Greater Atlanta Day Alumnae Chapter was founded in June 1968 when 12 alumnae petitioned Kappa Delta’s National Council to form a new daytime association. Our first meeting was held in September that year and we have been going strong ever since. Today we have more than 100 members representing more than forty different collegiate chapters from across the country. And we are proud to say that four of the original twelve members are still active and we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2018!
On June 5, 1968, twelve Atlanta alumnae sent a formal petition to Kappa Delta’s National Council asking for permission to organize a new daytime alumnae Chapter. The name the petitioners chose was “Northeast Atlanta Alumnae Association of Kappa Delta” because most of the interested alumnae lived in Atlanta’s Northeast area. At that time there were two alumnae chapters in Atlanta – the Atlanta Day AA and the Atlanta Night AA. On June 9, 1968, the Council approved the petition, and in September the group held its first official meeting.
Petitioning charter members were: President: Mary Jane Barnhart Denny, Sigma Phi; Vice President: Jan Hill Lammert, Epsilon; Secretary/Editor: Joy Tasker Streater, Sigma Phi; Treasurer: Anne Black Patterson, Sigma Phi; Pat Anderson Tooke, Sigma Lambda; Kitty Barton Breck, Sigma Lambda; Betty Hecker Holcombe, Sigma Phi; Teeny Martin Jaudon, Sigma Phi; Sara Jane McKelvey Smith; Kappa Alpha; Martha Shuman Brandon, Sigma Phi; Marj Silcox Moore, Sigma Sigma; and Ann Walker Shelton, Alpha Pi. It is interesting to note that out of these 12 charter members, 4 have moved out of town, 3 have died, and the remaining 5 are still members of GADAC.
In the spring of 1998, the Atlanta Day AA merged with the Northeast Atlanta AA, and in November, 1999, the national council granted the Chapter permission to change its name to “Greater Atlanta Day Alumnae Association.” The 2009 National Convention voted that all AAs change their name from Alumnae “Association” to Alumnae “Chapter.”
When one of our members and former KD national officer, Carolyn Arnold, passed away, she bequeathed $2.1 million dollars to the Children’s Hospital in Richmond VA. The hospital built a facility that now houses the Neurosciences Center for Children and named it for her. To honor Carolyn’s memory, GADAC gives the Carolyn Bennett Arnold Memorial Award at the annual summer luncheon. The recipient is an alumna who has exemplified dedication and service to Kappa Delta throughout her lifetime.
In 2009 the Libby Lindahl Outstanding Service Award was established for a Kappa Delta who has through her life and work exhibited the Kappa Delta ideals of that which is honorable, beautiful, and highest. This award was retired in 2015.
During the early years, a spring geranium sale provided funds to support the group’s philanthropic projects. One of the chapter’s first local projects was to furnish and maintain a playroom at DeKalb General Hospital in Decatur. As the years went by and membership grew, fundraisers were no longer needed because members generously made donations over and above their dues to help support these efforts. Philanthropic contributions now benefit a number of projects, including Interfaith Outreach Home for families in Chamblee, Children’s Hospital in Richmond VA, local Girl Scouts, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Prevent Child Abuse America, Wellspring Living and the Kappa Delta Foundation. National Kappa Delta has also granted GADAC several KiD Grants to apply toward local projects benefiting children.
In years past our members were closely involved with the now-dormant collegiate chapters at Oglethorpe College (Alpha Tau) and at Emory University (Gamma Pi.) Greater Atlanta Day is proud to sponsor and support five Kappa Delta collegiate chapters: Epsilon Gamma at the University of North Georgia (Dahlonega, GA), Eta Mu at Georgia College and State University (Milledgeville, GA), Eta Omega at Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA), and the newly added Sigma Phi at the University of Georgia (Athens, GA) and Delta Chi at LaGrange College (LaGrange, GA).
Our efforts have not gone without recognition as GADAC has received numerous awards at National Conventions. These include Programming Excellence, Girl Scout Support, Joint Shamrock, Membership Building, Collegiate Chapter Support, Magazine Sales, Community Visibility, and the A.D. Vaughn Philanthropy Award. At the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 Conventions we received the Alumnae Chapter Excellence Award which places us in the top echelon of alumnae chapters in the country.
Greater Atlanta Day received the coveted Marjorie Rowles Stakes Award in 2011 for the best overall alumnae chapter in the country.
Most recently, at the 2017 Convention, GADAC received the following recognition:
- Alumnae Chapter Excellence Award,
- The Martha Copening Kellstrom Award for Programming Excellence,
- The Patricia Beecham Nieman Joint Shamrock Event Award (with Eta Omega - Kennesaw State),
- Girl Scout Support Award, and
- Magazine Sales Award - Highest Dollar Total.
GADAC also received Honorable Mention recognition for:
- Collegiate Chapter Support - Out of town
- Vaughn Philanthropy (over 40), and
- Shamrock (over 40).
Our membership represents over 40 different collegiate chapters and many members are counted among Kappa Delta’s national officers and national volunteers, both past and present. At the core of GADAC’s strength is the strong bond of sisterhood that has developed over its long history. Striving for “that which is honorable, beautiful and highest” is truly each member’s personal motto.