February 27, 2023
Getting your badge and pinning it on for the very first time is such an exciting part of your Kappa Delta experience. The diamond shield is a lifelong symbol of our sisterhood that stays with us long after graduation, but did you know your badge has its very own special day?
That’s right! International Badge Day comes every March — a day for sorority women to collectively celebrate sisterhood by wearing our badges.
The day was established in 1997 by the National Panhellenic Conference and is recognized during National Women’s History Month and celebrated the week of International Women’s Day.
Join us Monday, March 6 in celebrating International Badge Day with millions of sorority women all around the world, and invite the sorority women in your life to do the same! You can even “wear” your badge virtually by making it your profile picture on social media or sharing a photo with @KappaDeltaHQ using #BadgeDay23.
The Kappa Delta badge is more than just a beautiful piece of jewelry; it signifies sisterhood and has a history all its own.
The first pin, now known as the founder’s badge, was designed in 1897 by Founder Julia Tyler, who was studying art at Virginia State Normal School and known for her artistic talents. She chose a diamond shape because of its simple lines and because the Hampden-Sydney fraternity men that KD’s founders knew wore diamond badges.
To make it unique, Julia added feminine fluting around the edges and put a simple K and Δ on the enamel. She asked a local jeweler to craft just enough for the first group of initiates.
Two of those original badges are on display at Kappa Delta National Headquarters. One of these badges belonged to Founder Sara Turner White, who sent it to Central Office in 1923. This badge, and a replica of the same made by Balfour, were exhibited at the convention held at Mackinac Island, August 1924.
But Julia wasn’t completely satisfied with the design and continued to make adjustments. In 1898, the badge was changed to its present form where gold replaced the silver, the fluted edge became straight, and while the green enamel remained for a time, it too disappeared when the dagger and AOT were put on black enamel.
Collegians today usually wear their badge to meetings, ritual ceremonies, special occasions and recruitment, but alumnae might not have as many natural KD opportunities to wear their badges. In the 1980s, National Council introduced several options for turning the pins into jewelry you can wear all the time. You can now purchase badge holders that turn pins into necklaces and rings, without altering the pin itself!
The Kappa Delta badge is a token of your membership that lasts a lifetime. The badge of a deceased member may be buried with her, given to another Kappa Delta in her family, returned to her collegiate chapter to be used as a commemorative badge, or returned to National Headquarters.
Whether your KD badge is still worn regularly or lives quietly in your jewelry box, it’s a symbol to members and the outside world of the diamond shield that guards our hearts and finds us each day truer, wiser, more faithful, more loving and more noble.
On Monday, March 6, wear your Kappa Delta badge with confidence and pride. And share a photo of you via social media using #BadgeDay23, and be sure to tag @KappaDeltaHQ and @npcwomen.