RG 179: Records of Delta Kappa Gamma, Alpha Omicron Chapter, 1963-2006

Collection Number
RG 179
Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) is a professional association for teachers, promoting continuing education, fellowship, and support with a spiritual leaning. It provides scholarships to college students to pursue teaching degrees and to current teachers to get graduate degrees and other continuing formal education. According to their website, www.dkg.org, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

DKG was founded in 1929 at the University of Texas, Austin. In 1934, the first Virginia chapters were established (Virginia is referred to as Iota), and the Alpha Omicron Chapter, serving Arlington, was formed in 1963. Chapters work on biennial schedule, with chapter officers serving two-year terms. Alpha Omicron had over 60 members in the 1990s, and held several meetings per year, offering members fellowship, professional growth, and opportunities to raise money for scholarships and local charities such as Washington Lee High School and the Arlington Outdoor Education Association.

In 2006, due to a lack of leadership, the Alpha Omicron chapter dissolved. Members joined other DKG chapters in Northern Virginia.
Scope and Content
RG 179 houses materials collected and created by DKG’s Alpha Omicron Chapter (Iota State). The material dates from 1963 to 2006, with the bulk of the materials dating 1998-2004. This collection is 2.1 linear feet, and contains administrative documents, newsletters, and programs documenting the chapter’s activities. There is little material dating from the chapter’s creation in 1963 through the late 1980s.

The materials in RG 179 were originally organized in separate binders, accordion folders, and regular folders, with the most complete information coming from the donor Eleanor Dasonbrook, who was President of Alpha Omicron Chapter from 2002-2004. The records reflect an active chapter, with several monthly meetings and a focus on scholarships and other charity work. Scholarships were offered to both high school students interested in entering the teaching profession, and to working teachers (including Alpha Omicron members) working towards advanced degrees. There are programs for annual events such as the New Members Tea and Spring Banquet, a printed recipe book, a guest book for guest speakers and special visitors, and a President’s Diary from the early 1990s. The collection also contains materials from various regional and state conferences, with programs and promotional materials, and newsletters from the chapter, state, and national DKG groups.

Series 2, Subseries 2, contains a random assortment of documents, including yearbooks, newsletters, and agendas. These materials are linked to Michele Milden, Chapter President 2000-2002, although not formally labeled as such. This subseries contains a postcard showing the Iota State house in Richmond, and contains details regarding Phoebe Knipling’s death. Knipling was the founder of the Arlington Outdoor Education Association and an honorary member of the chapter.

On Alpha Omicron Chapter’s twentieth birthday, an “Anniversary Book” was created. This book collected original documents since the chapter’s founding, including a full run of meeting minutes, paperwork showing changes in membership, membership lists, and some budgets. This is the best place to find information on the earlier years of the chapter.
Arrangement and Description
RG 179 is separated into three series. The first series are the materials produced during Eleanor Dasenbrook’s chapter presidency, 2002-2004, or collected by her for reference. This consists of a binder and accordion file, each with their own subseries. Subseries 1 has the contents of the accordion file, and reflects how the materials were originally placed in the file: folders were in the right letter of the file, but not alphabetically sorted (i.e. folders for Correspondence and Conferences were in the “C” section of the accordion file, but Correspondence was filed before Conferences). Folder titles in quotes [“ ”] are the original folder titles. She also underlined certain phrases in her folder titles; these underlinings remain in the folder title in the finding aid. Dasenbrook’s binder is in Subseries 2, which each folder holding a section of the binder, the title reflecting the name on the divider tab.

Series 2 contains the rest of the accordion files. The first one, Subseries 1, is the “Historical” file, as titled by the chapter, and has folder titles reflecting content of each section of the file. Some sections had written titles; they are reflected in folder titles with quotes. The second accordion file, Subseries 2, has no title written on the accordion file in general or the interior sections. The subseries is organized by alphabetical section, as printed by the manufacturer of the file.

Series 3 is made of the remainder of binders and folders in the donated materials. File names have quotations where these binders and folders had titles created by the donor. One small scrapbook was photocopied and then disassembled for preservation purposes. Some photographs are in this folder.

Throughout the collection, Delta Kappa Gamma International was referred to as either DKG, or by its Greek letters, ΔΚΓ. The processing archivist has kept the original lettering and added clarifying brackets ([ ]) where needed. Folders with an asterisk at the end of the title [*] have photographs.
Eleanor Dasenbrook donated these materials in 2010.
There are no restrictions on materials in this collection.
Related Collections
Other collections on Arlington teachers are: RG 7, Arlington Public Schools; RG 70, Bernard Joy Papers; RG 141, Arlington Scholarship Fund for Teachers. Other collections for women’s professional organizations are, RG 33, American Association of University Women, Arlington Branch; RG 131, Zonta Club of Arlington Records; RG 156, Records of Soroptimists Club of Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington Outdoor Education Association, whose records are in RG 111, was founded by Arlington educator Phoebe Knipling, who was also an Alpha Omicron honorary member.