History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 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 in the 20th century.
The small group of women who organized the Sorority was conscious of a 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 was founded to apply that determination. As the Sorority grew, it kept in balance two important themes: the importance of the individual and the strength of an organization of women of ability and courage. 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 a 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.
(source: AKA International website)
Eta Rho Omega Chapter History
“Through the years” we struggled with main and with might, to capture this vision in sight …
A graduate chapter was our aim
and Alpha Kappa Alpha was our claim.
We numbered twenty. We were strong and bold.
UNITED we stood and moved towards our goal.
On December 2, 1961, on this continent, on this earth …
Eta Rho Omega had its birth
Our chapter did not spring up overnight. It took planning, cooperation and determination. On March 7, 1961, Gloria Hughes wrote a letter to sorority sisters in the Santa Clara County area stating that the stage was set. It was time to discuss the possibility of setting up an Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter in this area. Time elapsed and several months later this group was ready to be installed as the first graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in the rapidly growing Santa Clara Valley. It would draw its membership from the areas of Palo Alto and San Jose, California.
The Far Western Regional Director, Lucille B. Bryant, installed the chapter on December 2, 1961. The ceremony was held at the Eichler Swim and Tennis Club in Palo Alto. We were given a charter as a mixed chapter and we planned to initiate undergraduates from Stanford University and San Jose State University. Today both Universities have their own chapters: Zeta Psi Chapter at San Jose State University and Xi Beta Chapter at Stanford University.
Charter Members of Eta Rho Omega Chapter
Myrtle Blackwell Marguerite McCraven
Kathryn L. Bullock Althea Miller
Alva Cooper. Faye C. Morton
Verdis Crockett Joyce Richardson
Barbara R. Day Georgia P. Thomas
Juanita S. Harris Mary P. Washington
Betty L. Hawkins Margaret Webster
Wilma A. Hooper** Gloria Williams
Gloria Hughes Frances Williams
** Ivy Beyond The Wall (deceased)
Far Western Region
Eta Rho Omega chapter is a member of the Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Regions have been formed according to geographical location and density of population. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is organized into ten regions; each under the supervision of a Regional Director. Shelby D. Boagni is the current Far Western Regional Director.
For more information on the Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Incorporated, visit the regional website.