Alpha Rho Omega Chapter
100 Years of Service
to All Mankind
I am delighted to welcome you to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Alpha Rho Omega Chapter’s website. This year, 2022 marks the coming of our 100th anniversary of the chartering of our Chapter on December 15, 1922.
We are the home of former National President and Great Lakes Regional Director, Beulah T. Whitby, Great Lakes Regional Directors Irene A. Graves, Fanetta B. Norris, Thelma C. Hollis, and Schylbea J. Hopkins. We are a chapter of over 500 diverse, energetic, and passionate women dedicated to making a difference in our community as we uphold our mission of “Service to all Mankind”.
With great joy and enthusiasm, we execute our International Program: “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service”, designed by International President Dr. Glenda Glover. Our Program Targets are HBCU for Life: A Call to Action, Women’s Healthcare, and Wellness, Building Your Economic Legacy, The Arts!, and Global Impact.
Since 1922, Alpha Rho Omega Chapter has provided service through programs and community outreach; we are committed to continuing our rich history of service to our metropolitan Detroit area and to all mankind. If you are an Alpha Kappa Alpha member in the area and you are in search of a chapter, we welcome you to join us.
For more information concerning Alpha Rho Omega
Chapter, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Carlyn J. Robinson
The cold winds blowing through the campus of Howard University on January 15, 1908, could not diminish the warmth in the hearts of Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Elizabeth Burke, Lillie Burke, Margaret Flagg, Ethel Hedgeman, Marjorie Hill,
Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe, and Marie Woolfolk. Their vision of an organization dedicated to cultural enrichment, scholarship, leadership, high ethical and moral values, “racial uplift” and interest in college life after graduation
had come to fruition. With permission from the administration of Howard University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became the first African-American Greek-letter organization for college-educated women in the United States. Affectionately referred to as “The Founders,” these nine women, who were privileged to the extent that circumstances allowed them to seek and obtain higher education, had planted the seeds for a sorority that today in 2022 claims over 300,000 members in graduate and undergraduate chapters throughout the United States, Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, Korea and the continent of Africa.
Now fast forward to December 15, 1922. Despite a record snowfall of 10 inches falling on the city of Detroit two days earlier, even the weather could not discourage the seven (7) young women who had successfully applied to establish the first chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in the state of Michigan. Having paid the initiation fee of $2.00, they gathered at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Raiford to receive Miss L. Pearl Mitchell from Kalamazoo, Michigan who was sent to organize and initiate the members of Xi Chapter.
The Charter Members of the newly formed chapter were:
Beulah Tyrrell – A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, and graduate of Oberlin College
Lorainetta Henderson – Born in Detroit, Michigan, and graduate of the Detroit Conservatory of Music
Hazel Lyman – Originally from Pensacola, Florida, and graduate of Fisk University
Edna Dale – Born in Montgomery, Alabama, and graduate of Detroit City College
Mary Cassandra Scott –Born and raised in Columbiana, Alabama, and graduate of Fisk University
Nellie Watts – Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduate of Atlanta University
Alice Boyd Burton – A native of Natchez, Mississippi, and graduate of Fisk University
Seven accomplished cultured and educated women who despite the hardships inflicted by segregation, prejudice, and an economic depression left their mark on this community in many different ways.
From 1922 until 1930, Xi Chapter accepted graduates and undergraduates as members, with the expectation that once Detroit City College was accredited, a chapter would be established on the campus of an accredited college/university
for undergraduates. In 1930, Detroit City College (now Wayne State University) received its anticipated accreditation and Alpha Rho Omega Chapter received its designation as a graduate chapter. The year 1936 marked the chartering of Beta
Mu Chapter on the campus of Wayne University and in 1974, Theta Tau Chapter was chartered on the campus of the University of Detroit – Marygrove with the assistance of Alpha Rho Omega Chapter. Xi Chapter remained as the City-Wide
Chapter for undergraduates until 1949 when its charter was transferred to Michigan Normal Teachers College, now known as Eastern Michigan University.
The history of Alpha Rho Omega Chapter is not defined by dates or any one individual. As the beneficiary of the vision, leadership, and commitment of the sorority’s founders, our charter members embraced the mission of encouraging
and cultivating high scholastic and ethical standards among college women and reaching back to others so they might benefit from the progress and success of those privileged to lead. These women-led by example and they live on in the
hearts of Alpha Rho Omega women as shining examples of what we can and should be in providing service to all mankind.
Over the past ninety-nine years, 42 women have accepted the call to the leadership of Alpha Rho Omega Chapter. They coordinated their efforts with those of our national leadership, and have reached out to the larger Detroit Community and established partnerships with multiple organizations in an effort to address the needs of our citizens and to channel the energy of our children into positive and productive areas. And as our reach has grown, our numbers have expanded and the breadth of our programs speaks to the history that started in the hearts of nine women 114 years ago.
Alpha Rho Omega Chapter leads by example. In 1993 the members invested in the City of Detroit with the purchase of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation Building. Today it exists as the nonprofit arm of the chapter which serves the community through a variety of programs and collaborations such as Africare, AKA Teens, AKA/NAACP Youth Fashions for Freedom, Detroit Urban League, MOTTEP Life Walk, Detroit Cultural Center Noel Night, Festival of Trees, Ronald
McDonald House, Foundation Scholarship and Selected Citizens, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the United Negro College Fund, to name a few.
Today Alpha Rho Omega Chapter celebrates ninety-nine years of history; ninety-nine years of sisterhood. We take pride in the services and accomplishments, both individually and collectively, of Alpha Kappa Alpha women everywhere and remain committed to the history founded and nurtured in our hearts. It is this love that sustains us as a chapter and holds the promise that the next ninety-nine years will be filled with “greater tasks to begin."
ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA FOUNDATION OF DETROIT
In 1987 under the leadership of President Erma G. Davis, Alpha Rho Omega Chapter formed a Property Acquisition Committee, which was charged with securing funds and locating an appropriate building that would serve as the Foundation headquarters. Under the leadership of both Alfredine Jordan Wiley and the late Jean Sherman, a plan was initiated for members to make the necessary contributions to raise the necessary capital to undertake this project.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit was formed and incorporated in the State of Michigan as a nonprofit corporation on June 4, 1991, for the purpose of expanding the community service programs of Alpha Rho Omega Chapter and establishing property ownership, Brenda Keaton and Frances Paul Steen were charged with preparing the documents needed to receive the 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Service designation, which allows members and community donors to
receive an income tax credit for contributions made to the Foundation. Chapter projects that were to be funded by Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit include Africare, Health Care Initiatives, AKA-NAACP Youth Fashion for Freedom, NAACP, On Track, a tutoring and mentoring program, College Scholarships, Selected Seniors Citizens, and the United Negro College Fund/Telethon & Walk-A-Thon. The first Foundation Board of Directors’ meeting was held on February 14, 1992, with Alfredine Jordan Wiley as President; Vastene Neely Woodhouse, Vice-President; Schylbea J. Hopkins, Secretary; Terri Barnett, Financial Secretary; Lois West, Treasurer; Dolores Reaves, Scholarship Chairman; Kathy Hemingway, Marilyn
Gripper, and Brenda Keaton as At-Large Directors.
Lois and Darwin Harper are credited with locating the property at 1525 Howard Street that would eventually serve as our new home. The building was purchased on December 15, 1993, and the first meeting was held it on January 8, 1994. An
official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, January 15, 1994. In attendance was Alpha Kappa Alpha National President Mary Shy Scott; City of Detroit Mayor, Dennis Archer; City Council members Alberta Tinsley-Williams, the late Brenda Scott, and the late Kay Everett.
On November 7, 1999, the Foundation held a mortgage burning ceremony, an event made possible because of the generosity of our members and the faith in our ongoing service projects.
Please click here to download the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit Scholarship Application.
FORMER CHAPTER PRESIDENTS
2022-2026 International Program Overview
Service and sisterhood have been the cornerstone of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® since 1908. With the theme Soaring to Greater Heights of Service and Sisterhood, the 2022-2026 administration seeks to build upon Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s rich legacy of service by galvanizing our sisterhood of more than 120,000 active members to lead on the front lines of change, education, and advocacy.
This administration has six initiatives. Strengthen Our Sisterhood will serve as the administration’s “Foundation Initiative” as we strengthen our bonds to support our service mission.
The remaining five initiatives will serve as the “Program Initiatives” which include:
Empower Our Families
Build Our Economic Wealth
Enhance Our Environment
Advocate for Social Justice
Uplift Our Local Community
These initiatives are designed to improve the lives of those we serve. We will work collaboratively to maximize our outreach on progressive endeavors and consistently produce leaders who will advance our credo of service.
For more program information visit aka1908.com
Alpha Rho Omega is comprised of more than 500 college-educated women from diverse backgrounds. To achieve its goals and maintains its profile in the community, the chapter draws on its diverse constituency of women representing a variety of professions, including the business, legal, political, media, educational, governmental, technological, entertainment, and healthcare industries. Many of these women have
distinguished themselves with graduate and professional degrees as well as high achievements in their respective fields while still contributing to the sorority. Yet, the chapter seeks to expand its reach to more women who share its sincere interest in life-long service to the organization and our community.
To attend our service events to observe how Alpha Rho Omega is “taking care of business and hearts” in Detroit, Michigan, we encourage you to routinely visit our Chapter Calendar of Events.
As a reminder, membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., on the graduate level is by invitation only and may not be solicited.
To learn more about membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, visit: http://www.aka1908.com/membership
Monthly Chapter Meetings
If you are a graduate member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and would like to visit with our Chapter, we welcome your presence at one of our monthly Chapter Meetings. Our meetings (for sorority members only) are routinely held on the second Saturday of every month, from September to June, at 10:00 am. The recommended attire is business dress. Please contact us for the meeting location.
What You Can Expect When You Attend
Continental Breakfast routinely served from 9:30 am to 9:50 am.
Midwest Hospitality and Sisterhood like no other
If you’re new to the Detroit area or seeking a new AKA home, we cordially invite you to join us for our next meeting!
Meeting Requirements to Attend
In accordance with Sorority Guidelines and Chapter Standards, Sorors are asked to provide two forms of identification (one Primary and one Secondary) for meeting entry. Primary Identification is any government-issued ID. Secondary Identifications to confirm membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated:
A current or past financial card (in most cases, the name listed should match the Primary ID; exceptions: maiden name, married name)
A copy of your original membership certificate signed by our International Office
A receipt from a Cluster, Regional Conference or Boule that contains your name
An invitation from an attending Chapter Soror
Note: If you have questions and/or won’t be able to produce the necessary documentation, please contact our Membership Chairman, Soror Ra’Shanda M. Glenn (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than the Wednesday prior to the monthly meeting with the following subject line: ENTRY REQUESTED–ARO Monthly Meeting.
Thank you for your consideration and adherence to our guidelines and we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!
Wild Apricot Portal
Thank you for your interest in transferring to or reactivating with Alpha Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Rho Omega members are our best asset and we strive to utilize the talents and interest of every Soror to achieve our continued growth and service to our community.
For more information on the transfer or reactivation process, as well as to download the appropriate submission forms (Transfer Verification Form,
Graduate Chapter Reactivation Form), visit: http://www.aka1908.com/membership/reactivation
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 441013 • Detroit, MI 48244-1013
Physical Address: 1525 Howard St. • Detroit, MI 48216
Phone: (313) 964-1572 • Fax: (313) 965-1984