Founder Sarah Ida Shaw Martin, Boston University, poses for a portrait.

Sarah Ida Shaw

One of the two primary founders of Tri Delta, Sarah Ida Shaw graduated first in her high school class and won a scholarship to Boston University, where she began her studies in 1885.

Along with Eleanor Dorcas Pond, Sarah founded Tri Delta in 1888, wanting to create a fraternal organization for women that would center on kindness to one another. Sarah later wrote of the experience of founding Tri Delta, "I am afraid these two young hearts would have been very much discouraged had they realized at the time what a Herculean task it was to start a national fraternity, but fortunately for their peace of mind and for the future happiness of the hundreds who have already learned to love the name of Delta Delta Delta, the two enthusiastic friends were unaware of the fact that there was something stupendous about the task they had set hands, heads, and hearts to accomplish. They were working for a principle, and it never occurred to them that there could be such a thing as failure."