Alpha Kappa Alpha celebrates 100 years at Virginia State

Posted at 10:14 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 12:53:40-05

ETTRICK, Va. -- The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority chapter Virginia State University celebrated its 100th birthday in 2021.

Thirteen years after it became the first Greek-letter organization founded by and for African American women in 1908, some of the charter members moved to what is present-day Virginia State University. They invited three other faculty members to form a new AKA Chapter.

"Because we were the 4th graduate chapter nationally, we became Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Omega," Dr. Renee Escoffery-Torres, president of Delta Omega chapter, said.

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Escoffery-Torres said the current chapter focuses on service to the community, just like its founders.

"In 1922 and 1923, we were supplying linen to Central State Hospital," Escoffery-Torres said. "We had the first scholarship given to a student who was attending college."

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The original six Delta Omega chapter members would earn permanent recognition on campus with their names on some Virginia State buildings and the building that houses the Ettrick-Matoaca library.

Sorority sister Evelyn Jemison, who also turned 100 this year, used her association with Delta Omega to help the elderly in Petersburg.

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In addition to Delta Omega becoming the first Greek-letter organization at what is now present-day VSU, the chapter was also the first graduate chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority chartered on the east coast,

A highway marker will be installed later in 2021 commemorating the legacy of Delta Omega.

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