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9 Facts You Might Not Know About KD’s Founders

Many know the story of Kappa Delta’s founding…it was a rainy day in 1897 at State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia. But how much do you know about the four women who founded our organization?


1. Lenora Ashmore Blackiston was the first to suggest forming the sorority. From the start, the vision was a sorority based on friendship, not a club.


2. Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson claimed Virginia as home, but she was born in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s a coincidence that KD’s National Headquarters is located in Memphis.


3. Kappa Deltas have always been involved on campus. Sara Turner White was a member of the bicycle club, and Julia was a member of the tennis club.


4. At 23 years of age, Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick was the oldest of the four founders. Sara and Julia were 15 and Lenora was 17. At the time, they had no idea they were creating an entity that would have a lasting impact on more than 250,000 women.


5. Julia had the highest academic average of her class. The other founders often turned to her for help in math.


6. Mary stayed at school longer than any of the other founders and had a lot of influence over the younger members of the chapter.


7. After leaving Farmville, Virginia, Sara would often host Founders Day celebrations at her home in Norfolk, Virginia. How cool would it be to celebrate Founders Day with a founder?


8. Lenora aspired to be a writer. According to the school yearbook, Lenora’s favorite pastime was writing love letters. In adulthood, she became a published writer for local and regional publications.


9. All four founders wrote the Oath of Entrance, which remains the same today. It was one of the first accomplishments of the founding four.


Kappa Delta’s early leaders were women of vision. Today’s members live that dream and keep the vision alive.  Celebrate Founders Day on October 23! Share your celebrations on social media with #KDFoundersDay.

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