Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was founded January 15, 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. It is 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, family, health, and business. Now consisting of over 283,000 members, Alpha Kappa Alpha continues to grow over the next one hundred years as the first and finest black sorority.
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