Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc. was founded February, 1943, by the late Elizabeth Garner, teacher and the late Violet T. Lewis, owner of Lewis Business College, Detroit, Michigan. The founders, along with the other eleven members are known as the Sorority's 13 Original Pearls.
Each of the teachers pledged to organize a chapter of the Sorority in her home city. The next chapter to be formed was Gamma Chapter in Indianapolis, Indiana, Ivalue Lennear's hometown. As a special dispensation, the chapter was allowed to use Gamma (instead of Beta, the second letter in the Greek alphabet) as its name.
The purpose of the organization is:
1. To unite fraternally for charitable, educational and fraternal purposes, and to establish and maintain active chapters throughout the United States.
2. To foster the improvements of the educational and vocational status of young people with special emphasis on underprivileged youth.
3. To assist said youth through broadening their educational objectives by encouragement, dissemination of information and financial assistance, and to promote the beneficial use of acquired education and/or training to the best interest of the community. And finally;
4. To create a better understanding between women of all races and creeds; promoting higher education through encouragement and financial aid; and to promote cultural enrichment and to serve mankind.
Gamma Phi Delta Sorority attracts business-women and professional women from many fields, and Chapters are located throughout the United States.
On the National level, four (4) scholarships and two (2) Endowments are awarded annually. The Scholarships are: The Gamma Phi Delta Merit Scholarship; the Elizabeth Garner Memorial Scholarship; the Violet T. Lewis Memorial Scholarship and the Undergraduate Scholarship. And the Endowment Funds are; The Luthermae E. Adams Endowment Fund and The Ann McElwee Perpetual Endowment Fund. In addition, our member chapters award scholarships on the local level.
The most satisfying and rewarding experience is the four youth groups, Rosebuds, Phi-Teens, Junior Cavaliers and Cavaliers. Youth group programs promote the continual quest for knowledge and academic excellence and it epitomizes the Sorority's aim of striving for refinement and culture. Each group is challenged to achieve their worthwhile goals through association with Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc.
Gamma Phi Delta supports charities that are serving humanity and whose objectives are paralleled to our aims. Our chapter members with charities of their choice, contribute their time, expertise and finance. Gamma Phi Delta is non-political and non-sectarian. However, we encourage members to participate in political actions of their choosing and welcome members of religious beliefs and a general recognition of a Supreme Being is a part of our CREED.
the name change from
"Phi Gamma Delta" to "Gamma Phi Delta"
The name change occurred circa 1945-1947: A law suit was filed against Phi Gamma Delta Sorority by Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity for illegal use of the name. Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, a Caucasian fraternal group, founded over 100 years prior to the founding of Phi Gamma Delta Sorority, filed a law suit against Phi Gamma Delta Sorority to cease and to desist the use of the name.
PGD Sorority’s legal counsel researched and discovered that PGD Fraternity had not applied and received a copyright for the use of Phi Gamma Delta. However, Phi Gamma Sorority had filed and received a copyright for the use of the name of Phi Gamma Delta.
The fraternal organization was comprised of wealthy and very powerful men i.e., United States presidents, senators, congressmen, and extremely, extremely wealthy men.
PGDs legal counsel advised the sorority executive body that legally PGD sorority was entitled to the use of the name, because the sorority has a copyright for the name. However, the legal counsel advised the sorority would be engaged in a very long and very costly legal battle. The wisdom of the executive board of PGD Sorority was the sorority settle the case and accept the financial offer of PGD Fraternity of $10,000.00 (?) cash, pay the cost of replacing all sorority pins, reprinting all sorority handbooks, constitutions, stationery, etc., paying the incorporating cost for the new name PGD Sorority would select, pay copyright cost for the new name, and pay all Sorority legal costs. Needless to say, PGD Sorority was not financially able to engage in a long legal battle. Consequently PGD Sorority accepted the offer from the fraternity, and voted upon the name of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, and the rest is history.
If you are interested in learning more about Lewis College of Business the following publication will be of service to you.
On Her Own Terms
A Biographical Conversation
About Mommie "T.V."
By Phyllis Lewis Ponders, LHD. and Marjorie Lewis Harris,
Edited by Pamela June Anderson, D. Min.
There are 118 Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU'S).
These institutions are considered "national treasures" because of their unique histories and their
educational uplifting of an unserved segment of Americans. As such, the HBCU'S
hold a coveted place in the higher education history of America.
Three of the 118 HBCU'S were founded by African American
Vorhees College, founded in 1897; Denmark, South Carolina
Bethune Cookman College, founded in 1904; Daytona Beach, Florida
Founder-Mary McLeod Bethune
Lewis College of Business, founded in 1928, Indianapolis,
Founder-Violet Temple Lewis
There is a history of African American women that America should be told. These conversations from the descendants of Violet Temple Harrison-Lewis, hopefully, will encourage historians to research other African American women in the Diaspora. Tell their story to America. Give hope to all women who are struggling to understand their place in history, and who have yet to awaken to the power of their encapsulated spirits.
For copies of On Her Own Terms
Contact: Lewis College of Business - 17370 Meyers Road, Detroit, Michigan 48234
National Theme: 2016 – 2020
“The Power of Vision: Empowering Women and Inspiring Leaders”