Delta Phi Chapter History
On October 17, 1982, ten active female African-American Educators convened at the home of Jessie Sizemore in Bethany, CT to discuss the possibility of establishing a Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated (NSPDK) in the Greater New Haven area. In attendance were seven educators: Ivory Eckerd, Jean Harris, Frances Judson, Margaret Jarvis, Josephene Parker, Melissa Lowry, Jessie Sizemore. Also in attendance were Ruby Couche - National President, and Catherine Williams and Ruth Gilman, members of NSPDK, Inc.
On March 12, 1983, at the home of Jessie Sizemore, eighteen (18) Pledgees were inducted into the first Krinon Club of Delta Phi Chapter. The Pledgees were:
Eleanor Boyd, Jean Harris, Frances Judson, Jessie Sizemore, Carolyn Dickens, Carol Moore, Regina Lilly-Warner, Thelma LaVern Solomon, Barbara Coles-Trader, Dorothy Forbes, Josephene Parker, Georgi Smith-Jennings, Ivory A. Eckerd, Margaret Jarvis, Cheryl Shoulders, Dorinda Sizemore, Verdell Taylor-Roberts, Eleanor Turner
Delta Phi Chapter received its official charter on Saturday, April 9, 1083 and became the 104th Chapter of NSPDK, Inc. with 18 Charter Members. Delta Phi became and still is the only New England Chapter. Jessie Sizemore, Founder Charter Member, was elected President. The Chartering Ceremony took place at Howard Johnson's Coach Inn in Milford, CT.
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.