zeta omega chapter
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Zeta Omega Chapter was chartered on April 28, 1922, in Wilmington, Delaware, making it the seventh graduate chapter. The charter members were Anna Frances Broadnax, Ella Smith Elbert, Sadie L. Jones, Nellie Blythe Nicholson (Taylor), and F. Marion Reed. Zeta Omega was established under the sponsorship of Epsilon Omega Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.
Zeta Omega was one of the first Black organizations in Delaware to concentrate on giving scholarships, vocational guidance, and addressing community issues, all at a time when women and black people were discouraged and intimidated from becoming involved in civic and community activism.
After several years of effective community service, the Zeta Omega chapter ceased functioning. Years later two sorority members, Martha Evans and Venus Johnson, pursued their interest in reactivating the Zeta Omega chapter. To re-establish Zeta Omega, at least one member of the original charter membership had to consent. Fortunately, they could locate Anna Broadnax, who lived In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anna joined them. Thus, Zeta Omega Chapter, Wilmington, DE, reactivated on May 5, 1947. Members Martha and Venus remained active from 1947 until their death, respectively, on April 4, 2005, and April 1, 2007. Ms. Venus Johnson became a Diamond Member (75-year member) before passing.
The reactivated Zeta Omega chapter immediately took an active part in the Wilmington community by sponsoring two annual affairs, Fashionetta's Dream (1948), featuring the latest in wearing apparel, and a Debutante Ball, a social event for high school seniors' girls (1950). Mrs. Martha Evans was primarily instrumental in introducing the Debutante Ball to the Wilmington, Delaware community. She served as the first chairman of the Debutante Ball. The Debutante Ball program has continued for 74 years.
In 1956 Zeta Omega was called upon to host the North Atlantic Regional Conference (NARC). The Vice President of Zeta Omega in 1956, Mrs. Willie Marshall Jackson, did not wish to have to find individual homes to house the delegates and through skillful negotiation, she was instrumental in securing conference space for NARC. Thus, Zeta Omega was the first black group to be accepted as guests for a conference at the Hotel DuPont.
In keeping with Alpha Kappa Alpha's purpose to promote unity and friendship among college women, Zeta Omega Chapter responded to a request from the North Atlantic Regional Director to oversee and guide the activities of the undergraduate chapter, Delta Iota, at Cheyney University in Cheyney, PA. Zeta Omega also organized and chartered Theta Iota Chapter on the campus of West Chester University, in West Chester, PA in 1972, and chartered Lambda Gamma Chapter at the University of Delaware in 1977. For several years, Zeta Omega guided the activities of multiple undergraduate chapters. Currently, Zeta Omega is the sponsoring graduate chapter for Lambda Gamma at the University of Delaware.
Zeta Omega's activities and programs have grown through the years, both in number and relevance to community needs, and have consistently followed the Sorority's International program focus.
In 2003 the Pearls of Hope Foundation, Incorporated, became the charitable arm of the Zeta Omega chapter. Geraldine Purnell Cochran served as the first president. The goal of the foundation is to be a broad-based, nonprofit organization, which secures partnerships and resources from individuals and organizations to achieve its mission-driven results in the community.
Our early members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Zeta Omega chapter, understood their social authority. In sisterly love, the current members of Zeta Omega work together to make a powerful and sustaining impact on our community and generations to come. Zeta Omega remains committed to programs of service to fulfill our motto of "service to all mankind "and remains dedicated to serving the Wilmington, Delaware Community and beyond.
Our Gems are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ® who have reached significant milestones in years of service to all mankind. Since 1922, several Zeta Omega members have steadfastly committed themselves to Alpha Kappa Alpha and the community to accomplish such honors.
Venus Jackson | Initiated in 1931*
Doris F. Smith | Initiated in 1944*
Mildred Holmes | Initiated in 1946
Willie Jackson | Initiated in 1950*
Claudette Evans | Initiated in 1955
Norma Parson | Initiated in 1955
Barbara Walton | Initiated in 1956
Florence T. Gaines | Initiated in 1957*
Alice Faulkner | Initiated in 1958
Lucy McLamb | Initiated in 1958
(*) Denotes an Ivy Beyond the Wall