With Every Good Wish

Letter found in the Kappa Delta Pi archives from George Washington Carver.

Letter found in the Kappa Delta Pi archives from George Washington Carver.

Pat Gamble-Moore is Director of Membership and Chapter Services at Kappa Delta Pi headquarters.

I traveled to the University of Illinois recently with colleagues to visit the KDP archives. As a new employee, I was in reverence to the rich history of this Society.

As a woman, I was so proud to read how the founders insisted that women be allowed to join the Society, unlike other honor societies of the time.  It was a non-negotiable, and they won.

As a first-time Convo attendee, we smiled when reviewed the minutes from the first ever Convocation that had a whopping three attendees!

As Director of Membership and Chapter Services, I was amused to read a letter dated April 19, 1916, from KDP Council President  W.W. Denton,  “I think the officers of our local chapter do not realize how badly they are interfering with the work of the Council by delaying our reports and remittances or initiates.”  In 1962, Council Executive Secretary  J. Richard McElheny wrote in a request for names of counselors, “Since the Counselor’s role is so vital to this Society it is mandatory, that we have his or her name and address.”  The counselor’s role to KDP has not changed.  Each day I hear stories about the dedication of our counselors who, in the midst of daily challenges and immense workloads, still serve as role models, support systems for their students and vital linkages to KDP staff.

As an African American, my unforgettable moment of the day was when I came across a telegraph from George Washington Carver accepting his nomination into the Society.  “I am unable to see why I should be associated with such eminent educators and those who make up with membership of this outstanding society.”  He later wrote in a letter, “I am yet in a daze with reference to my being considered worthy for such an outstanding honor…I shall endeavor to do my work more thoroughly than ever before…With every good wish, I remain most sincerely and gratefully yours. Geo W. Carver.”

We left committed to making sure that each and every member of KDP understands the legacy of KDP. I am personally honored to play a role in helping to build upon that legacy, grow our membership and make the member experience as rewarding as possible.

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