Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is the oldest Greek letter organization established by African American college women. She was founded on January 15, 1908 in Minor Hall on the campus of Howard University. Alpha Kappa Alpha chronicles itself in the growth from a group of nine college women in 1908. 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. Established during the academic school year of 1907-1908, the original nine founders were Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Marjorie Hill, Lucy Diggs Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Anna Easter Brown, and Lavinia Norman. In February of 1908, seven sophomores were admitted. Those members were Joanna Berry, Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones, Sarah Merriweather, Alice Murray, Carrie Snowden, and Harriett Terry.
The movement for incorporation led by one of the sorority's incorporators, Nellie Quander. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became incorporated in 1913. The sorority is committed to serve in every community wherever she is located with 725 plus undergraduate and graduate chapters; with over 170,000 members in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
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 socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world.
The purposes of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated are:
To cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards
To promote unity and friendship among college women
To study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women
To maintain a progressive interest in college life
TO BE SUPREME IN SERVICE TO ALL OF MANKIND
Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this affiliation as a means of self-fulfillment through volunteer service. 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 170,000 women in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
Motto: "By Culture and By Merit"
Symbols: Enameled Green Ivy Leaf & Twenty Pearls
Colors: Salmon Pink & Apple Green
Flower: Pink Tea Rose
Bethune-Cookman University Chapter: Gamma Tau
National Web Address: www.aka1908.com