Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Zeta Omicron Omega Chapter​

In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America’s first Greek-letter organization established by and for Black women. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, DC, where the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri. She viewed the Sorority as an instrument for enriching the social and intellectual aspects of college life by providing mental stimulation through interaction with friends and associates.

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 social and economic conditions in their city, state, nation and the world.

Today, that tradition has continued--internationally, nationally and locally. 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 300,000 women in over 1000 chapters.

The record of its origin, growth and development, activities, evolving goals, and accomplishments is more than an interesting chronicle of a colorful bit of college-based Americana. It is, rather, a significant and inspiring reflection of the emergence of a dynamic group in a changing culture. The efforts of Alpha Kappa Alpha women in the promotion of high scholarship, vocational and career guidance, health services, the advancement of human and civil rights, and in so many other areas constitute a priceless part of the American experience in the twentieth century.

Nine Howard University students were led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle into a sisterhood in 1908. Four years later, Nellie Quander and her gallant and visionary associates contributed the added dimension of national organization and perpetual membership. These women and those who have come after them, the never-ending stream of eternally young, hopeful, enthusiastic women, need to be remembered.

Alpha Kappa Alpha International History

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