Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. History
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded January 15, 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., the first Greek-letter organization founded by a group of African-American college-trained women. Alpha Kappa Alpha was incorporated on January 29, 1913.
Under the leadership of founder Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s history began with Anna Easter Brown, Beulah E. Burke, Lillian Burke, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Majorie Hill, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe, and Marie Woolfolk Taylor. The sophomore class consisted of Joanna Berry Shields, Norma E. Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Sarah Merriwether, Alice P. Murray, Carrie E. Snowden, and Harriet J. Terry. The Incorporators were Norma Boyd, Julia Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell and Minnie Smith.
With the exception of Ethel, the original group of women was comprised of college seniors. To ensure the continuity of the organization, seven, Class of 1910 scholastic leaders who had expressed interest were invited to join without initiation.
After the organization’s establishment over a century ago, Alpha Kappa Alpha has helped to improve social and economic conditions through community service programs. Members have improved education through independent initiatives, contributed to community-building by creating programs and associations. The sorority works with communities through service initiatives and progressive programs relating to education, economics, health, and business. Alpha Kappa Alpha continues to grow as the first and finest black sorority.
Delta Omicron Omega Chapter
In 1947, Sorors Georgia J. Schanck and Alfreda B. Wooden began a dialogue with several Alpha Kappa Alpha sorors in the Orlando area about the establishment of a graduate chapter in Orlando, Florida.
A letter was directed to Soror Arnetta Gravely Wallace, the Southeastern Regional Director to determine the procedure for chartering. After receiving directions, Sorors Ruby M. Bennett, Opal G. Bowles, Susie E. Jackson, Lessie B. Floyd, Celeste C. Parrish, Georgia J. Schanck and Alfreda B. Wooden began the procedure outlined by the Regional Director.
On September 24, 1947 following the August Boule, a letter was received from Soror Wallace informing the group that a chapter for Orlando had been approved. On October 24, 1947, Delta Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was chartered at seven o’clock in the evening in a ritualistic ceremony conducted by Soror Arnetta G. Wallace. Sorors Georgia J. Schanck, Montez N. James, Ruby M. Bennett, Parthenia Bozeman, Opal Bowles, Margaret Farmer, Susie E. Jackson, Celeste C. Parrish and Alfreda B. Wooden became the charter members of Delta Omicron Omega.
Newly Chartered Officers were:
Georgia J. Schanck, President *
Montez N. James, Vice President
Alfreda B. Wooden, Recording Secretary *
Parthenia Bozeman, Assistant Recording Secretary *
Celeste C. Parrish, Corresponding Secretary *
Opal G. Bowles, Official Chapter Hostess *
Ruby M. Bennett, Keeper-of-the Doors *
Margaret Farmer, Parliamentarian *
First Initiates of Delta Omicron Omega Chapter: Mildred Board, Lillian Hall, Clara C. Mitchell, Eleanor Moore
* denotes deceased