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.