Our Heritage

National History

Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC on January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-trained women. The original group of nine women were Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe and Marie Woolfolk Taylor.

 

Late in February 1908, seven sophomore women were admitted without initiation. These members were Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden and Harriett Terry. These sixteen women are all recognized as Alpha Kappa Alpha founders.

 

The sorority was incorporated under the leadership of Nellie Quander on January 29, 1913.

 

Zeta Theta Omega History

Our local history began with Beta Beta chapter, which was founded in Akron in 1932. This chapter consisted of both graduate and undergraduate women. The founding members were Susan Lyles, Willa Player, Geraldine Dyson Powells, Mary Hogan Smith, Juella Thompson, and Virginia Threatt. The first initiate was Edith Delaney Mitchell in 1933.

 

Beta Beta was dissolved and a new, separate graduate chapter, Zeta Theta Omega was chartered on April 3, 1954 at the home of Leona Farris.

 

Zeta Theta Omega Charter Members: Thelma Allen, Dr. Elinor Bozeman, Catherine Brown, Betty B. Campbell, Evelyn Evans, Leona Farris, Louise Hawkins, Marguerite Jetton, Josie C. James King, Golda Mayson, Margaret McClain, Agnes McCombs, Lillian R. McGruder, Mary Kate Nelson, Willa B. Player, Evelyn Primes, Doris Collins Pryear, Carolyn Stokes Reed, Edith Ritchie, Loucelia Roy, Laurita Sharppe, Mary B. Hogan Smith, Shirleee Wright Smith, Beatrice Stevens, Patricia A. Stokes, Juelia Thompson, Virginia Threatt, and Jessica Russel Woods. Madge Mapp Montgomery was the chartering president.

 

In 1934, Lynette Dandridge Craig, a graduate of West High School, became the first scholarship recipient. Since then, the chapter has continued to grow and has awarded numerous scholarship to deserving young women at The University of Akron and Kent State University. Scholarships include the Edith Delaney Mitchell Scholarship, the Janet B. Purnell Self-Sufficiency Scholarship, the Mary Hogan Smith Scholarship, the Jeanetta Welch-Brown Scholarship and the Patricia Ann Dawson Lee Book Award.

 

Delta Pi History

During the Fall semester of 1958, quite a few of the Black women on the campus of The University of Akron attended the rush parties hosted by the sororities on campus, which were all white at that time. During the Spring semester of 1959, under the leadership of Patricia Ann Dawson Lee and Emma Matthews, an interest group was formed with the name Ivyettes, who tried to pattern themselves as much like a sorority as possible. The group contacted Zeta Theta Omega Chapter (ZTO) and expressed a desire to become an undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

 

The members of ZTO thought about it and decided that it would be good to have an undergraduate chapter at The University of Akron. They contacted the Regional Director, LaRue Frederick, who provided the guidance that was needed to set up a new chapter. On April 15, 1961, the Regional Director chartered Delta Pi as an undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and initiated ten women into the newly formed chapter. The ten women were Joanne Arnold Robinson, Yvonne Cade Bronner, Shirley Christopher, Patricia Ann Dawson Lee, Geneva Gay, Dorothy Hatton Earnesst, Shirley Lewis, Marie Parms, Geraldine Smart Deadwyler, and Nora Corinthia Sparks.

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Last Updated: June 27, 2020

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