In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America 's first Greek-letter organization established by Black college women. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri.
Through the years, however, Alpha Kappa Alpha's function has become more complex. After her incorporation as a perpetual body in 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the channel through which selected college-trained women improved the socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this affiliation as a means of self-fulfillment through volunteer service. Alpha Kappa Alpha cultivates and encourages high scholastic and ethical standards; promotes unity and friendship among college women; alleviates problems concerning girls and women; maintains a progressive interest in college life; and serves all mankind through a nucleus of more than 170,000 women in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
Our founders, known as our twenty pearls, are as follows:
The Original Group: Marjorie Hill, Lucy D. Slowe, Lillie Burke, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Anna E. Brown, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Beulah E. Burke, Margaret Flagg Holmes, and Lavinia Norman
The Sophomores of 1908: Norma Boyd, Ethel J. Mowbray, Alice P. Murray, Sarah M. Nutter, Joanna B. Shields, Carrie E. Snowden, and Harriett J. Terry
The Incorporators: Norma Boyd, Julia E. Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie M. Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell, and Minnie B. Smith
Throughout the years Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc has grown with many leaps and bounds. Spreading so wide and eventually touching down on what was known as Elon College in 1987. On May 9, 1987 13 wonderful women joined the ranks of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. becoming the chartering members of the Omicron Epsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Inc. These women are as follows:
Pamela R. Brown, Lydia Deer, Angrid Emerson, Marie Gaddy, Mae Haith, Kimberly Headen, Renee Jones, Lynnice Michelle Joyner, Crystal Leigh Morrison, Lila Michele Morrison, Angela Norris, Lisa Toomer, and Dawn Washington
These women are the reason that we are here today and we just want to thank them for their dedication to the sorority. If it were not for these women, our founders and our chartering members…we would not be. So we want to give much dedication to these special women!
Beauty unparalleled, grace undefined,
An Alpha Kappa Alpha Woman is one of a kind.
She walks in a room with her head held high,
Acknowledgement of her presences is an awe-filled gaze, or admiring sigh.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Woman is regal and profound.
She is the essence of feminism and these qualities abound.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Woman is honorable and oh so unique.
All of these qualities culminated,
Created the Alpha Kappa Alpha Mystique.
I am Alpha Kappa Alpha
I was born in 1908 in Washington, D.C.
I was incorporated January 29, 19 13 .
I was nine young founders of old,
University women-courageous and bold.
Ethel Hedgemen Lyle - Young and gay,
Was the moving spirit to lead my way.
My history reveals that this founding few
Were determined that my experience would be meaningful, too
I am Alpha Kappa Alpha - A Sisterhood
With love and concern for each neighborhood.
I am open to women of high ideals.
Who serve mankind in all fields.
I am Alpha Kappa Alpha - A Greek letter organization,
The first for college women in our nation.
Concerned with my "image", I strive for the best,
I lead the way and challenge all the rest.
I am Alpha Kappa Alpha - Great things have I done,
My program projects have startled some;
Things that few would have dared to do,
I ventured out and succeeded, too.
I am Alpha Kappa Alpha - Continuing to strive
With committed women - my projects still thrive
I will always keep my torch burning bright,
Leading the way with my guiding light.