The Triangle • Spring 2017

Page 38


By Liz Johns, Delta Omicron, National Archivist

Heart Home Transformed:

New Convention Exhibition Room in the Mabel Lee Walton House Tri Sigma staff has enjoyed the new National Headquarters

Even with all the business that goes on at a Convention, Tri Sigma

Archives have enjoyed the empty rooms in the house even more!

certificates, indicating the sisters who “have suffered through more

office building next door to the Mabel Lee Walton House, but the Freeing up space in the house allowed the Archives to transform former offices into new exhibit spaces featuring treasured historical materials.

The newest exhibit is the permanent Convention Collection

Room on the second floor. The full Convention collection begins

with materials from the very first Convention in Farmville, Virginia, in 1903 and spans to the most recent Convention in 2016. Paper

made it fun. For many years, women were given Boomerang

than one Convention of Sigma Sigma Sigma, and probably being

sound neither in mind nor body, are absolutely fitten to be a hastily initiated member of the broiled hors d’oeuvres of Boomerang.” A few tell-tale signs of a Boomerang Sigma were, “right arm

overdeveloped from taking notes, eating, waving;” “eyes big, half

asleep, but see all;” and “ears overdeveloped for hearing all details.”

materials are stored in the Archives; most materials are reports,

minutes, planning documents, and handwritten letters between

staff, Executive Council, and volunteers organizing the event. But the physical objects tucked in between the stacks of reports give

a more tangible look into the Conventions of the past. In 2016,

Convention attendees wore printed name tags around their necks, adorned with ribbons or violet stickers showing their commitment to the sorority and the Foundation. But in 1953, Sigmas wore

hand-crafted name badges, such as the one worn by Marie Santee Dunham when she was Executive Secretary. The collection also includes favors, Sigma Shop items, programs, personal notes,

and letters. Favors today are often pendants, but as shown in the

exhibit, Sigma sisters went home with many different trinkets over

the years such as a sterling silver bookmark with the crest, jewelry,

The new exhibit room features Convention favors, copies of songs,

in 1933, even a tape measure.

newsletter, scrapbooks, and group photos. The best part is that

badge boxes, a violet shaped desk clock, a leather key holder, and

a Boomerang certificate, examples of The Angle Convention every three years, there will be something new to add to the

collection. A trip to Walton House to see this fun memorabilia might not be easy for everyone so we’ve brought a bit of the

exhibit to you through the Archives’ new online photo gallery at See a panoramic view of the

new exhibit room and snaps of displays to get a taste of what you missed at past Conventions.

For questions about the Archives and its collections,

or submitting materials to the Archives, contact Liz Johns,

National Archivist at Visit the Archives

Flickr Gallery at to see more of the Archives Collection.

38 the TRIANGLE | spring 2017

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