Delta Gamma sorority hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at its newly constructed lodge at Greek Circle.
The Gamma Xi chapter of Delta Gamma was founded at Texas Tech in 1954, according to a Tech news release, and it built its first lodge in 1974.
Diana Hayes, an alumna of Delta Gamma and Tech, started the ceremony with an invocation.
“Delta Gamma was founded 142 years ago,” she said. “Just for a historical perspective, Jesse James was robbing trains, and trains were the main means of transportation. Today Delta Gamma has 146 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada. We’re strong and stable.”
Barbara Robertson, a Delta Gamma alumna, said the chapter has worked through every challenge since its founding, including the long process of getting its original house built after 20 years as a chapter.
The conversation of renovating the lodge has been going for about a decade, she said, when Delta Gamma had reached more than 200 members in total.
“About 10 or so years ago, the lodge was 30 years old, and you know we all age, she needed a little sprucing,” Robertson said. “And we thought, ‘the chapter is getting bigger, Texas Tech is exploding, how are we going to meet the needs of Delta Gamma over the next multiple decades?’”
The alumnae decided that in order to accommodate continued growth for the chapter, a new lodge was needed.
The chapter worked with a variety of experts, including Henthorn Commercial Construction, Robertson said, to develop a plan for the new lodge to present to Happy State Bank to gain financial support.
The new 10,000 square-foot facility cost approximately $2 million to build, and the old lodge was torn down in September 2014 after the plan was approved and construction on the new lodge began.
More than 100 people attended Saturday’s ceremony, including current Delta Gamma members, alumnae, donors and four of the original Tech charter members.
Deborah Finlayson, Delta Gamma House Corporation project chairman, recognized a variety of people in attendance.
“I just can’t believe that we’re really here,” she said. “Many hands helped build this new home for our chapter.”
The current members of Delta Gamma have handled the difficulties of transitioning lodges during the last three years, Finlayson said, and they have contributed to the project significantly.
Finlayson presented the key to the lodge to Jessica Server, current Delta Gamma president.
“I would like to thank our generous donors, we couldn’t have done it without you,” Server said. “I would like to officially accept the lodge as I accept the key today.”
Before the lodge was completed, the chapter members had to recruit from tents and rented out FarmHouse fraternity’s lodge, Finlayson said.
Robert L. Duncan, Tech System chancellor, attended the ceremony and said the new lodge is a beautiful facility.
“It’s really exciting to see the remodeling of our Greek system and sororities here on Greek Circle,” he said. “Hopefully in the near future we’ll have some expansion on Greek Circle for more room.”
All members of the sorority will have access to the lodge whenever they want, Finlayson said, and the lodge has multiple security cameras to help keep the members safe.
Delta Gamma is currently the largest sorority at Tech, Duncan said, and this reflects well on the qualities of the sorority and its members.
“Our Greek systems across the country are under fire,” he said. “We’re making sure here at Texas Tech University that although we have a few bumps in the road, that we are going to maintain the strength of our Greek system and make sure it has a strong future here at Texas Tech University.”