau was chosen by its founders in 1917 as a symbol of freedom and leadership to light the way for others.
• The jeweled torch is adorned by five pearls on the crossbar and one on its handle. These pearls represent the six principles of membership in SDT: philanthropy, sisterhood, health and social awareness, lifelong membership and community service.
• A diamond brightens the flame, representing scholarship, SDT’s most important value.

Kappa Kappa Gamma:
• The six Founders of Kappa Kappa Gamma chose the golden key as the badge of Kappa Kappa Gamma and announced themselves on campus in 1870 after their badges arrived from the jeweler.
• Though some guessed the key was chosen to lock up the secrets of their sisterhood, the Founders noted that they chose the key as a symbol of their purpose in “unlocking the hidden mysteries in Science, Literature and Art.”
• The badge of Lucy Webb Hayes is held in the collections of the Division of Politics and Reform at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History and is occasionally displayed with the First Ladies’ dresses.

Alpha Omicron Pi:
• Desiring a badge that indicated "our determined simplicity: one motto, one badge, one bond - and singleness of heart," our Founders determined this would be best achieved with a monogram of the letters A - O and II, one superimposed over the other.
• In 1897, the Founders rode bicycles from Barnard College down New York's Fifth Avenue to Theodore B. Starr's Jewelers to have their badges designed. Decades later, Founder Stella Perry would add to her story, "Fancy girls going down Broadway and Fifth Avenue on bicycles today!"
• In keeping with the ideal of simplicity, AOII's badge is worn alone, over the heart, and should never be attached to another pin or dangle.

Alpha Sigma Alpha:
• The Greek letters depict the sorority name and the words of the open motto “Aspire, Seek, Attain.”
• Each of the four points of the badge represent one of the four aims of Alpha Sigma Alpha: physical, intellectual, spiritual and social development, and the badge may be set with jewels such as pearls, rubies, and diamonds.
• The original badge of Alpha Sigma Alpha was a shield with a star and crown. It was changed in 1903 to the design that it holds today.