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- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. -
Founders Centennial Scholarship Fund

About the Scholarship

In 2008, during Alpha Kappa Alpha's Centennial, the sorority continued its commitment to Howard University and honored the Founders by establishing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Founders Centennial Endowed Scholarship Fund, in partnership with the College of Arts & Sciences. The scholarships will support student retention, research and national or international studies. By July 2012, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Educational Advancement Fund and Howard University's College of Arts & Sciences, individual sorority members, Howard University alumni, and other supporters had donated over $250,000 to the Scholarship Fund. To continue this effort by contributing to the fund, see below. For more information, please contact Alveta Addison at aladdison@howard.edu or (202) 806-7360.

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College of Arts and Sciences
Attn: Alveta Addison
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Background Overview

Founded two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, in 1867, Howard University established a mission of “Truth and Service,” to advocate social, economic, and intellectual justice for all.  In accordance with the mission of Howard University, the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) provides its students with an undergraduate education grounded in the quest for intellectual freedom, social justice, artistic expression and pursuit of knowledge to encourage development of critical and creative thinking in both the scholarly and artistic modes.

Continuing the mission and tradition of Howard, in 1908, sixteen undergraduates, committed to the university’s mission to fight for social and economic justice for all, founded the first African American Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. The sixteen students were Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden and Harriet Terry. Founded just 43 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became a leader in fighting for civil and human rights, while serving the oppressed. After the early years of volunteering with the YWCA, NAACP and other organizations, the Sorority led an anti-lynching campaign and worked with the Mississippi Health Project. Over time, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. extended its world-wide human rights efforts through the United Nations sanctioned Non-Partisan Council. Today, the Sorority has initiatives targeting global poverty, education, economic security, health disparities, environmental stewardship, youth empowerment, and leadership training. More than 260,000 members have been initiated. Through its approximately 968 chapters and general membership, the organization's mission continues to advance.

AKA Sorority, Inc. Founders

Original

Ethel Hedgeman

Ethel Hedgeman, considered the Guiding Light of Alpha Kappa Alpha, began envisioning the sorority in 1907. She received full support from the Howard University College of Arts and Science faculty, Ethel Aremain Robinson, and Elizabeth Appa Cook. To begin organizing, she enlisted the help of her classmates Beulah and Lillie Burke, Margaret Flagg (Holmes), Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe, Anna Brown, Marie Woolfolk (Taylor), and Marjorie Hill.  After completing the arduous tasks of establishing a constitution, purpose, motto, colors and symbols, on January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was founded. After the founding of the sorority, Soror Hedgeman became a charter member of Mu Chapter in 1922 and was elected treasurer of the national office in 1923, a position that she held until 1946.  She is the only sorority member to be given the honor of being named honorary basileus (president). In her professional life, she taught music.  She was the first college-trained African American to receive a Teacher’s Life Certificate from the State Department of Education.  She died in 1950.

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Anna Easter Brown

Anna Easter Brown was elected the first treasurer of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.  She also wrote the sorority song. In addition, she was one of the charter members of Chi Omega. As she traveled around the country, she wrote articles for the National Urban League’s Opportunity.

An African American history researcher and social studies teacher for more than 30 years, Soror Brown organized “Negro” history exhibits; the 25th annual exhibit received national publicity. She was house mother for one of the "cottages" of the school and active with the American Teachers’ Association. She was also a charter member of the YWCA in Rocky Mount, NC and a stalwart member of the Episcopal church.

Soror Brown  is noted for the impassioned statement, "I am not a career woman, but what greater career could one wish than to be an inspiration to her pupils?  I have accomplished no great thing, but I am steadily working toward a high moral standard and refined womanhood."

Anna Easter Brown died on March 6, 1957, and is buried in Unity Cemetery. A wall exhibit at the YWCA honors her as does a graveside bench placed in 2008 by AKA.

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Beulah E. Burke

Beulah E. Burke, with the help of her sister, created the sorority name, motto, and colors. She received an A.B. in Latin; afterwards she continued her education at Columbia University, where she received her master’s in home economics. She became one of the most active of the founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as she supported the incorporation and expansion in addition to judicious counsel throughout her 67 years of membership. In 1913, during efforts to preserve the sorority through incorporation, Soror Burke founded and chartered the first three chapters after incorporation: Beta Chapter in Chicago (1913), Gamma Chapter at the University of Illinois (1913), and Delta Chapter at the University of Kansas (1914). Burke established additional graduate chapters: in 1920, she established Beta Omega Chapter in Kansas City Missouri (1920), and Mu Omega Chapter in Kansas City, Kansas (1922). She was elected basileus of both chapters. She served as hostess basileus at the Kansas City Boule of 1922.  She served as second supreme anti-basileus from 1923-24. In 1925, she was elected Midwestern organizer (regional director). She was also a member of the Xi Omega chapter. She participated in many boules and in 1958 during  the 50th Anniversary Boule, she stated:

"I think fundamentally we should regard our fiftieth anniversary as just another milestone in our history - as another opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the high purposes which have been emphasized and reemphasized throughout the history of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.”

During the Founder's Day 60th Anniversary Celebration in 1968, she was honored at a special banquet where founders Lavinia Norman and Norma Boyd were also featured guests.

By profession, Soror Beulah was a teacher. She also was employed at Howard University as manager of Lucy Diggs Slowe Hall, named after another Alpha Kappa Alpha founder.  She continued her service outside of the sorority as a member of the NAACP, the YWCA, the Worker's Organization, the National Education Association, and Berean Baptist Church. Beulah Elizabeth Burke died on April 8, 1975 in Washington, D.C. She is buried in Lincoln Cemetery.

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AKA Sorority, Inc. Website

Donors

The College of Arts and Sciences expresses sincere gratitude to the following donors.

Charter Donors

Alveta Addison (In memory of Ruth W. Addison, Alpha Chi)
Amanda F. Alexander
Patricia K. Allen
Freddie Lewis Archer
Nelsonna Potts Barnes J.D.
Sheila Monroe Bedford
Marta W. Berkley
Juanita P. Bloom
C. Edith Booker
Ja-Na Bordes
Cassandra Brandon
Robyn Braswell
Deborah Carpenter Brittain
Marva Jones Brooks (In Memory of Constance Powell Oliver)
Mwalimu Sandra E. Brown
Mynetta Burney-Edwards
Chezia Cager
Gwendolyn Carter
Gloria Twine Chisum, Ph.D.
Vianca M. Coleman
Chandra Collins
Paul A. Cotton
Louise Cummings
Yvonne M. Curl
Colette E. Dabney
Sandra B. Dolphin
James A. Donaldson
Alexis Bonner Dukes
Sandra Donnell-Smith
Lynda B. Edwards
Cheryl A. Epps
Susan Evans
Colita Nichols Fairfax, Ph.D.
Cozette Rooney Ferron
54 Dyvine - Alpha Line 2001
Linda Raiford Fowler
Bernadette Gartrell
Linetta J. Gilbert
Karen M. Goffin
Thyrsa M. Gravely
Carol Tyrance Graves
Wilucia Green
Gay G. Gunn
Rosalyn Haley
Deborah L. Hamilton-Diggs
Brenda C. Hampton
Johnetta B. Hardy
Patricia Henegan
Rochelle (Zala) Highsmith-Taylor
Deborah J. Hill-Burroughs
Mardi A. Holliday
Tanya Chappell Holsey
Roberta A. Hubbard
Karen R. James
Rocquelle Jeri
Norma Jeanne Hill Johnson
C. Michelle Jones
Edith Gee Jones
Gwendolyn I. Jones
LaVerne B. Jones
Sandra Miller Jones
Guinevere Jones-Wood
KoKer!
Kim Leathers
Cassandra Metcalfe Little Ph. D.
Jene E. Martin
Sandra Mavin
Anita D. Stearns Mayo
Danielle Q. McGahee
Paula H. Mitchell
Linda Elaine Newman
Juanita E. Orr
Lavdena A. Orr, M.D
Carol Parkinson-Hall and Jamila C. Hall (In Memory of Soror Willye Watson Parkinson)
Veda M. Patterson
Stephanie Snead Poellnitz, M.D.
Blanchita Porter.
Delore Lloyd President, Ph.D.
Anne S Pruitt-Logan, Ed. D.
Peggy A. Quince, J.D.
Velois Allena Cary Rausch
Donyale Y. H. Reavis, Esq.
Linda Evans Riley
Patricia Roberts
Alrene E. Robinson Campbell
Dr. Lillie A. Robinson
Phyllis Mosley Robinson
Norma Dabney Roman, Ed.D.
Jacquelyne E. Scott
Teresa Sidewater
Tonya Bell Spry
Melba Watson Green Swafford, M.D.
Toni White (Bogan)
Andrea Kidd Taylor, DrPH, MSPH
Freida R. Thompson, M.D.
Dr. Eleanor Q. Tignor
Lauren Tillman
Elaine Todd, Ph.D (Chelva Todd)
Shanikka Wagner
Joan Robinson Walton
Brenda Lilienthal Welburn
Barbara L. White
Toni White (Bogan)
Bettye Williams
Dana A. Williams, Ph.D.
Dr. Tammy J. Williams (In Memory of Soror Tonya Alisa White, Delta Iota Chapter)

2012 Donors

Fay C. Acker
Tricia Bent-Goodley
Kathleen Birchette-Shelton
Ferial S. Bishop
Bettye J. Bolling
Edna Boone
Carole Brown
Faye B. Bryant
Melanie L. Chambliss
Joi O. Chaney, J.D.
Olivia Allen Chaney, M.D.
Alice M. Dear
Shariah Dixon-Turner
Jessie L. Douglas, Ed.D.
Segun Gbadegesin
JoHelen Alexander Graham
Dr. Etta C. Leath Gravely
Marilyn McCoy Green
Mary Jeanette Gwendolyn Jones
Dr. Phyllis J. Hobson
Lisa Levy Horton
Lillian D. Howard
Phyllis D. Jackson
Barbara Benson Johnson
Maria E. Jones
Deborah Kennedy (In Memoriam)
Dana King
Gwynette P. Lacy
Sheryl Guthrie Lucas, M.D.
Yvonne Marshall Mapily
Theresa Davis McDougald
Ellena Foy McZeal, MSW
Carol Moye
Constance Myers (In Memoriam)
Izegbe N'Namdi
Dolores McIver Parker
Joan C. Payne
Willa B. Phyall, Ph.D.
Michele H. Porter
Betty James Robinson, Ed.D.
Hazel Robinson
Jo Nell Sanders Yarbrough
Brenda Syrkett
Dianne Tyrance-Neal
Julie Welker
Rayna W. Woodford
Patricia G. Wright, M.D.

Resources

Lillie Burke

Lillie Burke collaborated with her sister, Beulah, in formulating the motto of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The sisters were both regarded as Greek scholars. She also helped to organize  Xi Omega Chapter in 1923, was a consultant to the chapter basilei, and an active contributor to the routine functioning of the chapter. Although her failing eyesight limited her participation, she was remembered as an active and devoted  member of the sorority and Berean Baptist Church until her death in 1949.

Marjorie Hill

Marjorie Hill began studying in Arts and Sciences at Howard University in the fall of 1904. She graduated in 1908 and died in 1909. Her classmate described her as being helpful, well organized, quiet and unassuming, and always willing to help when a job had to be done. Soror Hill graduated in 1908 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is the first “Ivy beyond the Wall,” a term used for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members who have passed away.

Margaret Flagg Holmes

Margaret Flagg Holmes began her studies at Howard University in 1904 on a scholarship. As a founding member, she joined with Ethel Hedgeman and Lavinia Norman in developing the constitution from the draft written by Lucy Diggs Slowe. She graduated in 1908 with a degree in English and Latin and continued her education, earning a master's degree in philosophy from Columbia University. She continued her involvement with the sorority from 1922 to 1953 as a member of Theta Omega Chapter in Chicago, where she was elected anti-basileus and grammateus, and delegate at several boules. She was a teacher by profession and retired in 1953. After retirement, she was affiliated with Tau Omega Chapter in Manhattan, where she was guest of honor at the 19th annual joint Founders' Day celebration of the chapters of greater New York.

Soror Holmes was known for her everlasting passion for life and caring for others. She once stated that "Life is for the living to love, to share, and give of one's self." She immortalized her appreciation for service as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha by further stating, "It is with a feeling of justifiable pride that I am happy to be a founder of this organization which has many wonderful, talented, dedicated women who are contributing much to the world of today - a world which is so sadly in need of the talent, common sense and humanity of women."

Soror Margaret Flagg Holmes died January 29, 1976.

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Lavinia Norman

Lavinia Norman enrolled at Howard University when there were few enrolled women. In her junior year, she and Ethel Hedgeman were the only females in her college class. With Margaret Flagg and Ethel Hedgeman, she prepared the first constitution of Alpha Kappa Alpha from a draft by Lucy Slowe. In 1909, Lavinia Norman was elected president. During that period, she presided over the Ivy Day. In 1909, she graduated cum laude, with a B.A. in English and French. She read the class history at graduation.

After graduation, Soror Lavinia returned to her home state to teach in Huntington, West Virginia from 1909 until 1950, when she retired. While in West Virginia, she earned a second bachelor's degree in 1934. She was an active member of Beta Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, where she was secretary, speaker for Founders' Day observances, a member of the Entertainment Committee, director of chapter plays, and active in other valuable ways. After her retirement, Soror Lavinia returned to Washington, D.C. where she was a member of Xi Omega Chapter. On her 100th birthday, December 14, 1982, a “gala party” was held in her honor.

On January 22, 1983, Lavinia Norman died in Washington, D.C. A memorial service was held in the Andrew Rankin Chapel at Howard.

Lucy Diggs Slowe

Lucy Diggs Slowe was an accomplished Howard University alumae who was committed to education, Howard, and her sorority. She was the first to receive a scholarship and the first woman who graduated from the Baltimore Colored High School to enter Howard University. At Howard, she was studious and well respected by faculty and classmates. As part of the founding of the sorority, she developed the first draft of the constitution. She was elected the first basileus. After completing her undergraduate years, she received a master's degree from Columbia University in 1915, taught high school, and organized the first junior high school in the District of Columbia. An accomplished athlete, in 1917, Soror Lucy became the first African American to win a national title in any sport by winning the first women’s title at the American Tennis Association’s (ATA) national tournament in Baltimore. In 1937, she became the first dean of women at Howard and remained in that position until her death. She also organized the National Association of College Women and founded the Association of Advisors to Women of Colored Schools. She was the first African American member of the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors.

Lucy Diggs Slowe served as president of the College Alumnae Club of Washington, a committee board member of the YWCA, and counselor to the Race Relations Group of the North American Home Missions of the National Student Council. On October 21, 1937, after an illness of two months, Soror Lucy died. Two buildings located in Washington, D.C. were named in her honor: Lucy Diggs Slowe Hall at Howard and the Lucy Diggs Slowe Elementary School.

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Lucy Diggs Slowe Dissertation

Lucy Diggs Slowe Residence, African American Heritage Trail

The Ivy Influence: Lucy Diggs Slowe

Lucy Diggs Slowe, the Mother of Black Tennis

Faithful to the Task at Hand: The Life of Lucy Diggs Slowe

Maryland Women's Hall of Fame: Lucy Diggs Slowe

Lucy Diggs Slowe: Champion of the Self-Determination of African-American Women in Higher Education By Linda M. Perkin

AskBiography: Lucy Diggs Slowe

Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series) Lucy Diggs Slowe (1883-1937)

Black Tennis History Gallery of Champions

Marie Woolfolk Taylor

Marie Woolfolk Taylor joined Ethel Hedgeman in presenting the constitution and plans for the establishment of the sorority to Howard President Wilbur P. Thirkield and Deans Lewis Moore and Kelly Miller. Soror Marie’s presentation was impressive, which led to the immediate approval and recognition of the sorority on January 15, 1908. Soon afterwards, on February 21, Marie Woolfolk Taylor was elected the first secretary of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She was subsequently asked to approach members of the sophomore class who had demonstrated interest in the sorority and had been selected by Beulah Burke. The sophomores joined without initiation. Marie Woolfolk Taylor graduated magnum cum laude in 1908, with an A.B. in Latin and history. She continued her education in religion at Schauffler Training School in Social Service in Cleveland, OH, as the only African American in the school. She continued her involvement in the sorority as she helped to organize the Kappa Omega Chapter and was elected the first basileus.

On November 9, 1960, Marie Woolfolk Taylor died and was buried in Atlanta, Georgia, her hometown.

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Sophomores

Norma Boyd

Norma Boyd, in the tradition of Howard University’s motto, “truth and service,” was an activist for both Alpha Kappa Sorority and humanitarian causes. Soror Boyd was a founder and an incorporator of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She became an avid supporter against the dissolution of the sorority when in 1913 AKA members tried to change the name, motto, colors, and symbols. She united with Nellie Quander and Minnie Smith to form a committee which led to the incorporation of AKA, making the sorority not only the first African-American sorority, but the first African American sorority to be incorporated on January 29, 1913. Soon afterwards, Soror Boyd became the first epistoleus on the first directorate. She also served as North Atlantic regional director, twice as basileus of Alpha Chapter, and as charter member and basileus of Xi Omega Chapter.
 
Soror Boyd chaired the first committee to raise funds for the Mississippi Health Project. She soon expanded her humanitarian efforts abroad, establishing the Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs in 1938. The council developed the first full-time congressional lobby for minority group rights with the purpose of establishing full citizenship for all citizens. The organization promoted social action in order to eliminate discrimination in government. Soror Boyd stated, ". . . We can ask for and support such measures as will assure for our people decent living conditions, permanent jobs, and a voice in determining the conditions under which they live and work. We can effect these objectives only by making our power felt in the halls and on the floors of Congress; and activity toward this end begins with participation in the primaries of our land." For ten years, Boyd advocated social and legislative action in order to secure national and international respect for the sorority, leading to the establishment of the American Council on Human Rights and making AKA the first sorority or fraternity recognized as an accredited observer by the United Nations.

During World War II, Soror Boyd initiated and organized a symposium on “Labor and Women in the War Effort” and an institute on “Defense Planning for the Future” at Howard University. She was later recognized by the National Council of Negro Women on June 13, 1948 with a citation naming her "Woman of the Year in the Field of Legislation.”

An educator for more than 30 years, her professional service included involvement with the National Council of Mathematics Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, and the American Teachers Association. Other service efforts included participation in the Committee of the Temple of Understanding, the Federation of Churches, and the All Saints Unitarian Church.

In her autobiography, A Love That Equals My Labors, Ms. Boyd chronicles her contributions, career in education, human rights struggle, the suffrage movement, and her travels in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and the British West Indies. Soror Norma Boyd died in Washington, D.C. on January 4, 1985.

Ethel Jones Mowbray

Ethel Jones Mowbray participated in the first Ivy Day on May 25, 1909. That same year she was elected as the first vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and on March 1910, she was elected basileus. She was a life-long member of the sorority. Soror Mowbray was actively involved in the incorporation and expansion of the sorority. On a national level, she served as anti-basileus and was an active member of Mu Omega in Kansas City, Kansas.

Soror Mowbray became a professional caterer and continued her community service by working with the PTA on the junior high school level where she was a room mother. She and husband had two children: Helen Henry Mowbray and Dr. Geraldine Mowbray Arnette. Dr. Arnette, a practicing physician, is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She presently lives in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Ethel Jones Mowbray lived and worked in Kansas until her death on November 25, 1948.

Alice P. Murray

Alice P. Murray was an active participant in Alpha Chapter. As a student, she was interested in music and graduated with degrees in liberal arts and pedagogy. She also wrote articles that were published in a journal at Howard. There are sparse records of her life; however, it is known that her father was P.A. Murray and that the family lived on U Street near the Howard campus. Alice Murray shared her thoughts in the following poem included in a short story, which was published while she was a student at Howard University.

Men I dreamed of autumn
I visioned pomp and charm,
A mallard winging swiftly south
Fleeing a hunter's harm;
A wild goose flying high and fast
Over swamp and moor
A weasel weaving through the grass
Training a rabbit's spoor
But autumn as I saw it,
Was not like this, alas
The duck is in the haversack,
The goose lies in the grass.
The rabbit hangs in the market,
And the weasel will never pass.

Sarah Meriweather Nutter

Sarah Meriweather Nutter was an active member of Alpha Chapter. She majored in history and English. She furthered her education at the University of Chicago and continued her involvement with the Sorority by helping to establish Nu Chapter in 1922 and becoming a charter member of Xi Omega and Beta Beta Omega. Her mother, Mrs. Mary L. Meriweather, was also a charter member of Xi Omega. Her father, James Meriweather, was a Howard alumnus and trustee. Professionally, Soror Sarah taught English at the Teacher Training School in Baltimore at Howard University, and at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. In 1914, Sarah Meriweather represented Howard University at the World Student Federation Convention at Princeton, New Jersey Of note was her work as director of the Program Committee and chairman of the Education Committee at the NAACP. In addition, she was the organizer of the College Alumni Club of Kanawha County, West Virginia, and of the Book Lovers Club in Charleston. She was the first Black member of the West Virginia Society for Crippled Children. She was also a sought after speaker who was known for her gracious manner, high ideals and exemplary training. Sara Meriweather Nutter died on May 10, 1950 and is buried in Washington, D.C.

Joanna Berry Shields

Joanna Berry Shields was accepted as a sophomore in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. At Howard, she majored in social science and mathematics, graduating in 1910. She continued her sorority membership in Phi Omega Chapter in Winston Salem, NC. In December 1935, Soror Shields was chapter delegate at the 18th Boule in Richmond, Virginia where she was recognized for her role as founder. A special diamond pin was presented to her at the Boule. She also traveled across the US to visit graduate and undergraduate chapters. From 1937 until her death, Ms. Shields was a member of the Tau Omega Chapter.

A teacher by profession, Soror Sheilds taught in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and New York. She was influential in obtaining support from the Rosenwald Fund in order to increase the length of the school year for African Americans. Joanna Berry Shields died on February 2, 1965 in New York City.

Carrie Snowden

Carrie Snowden was elected epistoleus in 1909. She studied English, French, German, history, geography and science. She took additional courses in commerce, economics, social work and mathematics. Soror Snowden was a charter member of Xi Omega. In later years, she worked at Howard as a switchboard operator until her retirement. Her classmates described her as a small, slim, gracious woman who was enthusiastic about joining the sorority. She graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in May 1910. Her last registration at Howard was in 1943, when she took a course in typing.

In her later years, Soror Snowden was employed at Howard University as a switchboard operator, a position which she held until her retirement. A charter member of Xi Omega Chapter, which was established in 1923, she Snowden was committed to the sorority through her active involvement in the Xi Omega Chapter. In 1948, Carrie E. Snowden died in Washington, D.C. where she is buried.

Harriet Josephine Terry

Harriet Josephine Terry was elected treasurer on October 30, 1908. Soror Terry wrote the initiation hymn, "Hail Alpha Kappa Alpha Dear." In 1949, she helped establish Epsilon Gamma Omega Chapter in Normal, Alabama and served as chapter basileus. In later years, she was a member of Xi Omega in Washington, DC. In addition to her involvement with the sorority, Soror Terry was secretary of the Howard University Class of 1910. As an undergraduate, she majored in English and studied numerous other subjects, including Latin, French, German, political science, pedagogy, history, and chemistry. She graduated in 1910, with a degree in liberal arts.

With education as her passion, Soror Terry was appointed head of the Department of English and History at Gloucester High School in Capahoasic, Virginia. She also worked at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C, making and inspecting money. She returned to work in the field of education at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College in Normal, where she taught and worked as dorm counselor for 37 years. She also taught extension courses to teachers.

Soror Terry’s community service included charter membership in the Chapel of the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Normal and membership in the National Federation of Women's Clubs, among other professional organizations. She retired from teaching in 1959 and returned to Washington, D.C. to live. Harriet Josephine Terry died on August 15, 1967 in Washington, DC. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University recognized her commitment to the hundreds of students whom she taught by naming a building in her honor – Harriett J. Terry Hall.

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