Delta Kappa Gamma Society
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society is an international professional organization for women in education and closely allied fields. The largest organized group of women educators in the world, the society's purpose is to improve opportunities, to develop leadership qualities, and to advance the status of women educators employed at every level of education.
The society annually awards more than twenty scholarships for advanced graduate study, numerous grants-in-aid to undergraduate women students interested in entering the teaching profession, and fellowships to women educators from other countries to pursue graduate study at universities in the United States or Canada. Each year the society sponsors several educational tours abroad. Delta Kappa Gamma also makes a biennial monetary award to the woman author whose educational publication is selected by a committee as the most significant contribution to education during the two-year period. Through conventions, conferences, committee meetings, and seminars, the society provides an outlet for the creativity of women educators and for the exchange of ideas of leaders in all fields of education.
Other Delta Kappa Gamma programs include the Golden Gift Fund, which provides travel grants and special stipends for education research and helps fund seminars and workshops; the Eunah Temple Holden Leadership Fund, which promotes leadership development projects; and the International Speakers Fund, which helps pay travel expenses for speakers invited to give addresses at Delta Kappa Gamma meetings and conferences.
One of the society's most important programs is the Educational Foundation, which encourages standards of excellence in education. It assists and cooperates with schools, colleges, universities, organizations, trusts, funds, or foundations to support, encourage, and improve education. The foundation has made grants to researchers and authors in the field of education, has supplemented the society's scholarship and world fellowship program, and has sponsored numerous study seminars. Delta Kappa Gamma has had continuing interest in fostering international understanding and providing educational services to underdeveloped areas or countries. Educational Foundation ambassadors have visited numerous countries, including Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Uruguay. Foundation ambassadors recommend and help implement teacher education programs in these countries, recruiting staff and planning courses and facilities.
The society publishes and distributes The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, a quarterly professional journal containing articles of general educational interest, and The Delta Kappa Gamma News, published eight times a year. Numerous other intrasociety publications facilitate the work of committees and aid the implementation of special projects. Pamphlets and reports of general interest are available to nonmembers.
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society is made up of approximately 3,100 chapters in seventy-five state organizations in fourteen countries. The activities of the society are carried on by twenty standing committees and additional special committees working for teacher welfare, school support, graduate-study scholarships for women, educational research, development of leadership skills, service to children and youth, fellowship with women educators throughout the world, and recognition of women who have given distinctive service. Individuals hold membership in a chapter. Each state has a state organization of chapters within the state. The four regional units are composed of state organizations. The international society comprises the individual chapters and the state and regional units. Chapters meet six to eight times each year. State units usually meet annually, regions meet biennially, and the international society meets biennially.
Individuals make up the membership of the chapters and include rural and urban teachers who work at the kindergarten, elementary, high school, and college level. School librarians, administrators, and supervisors are also accepted as members. The requirements for membership include a minimum of five years of successful experience in educational work. Membership is by invitation; individuals are recommended by colleagues and are voted on by the chapters. Honorary membership on the chapter, state, and international levels is extended to women who are not professional educators but who have made significant contributions to education. In 2001 the society had more than 150,000 members.
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society was founded in May 1929 by Professor Annie Webb Blanton and eleven other women educators at the Faculty Women's Club of the University of Texas in Austin. Within its first year, the society was granted a charter and seventeen more chapters were formed. The international Delta Kappa Gamma office is located in Austin, Texas.
HOLDEN, EUNAH TEMPLE. 1970. Our Heritage in the Delta Kappa Gamma Society (1960). Austin, TX: Delta Kappa Gamma Society.
JUDITH J. CULLIGAN
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