History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, January 15th 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-trained women. To trace its history is to tell a story of changing patterns of human relations in America in the 20th century.
The small group of women, lead by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle who organized the Sorority were conscious of a privileged position as college-trained women of color, just one generation removed from slavery. They were resolute that their college experiences should be as meaningful and productive as possible. Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded to apply that determination.
As the Sorority grew, it kept in balance two important themes: the importance of the individual and the strength of an organization of women of ability and courage. As the world became more complex, there was a need for associations which cut across racial, geographical, political, physical and social barriers.
Alpha Kappa Alpha’s influence extends beyond campus quads and student interest. It has a legacy of service that deepens, rather than ends, with college graduation.
The goals of its program activities center on significant issues in families, communities, government halls and world assembly chambers. Its efforts constitute a priceless part of the global experience in the 21st century.
History of Phi Eta Omega
On January 7, 1998, Mary D. Williams invited and convened a group of ten inactive members of the sorority in order to determine interest in establishing a chapter in the Scotch Plains, NJ area. The mission of this interest group was to promote harmony and friendship among members and to develop and implement programs that would enhance the self-esteem of the youth in our communities.
In line with that mission, this group was responsible for a number of programs
• Assuming the sponsorship of a NJ Orators Chapter
• Established a tutorial program at St. John’s Baptist Church
• Donated supplies and materials to the Christ Our Hope Maternity Home in Ghana
Official approval for the chartering of the chapter was given at the March 1999 Directorate meeting in Freeport, Bahamas. At the chartering ceremony, which was presided by Edith C. Booker, North Atlantic Regional Director, the Scotch Plains Interest Group received its official name Phi Eta Omega on Sunday, June 6, 1999.
Phi Eta Omega Charter Members
Margaret A. Lewis
Ann Troupe Thornhill
Ogretta Whipper Hawkins*
Mary L. Goldsboro*
Mary D. Williams
Joyce R. Hobbs
*Ivy Beyond the Wall
Ivy Dream Foundation 501(c)3
On August 28, 2020 The Chapter established a 501(c)3
Ivy Dream Foundation, Inc. under the leadership of
2018-2022 President, Deana L. Lawson
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