Although Washington and Jefferson is one of the nation's oldest institutions, having been founded in 1781, it has accepted women only since 1970. In the winter of 1978, a group of determined women tried once again to bring national sororities to Washington and Jefferson.
An "extensive investigation" involved contacting the Greek advisor at University of Pittsburgh for advice who explained the NPC expansion process. This investigation group soon after voted to invite DG to colonize.
On April 8th, the process had begun. Invitations had been sent to female students expressing that the Delta Gamma membership added, “lasting friendships, enduring values, intellectual motivation, personal responsibility, commitment and fulfillment and a rich heritage” to the college experience. Ten members of Alpha Xi-West Virginia, arrived to help with the Colonization weekend.
The first parties, held in the Student Center, were mostly an introduction to the Fraternity – rushes filled out information sheets, each Alpha Xi took 3 or 4 women to the punch and cookie table to “mingle,” a short presentation explaining what Delta Gamma is, and a slide show of DG’s various chapters accompanied by taped singing. The potential new members left as the group serenaded them with “Hannah.”
Second parties, considered Preference parties, were held on April 10 in the Mount Vernon Room of The George Washington Hotel. This was a formal event, where the girls were seated at tables with place cards, mainly with Alpha Xi’s, and a Preference ceremony was held. After it was over, it had been agreed between the Dean’s office and DG that Dean Ruth Riesenman would work out the placement of new members so that there would be even distribution in forming the new colonies. We received 33 potential new members.
On April 11, at 7 PM, the Pledging ceremony took place, followed by a reception in the Student Center Lounge put on by the local alumnae. The local chairman, alumnae, and new Colony members formed a receiving line as they were introduced to the university community. The colonization team stayed for meetings and training with both advisers and the chapter, holding two pledge meetings before leaving.
On Saturday morning, November 17, 1979, twenty-seven women and two patronesses were initiated as members of Epsilon Delta chapter by 25 members of Epsilon-Ohio State.
The Epsilon Delta chapter of Delta Gamma Fraternity became our 103rd chapter and held its first formal rush for freshmen in February 1980. On March 15th, 1980 they attended their first Founders Days celebration with local alumnae; on April 11 they held their first Anchor Splash; in February 1981, the first Cream Rose Formal was held.
Now, the members of the Epsilon Delta Chapter have continued their history of academic excellence, participation in student organizations, and participation in varsity athletics. Our chapter has been awarded with the highest Greek Life GPA award for most semesters since 1980 and we are one of the winners of the Patricia Peterson Daniel Award for meeting Delta Gamma's national standards of excellence. Members of our chapter are a part of numerous honor societies on campus, as well as members of student government, model united nations, and others. Our members are involved in every varsity athletic team on W&J’s campus as well. Our outstanding campus involvement has helped us serve not only our school community and our sorority, but the neighboring Washington community as well by being able to volunteer with the Vision Services of Washington-Greene, where we aid the blind and visually impaired.