The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. was the idea of Gladys Merritt Ross, who on Palm Sunday, April 23, 1923, convened a group of young students at Jersey City Normal School in Jersey City, New Jersey to discuss the idea of forming a sorority. Eight members of those present concurred, and Newark attorney, J. Mercer Burrell, incorporated the new organization on May 23, 1923. The eight founders are:

  • Gladys Merritt Ross (Mother Founder)
  • Julia Asbury Barnes
  • Ella Wells Butler
  • Marguerite Gross
  • Florence Steele Hunt
  • Edna McConnell
  • Gladys Cannon Nunery
  • Mildred Morris Williams

Because the original members were all minors, their parents or guardians, Dr. G.E. Cannon, Mr. J.L. Merritt, Mrs. Lottie Cooper, and Mrs. Estelle Morris, became trustees.

These truly outstanding women each went on to live up to the ideals they set forth as the mission of the sorority.  Each of them becoming educational leaders in their community having lasting impact where they served so diligently.   From those eight amazing young women meeting on a Friday evening the sorority has grown to over 130 chapters internationally.

Pictured – Front, Left to Right: Gladys Cannon Nunnery, Julia Asbury Barnes, Gladys Merritt Ross (Mother Founder), Dr. Florence Steele- Hunt

Rear- Ella Wells Butler, Marguerite Gross, Mildred Morris (not pictured Edna McConnell)