Nationally, members of the 100-year-old Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. have been doing a lot of celebrating this year.
Members of the Hinesville Alumnae Chapter have joined in. On Jan. 13, chapters in the United States and abroad celebrated the organization’s 100th year. The sorority was founded Jan. 13, 1913, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by 22 collegiate women.
These bold, young women desired to utilize their collective strength to promote academic excellence, provide scholarships, support the underserved, educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities.
The sorority has grown into a sisterhood of more than 200,000 members and more than 900 chapters throughout the world. The major programs of the sorority are predicated upon the organization’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health and Political Awareness and Involvement.
The sorority’s Hinesville alumnae chapter was established May 24, 1987, with Sallie Richardson of Midway as its first president. Louise Rice, who became Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s 23rd national president, chartered the local chapter.
Charter members included Sarah Baker, Mattie Brown, Vickie Brown, Denise Cobbs, Shirley Frasier, Consibrina Jackson, Donna Jones, Betty McCray, Gloria Mitchell, Bertha Pryor, Sarah Stevens, Annie Stewart and the late Annie Givens.
Other Deltas present at the chartering ceremony included Yvonne Woods, Readie Kelly, Pamela Keaton, Brenda Pullings and Theresa Calhoun.
At 4 p.m. Sunday, March 10, members of the local chapter, under the leadership of President Mary Brock, will celebrate their Founders Day at First African Baptist Church in Riceboro. The theme is “Celebrating 100 Years of Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.”
Juanita Jackson Adams, a native of Savannah, will be the guest speaker. Adams is known throughout Chatham County as a motivational and inspirational speaker. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Savannah State College (now Savannah State University) and later completed graduate studies at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). After her retirement as an assistant professor from Savannah State in 2005, she returned shortly thereafter and now serves as a part-time online professor. She also is a past president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Savannah alumnae chapter.
A lifelong member of the First Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah, she is vice chair of the trustee board, vice president of the deaconess board and a member of the youth-advisory ministry.
Yvonne Woods of Hinesville, the Founders Day chairperson, has been a member of Delta for 47 years. She also is a Delta Dear.
“I have always been in awe of those 22 college-age women who founded our dynamic sorority,” she said. “Their vision, their intellect and their courage were unbelievable for the time in which they lived, 100 years ago. I am so proud of our chapter, Hinesville Alumnae, for supporting their steadfast dedication to serving others.”