Kappa Delta's History

Kappa Delta

The 15 to 23-year-old founders of Kappa Delta sat down and developed their plans for a sorority that would endure for over 100 years. They established Kappa Delta in 1897 in Virginia at State Female Normal School, which is now Longwood University. It is one of four sororities founded there. Today, the society’s headquarters are in Memphis, Tennessee. 

The organization currently includes 230,000 women throughout the country. Artist Georgia O’Keeffe, the US Army’s first female 3-star general Claudia Kennedy, and astronaut Bonnie Dunbar are Kappa Delta alumni. 

The Mission, Symbols, and Beliefs of Kappa Delta

Kappa Delta members often wear the signature colors olive green and pearl white. Sorority jewels include the diamond, pearl, and emerald. Most commonly associated symbols include the dagger, nautilus shell, teddy bear, and the katydid. If you encounter a Kappa Delta member on campus, she may be wearing nautilus jewelry or carrying a bag featuring the signature Greek letters and colors.

The motto of Kappa Delta is “ta kala diokomen,” which translates to “Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful, and highest.” The sorority values preparing members to reach their fullest potentials, promoting lifelong friendships, encouraging strong intellectual pursuits, and supporting philanthropic outreach. 

As part of the organizational mission, Kappa Delta uses the Live GREAT acronym to remind initiates to pursue: 

Growth over a lifetime of learning

Responsibility for individual actions

Engagement in the community


Truth and a sense of loyalty to others

In remembering the mission, values, and beliefs of the society, the sorority empowers each initiate to continually support the community and achieve more in the world. Kappa Delta strives to maintain a reputation as a friendly group that doesn’t look for a certain type of member. The organization welcomes young women from all walks of life who can add depth and dimensionality to the sisterhood.

Kappa Delta Philanthropy in Many Forms

Kappa Delta regularly partners with the Girl Scouts of the USA, Prevent Child Abuse America, Orthopedic Research Awards, and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia. In addition to these organizations in the wider community, Kappa Delta has started other initiatives, such as KiDs Grants, which provides funding for local nonprofits helping children and families. 

The Kappa Delta Foundation, the philanthropic branch of Kappa Delta, allows the organization to provide sisters with scholarships, send members to leadership conferences, and support community outreach programs.

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