Finding Aid of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Theta Omega Chapter, 1930-2019, ORG.5


Finding Aid of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Theta Omega Chapter, 1930-2019, ORG.5


The Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority was established in 1908 at Howard University, Washington, D.C. It was formally incorporated in 1913 as a perpetual body, and today has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. As an auxiliary of AKA, Alpha Theta Omega was formed in Raleigh, N.C. on June 15, 1928. In recent decades, the chapter's activities have emphasized service to the community in the key areas of education, health, the Black family, economics, and the arts.

Descriptive Summary

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority: Alpha Theta Omega Chapter Records
Call Number
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Alpha Theta Omega Chapter
24.00 cubic feet, 34.00 volumes
State Archives of North Carolina

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Org.5, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Theta Omega Chapter, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

This collection has been divided into nine series, General Records, Histories, Minutes, Photographs, Programs, Publications, Newspaper Clippings, Scrapbooks, and Miscellaneous. The scrapbooks make up the bulk of the collection.

Arrangement Note

Chronological within each series.

Finding Aid prepared by: Catherine A. Jackson on 19 January and 15 August 1979, and 10 November 1981.
Additional Finding Aid prepared by: Jesse R. Lankford, Jr. on 17 September 1982.
Additional Finding Aid prepared by: James O. Sorrell on 8 November 1991, 9 June 1994, 21 November 1996.
Revised by Fran Tracy-Walls in 2006.
Revised by Gwen Thomas Mays in 2009, 2015, 2018, and 2019.

Historical Note

The Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority was established in 1908 at Howard University, Washington, D.C. The sorority's founder, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, conceived the idea of the sorority as a means of enriching college life by encouraging social and intellectual interaction among students and associates. AKA became recognized as America's first Greek-letter society in the United States established for and by African American college women. It was formally incorporated in 1913 as a perpetual body, and today has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.From a single undergraduate chapter, AKA has grown into the 21st century as an international organization with over 175,000 women in more than 900 chapters. The mission of AKA and its affiliates is to encourage and to cultivate high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be of service to all mankind. Candidacy for membership into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is open to qualifying women who are pursuing or have completed courses leading to a degree froman accredited college or university. Emphasis is upon excellence in scholarship, leadership and service. All chapters are to be involved in their respective communities in the following areas known as the Education, Health, the Black Family, Economics, and the Arts.The auxiliary, Alpha Theta Omega Chapter of AKA (Raleigh, N.C.) was founded on June 15, 1928 by Ethel L. Clarke, Sarah Cochran, Eloise Cooke, Helen B. Davis, Amanda Jones, Susie Vick Perry, Ella Ryalls, Minnie D. Turner, and Celia Wortham. In 1937, Alpha Theta Omega added to community service projects the sponsorship of a debutante program. Over the years, the program has involved young women from Raleigh, the surrounding area, and sometimes from other states and foreign countries. By the end of the century, the sorority had contributed more than one million dollars in scholarship aid to debutantes matriculating at colleges and universities throughout the United States. In 1924 Alpha Kappa Alpha had organized the various auxiliary chapters into geographic regions. Alpha Theta Omega, in 1928 joined all other North Carolina chapters and Virginia chapters as co-members of the AKA South Atlantic Region. At the 1953 convention in Newport News, Va., the Mid-Atlantic Region was formed, with North Carolina and Virginia members as its constituents. At the 13th Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in Raleigh in 1966, Alpha Theta Omega first gave recognition to the local outstanding male in the Raleigh area. Subsequently, in 1969, the Mid-Atlantic Region established a Man of the Year Award for the entire region. Beginning in 1981, this award title was changed to Citizen of the Year for both the Raleigh chapter and the region.In 1967 the Alpha Theta Omega Chapter purchased property and began the renovation of a building that became its first sorority house. In 1991 the sorority dedicated a new quarter-million-dollar facility located in the heart of Southeast Raleigh African American community. At this sorority house and at other locations, sorority members support motivational programs for students such as the Walnut Terrace Housing Project programs, the AKA's On Your Side with a series on Parenting Skills, the Black Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Breast Cancer, Teenage Pregnancy, Politics,and Finance. The national AKA created in 1980 the Educational Advancement Foundation as a not-for-profit organization to provide ongoing support for its major service: education. In 2004 the Raleigh sorority established the Alpha Theta Omega Charitable Foundation, Inc. During the first years of the 21st century, the chapter's contributions to the local community have averaged fifteen thousand dollars yearly, including support of thirty service causes. These include but are not limited to the following: the Educational Advancement Foundation, the YMCA-Back A Child Program, YWCA-Back To Our Roots Program, North Carolina Symphony, Children's Concert Series, St. Augustine College, Shaw University, NAACP, United Way, Mental Health, Cerebral Palsy, and the Student Emergency Loan Fund. Additionally, the chapter is one of nine demonstration sites selected by the national AKA office, for implementation of an after school/Saturday morning reading initiative for at-risk students in grades 1-3. Known as the Ivy Reading AKAdemy, the program is funded by a federal grant, and typically serves students in a small group or in a one-to-one tutorial program.

Contents of the Collection

1. Scrapbooks on Nominees By Chapter to Mid-Atlantic Region Man of the Year/Citizen of the Year Designation,1974-1987


This series includes scrapbooks on men who were nominated by the sorority as candiates for the Mid-Atlantic Region of AKA Man of the Year Award. The award title was changed in 1981 to Citizen of the Year. Nominees include John Baker, Clarence Lightner, Vernon Malone, Dr. Prezell R. Robinson, Harold H. Webb, and Daniel Terry Blue, Jr.

Scrapbook on Mayor Clarence Lightner, 1974 Man of the Year, 1974
Scrapbook on Dr. Prezell R. Robinson, President of St. Augustine's College, 1975, 1975
Scrapbook on Vernon Malone, 1977 Man of the Year, 1977
Scrapbook on John H. Baker, Sheriff of Wake County, 1978, 1978
Scrapbook on Harold H. Webb, 1979 Man of the Year, 1979
Scrapbook on Daniel T. Blue, Jr.

2. Scrapbooks of the Organization, Conferences and Workshops, 1972-2014


This series consists primarily of the chapter's annual scrapbooks containing programs, news clippings, handbooks, photographs, and other printed material documenting the organization's activities. These albums highlight Alpha Theta Omega's involvement and leadership in the community through its commitment to AKA's Education, Health, the Black Family, Economics, and the Arts. Chapter scrapbooks also include coverage of the annual Debutante Ball and related events and activities. Additionally, there is one scrapbook of a reading program workshop, 1979.

Chapter Scrapbook,1972
Chapter Scrapbook,1973
Chapter Scrapbook,1973
Chapter Scrapbook,1974
Chapter Scrapbook,1975
Chapter Scrapbook,1976-1977
Chapter Scrapbook,1978
Chapter Scrapbook,1979
Chapter Project Scrapbook: Reading Program Workshop,1979
Chapter Scrapbook,1980
Chapter Scrapbook,1981
Chapter Scrapbook,1982
Chapter Scrapbook,1983
Chapter Scrapbook,1984
Chapter Scrapbook,1985
Chapter Scrapbook,1986
Chapter Scrapbook,1987
Chapter Scrapbook,1988
Chapter Scrapbook,1989
Chapter Scrapbook,1990
Chapter Scrapbook,1991
Chapter Scrapbook,1992
Chapter Scrapbook,1993
Chapter Scrapbook,1994
Chapter Scrapbook,1995
Chapter Scrapbook,1999
Chapter Scrapbook,2000
Chapter Scrapbook,2002
Chapter Scrapbook,2003
Chapter Scrapbook,2001
Chapter Scrapbook,2004
Chapter Scrapbook,2005
Chapter Scrapbook,2007
Chapter Scrapbook,2008
Chapter Scrapbook,2009
Chapter Scrapbook,2011
Chapter Scrapbook,2012
Chapter Scrapbook,2013
Chapter Scrapbook,1957-1972
Chapter Scrapbook,2014

3. General Records, 1938-2019

4. Histories, 1936-2013

5. Minutes, 1948-2016

6. Photographs, 1948-2016

7. Programs, 1937-2019

8. Publications, 1940-2018

9. Newspaper Clippings, 1930-2015

10. Miscellaneous, 1974-2014

Subject Headings

  • Baker, John H. (John Haywood)
  • Blue, Daniel Terry, 1949-
  • Lightner, Clarence E., 1921-
  • Malone, Vernon, 1931-
  • Robinson, Prezell R. (Prezell Russell), 1923-
  • Webb, Harold H.
  • Clarence, Mayor Lightner
  • Baker, John
  • Robinson, Prezell R.
  • Webb, Harold H.
  • Vernon Malone
  • Blue, Daniel Terry, Jr.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Alpha Theta Omega Chapter (Raleigh, N.C.)--Awar
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • African American women--North Carolina--Raleigh--Societies and clubs
  • Awards--North Carolina--Raleigh
  • Civic leaders--North Carolina--Raleigh
  • Greek letter societies--North Carolina--Raleigh
  • Wake County (N.C)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Acquisitions Information

    Received as gifts from various officers of the organization and accessioned July 1, 1975; June 26, 1979; November 25, 1980; July 9, 1981; September 9, 1982; December 28, 1988; October 25, 1991; May 20, 1994; November 21, 1996; July 10, 2002; January 24, 2006.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Fran Tracy-Walls, February, 2006
  • Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, February, 2006