Delta Zeta Sorority was founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1902. Miami is dubbed the “Mother of Fraternities” because of the many prominent men’s fraternities which were founded there.
When six young women came together in 1902 to form a social sorority, they had a vision of lifetime sisterhood fostered by ideals that they cherished. These friends bonded quickly as they faced the challenges of starting a sorority on a male-dominated campus (women had just been given full status as students at Miami University in 1902).
Although fraternities were well-established by the time Alfa Lloyd, Mary Collins, Anna Keen, Julia Bishop, Mabelle Minton, and Anne Simmons met with Dr. Guy Potter Benton, then President of the University, to make their idea a reality, they faced derision from the male students of the university. This adversity served to bond them even closer.
They applied for and received the Articles of Incorporation from the State of Ohio. The Articles of Incorporation outline the purpose of the sorority: "To build up the character and cultivate the truest and deepest friendship among its members; to stimulate one another in the pursuit of knowledge and the attainment of a high standard of morality; to inculcate elevated sentiments and noble principles, and to afford each other every possible assistance and to incite all to the attainment of a memorable fame." The date of incorporation, October 24, is Alfa Lloyd’s birthday and that date is a tribute to her, for she quickly showed a leadership that was effective in moving the Sorority forward. Delta Zeta became the first sorority to be founded at Miami University. The Founders then went on to lay the foundation for the Sorority which would have a national reach.
The important thing about Delta Zeta is that in its early years it came face-to-face with the problem of deciding whether it might be quicker and easier to become "national" by seeking a charter from one of the already established national groups, or to stand by its original intent to form a national of itself. Because they decided after a period of uncertainty to persist in making Delta Zeta a national sorority, it is ours to share, enjoy and perpetuate, today.
Today, Delta Zeta has enriched the lives of over 220,000 alumnae and collegiate members in the United States and Canada. The Delta Zeta Foundation, a non-profit organization, makes possible gifts and support for scholarships, leadership, philanthropy, and education that continue to enrich our members and enables them to enrich the lives of those in need.