About Jenn Coltrane on Kappa Delta’s Founders’ Day

Kappa Delta was founded on October 23, 1897 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders are Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, Sara Turner White and Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick.

Kappa Delta is likely the only National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organization which can claim a U.S. President’s granddaughter as a founder. Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson’s grandfather was John Tyler. Her father was the President of the College of William and Mary. She designed Kappa Delta’s badge. Wilson spent an additional year in Farmville and then transferred to Dana Hall in Massachusetts. There she prepared to enter Wellesley College. She graduated from Wellesley in 1904.

Jenn Winslow Coltrane was initiated into the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College chapter of Kappa Delta on October 27, 1903, The chapter was founded earlier that year on January 28. Although she was born in Marshall, Missouri and she died in Bellevue Hospital in New York City, she spent most of her life in Concord, North Carolina.

Jenn Winslow Coltrane

Jenn Winslow Coltrane

She served as her chapter’s president. After graduation in 1906, Coltrane served as Kappa Delta first Inspector. She spent five years as National Treasurer before becoming National President in 1912. She served until 1915 and was present at the meeting when Kappa Delta joined NPC in 1912. She also served as Business Manager of and a contributor to The Angelos.

Coltrane served on the state board of the Federated Women’s Club. From 1920-23, she was Historian General of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She qualified for membership by descent from her great-great-grandfather, Colonel Beverly Winslow of Virginia.

During World War I she worked in the War Risk Insurance Bureau and helped organize a Red Cross chapter in her county. In 1930, she founded the Junior Charity League in Concord. Its original focus was to provide soup, crackers, and milk to hungry schoolchildren. The Junior Charity League continues to this day.

The December 4, 1932 edition of The Tuscaloosa News reported, “Miss Jenn Coltrane, former national president of Kappa Delta Sorority, has returned to her home in Concord, North Carolina, after a short visit at the Kappa Delta House in Colonial Place.” She died on September 4 1934. In 1997, she was inducted posthumously into the Kappa Delta Hall of Fame.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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