Teachers’ honor society chapter celebrates 50 years

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NASHVILLE — The Delta Kappa Gamma sorority’s Beta Theta chapter has marked a milestone by celebrating its 50th anniversary.

DKG is a professional honor society of female educators in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Japan.

The celebration took place at Nashville United Methodist Church on Sept. 17. In addition to Beta Theta members, local dignitaries including Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education members and school district administrators, the mayor of Nashville and members of “sister chapters” Mu and Gamma Lambda were invited to participate.

Special guests included Pat Taylor, past Eta State president and Tobey Worthington, Region I director. Amy Kornegay, chairwoman of the planning committee for the event, shared special music in song, “Eagle When She Flies.”

The program provided information about the purpose and history of Delta Kappa Gamma and the original 11 charter members — Maggie Baker, Velma Edwards, Edith Farmer, Rubye Fries, Mildred Hinton, Idalia Oglesby, Millie Pearson, Naomi Powell, Ruth Robertson, Rosalyn Stallings and Mary Wheless.

All former Beta Theta chapter presidents were recognized during the program, including the first president, Idalia Oglesby High. She is the only one of the 11 charter members still living.

“Delta Kappa Gamma provides professional development for its members, leadership training, opportunities to promote the education profession and to publish and present in professional environments,” said Brenda Brown, a retired principal and sorority member.

Chapter members have supported new teachers and raised more than $10,000 in scholarship funds for women educators. In 2002, they established the Velma Edwards Fund to provide support for special-needs students and have awarded more than $11,000 in local grants.

“This special celebration reinforces the value of Delta Kappa Gamma, its founding members (and) its mission and vision, which still are embraced today by our current members,” said Cheryl Rice, a retired teacher and member. “The longevity of this women’s honor society supports what Annie Webb Blanton, founder of Delta Kappa Gamma, set out to prove in 1929 in Austin, Texas, that women can and will advance professionally when they work together.”