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Howard University in 1913

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was founded at Howard University on January 13, 1913, by 22 illustrious black women. Our founders knew that there was and would always be a need for black women to play an active role in the struggles concerning African-Americans and the need for community involvement. The founders also wanted to promote academic excellence, scholarship, and Christian values. In the past 89 years, the vision of our founders have withstood all odds and the vision is still being strengthened each day.

Today there are over 200,000 members in 850 chapters in the United States, Haiti, Liberia, the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Germany, Korea and West Africa.


Osceola McCarthy Adams
Marguerite Young Alexander
Winona Cargile Alexander
Ethel Cuff Black
Bertha Pitts Campbell
Zephyr Chisom Carter
Edna Brown Coleman
Jessie McGuire Dent
Frederica Chase Dodd
Myra Davis Hemmings
Olive C. Jones
Jimmie Bugg Middleton
Pauline Oberdorfer Minor
Vashti Turley Murphy
Naomi Sewell Richardson
Mamie Reddy Rose
Eliza Pearl Shippen
Florence Letcher Toms
Ethel Carr Watson
Wertie Blackwell Weaver
Madree Penn White
Edith Motte Young


Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, PhD 1919-1923
G. Dorothy Pelham Beckley 1923-1926
Ethel Lamay Calimese 1926-1929
Anna R. Johnson Julian, PhD 1929-1931
Gladys Byram Shepperd 1931-1933
Jeannette Triplett Jones 1933-1935
Vivian Osborne Marsh 1935-1939
H. Elsie Austin, JD 1939-1944
Mae Wright Downs Allen Peck-Williams 1944-1947
Dorothy Irene Height, PhD 1947-1956
Dorothy Penman Harrison 1956-1958
Jeanne L. Noble, PhD 1958-1963
Geraldine Pittman Woods, PhD 1963-1967
Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq. 1967-1971
Lillian Pierce Benbow 1971-1975
Thelma Thomas Daley, EdD 1975-1979
Mona Humphries Bailey 1979-1983
Hortense Golden Canady 1983-1988
Yvonne Kennedy, PhD 1988-1992
Berta Maxwell-Roddy, PhD 1992-1996
Marcia L. Fudge 1996-2000
Gwendolyn E. Boyd 2000-2004
Louise A. Rice, PhD Present

For more information on Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., please read In Search of Sisterhood by Soror Paula Giddings.

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