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The History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®

In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America's first Greek-letter organization established by Black college women. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where 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. 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.


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.


The Pearls of Our Sorority

The nine Howard University students who were led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle into a sisterhood in 1908, Nellie Quander and her gallant group who contributed the added dimension of a national organization and perpetual membership--and those who have come after them--the never-ending stream of eternally young, hopeful enthusiastic women, must be remembered.


The Original Group

Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Anna Easter Brown, Beulah E. Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe, and Marie Woolfolk Taylor











The Sophomores of 1908

Norma E. Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice P. Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter, Joanna M. Berry Shields, Carrie E. Snowden, and Harriett Josephine Terry











The Incorporators

Norma Boyd, Julia E. Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie M. Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell, and Minnie B. Smith



The Current Administrator

Danette Anthony Reed is the 31st International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®.  As a retired PepsiCo corporate executive, Ms. Anthony Reed, brings decades of corporate leadership, community engagement, service, and progressive sorority governance to the role.

Continuing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Legacy

The 2022-2026 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.


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