Years of Service
Proud Members & Counting...
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. had its humble beginnings as the vision of nine college students on the campus of Howard University in 1908.
Since then, the sorority has flourished into a globally-impactful organization of over 283,000 college-trained members, bound by the bonds of sisterhood and empowered by a commitment to servant-leadership that is both domestic and international in its scope.
As Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown, it has maintained its focus in two key arenas: the lifelong personal and professional development of each of its members; and galvanizing its membership into an organization of respected power and influence, consistently at the forefront of effective advocacy and social change that results in equality and equity for all citizens of the world.
The Original Nine
Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman (Lyle), Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe and Marie Woolfolk (Taylor)
With the exception of Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, the original group of nine 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.
Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones (Mowbray), Alice Murray, Sarah Meriweather (Nutter), Joanna Berry (Shields), Carrie Snowden and Harriet Terry
After attending a sorority meeting in 1912 where she heard proposals from then-current members to change the group’s name, colors, symbols and motto, Nellie May Quander (inducted in 1910; president of Alpha chapter from 1911-1912) realized that the need for an intervention to preserve the original premise of the sorority that she and its founders held dear was urgent. Quander quickly formed a committee comprised of a trio including herself and members Norma E. Boyd and Minnie Beatrice Smith—and later expanded to include sorority officers Julia Evangeline Brooks, Ethel Jones (Mowbray) and Nellie Pratt (Russell)—whose mission was to seek and acquire incorporation.
These women committed to Alpha Kappa Alpha fanned out to solicit the support of other like-minded undergraduate and graduate members who held true to the vows they had taken upon their initiation. The effort culminated in the successful protection and subsequent perpetuity of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority through its incorporation on January 29, 1913, with Quander, Boyd and Smith as signers of the petition. It was the first black Greek-letter organization to attempt and complete such a measure. The incorporation of the sorority positioned it to broaden its service concept offerings while ensuring the preservation of its founding principles and brands.