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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®

aka founders


Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (ΑΚΑ) stands as the pioneering intercollegiate historically African American sorority. Established on January 15, 1908, at the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C., it was founded by a group of sixteen students under the leadership of Ethel Hedgemon Lyle. The creation of this sorority marked a significant breakthrough for African American women, providing a platform where they could assert themselves in areas where opportunities were scarce during the early 20th century.

Officially incorporated on January 29, 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha has evolved into one of the largest Greek-letter organizations in the nation. With a presence in 1,024 chapters across the United States and various other countries, boasting over 350,000 members, the sorority plays a pivotal role in fostering unity and empowerment.

Prospective members can join through undergraduate chapters at colleges or universities, or they may receive invitations from graduate chapters after obtaining an undergraduate or advanced college degree.


As a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Alpha Kappa Alpha contributes to the collaborative efforts of historically African American Greek-letter organizations.


The Original Group: Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor


Led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, these nine Howard University students, who came together to form Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, were the scholastic leaders of their classes. Each also had a special talent or gift that further enhanced the potential of this dynamic group.

The Sophomores: Norma Elizabeth Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Porter Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter,
Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie E.  Snowden,  Harriet Terry

With the exception of Ethel, the original group of women were comprised of college seniors. To ensure the continuity of the organization, seven Class of 1910 honor students, who had expressed interest, were invited to join without initiation.

The Incorporators: Norma E. Boyd, Julia Evangeline Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie May Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell, Minnie Smith

Nellie Quander was elected president in 1911. Under her visionary leadership, Alpha Kappa Alpha initiated a dynamic plan of expansion. The first step of establishing a national body in perpetuity was taken in 1913 when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was legally incorporated.

For more information about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® visit our international website at
For more information about the Mid-Atlantic Region visit Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® (

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