The History of Delta Gamma  
  Christmas, 1873 . . . Oxford, Mississippi . . . Anna Boyd, Mary Comfort, Eva Webb, weather-bound at the Lewis School for the holidays . . .  
  The story of the founding of Delta Gamma is an oft-told tale, and yet the word "founding" seems too pretentious for the simple plans of these three.  
  In 1873 when a young woman ventured away to school, she became virtually an exile from her family. While Oxford was on the railroad, the town of Kosciusko, the home of Anna, Mary and Eva, was 16 miles from the nearest railroad junction, and travel to that point had to be by stage or private carriage. In seasons of bad weather -- like December -- it was best not to attempt such a trip.  
  In addition, 1873 had seen a terrible scourge of yellow fever in Mississippi, and the schools had opened later in the fall than usual. It seemed that this time could be made up by shorter vacations, and the Christmas holiday was cut to a few days. Carrie Ellington Green, one of Anna Boyd Ellington's four daughters, tells us that the tale of Delta Gamma's beginnings was from early childhood her favorite bedtime story. She didn't understand the word "initiation," but it was a game she played the next day with her dolls. She remembers her mother's story this way:  
  " . . . in order to make up some lost time, only two days were allowed for the Christmas holiday. Our three girls remained at school, and Christmas morning found them rather homesick. After exchanging gifts and talking about what they imagined their families at home were doing, they made plans for a club which they had frequently thought of launching. A young male cousin, who was a student at the University of Mississippi, was a member of a Greek-Letter fraternity, and they had heard him and his friends arguing over the good and bad points of the few fraternities that were on campus at that time.  
  "A definite plan was made, a name decided upon, and Anna, because she was on the outside of the big four-poster bed they called 'Father Noah,' slipped out, got a pad and pencil, and with the help of the other two, wrote the first Constitution and bylaws of Delta Gamma. Plans were made to initiate other members just as soon as the holiday was over." This they did on January 2, 1874. The pin would be a gold letter "H" standing for Hope, one which was replaced a few years later by an anchor, the ancient symbol of hope.  
  Mary Comfort Leonard recalled years later, "We received no help from anyone -- borrowing a Greek grammar to find the Greek initial letters for our name." And they tried hard to live by the motto of those initials --Do Good.  


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