Gamma Eta

University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, March 17, 1947

Gamma Eta began as a local Sigma Alpha Mu, at what was then West Tennessee State Normal School. The group was founded by the president's wife in 1912, the same year the college opened. She chose the Greek letters representing SAM to honor her husband Seymour A. Mynders. In 1945, the college name changed to Memphis State College, paving the way for NPC groups. Gamma Eta was installed on March 17, 1947, just after midnight and just ahead of Phi Mu as the first sorority on campus. In 1959, the chapter moved to their suite in the new Panhellenic Building. For years the chapter has helped the Memphis alumnae sponsor a golf tournament to benefit the Memphis Ronald McDonald House where the playroom is dedicated to Alpha Delta Pi. In 1991, when Total Membership Education was introduced, Gamma Eta's first Alpha class had the highest grades for all new members on campus, however, they could not be initiated in the shortened time frame because of university policies. Their performance encouraged the school to change their policy and allow early initiation. Virginia Anderson served as International Director of Finance and Chapter Auditor for many years. The international award for Financial Improvement is named in her memory. Former international officer Donna Winfield Skaarer served as an advisor for more than 20 years. Cindy Hendrix was a long-serving advisor and Jennifer Davie Steffens is a former Grand Council member. They moved into a new Panhellenic dorm in 2006.