Mu Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority was established at UT in May 21, 1975, but the group operated under a citywide charter for the undergraduate chapter and remained unrecognized by UT as a student organization. Director of Student Activities Philip Scheurer held that the agreement not to recognize additional sororities unless there was space in the Panhellenic Building prevented officially recognizing Delta Sigma Theta. Since it was not a recognized student organization, Delta Theta Sigma did not have access to campus facilities for meetings or social events. It met at John XXIII Catholic Center. (The board of trustees changed the rule in 1976 in order to comply with Title IX, and recognition was thereafter available to sororities for whom room was not available in the Panhellenic Building.)
The national organization was founded January 13, 1913, at Howard University. The first public act performed by the Delta Sigma Theta founders was their participation in the women’s suffrage march in Washington, DC, in March 1913. The sorority was incorporated in 1930. Its colors are crimson and cream, and its motto is “Intelligence is the torch of wisdom.” Its flower is the African violet, and its mascot is the elephant. Among notable Delta members are General Hazel Johnson Brown, PhD, the first female African American General in the United States Army; Shirley Chisholm, the first female African American member of the US Congress; Patricia Roberts Harris, ambassador to Luxembourg, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, secretary of Health and Human Services, and honored on the 23rd commemorative stamp of the United States Postal Services’ Black Heritage series of stamps; and Barbara Jordan, among whose many accomplishments was the first female African American to give the keynote address at a democratic convention.