Shirley Mccann GEE, Archives Manager 2017-04-13 01:57:57
Look around the room. Chances are you will spot a memento, an object kept as a reminder of someone or a souvenir of a place or event. Maybe there is a ceramic animal given by a favorite relative? An old teapot? A framed photograph? In 1904, the first favor was given at a Kappa Delta National Convention. It was a diamond-shaped menu of the banquet in green leather and tied with olive green and white ribbons. An autograph page was included. In 1906, a more traditional souvenir, a spoon, was presented to every attendee. Engraved in the bowl of the spoon is Kappa Delta – 1906. There has been a favor given at every National Convention since that time. Some are more spectacular than others, but all give us a glimpse into Kappa Delta's history. In 1913, the favor was a friendship bracelet consisting of two thin, silver bangles connected with a clasp with the letters KA. In 2013, the bracelet was replicated and given as a favor at the White Rose Banquet. A century ago at the 13th convention held at the Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, a silver bud vase with the coat-of-arms was given. It is a significant memento because so many lasting traditions were begun at the 1917 convention. The Katydid, the convention newspaper, was first published. Pearls, emeralds and diamonds were chosen as the only jewels to be worn on Kappa Delta's badge. The official recognition pin of the sorority was adopted. The decision was made to publish a song book and a history of the sorority. The Kappa Delta Creed was adopted. The revised Ritual was approved. The Scholarship Loan Fund, later called Student Loan Fund, made its first awards to three students. The processional and robe regalia were first used by officers and delegates. In 1921, convention attendees received a sautoir, a pendant attached to grosgrain ribbon that ties around the neck. Kappa Delta's favor opened to display pictures. Several pin boxes have been presented, including the first in 1925. It is a silver jewel box lined with green velvet and surmounted with the Kappa Delta coat-of-arms. With the 50th anniversary in 1947 came a gift for every popular hostess: a set of four golden demitasse spoons with "1897-1947" engraved on the handles. Coffee mugs, paperweights, candy dishes, trivets and bookmarks are included in the list of tokens. Among the more unusual items are a copper stamp box, a pair of crested hammered pewter candle holders and a Paul Bunyan charm bracelet celebrating the folklore hero of Minnesota, site of the 1949 convention. It is getting more difficult each convention to provide a worthy keepsake. Less than 50 attended the 1904 convention. Almost 1,200 attended the 2015 convention in Florida where members received a gold-colored necklace with a rose pendant. In recent years, convention attendees have flocked to the on-site Kappa Delta Boutique where they can shop for the mementos of their choice: T-shirts, ball caps, tumblers, note pads and even green and white striped shoes at the last gathering. Convention mementos are an important part of the experience, and later they provide a fanciful view of Kappa Delta in a different time and place. What is on your shelf or in your jewelry box that invokes memories of your special KA events?
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