A Brief History of
On May 11, 1927, Delta Kappa Gamma was founded as an organization for women educators to provide a community to assist women in their professional and personal growth, a platform for promoting desirable legislation for education, an opportunity for providing recognition for outstanding service to education, a source of grants and scholarships for members to pursue advanced degrees and to assist women planning to pursue a career in education, and a network providing member support and fellowship.
Although the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, had been ratified in 1920, women had few rights and limited opportunities for education and employment in 1927. A group of twelve remarkable women - remarkable for their levels of education, accomplishments, and abilities - met at the University Faculty Women's Club in Austin, Texas, to make the dreams of several years into a reality.
A professional organization for women educators was envisioned by accomplished educator Dr. Annie Webb Blanton at a time when women’s roles in education, the profession, and society were very limited. Dr. Blanton’s experiences made her acutely aware of the need of such an organization to promote the role of women in education, provide recognition for excellence in education, push for legislation favorable to education, and assist women preparing to become educators.
An English faculty member of North Texas State Normal College for 17 years, Miss Blanton became the first woman elected to state office in Texas in 1918 when she was elected state superintendent of schools, a position she held for two
terms. Following her service in state office, Miss Blanton returned to the classroom at the University of Texas, teaching in the education department. Four years later, she took a leave of absence to pursue a Ph.D. at Cornell University which she finished in three years. Dr. Blanton returned to the University of Texas where she served as a professor for the remainder of her life.
On May 11, 1927, Dr. Blanton, along with eleven other Texas female educators who represented a diverse spectrum of experience, founded the professional society for women teachers in a meeting at the University Faculty Women's Club in Austin, Texas. In addition to Dr. Blanton, the original founders included Miss Mamie Sue Bastian, elementary school principal; Miss Ruby Cole, elementary school principal; Miss Mabel Grizzard, elementary school principal; Dr. Anna Hiss, professor of physical education; Miss Ray King, junior high and high school history teacher; Miss Sue King, high school history teacher; Dr. Helen Koch, professor of psychology; Mrs. Ruby Terrill Lomax, dean of women and associate professor of classical languages; Dr. Cora M. Martin, professor of elementary education; Mrs. Lalla M. Odom, high school mathematics teacher; and Miss Lela Lee Williams, elementary teacher.
Initially, the name chosen for the organization was Kappa Gamma Delta, but as this name was already being used by an aeronautical society, the women changed its name to Delta Kappa Gamma in its August 15, 1929, charter, and obtained exclusively in 1941. The reasons seen as a need for the formation of the organization became the foundation of the seven purposes which the Society continues to use as the basis of its activities and involvement.
The organization grew from a lone chapter in the Lone Star State to an international society, with current membership of more than 80,000 women educators in chapters and state organizations in 17 countries.
Holden, E.T. (1960). Our heritage in the Delta Kappa Gamma Society.
Austin, TX: The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. (n.d.) History. Retrieved