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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. History

Founders (Left to Right): Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Elizabeth Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor. Sophomores (Left to Right): Joanna Mary Berry Shields, Norma Elizabeth Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Sarah Meriweather-Nutter, Alice P. Murray, Carrie Snowden, Josephine Terry.

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was founded on January 15, 1908 on the campus of  Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was the first and finest Greek-letter organization for Black women founded by the guiding light, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and eight illustrious pearls, Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe and Marie Wolfolk Taylor. 

​     The nine founders came together with Norma Elizabeth Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Porter Murray, Sarah Meriwether Nutter, Joanna Mary Berry Shields, Carrie E. Snowden and Harriet Josephine Terry based off of three principles of leadership, scholarship and service. It was later incorporated on January 29, 1913 by  incorporators, Nellie Quander, Nellie Pratt-Russell, Julia Evangeline Brooks and Minnie Beatrice Smith with the help of Norma Elizabeth Boyd and Ethel Jones Mowbray.

    The Alpha Kappa Alpha program today still reflects the communal consciousness steeped in the AKA tradition and embodied in AKA’s credo, “To be supreme in service to all mankind.” Cultural awareness and social advocacy marked Alpha Kappa Alpha’s infancy, but within one year (1914) of acquiring corporate status, AKA had also made its mark on education, establishing a scholarship award. The programming was a prelude to the thousands of pioneering and enduring initiatives that eventually defined the Alpha Kappa Alpha brand.

    Guided by twenty-nine international presidents from Nellie M. Quander (1913-1919) to Glenda Baskin Glover (2018-2022), with reinforcement from a professional headquarters staff since 1949; AKA’s corps of volunteers has instituted groundbreaking social action initiatives and social service programs that have transformed communities for the better— continually emitting progress in cities, states, the nation, and the world.

    For more information on our International history, please visit

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