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Gamma Delta Chapter of ZTA to Host 80th Reunion in Honor of Sisterhood

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

The Gamma Delta chapter of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority used to occupy the building where Lenoir Hall now resides. Photo by Talbert Toole.

The Gamma Delta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity is planning its 80th reunion to join in sisterhood and rally support to be reinstated on the campus of the University of Mississippi. 

Members of ZTA say the emphasis for the April reunion is celebrating the Gamma Delta chapter being on campus 80 years.

“The reunion being held in April is simply a time for visiting with old friends and remembering times of sisterhood,” said Ruth Owens. Owens has served with the the local alumni chapter over the past 20 years. “Our goal in having the reunion this April was simply a time to get together. We just want to celebrate our sisterhood.”

Established in 1939, the Ole Miss chapter of ZTA closed its doors in 1999. Since its closing alumnae have stayed active through a Gamma Delta chapter Facebook page along with being involved with local chapters from each member’s respective hometown, according to Chairwoman Zilah Miller.

Miller has been working with other sorority members for its 80th reunion which will be held April 13-14 in Oxford. Its purpose is to reunite and inspire the reestablishment of the chapter on campus. 

“The last Gamma Delta reunion was over a decade ago,” Miller said.

Organizers behind this year’s reunion want to bring old friends and sisters back together, but they also hope to spark inspiration within the Ole Miss community of how great Gamma Delta was, she said.

“It is every Gamma Delta’s dream that [ZTA] comes back to Ole Miss,” Miller said.

The process of having a former fraternity return to campus is an extensive process, according to Miller. There must be available space on the grounds of the university. It also has to pass through all the committees within in the university for approval. It is then sent to the National Panhellenic Council along with an extension process which can take some time, Miller said.

The extension process consists of receiving feedback and seeking out potential members who might be interested in joining the chapter. 

Zeta Tau Alpha was first established on the Ole Miss campus in 1939. Photo courtesy of Zilah Miller.

The reunion will take place throughout the city of Oxford, including a meet-and-greet and silent auction at Tallahatchie Gourmet located on The Square. The meet-and-greet will give alumnae a chance to reconnect with friends, sorority sisters and old acquaintances.

The auction will include two different baskets filled with Ole Miss and ZTA memorabilia, respectfully, along with jewelry from the Kendra Scott line.

“We are planning on raising enough money to give a scholarship in the Gamma Delta name to an [Ole Miss] student,” Miller said.

Miller said the idea for an 80th reunion blossomed from the idea of wanting to know what her former ZTA sisters were currently doing. The national headquarters connected her with more than 900 Gamma Delta members. Once the members caught wind of the Facebook page, Miller said it quickly grew in numbers.

Between 100 and 150 alumnae are expected to attend this year’s reunion, she said. Miller, a sixth generation Gamma Delta ZTA, said even her mother has plans to attend the reunion.

“If nothing comes out of this but our sisterhood… I’m good with that,” Miller said.

For more information on the Gamma Delta Zeta Tau Alpha, visit their website.

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