The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, founded in Austin, Texas,May 11, 1929, is an educational, honor, professional organization forwomen educators. The name is a combination of the initial letters of three Greek words:
Διδασκοτικι (dĭ des kō' tee ki') = teacher Κλειδουχι (klĭ doo' kī) = key Γυναικεσ (gee nī' kāys) = women
The word "Society" designates the comprehensive international organization. The terms "state" and "state organization" designate states, territories, provinces and comparable political divisions in countries where the Society is organized.
Membership is by invitation and is extended to those women educators whose distinguished contributions and achievements in the field of education and to their communities are identified as outstanding. The nurturing environment of the Society encourages all members to grow and reach the highest levels of professional and personal accomplishments their many unique talents allow. Members are committed to fulfilling their potential for greatness, for creativity, for leadership and for service through appropriate programs of action.
By August 2010, the Society had more than 100,000 members belonging to over 2960 chapters located in Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Estonia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Sweden, The Netherlands,Japan and the United States of America. Each member has access to a limitless sphere of influence. The Society through its members brings together a world of common interests and focuses the collective energies of an international organization to achieve the greatest good for everyone involved in all fields of education--students, instructors and administrators.
Those who become members of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International are offered a lifelong association with other women educators engaged in the shared pursuit of common interests, goals and ideals. Delta Kappa Gamma members include classroom teachers, college and university professors, administrators and supervisors, librarians and educational specialists. A candidate accepting the invitation to membership is initiated as a member of a chapter, a state organization and the international Society. The three categories of membership are active, reserve and honorary. Active membership is by invitation to those educators who are employed as a professional educator or have been retired form an educational position. Reserve membership is limited to those members no longer able to participate. Honorary membership is extended to selected women in recognition of their significant professional and/or community contributions to education who otherwise are ineligible for active membership.
Membership in the Society carries with it responsibility as well as honor. Those who accept the invitation to join commit themselves to taking an active part in programs, special projects and organizational activities. Members are expected to participate at chapter meetings regularly and assume certain financial obligations as well. Dues are determined in accordance with the Constitution, the International Standing Rules, state organization bylaws and chapter rules. There also may be nominal annual assessments to support professional and self-development programs. The rewards of membership bear a direct relationship to each individual's commitment. Programs are designed to create a stimulating environment for the professional growth of each member as well as to focus group attention on current educational issues and to allow formulation of alternatives and solutions.
Within this framework, chapters carry out their own programs and projects. Each is encouraged to develop presentations and activities that fit the needs of its members, their educational communities and the talents of chapter members. An international program manual suggests ways to implement Society-adopted themes.
Programs are further enhanced at the state and international levels through special projects and meetings. State organization conventions and workshops are held annually. International conventions are held biennially and alternate with regional conferences.
The international Society awards a number of scholarships to members who are enrolled in advanced study programs. More than four hundred members have received these scholarships, many of which honor outstanding Society Founders and members. Many state organizations and chapters also award scholarships and study grants at their respective levels.
The Society has established a World Fellowship Fund to provide opportunities for women educators to study in colleges and universities not located in their countries. As of January 1997, grants had been received by 427 women from 78 countries.
In 1979, the Society celebrated its golden anniversary by establishing the Golden Gift Fund to advance further the Society's Purposes. This fund provides for leadership/management seminars; for travel grants to members attending international meetings where representation of the Society would help toward developing mutual understanding; for special stipends to research and offer alternatives to problems common to educators and/or education; and for workshops to address special member needs. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International presents an Educator's Award to the author(s) of a book which may influence future directions of education. The author(s) must be a woman from a country in which the Society is established. To be considered for the award, the book must be published or translated into English within a prescribed one-year period. The content must be of more than local interest with relationship, direct or implied, to education everywhere.
Other Society programs include the Eunah Temple Holden Leadership Fund for promoting special leadership development projects; the Emergency Fund, which gives assistance to members who sustain losses from natural disasters; and the International Speakers Fund, which assists with travel expenses incurred by speakers who address gatherings in countries other than their own.
A newsletter and professional journal are sent to members on a regular basis from International Headquarters. In addition, many state organizations and chapters publish newsletters. Monographs and research studies by members that are of interest to educators are also published. The Society is governed by the Constitution, by the International Standing Rules adopted by the International Convention, and by an elected International Executive Board. The Administrative Board carries out the plans and policies of the Executive Board. State organizations and chapters are governed by policies set forth in their bylaws and chapter rules. There are innumerable opportunities for professional growth. Each member is encouraged to participate and contribute to making the Society's programs and activities meaningful for the advancement of education. Every Delta Kappa Gamma member becomes a leader for education.