As a first-year student navigating the sorority recruitment process, Abby Umberger ’17 immediately found a home with the sisters of Delta Delta Delta. For her, standing in the new Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village, preparing to dedicate the new Marsha Gibbs Tri Delta House, felt surreal.
“The Marsha Gibbs House is a tangible reminder of the fact that Tri Delta gives each sister a place to belong, a place where everyone is embraced and celebrated for who they are,” says Umberger. “This house will bridge the gap for generations of women. It will play a role in inviting potential new members to learn about our sisterhood, provide a home base for current sisters to work and play, and welcome Tri Delta alumnae who return to campus.
She and her sisters, not just at Tri Delta, but also in the college’s other sororities — Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha — were at first apprehensive about having designated houses. For the first time in college history, however, Wofford women in Greek life now have comparable facilities, and they are already enjoying their new spaces.
“The Marsha Gibbs House will be the place for movie nights, philanthropy fundraisers, weekly meetings, late-night study sessions and so much more,” says Umberger. “It’s a place that will cultivate sisterhood and community.”
Jimmy I. Gibbs, a member of the Wofford Board of Trustees, Spartanburg philanthropist and business leader, donated the funding for the house in honor of his wife and business partner, Marsha Gibbs. The house’s location, a short walk from the world-class Gibbs Cancer Center, a part of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Center, is appropriate. Delta Delta Delta’s philanthropic efforts revolve around research and support for the treatment of childhood cancer. After the dedication, Tri Delta held a “Bids for Kids” silent auction with the proceeds going to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“What a beautiful and elegant alignment we have found between the efforts of these young women and the efforts of Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs. It is indeed a pleasure to unite these two ‘families’ together in the naming of this space for gathering, studying, celebrating and developing lifelong friendships,” says Dr. David Wood, senior vice president for advancement.
by Ryann Kroske McCall ’13