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Delta Lambda

University of Memphis

Oct 7th, 1962

Founding Date

On Saturday, March 2, 1963, the Delta Lambda Chapter joined a distinguished list of sororities on the campus of Memphis State University. The impressive ceremonies at the Hunt & Polo Club climaxed a series of events which had their beginning with a small group of Alpha Phi alumnae in 1959. It was during that year that an official of the rapidly growing university suggested the desirability of installing a chapter on the campus.


In the fall of 1960, Elizabeth Thompson Smith (Omega-Texas), then international president of Alpha Phi, came to Memphis to discuss the possibility of establishing on the campus. The meeting, held in the home of Ina Jane Case Holgrain (Omega-Texas) provided the spark for action. The local alumnae group organized formally, applied for and received a charter on February 6, 1961.


During October 1961, Billie Keeton Turner (Beta Zeta-Idaho) came to Memphis to discuss establishment plans. Her enthusiasm was so contagious the alumnae were ready to start immediate recruiting. However, practical demands required a more carefully planned program of approach. One of the first actions taken was the appointment of a group of dedicated advisers for the proposed Delta Lambda Chapter. 


Many meetings and many hours of work later, the time for formal recruitment arrived. On October 6, 1962, Doris Corbett (Beta-Northwestern), Jean Morrow Meeg (Chi-Montana) and Sandy Hammeken Clark (Alpha-Syracuse) arrived in Memphis to assist with the establishment activities . One hundred and fifty-hundred and fifty women were invited to the first tea, which was held in the Panhellenic Ballroom on the campus. Sixty-five were invited to return to a second tea, and on October 10, a rose tea was held for 31 women, all of whom were formally invited to Alpha Phi the following day. The total was brought to 34 when three more women became proud wearers of the Ivy leaf on October 15. 


A highlight of the recruitment activities was the assistance given and the entertainment furnished by a delegation of six members from the Alabama (Beta Mu) chapter who flew to Memphis for the event. 


On February 28, a group of 16 new members were initiated into Alpha Phi. Following an inspiring meeting and address by Sara Ann Wheeler Hatton (Omicron-Missouri), director of programs, on Friday night, the formal initiation and installation were held on Saturday, May 2 at the Hunt & Polo Club. Billie Turner (Beta Zeta-Idaho); Mary Carr Boyd (Omicron-Missouri), governor, District IV; Iris Kaufman Lerch (Gamma-DePauw), DAC; 13 collegiates from Missouri (Omicron) and ten collegiates from Drury (Gamma Gamma) chapter were on hand to welcome the women and a new chapter into Alpha Phi.