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The History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 

Founded on the campus of Howard University (Washington, D.C.) in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorperated, is the Oldest Greek-Letter organization established by African American college-trained women. To trace its history is to tell a story of changing patterns of human relations in America within the 20th century.


The small group of women who organized the Sorority were very conscious of their privileged position as college-trained women of color. Just one generation removed from slavery, they were resolute that their college experiences should be as meaningful and productive as possible. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorperated was founded to apply that determination.



Alpha Kappa Alpha
Sorority, Incorporated Founders

Original Group:
Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Beula Elizabeth Burke, Lillie Burke, Anna Easter Brown, Marjorie Hill, Lucy Diggs Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Margaret Flagg Holmes, and Lavinia Norman


Sophomore Group:
Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice P. Murray, Sarah Merriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden, and Harriet Josephine Terry


Julia Brooks, Nellie Pratt Russell, Nellie M. Quander, and Minnie B. Smith

As the sorority grew, it kept in balance two important themes: the importance of the individual and the strength of an organization of women. As the world became more complex, there was a need for associations which cut across racial, geographical, political, physical, and social barriers.


Alpha Kappa Alpha's influence extends beyond campus quads and student interest. It has legacy of service that deepens, rather than ends, with college graduation.

The goals of its program activities center on significant issues in families, communities, government halls and world assembly chambers. Its efforts constitute a priceless part of the global experience in the 21st century.

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