Exactly 80 years ago this month seven women - Marcella Dumas Huggins, Estelle Anderson Hall, Mary Cornelia Clay Pinkston Torian, Bertha Elva Harrell Sims, Henri Etta Baranco, Jean Hamilton Walls, and Elsie Lewis Mackel, celebrated the chartering of the first graduate chapter in Baton Rouge, LA. Thirty-two years after the sorority was founded, on May 28, 1940, the Gamma Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® was born.
For 112 years, Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters have been dedicated to five basic tenets: 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 in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be of service to all mankind. Because of these seven women and their commitment to the Baton Rouge community, thousands of women have been able to continue their “service to all mankind” through their membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®.
Gamma Eta Omega has and continues to serve, the Baton Rouge community through Signature Programs such as: Arts Camp for Kids (ages 5-12), to expose them to drama, music, and visual arts; Leadership Fellows, a mentoring program that focuses on life skills such as interviewing techniques, appropriate business communication, and dressing for success. In 2008, Gamma Eta
Omega, was recognized as the top ticket seller for the premiere Ebony Fashion Fair Show (sponsored by Johnson Publishing Company – then publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines) to raise funds for programs and scholarships. Over the years, young women attending college have been awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships and book awards.
So on this day, as we celebrate 80 years of exemplary service, we also speak the names of these women whose vision and tireless efforts will live on forever through the work that we continue to do in our community. Happy 80th Anniversary Gamma Eta Omega.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® is an international service organization founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African-American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 300,000 members in approximately 1,012 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East.