Delta Omega Chapter History
Delta Omega chapter is proud to be the first graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® chartered on the East Coast, the oldest chapter in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and the fourth graduate chapter established in our illustrious organization, the first Greek-lettered sorority for Black women in America, founded at Howard University in 1908. Against a backdrop of changes in African American society and culture, Delta Omega chapter was chartered on February 26, 1921 by six intelligent women of grace and refinement in Petersburg, Virginia.
Three alumnae members of Howard University’s Alpha Chapter, Pauline Sims Puryear, Mae Hatchette Seabrook, and Louise Stokes Hunter, invited three faculty members of the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute--Lucy Johnson Bullock (graduate of Oberlin College), Edna Meade Colson (graduate of Fisk and Columbia Universities), and Pearl Grisby Richardson (graduate of Smith and Columbia Universities)--to establish Nu chapter (graduate), which changed to Delta Omega chapter after a ruling of the 1922 Boule. Charter member and first chapter President, Pauline Sims Puryear, later became the fourth National President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1925, and one of Delta Omega’s first initiated members and first chapter Vice President, Dr. Rose Butler Browne, later became the Mid Atlantic Region’s first Regional Director.
After the Incorporation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1913, the first three graduate chapters were established in the Midwest, where many of the Sorority’s Founders and other members were beginning their professional careers. Cleveland Ohio, Kansas City Missouri, and St. Louis, Missouri were the locations for the establishment of Alpha Omega, Beta Omega, and Gamma Omega chapters, in 1917 and 1920, respectively. Delta Omega chapter was the first graduate chapter chartered on the East Coast in Petersburg, VA in February of 1921, followed by the chartering of Epsilon Omega chapter in Baltimore, MD in December of 1921. Other graduate chapters soon followed from Maine to Florida, but Delta Omega led the way, and has endured and created a legacy of scholarship and service for 100 years.
From a chronological and contextual perspective, the Delta Omega story details the Alpha Kappa Alpha story of African American, college educated women continuing their time honored mission of service on a community, regional and national level. The complete history of Delta Omega chapter is documented in the award-winning book, Nine Decades of Timeless Service: Delta Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. ® 1921-2013 (Copyright 2014, Renee Escoffery-Torres, All Rights Reserved. Printed by the Deitz Press).