Wilhelmina Epps Lewellen served as the nineteenth president of Beta Pi Omega Chapter from 1999-2002.  Lewellen is a graduate of AM & N College in Pine Bluff Arkansas (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) with a degree in Sociology.  She received a Master's Degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in Elementary Education, specializing in Social Studies.  She was initiated into Alpha Rho Chapter in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  She is a Silver Star and Life Member.  She is the first legacy member to become president of Beta Pi Omega Chapter.

 

During Lewellen’s tenure, Beta Pi Omega membership increased to an all-time high of 255.  Again, a major focus was reclaiming and retaining members.  Meeting and conference attendance continued to grow.

One of the most successful and memorable events during Lewellen’s presidency was a scholarship brunch at the Statehouse Convention Center where Beta Pi Omega hosted over 600 guests and awarded $10,000 in scholarships.  The guest speaker for the event was Dr. Mae Jemison, Alpha Kappa Alpha member and the first African American woman in space.  The event drew a great deal of media attention and was incredibly successful. The first AKA Day at the Capitol was held during this era.  This statewide effort brought members of various chapters from across the state to the chambers of the Arkansas State Capitol to meet with legislators and address pertinent issues with them.

 

 

Members sat in and were introduced in both the House and Senate Chambers. Additionally, the event included the reading of a Proclamation on the House Floor honoring Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; a public session with speakers addressing relevant issues in our state at that time; and a luncheon hosted by the Chapter for the House and Senate members.  This tradition has continued since inception in some form or another. The Chapter hosted a reception for Cornell West, published author and activist, in conjunction with the grand opening of a slave ship exhibit at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock.  This public event was recorded by the museum as the largest grand opening of any exhibit at that location due to our efforts. During the final year of Lewellen’s tenure, the South Central Regional Conference returned to Little Rock, hosted by Beta Pi Omega and the Arkansas Cluster of chapters.  It was noted as one of the best conferences, with registered attendees topping 2,500.  Lewellen served as the chairperson of the well-attended and very successful conference.

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