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HistoryIT | We Give History A Future

Delta Zeta

University of Maryland

Mar 18th, 1961

Founding Date

The twelve year romance between Alpha Phi and the University of Maryland flourished into the Delta Zeta chapter. Until March 18, it was a new chapter with more than its fair share of beauty and brains, producing more than its share of furore and fun. The installation at last brought a new Zeta chapter to the state of Maryland to replace the original Zeta which left the Goucher College campus in Baltimore in 1950 at the time all fraternities were dismissed from the school by administrative edict. 


The new chapter was started in October, 1960, with the arrival of two Alpha Phi transfer students, Janet Wilson (Gamma Chi-Portland State) and Pat Swoger (Gamma Phi-Florida State). Kathy Porter (Tau-Oregon) arrived mid-year, but her spirit was with Delta Zeta from the beginning.


As cautiously and steadily the new chapter increased in numbers, so did the reputation grow on campus, until there were 21 new members. They were lucky enough to find and rent an apartment to be used as a home for some, and headquarters for all. Marilyn Cole (Phi-Oklahoma), an alumna teaching school in the vicinity of College Park agreed to live in the apartment as supervisor. It could be seen that this chapter was really in business.


The wonderful and exciting installation festivities started on Friday, March 17 with the simultaneous arrival of the living room rug and the “dignitaries,” Mary Eloise Fisher Slaughter (Beta Alpha-Illinois), district governor; Elinor Smith Davis (Gamma-DePauw), international vice president; Jean Morrow Meeg (Chi-Montana), director of extension, and Billie Keeton Turner (Beta Zeta-Idaho), district alumnae chairman, and the arrival all through the night and into the morning of representatives from each collegiate chapter in the district: West Virginia (Beta Iota), Duke (Beta Nu), Bucknell (Beta Chi), Penn State (Gamma Rho) and East Carolina (Delta Alpha), and many alumnae chapters from New Jersey to Carolina. On hand to help hostess was the capable and charming field secretary, Debbie Williams.


Initiation held Saturday morning was conducted by Sue Barnes (Beta Nu-Duke), with the representative of each collegiate chapter in the district assisting. Following the ceremony, coffee and donuts were served at the apartment, after which everyone dispersed to catch a nap and primp for the evening gala. Bobby pins and nail polish flew until the ranks reformed at the Shady Grove Country Club for the installation banquet. 


Following the presentation of the charter by Jean Meeg and the signing of same by a starry-eyed group of newly-initiated, everyone repaired to the banquet tables, presided over by the beloved Margareta Orem Lindsay, international president from 1930 to 1934. In addition to words of wit and wisdom, inspiration and encouragement from Elinor Davis, Jean Meeg, Mary Slaughter, and Billie Turner, the more than 100 Alpha Phis present heard as the principal speaker, Marie Thomson Schoeppel (Nu-Nebraska), wife of the Senior Senator from Kansas, who subject, “Working Together,” dealt with the understanding and cooperation between the generations spanning youth through maturity.


The chapter received gifts from many alumnae and collegiate chapters. The most sentimental touch came when the toastmistress unveiled a surprise gift and asked that a member of the Zeta chapter’s last new member class come forward and present it to Delta Zeta Chapter. It was the silver tea service which had belonged to Zeta at Goucher college and been held in trust through the years by the Baltimore alumnae. 


On Sunday morning, a model meeting was conducted by the edification of the newly initiated by the visiting collegiates. Following the meeting, collegiates and friends attended church service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, while the alumnae convened at the Alpha Phi apartment for brunch and a heady round-table discussion of Fraternity problems. 


In the afternoon a reception and tea was given at the Progress Clubhouse for members, family and friends of the fraternity, thus winding up a glorious weekend.