This Day in Black History: Jan. 15, 1908

Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated is founded on Howard University’s campus.

Posted: 01/15/2013 08:00 AM EST
Alpha Kappa Alpha

On Jan. 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Greek-lettered African-American sorority was founded on Howard University’s campus in Washington, D.C.

Ethel Hedgeman Lyle saw a need for a sorority at Howard and believed it would enrich the social and intellectual experience of fellow women matriculating at the institution. She was inspired by her professor Ethel Robinson’s sorority stories at Brown University. Eight students expressed interest and Lyle led them in forming the organization. In 1912, Nellie Quander guided the sisterhood to being incorporated. Alpha Kappa Alpha also began engaging in issues outside the Howard community, founded chapters on other college campuses, and became involved in issues in the nation and the world.

The 105-year-old organization now has a membership of 170,000 women, and 403 undergraduate and 556 graduate chapters in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. In 2008, First Lady Michelle Obama was inducted as an honorary member of AKA.

 

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(Photo: Courtesy of Alpha Kappa Alpha)

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