On March 17, 1917, five women came together at the library of the NYU Washington Square campus to form Delta Phi Epsilon.
Our sorority published a special Centennial edition of the Triad which is filled with stories, history, and facts. Knowing that DPhiE was founded by five Jewish women at a law school where only around 20 of 250 classmates were women really strikes a chord in me. Pictured above is the cover of the latest magazine edition. In the mirror is DPhiE’s first pledge. She was tasked with dressing up and carrying a suitcase with the word “INITIATION” across it and to take the subway up and down Manhattan to speak about women’s suffrage.
Her initiation was to speak on behalf of women’s rights. What a powerful thing! Our founder’s were trailblazers! DPhiE was founded at such an interesting time in history. Women would eventually gain the right to vote, but the fight is never over. The sorority would spread to Canada but would also face rough times with the Great Depression which caused many sororities to fold or get absorbed. But not DPhiE.
Something about its founding principles ring throughout the ages. Justice. Sisterhood. Love. These three foundations will transcend generations for another 100 years or more.
So much of DPhiE has changed. When it was founded, the flower was the pansy but we chose the Lovely Purple Iris after becoming members of the NPC because the pansy was Tri-Delta’s flower. We added the scroll and motto to our badge since it would look a lot like Tri-Sigma’s triangle badge. What I love about DPhiE is our ability to change to stand out. I am not sure if other NPC’s admitted in 1952 changed anything when they became members like we did, but I take so much pride in the fact that we did this.
It speaks so much to who we are as Deephers. The ability to change but also remain individuals and stand out. I love our unique history. Above is a picture of our insignia. There use to be a Patroness badge. We no longer have this because we now have Alumnae Initiation in which a non-NPC women, over the age of 18, can be petitioned to membership from a member. These women who are A.I.’s hold all the rights and privileges of an initiated member. I am a proud Alumnae Initiate and am so grateful that DPhiE has this program since I was never able to join and NPC in college.
DPhiE has the ability to see the good in women and to give them the opportunity to be leaders in their community and colleges. I look forward to another amazing 100 years for this trailblazing sorority!