Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter, 2012

Alpha Zeta Omega was chartered on April 14, 1928 by eight members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated who desired to set up a chapter in Durham, North Carolina. These members were Marjorie Shepard, Frances Eagleson, Bernice W. Jones, Jean Holtzclaw, Byrd Jackson, Beatrice Qualls Burnette, Aida Fortune and Gladys Powell. Vivian Mason, South Atlantic Regional Director established the chapter which remained a part of the South Atlantic Region until 1953. Alpha Zeta Omega then became a part of the newly created Mid-Atlantic Region under the leadership of Rose Butler Browne, the first Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and a longtime member of the Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter. Alpha Zeta Omega was the first Greek-letter Sorority in the city of Durham as well as the third Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha to be established in the State of North Carolina.

The first officers of the Chapter were:

  • President: Jean Holtzclaw
  • Vice President: Bernice Jones
  • Secretary: Beatrice Burnette
  • Treasurer: Frances Eagleson
  • Corresponding Secretary: Alda Fortune

Gertrude Taylor and Clydie Scarborough were the first new members to be initiated into the chapter.

aka_signThe membership of Alpha Zeta Omega includes talented and professional women who represent high ethical and moral standards. Alpha Zeta Omega has a long legacy of promoting and upholding the policies, initiatives and programs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as envisioned by our founders, to be of service to those within the Durham community. Our cornerstone programs over the years have included The Links to Learning Program, an after-school tutorial program for middle school students and the annual scholarship program highlighted through our AKA Cotillion. Other initiatives have included programs for the community including economic/financial literacy, promoting breast cancer awareness, entrepreneurial workshops and assisting families in becoming self-sufficient. Annually, Alpha Zeta Omega makes contributions to organizations whose mission is consistent with our goals of providing services which enhance the quality of life for citizens of the Greater Durham area. Organizations which have received funding from our sorority include the Durham Crisis and Response Center, Durham Rescue Mission, John Avery Boys & Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, Sickle Cell Foundation, National Council of Negro Women, Women in Action, SeeSaw Studios, Inc., UNCF, Merrick-Washington Magazine, and more.

Chapter Officers

President Yolanda Stith
Vice President Angie Jones
Treasurer Renè Johnson
Assistant Treasurer Sharon Scarville
Financial Secretary Jacinta Bazemore
Assistant Financial Secretary Scottie Dowdy
Secretary Rosemary Gillespie
Assistant Secretary Rita Pompey
Corresponding Secretary Yolanda Banks Deaver
Graduate Advisor (Duke University) La-Toyer Hargrave
Graduate Advisor
(North Carolina Central University)
LaTonya Everett, Kelli McLean
Sergeant at Arms Susan Sharpless
Parliamentarian Charminique Branson
Chaplain Willia George
Ivy Leaf Reporter Doreen Johnson
Hostess Tedra Anderson-Brown
Historian Sandra Chambers
Pan Hellenic Council Representatives Wadeeah Beyah, Rosalind Garmon, April Rowland

Committee Chairmen

AKA Connection Marcia Conner
Arts and Music Kay Patterson
Auditing Alice Walker
Awards/Exhibits JoAnna Brodie
Bylaws Charminique Branson
Cotillion Marguerite Peebles
Founders’ Day DeLois Washington
Handbook Rene’ Johnson
History/Archives Sandra Chambers
Membership Elfreda Woods
Nominating Cynthia English
Programs Angie Jones
Rituals Gale Crews
Standards Patricia McGhee
Scholarship Sheila Bennett
Social April Rowland, Cheresa Clemons
Sisterly Relations Angela Teal
Technology Nichelle Perry

Alpha Zeta Omega is blessed to have women who have been Alpha Kappa Alpha members for twenty-five years or more. To our Jewels, we salute you!

Diamond (75+ years)

  • Gladys Rennick

Golden (50+ years)

  • Arnetta B. Perry
  • Audrey Boykin
  • Barbara Blue
  • Barbara Ellis
  • Betty Brown
  • Carolyn Wallace
  • Christine Leak
  • Claudette Howell
  • Claudine Lewis
  • Constance Scott
  • Elfreda Woods
  • Elsie C. Leak
  • Gladys Rennick
  • Gloria Green
  • Grace Rowland-Curtis
  • Iris Gilchrist
  • Joan Brown
  • Julia Fairley
  • Lilla Fran Ellison
  • Mable Bullock
  • Martina Woods
  • Mattie Moss
  • Norma Royal
  • Rose Vaughn
  • Sandra Rodgers Alston
  • Standra Kay Patterson
  • Vivian Crump
  • Willia George
  • Yolanda E. Ford
  • Zelphia Watson

Silver (25+ years)

  • Alice W. Hughley
  • Alice Walker
  • Angela Miles
  • Aubra Daniels
  • Barbara W. Lewis
  • Beatrice Delphine Mattiolli
  • Bernadine Harris
  • Bettye S. Jones
  • Beverly Jones
  • Carmen E. Dorsey
  • Carol Lynne Nixon
  • Cassandra Smith
  • Cassennie W. Hodge
  • Catherine Ascott
  • Cecelia Steppe-Jones
  • Cheri J. Harrell
  • Cheryl W. Hudson
  • Claudia M. Woods
  • Cynthia N English
  • Danielle Elliot Range
  • Darnell Tabron
  • Debna Porter Walters
  • Deborah Payne
  • Del Mattiolo
  • DeLoris Washington
  • Delphine Coward
  • Desdemona Faison
  • Earnestine Faye Watkins
  • Fleta Alston
  • Francine Dalton Davis
  • Gale Crews
  • Gerald Hatcher
  • Gloria Timberlake
  • Gwen Paschall
  • Ida Alexander
  • Jacinta Allmond
  • Janeen Ganmage
  • Janice Gabby
  • Juaneza Amos
  • Katherine Dubose
  • Karen Douglas
  • Katrina Lewis-Teachey
  • LaNar Knight
  • Lisa Smith Barnes
  • Mamie Lewis
  • Marcia Conner
  • Marguerite Peebles
  • Marilyn Ebron
  • Mary D. Jacobs
  • Mary Walker
  • Michelle Hedgepath Smith
  • Montina Swift
  • Norma Martin
  • Pam Clark
  • Patricia Tapp
  • Pearlie McNeill Hudson
  • Queen Lawrence
  • Queen Scarborough
  • Regina Lewis
  • Regina Youngblood
  • Rene G. Johnson
  • Rita Pompey
  • Robin Pyles
  • Rubie Lawson
  • Sabrina Speller
  • Sandra Chambers
  • Sandra Harper
  • Sandra Meachem
  • Sandra Armstrong
  • Sandra Walden
  • Scottie Dowdy
  • Selena Hunter
  • Sharon Scarville
  • Starletta Williamson
  • Susan Sharpless
  • Tara Fikes
  • Tedra Anderson- Brown
  • Toni Jordan
  • Valderia Hillard-Shumate
  • Valita Holmes
  • Veronica B. Johnson
  • Val McLean
  • Victoria Washington
  • Vivian Leeper Ford
  • Vivian Rawlings Lewis
  • Wendy McNair
  • Yolanda Banks Deaver

In looking at the illustrious history of Alpha Zeta Omega Chapter, there are several women whom have served as president of the Chapter and carried out the mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. It has been because of their commitment, determination, loyalty, and devotion to the Sorority that the chapter has been able to reach new heights and accomplish many goals.

Alpha Zeta Omega Presidents

  • [1928 – 1930] Jean Holtzclaw
  • [1930 – 1932] Bernice Jones
  • [1932 – 1934] Clydie Scarborough
  • [1934 – 1936] Bernice Jones
  • [1936 – 1938] Florice Holmes
  • [1938 – 1940] Frances Eagleson
  • [1940 – 1942] Jewel Watson
  • [1942 – 1944] Datie Mae Bridgeforth
  • [1944 – 1946] Pauline Newton
  • [1946 – 1948] Pearl Cordice
  • [1948 – 1950] Beatrice Burnette
  • [1950 – 1952] Rose Butler Browne
  • [1952 – 1954] Lucile J. Hancock
  • [1954 – 1956] Elna Spaulding
  • [1956 – 1958] Elizabeth Pratt
  • [1958 – 1960] Jocelyn Stevens
  • [1960 – 1962] Beatrice Burnette
  • [1962 – 1964] Grace Massey
  • [1964 – 1965] Gwendolyn Newkirk
  • [1965 – 1967] Thelma Bass
  • [1967 – 1969] Katherine Thomas
  • [1970 – 1972] Elva DeJarmon
  • [1972 – 1974] Adele Butts
  • [1974 – 1975] Velda Fluellen
  • [1975 – 1976] Elizabeth Pratt
  • [1976 – 1978] DeLois Washington
  • [1978 – 1979] Linda Hubbard
  • [1979 – 1980] Norma Royal
  • [1980 – 1982] Constance Scott
  • [1982 – 1984] Caroline Lattimore
  • [1984 – 1986] Alice Hughley
  • [1986 – 1987] Syvil I. Burke
  • [1987 – 1988] Octovia Knight
  • [1989 – 1990] Dorothy Wiggins
  • [1991 – 1992] Betty Brown
  • [1993 – 1994] Mattie Moss
  • [1995 – 1996] Janeen Densen
  • [1997] Elfreda Woods
  • [1998 – 1999] Betty Brown
  • [2000 – 2001] Eurydice W. Smith
  • [2002 – 2003] Tara L. Fikes
  • [2004 – 2005] Zelphia Watson
  • [2006 – 2007] Norma Martin
  • [2008 – 2009] Claudette Howell
  • [2010 – 2013] Tara L. Fikes
  • [2014 – current] Yolanda K. Stith


Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC in 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 who organized the Sorority was 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.


The Original Group: Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe and Marie Woolfolk Taylor

Led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, the nine Howard University students who came together to form Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority were the scholastic leaders of their classes. Each also had a special talent or gift that further enhanced the potential of this dynamic group.


The Sophomores: Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden and Harriet Terry

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 honor students who had expressed interest were invited to join without initiation.

The Incorporators: Norma Boyd, Julia Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell and Minnie Smith

Nellie Quander was elected president in 1911. Under her visionary leadership, Alpha Kappa Alpha initiated a dynamic plan of expansion. The first step of establishing an international body in perpetuity was taken in 1913 when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was legally incorporated.

Tribute to our Founders

“By Culture, By Merit”

The Nine Howard University Students who were led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle began a sisterhood in 1908. Nellie Quander and her gallant group contributed the added dimension of an international organization and perpetual membership. Those who have come after them, the never ending stream of eternally young, hopeful enthusiastic women, must be remembered.

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.

Link to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International History