Celebrating Our History
70 Years as Florida Alpha Delta Kappa
Glenda Caro (Beckman) received an invitation to come to the San Carlos Hotel for an interview. The letter explained that she was being considered for membership in Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority for outstanding educators. Now, Glenda had never heard of AΔK and furthermore, “nice girls” did not go to the San Carlos unescorted. She had misgivings until she learned that her principal had submitted her name and was also planning to go for an interview. With that reassurance, Glenda decided to risk her reputation and go along.
There were 17 women who came together in Pensacola on February 8, 1953 at the San Carlos to form Florida Alpha Chapter. The new group was sponsored and initiated by
Alabama Alpha whose officers had been initiated and installed only the night before in Mobile. Pledging, initiation and installation all occurred on the same day, performed by a
nervous Alabama group for an equally nervous Florida group. Agnes Shipman Robertson led the impressive candlelight ceremonies as the two groups joined in the new sisterhood. Norma Wyss described the experience as awesome and breathtaking and that members were truly spellbound.
Then came the reality of organizing into an effective functioning group. Imogene Mitchell was elected first president but due to an unforeseen tragedy she had to resign
later the same day! Norma Wyss became president and described her first year in this way: “Beginnings are a struggle, as we all know, so I simply tried to move on with chapter proceedings. The presidency was difficult for me because I was young and inexperienced in organizational management. I was green as grass.” She led the first regular chapter meeting February 23, 1953.
During that first year, letters were received from Marie Neal, the National Secretary/Treasurer. One letter to Imogene and one to Norma which are now in our archives. Information from National came in the form of a “Bulletin” which was mailed to presidents. National suggested that presidents read it aloud at chapter meetings.
State Organization and Growth
Although Alpha was the only Florida chapter for more than a year, five more chapters were formed in 1954. Florida Beta Chapter began in Jacksonville May 8, 1954. At the first National Convention in Chicago in 1955 Agnes Isaac was appointed Organizing Chairman for Florida. By March 15, 1956 Florida AΔK had grown to eleven chapters and held the first state organizational meeting in Miami. Agnes Isaac was
elected as Florida State President and served in that roll from 1956 to 1958. Agnes went on to serve as International Grand Vice President. Agnes Shipman Roberts and Agnes Isaac were two powerhouses who guided Florida Alpha Delta Kappa as we grew. Some notable benchmarks are:
1956-1960, Annual AΔK meetings were held at the same time as FEA (Florida Educational Association) meetings. Banquets continued with FEA until 1974.
1959, as a young organization, Florida hosted the International Convention in Miami.
1960-1970, Annual meetings were called “State Day” and held in the fall every year.
1960, the first state banner and first official stationery were created.
1962-1964, the first state directory was started.
1963, Groundwork for establishing Florida Districts began.
1970, Biennial State Conventions began. The first in Silver Springs!