#WHM – Carlotta Joaquina Maury, Ph.D., Delta Gamma

Today, March 7, the first Monday in March 2016, is the National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day. It’s a day for NPC women to wear the badge (pin) which signifies membership in one of the 26 NPC organizations. Other Greek-letter organizations have joined in the celebration of membership and that is terrific – the more GLO pins that can be spotted upon the hearts of GLO members, the better!

NPC’s International Badge Day began in 1997.  In the spring of 1996, after she wore her Alpha Sigma Alpha pin to work one day, Nora M. Ten Broeck wrote an article about her experience. It appeared her sorority’s magazine, The Phoenix, and was titled “A Simple Solution – Wear Your Membership Badge Today.”  The month of March was chosen because it is also National Women’s History Month.

For #WHM, I vowed to write about sorority women who have done amazing things. To find today’s subject, I browsed through an April 1916 Anchora of Delta Gamma. I found this tidbit about an 1896 initiate of the Cornell University chapter of Delta Gamma, Carlotta Joaquina Maury, Ph.D.

In April, 1912, Carlotta Maury sailed for South Africa to become professor of geology and zoology at Huguenot College, University of the Cape of Good Hope. While in Africa, and during the summer holidays from February to November, 1913-1914, she was called to Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian Government, to report on the Tertiary fossils of Brazil. Dr. Maury is a recognized authority on Tertiary Beds. In August, 1915, Dr. Maury returned to New York, coming around the world by way of Australia, New Zealand and the South Sea Islands. At present she is at home in Hastings-on-Hudson, but admits that “if any adventurous geologic stunt turns up you may be sure I’ll be off.”


Carlotta Maury, Ph.D. (She is wearing a pin, but I can’t tell if it is Delta Gamma anchor)

Born in 1874, Carlotta Maury graduated from Radcliffe College, at that time the female coordinate of Harvard University. She enrolled at Cornell University for further study. While at Cornell she became a member of the Chi Chapter of Delta Gamma.

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At Cornell, she wrote a dissertation,  A Comparison of the Oligocene of Western Europe and the Southern United States, and was awarded a doctorate. She was the first woman at Cornell to obtain a Ph.D. in geology and she was among the first nationwide to obtain a doctorate in that discipline.

Maury was a paleontologist. She specialized in Tertiary mollusks. She taught, did museum work, was a paleontologist for the government of Brazil, and did confidential exploration for the oil industry. She published her findings. She died on January 3, 1938. She was almost 64 as she died a few days short of her birthday. 

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. 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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