THE HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL SORORITY OF PHI DELTA KAPPA, INCORPORATED
AND GAMMA MU CHAPTER OF VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
Our History and Our Founders
The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. (NSPDK) is a nonprofit, educational sorority founded by eight educators desiring to establish a sisterhood among teachers and promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession. NSPDK was the idea of Gladys Merritt Ross, who, on Good Friday, March 30, 1923, convened a group of young teachers from Jersey City Normal School in Jersey City, New Jersey to discuss the idea of forming a sorority.
Eight members of those present concurred, and Newark attorney, J. Mercer Burrell, incorporated the new organization on May 23, 1923 - which is now recognized as the official Founders Day. Because the original members were all minors, their parents or guardians, Dr. G.E. Cannon, Mr. J.L. Merritt, Mrs. Lottie Cooper and Mrs. Estelle Morris became trustees.
The eight founders are Gladys Merritt Ross (Mother Founder), Julia Asbury Barnes, Ella Wells Butler, Marguerite Gross, Florence Steele Hunt, Edna McConnell, Gladys Cannon Nunery and Mildred Morris Williams.
On November 11, 1967, Helen W. Maxwell met with a group of women (19) and chartered Gamma Mu Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The charter members were Emma W. Hairston, Alice A. Durgan, Olive F. Daughtry, Mary L. Johnson, Hattie L. Goodman, Bessie Richards, Archie Jenkins, Edna Daughtry, Florine Davis, Martha Wright, Camilla Taylor, Joyce Hawkins, Barbara Robinson, Ruth Perry, Delia Jones, Cora Williams, Jeddie Boykins, Louise H. Carter, and Lula McNeil.