List of Delta Sigma Theta sisters

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Main article: Delta Sigma Theta

Below is a list of Delta Sigma Theta members (commonly referred to as Deltas). Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (ΔΣΘ) was founded on January 13, 1913, at Howard University.[1] Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was first incorporated in Washington, D.C. on February 9, 1913.[2] On January 20, 1930, the organization was incorporated as a perpetual body.[1] The nomenclature of graduate chapters are named according to geographic location and "Alumnae" annexed to the service area's name.[3]

"Delta Girl"[edit]

Delta Girl

The Delta girl is one who has been given the opportunity of education and broad development: she is one who has enjoyed the privileges of culture and selected environment.

It is pleasing to a heartfelt depth to see her not as self-centered, not desirous of selfish power, not wanting the plaudits of people, not wanting glory- but with a purpose which directs her activities and all that she may control toward lifting somebody else.

Mary McLeod Bethune[4]

The poem "Delta Girl" was written by honorary member Mary McLeod Bethune. The poem embodies the ideals of a Delta Sigma Theta woman.

Listed below are notable members of Delta Sigma Theta, and includes the Founders, Presidents, and members who excel in various fields including arts and entertainment, business, civil rights, education, health, law, politics, science, and sports.


Name Original chapter Notability References
Osceola Macarthy Adams Alpha Founder; Born in Albany, Georgia, and knew she could achieve all that she conceived. She did not hesitate to create an impression on the world in her own unique manner. Within the ranks of Delta, Ms. Adams called upon her prior leadership experience to aid in the founding of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In Chicago, Illinois, she was installed as the first president of Lambda, and she served as the grand treasurer of the national organization. Ms. Adams also made enormous strides in the theatrical realm of her life when she directed the debut of actors Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. [5]
Pauline Oberdorfer Minor Alpha Founder; Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, was an excellent musician. She was the Alpha's Chapter first Treasurer. In 1914, she graduated valedictorian of the Teacher's College. She was also the President of the Teacher's Club. Ms. Minor taught school in Alabama, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. She went on to publish a book entitled, "Soul Echos," which featured 40 of her own compositions. She also became a renowned mezzo-soprano recitalist [1]
Zephyr Chisom Carter Alpha Founder; Born in El Paso, Texas. During her years at Howard University, she played a very active role in the collegiate chapter of the NAACP. Her zest and fervor lead to her acknowledgment as an outstanding leader. In Delta, she became the Alpha Chapter's first Reporter. Ms. Carter was a very gifted woman who was not only a singer, but an actress as well. For several years she harnessed her vocal powers and sang for television shows [1]
Edith Motte Young Alpha Founder; North Carolina native. She was the Alpha Chapter's first Recording Secretary. Upon graduation from Howard University, she moved to Youngstown, Ohio. Later, Ms. Young began teaching at Claflin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She went on to receive her M.A. Degree in Biblical Literature from Oberlin College in Ohio. She was also an accomplished pianist [1]
Edna Brown Coleman Alpha Founder; Washington, D.C. native. Her father lead a prestigious career at Howard University for 31 years as a professor of religion. Many of the first meetings of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. were held in her living room. She was extremely dedicated and studious, thus she graduated from Howard in 1913 as Valedictorian and Class President. Upon graduating from Howard, Ms. Edna Brown wed Mr. Frank Coleman, who was the co-founder of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. This astounding woman played a crucial role in the development of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. [1]
Bertha Pitts Campbell Alpha Founder; Born in Winfield, Kansas, however she grew up in Colorado. Upon entering Howard she knew that she wanted to be an educator and make a deep impact on society, therefore she entered the Teaching College. On March 13, 1913, she participated in the march on Washington, Delta's first public act as a sorority. However, 68 years later, she repeated this momentous walk on August 2, 1981. Despite the fact that a limo was provided for her, at the grand age of 92, she refused to ride and chose to walk. Ms. Campbell became a fine educator and she spent the vast majority of her adulthood working in Seattle, Washington toward better race relations. [1]
Frederica Chase Dodd Alpha Founder; Born in Dallas, Texas. Her family had a substantial amount of financial and social authority. She too, was enrolled in the Teacher's College. After graduating from Howard University, she took on a brief career as a teacher. She became the first Sergeant at Arms of the Alpha Chapter. In 1926, she helped to create the graduate chapter of Delta in Dallas, which became the first Greek letter organization in the city [1]
Myra Davis Hemmings Alpha Founder; Gonzales, Texas native. Of all the founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. she had the most assertive leadership skills. She went from being President of Alpha Kappa Alpha to being president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her daily life she continued to be a role model by her involvement in the Alpha Phi Literary Society. Actress in Go Down Death: The Story of Jesus and the Devil [1]
Ethel Cuff Black Alpha Founder; Born in Wilmington, Delaware, and derived from a very prosperous family lineage. She enjoyed fine arts and expressed this through her involvement in the Howard University Choir. She was continuously involved with community organizations, such as the YWCA, which she became chairperson of the collegiate committee from 1911 to 1912. After graduating, she became a teacher in the New York City public school system. In 1953, she assisted in the creation of the Queens Alumnae Chapter. [1]
Winona Cargile Alexander Alpha Founder; Born in Columbus Georgia, and she always made it a point to be herself. Her unique personality allowed her to flourish in any environment and appeal to many people. Ms. Alexander valued education and upon graduating, she became a teacher. Always giving back to the community and her sorority, Ms. Alexander became the first social worker for the New York City and County Charities, and she was the Alpha chapter's first Custodian [1]
Marguerite Young Alexander Alpha Founder; Charter member of Lambda chapter; Born in Chicago, Illinois. While at Howard University, she concentrated her studies upon two foreign languages. After graduation, she returned to Chicago where she became a French and Spanish Correspondence Secretary. In 1950, as a member of the housing group, Ms. Alexander helped the Alpha Nu chapter in the purchasing of a sorority house on the campus of the University of Illinois [1][6]
Ethel Carr Watson Alpha Founder; Parkersburg, West Virginia native. During the significant March for Women's Suffrage, Ms. Watson confided that her family told her not to march, but was forced to defy the order because she was selected to hold the banner since she was the tallest. She pursued her teaching career over a period of thirty years. She then retired and began a second career as a dramatic performer. [1]
Florence Letcher Toms Alpha Founder; Washington, D.C. native. At graduation from Howard University, her diploma and scholarship was given to her by William Howard Taft. She was chosen to present to Lady Eleanor Roosevelt before an audience. Her accomplishments grew, and so did her hobbies. Ms. Toms collected elephants, which has become a hobby to Delta's all over the world. [1]
Jimmie Bugg Middleton Alpha Founder; Active supporter of Delta from Lynchburgh, Virginia. She helped lobby Delta Sigma Theta to participate in the March for Women's Suffrage. In 1936, she received her Master's Degree at Howard University. By 1938, after years of effort, she witnessed her Raleigh Alumnae Chapter, Alpha Zeta Sigma, established in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1944, she was appointed to the Scholarship Board of New York's 22nd Congressional District. [1]
Jessie McGuire Dent Alpha Founder; Galveston, Texas native. She took on a role of leadership when she was instated as the first corresponding secretary of the Alpha Chapter. This spirited, intelligent woman decided to enroll in the Teacher's College at Howard University. She became a teacher in the Galveston School District, however a fight was ahead of her. Ms. Dent took on the Galveston School District in court, and won equal wages for Black teachers [1]
Madree Penn White Alpha Founder; The driving force and inspiration behind Delta Sigma Theta. She is originally from Atchison, Kansas but moved to Omaha, Nebraska. Ms. White drafted the constitution and set of by-laws. She also selected the Greek letter symbols and created the initiation ritual. She was the first female to be on the Howard University Journal's staff as editor. She was the Founder and President of the Triangle Press Company in St. Louis, Missouri [1]
Wertie Blackwell Weaver Alpha Founder; Kansas City, Missouri native. After graduation, she was also appointed to teach in East St. Louis. She published a novel entitled "The Valley of the Poor." Her book focused on racism and poverty in the South. Ms. Weaver was a strong supporter of the Alpha Chapter's activities. [1]
Olive Jones Alpha Founder; Washington, D.C. native. Like most wise people, she knew when to lead and when to follow. Ms. Jones was timid in regards to being in the "limelight", therefore it is difficult to find information in her regards. Unfortunately, she never married. She went on from Howard to become a music teacher in the Washington public school system [1]
Naomi Sewell Richardson Alpha Founder; Washingtonville, New York native. She was involved in extreme activism and civic service. She was appointed to the East St. Louis public school system after graduation by Dean Lewis B. Moore. She also taught in Illinois, Princeton, New Jersey, and New York City. Ms. Richardson was the last surviving founder when she died in 1993. [1]
Vashti Turley Murphy Alpha Founder; A Washington, D.C. native, she graduated from M Street High School, later known as Dunbar High School. This was the first public High School for Blacks in the United States. After graduation, she attended the Minor Normal School, which was associated with Howard University. In 1908, she was appointed to teach in Washington public schools. Ms. Murphy was also an ardent supporter of the major political issues of the day-voting rights for women. [1]
Eliza Pearl Shippen Alpha Founder; Washington, D.C. native. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. from the Howard College of Arts and Sciences. She went on to receive her M.A. from the Teachers College of Columbia University and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Shippen was the only founder to pursue a Ph.D. and one of the only two founders who never married. She strongly believed in the public service of Delta. [1]
Mamie Reddy Rose Alpha Founder; Described as a warm and gentle person, she was from a small town called Beta, in South Carolina. Although she graduated, she did not pursue her career objective further. Of all the other founding members, Ms. Rose got married and became a homemaker. Later, she received an award for her outstanding talent as a dramatic reader. On February 17, 1919, Rose died after being married for four years. [1]
Twenty-two founders of Delta Sigma Theta
Osceola Macarthy Adams

National Presidents[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, J.D., Ph. D Gamma 1919–1923; Mossell Alexander was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in the United States, the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, one of the first Black women to receive a Phi Beta Kappa Key in the state of Pennsylvania, and the first national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Under her leadership, the May Week program was implemented. She also served on many boards, civic committees, and commissions. She held office in many local and national organizations including: President Harry Truman's Committee on Human Rights in 1947, whose report served as the basis for Truman's civil rights actions. Her ability to lead continued to be recognized, and in 1978 she was appointed chair of the White House Conference on Aging by President Jimmy Carter, to address social and economic needs of the elderly. In addition, in 1948, the National Urban League featured Alexander as "Woman of the Year" in its comic book of Negro Heroes; in 1974, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Pennsylvania, her first of seven such honors; and An elementary school in West Philadelphia, the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School ("Penn Alexander"), is named after her. The public school was developed in partnership with the University, which supports the school financially and academically. [1]
Dorothy Pelham Beckley Alpha 1923–1926; Daughter of very first honorary member Gabrielle Pelham. Responsible for internal development of the Sorority. [1]
Ethel Lemay Calimese Zeta 1926–1929; President Calimese was responsible for implementing the Delta Vigilance Committee. [1]
Anna Johnson Julian, Ph. D Gamma 1929–1931; Julian was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she went on to receive a masters and Doctorate in Sociology. She was the first African-American to be awarded the Phi Beta Kappa key. As National President she incorporated the Grand Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. [1]
Gladys Byram Shepperd Lambda 1931–1933; She authored several books including a biographical sketch entitled, "Mary Church Terrell: Respectable Person." She created the National Boards during her tenure. [1]
Jeannette Triplette Jones, Ph. D Lambda 1933–1935; Received her Ph. D from the University of Chicago. Co-Designer of the Crest. [1]
Vivian Osborn Marsh Kappa 1935–1939; She was extremely active in the civil rights movement and lobbied with the NAACP on the anti-lynching bill being considered in Congress. She received several honors and awards, namely the California State Senate and the City of Berkeley, CA. Under her tenure, the National Library Project was implemented. [1]
H. Elsie Austin, J.D. Zeta 1939–1944; She was the first African-American woman to become assistant attorney general of the state of Ohio. Dr. Austin won a string of awards, including two honorary doctorates. While National President, she created the job analysis program. [1]
Mae Wright Downs Allen Peck Williams Rho 1944–1947; Williams was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Tufts University and received a Master's degree from New York University. She served as the President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She implemented the Book Baskets program while serving as National President. [1]
Dorothy Irene Height Rho 1947–1956; Height was the longest serving National President of both Delta Sigma Theta, and the National Council of Negro Women, where she served from 1957 to 1997. Dr. Height is one of the most preiminent Civil Rights leaders in the country, and because of her activity she has received several awards including, but not limited to, President Ronald Reagan presented her the Citizens Medal Award for distinguished service to the country in 1989. President George W. Bush awarded her the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2004. At her funeral services, sitting President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy. During her tenure as President, Height was responsible for numerous activities, including the purchase of a National Headquarters building. She was also awarded Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in 1993; the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom From Want Award (1993); inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame (1993); Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994); the 7th Annual Heinz Award Chairman's Medal (2001); Listed on Molefi Kete Asante's list of 100 Greatest African Americans (2002); Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush on behalf of the United States Congress (Approved, 2003) (Awarded, 2004); 2009 Foremothers Lifetime Achievement Award from the NRC for Women & Families; Upon her death, President Barack Obama ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on April 29, 2010 in her honor; and on May 21, 2010, a Call Box was dedicated to Dr. Dorothy Irene Height. The Call Box is located on 7th Street, SW, in front of the last building in which Ms. Height lived.[10] [1][6]
Dorothy Penman Harrison Alpha 1956–1958; Harrison received an honorary Doctorate Degree from Langston University, and implemented the Delta Christmas Party. She started the "Burn the Mortgage" campaign while in office. [1]
Jeanne L. Noble, Ph. D Alpha 1958–1963; She was a professor of education and one of the first African-American women to receive tenure at New York University. Presidents Nixon and Ford appointed her to serve on national educational commissions. While President, she implemented the Social Action Commission. [1]
Geraldine Pittman Woods Alpha 1963–1967; Woods, who received advanced degrees from Radcliffe and Harvard Universities, was instrumental in the development of the Minority Access to Research Careers of the National Institute of Health. She was the first African American woman appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Services Council. While in office she implemented the Delta Teen-Lift program. [1]
Frankie Muse Freeman, J.D. St. Louis Alumnae 1967–1971; Freeman is the author of A Song of Faith and Hope: The Life of Frankie Muse Freeman. Appointed by President Lyndon B Johnson, she was the first woman to serve on the United States Civil Rights Commission. Freeman was also responsible for increasing Sorority activism during the Civil Rights Movement. [1]
Lillian Pierce Benbow Alpha Upsilon 1971–1975; She served as the Assistant Director of Housing programs for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. She implemented the Delta Arts and Letters program. [1]
Thelma Thomas Daley, Ed. D Zeta Delta 1975–1979; Daley has served as President of four national organizations including the American Counseling Association. As National President she established the Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair. [1]
Mona Humphries Bailey Beta Alpha 1979–1983; Bailey was selected and honored as one of the 100 most influential FAMUANS of the century. She has served as Deputy Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. [1]
Hortense Golden Canady Alpha Beta 1983–1988; Canady was the first African American elected to the Lansing Board of Education and is a Founding member of the Les Meres et Debutantes of Greater Lansing Michigan. She implemented the Delta Leadership Academy during her tenure. [1]
Yvonne Kennedy, Ph. D Beta Eta 1988–1992; Kennedy was the first African American appointed to the presidency of Bishop State Community College, and the first and only African American woman elected to the House of Representatives from Mobile County. She implemented the School America program. [1]
Bertha Maxwell Roddey, Ed. D Gamma Lambda 1992–1996; She was the first black principal at an all-white Mecklenburg County school and the first black teacher at UNCC. She is the Co-Founder of the Afro-American Cultural Center in North Carolina. Roddey established the partnership between Delta Sigma Theta and Habitat for Humanity during her tenure. [1]
Marcia L. Fudge, J.D. Epsilon 1996–2000; She is the first African American female elected to the office of Mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, and went on to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she represents Ohio's 11th Congressional District. Fudge established the Betty Shabazz Delta Academy during her tenure. [1]
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd Beta Eta 2000–2004; Boyd was the first African American female to earn a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University. She is an engineer and the Assistant for Development Programs at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Boyd established the International Day of Service AIDS awareness program during her tenure. Boyd went on to become the first female president of Alabama State University located in the historical Montgomery, AL. [1]
Louise A. Rice, Ph. D Gamma Tau 2004–2008; Rice established the Delta G.E.M.S. program during her tenure. [1]
Cynthia Butler-McIntyre Beta Gamma 2008–present; McIntyre earned a Master of Education degree from the University of New Orleans at the age of 20. Butler-McIntyre also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from the Christian Bible College of Louisiana. McIntyre established the . [1]
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander
Dorothy I. Height
Marcia Fudge, J.D.

Arts and entertainment[edit]


Name Original chapter Notability References
Angela Bassett Honorary American actress (What's Love Got to Do With It, Waiting to Exhale, American Horror Story: Coven)
Ruby Dee Davis Honorary American Actress, Poet, Playwright, Screenwriter, Journalist, and Activist. She won a Screen Actor's Guild Award for her acting in "American Gangster" with Denzel Washington. [7]
Wendy Davis Alpha Actress currently appearing in the hit Lifetime Television series Army Wives as Colonel Joan Burton
Suzzanne Douglas Honorary American Actress, Singer, Composer and Arts Education Activist, Douglas is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for her role in Tap opposite Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr., Douglas co-starred in How Stella Got Her Groove Back with Angela Bassett and in The Parent Hood with Robert Townsend for Warner Brothers TV.
Amber Efé Alpha Broadway actress; Co-star in "Legally Blonde: The Musical"; One of Ebony magazine's "30 Leaders under 30" for 2008. [8]
Aunjanue Ellis Gamma Psi Broadway Actress in August Wilson's Tony Award winning stageplay Joe Turner's Come and Gone; Movie Actress in The Taking of Pelham 123, Cover, Undercover Brother, Ray; and television actress in Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. [9]
Gloria Foster Honorary Theater actress and two time Obie Award winner for In White America, and A Raisin in the Sun; Played Sadie Delaney in "Having Our Say" and The Oracle in The Matrix and Matrix Reloaded
Ellen Holly Rho Soap Opera Actress Clara "Carla" Hall on the ABC's One Life to Live, a role she played from 1968 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1985 [10][11]
Adrienne-Joi Johnson Eta Kappa Actress in A Different World, In the Heat of the Night, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Amen; Fitness Trainer [12]
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh Beta Alpha Comedian; Actress who's appeared on In Living Color and That's So Raven [13]
Daphne Maxwell Reid Honorary First black woman to be on the cover of Glamour magazine; Played Vivian Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Co-owns and operates New Millennium Studios with her husband Tim Reid in Petersburg, Virginia.
Novella Nelson Rho Current plays Roland's mother on Lifetime's "Army Wives"; Singer and Actress; Created the role of "Aunt Missy" in the original Broadway production of "Purlie". Her films include "Antwone Fisher" and "Birth" [11][14]
Keshia Knight Pulliam Eta Kappa Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show; starred in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail; currently acting in Madea's House of Payne. [15]
Theresa Merritt Honorary Actress known as a star of stage, screen and television. She starred on television in the family sitcom That's My Mama and in the memorable The Wiz.
Sheryl Lee Ralph Honorary Deidra "Dee" Mitchell on Moesha; Humanitarian educating communities on HIV/AIDS awareness
Cicely Tyson Honorary Emmy award winning actress; notable for roles in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Roots
Sharon Warren Epsilon Eta Ray Charles' mother Aretha Robinson in Ray [16]
Kym Whitley Alpha Beta Comedian; Movie Actress in Fun With Dick and Jane, Along Came Polly, Deliver Us From Eva and Next Friday; TV Actress on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Married... with Children, and Moesha; Former creator and co-host of Oh Drama! [17][18]
Lisa Nicole Wilkerson Theta Alpha Broadway actress: Portrays Anna Gordy in "Motown: The Musical;" played Nala in "The Lion King;" dance captain and fight captain in the Tony Award winner "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, for which she won the 2012 Fred and Adele Astaire Award for "Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show." [19]
Ruby Dee Davis
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Cicely Tyson

Artists and illustrators[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Gwendolyn Bennett Rho Versatile Artist, Poet & Prose Writer, and Teacher; Played an active role in the AA arts community in Harlem; Former director of the Harlem Community Art Center of the N.Y.C. WPA Art Project; One of the most revered poets of the New Negro Era (Harlem Renaissance); Poetry reflected themes of the New Negro Era – racial pride, rediscovery of Africa, celebration of blackness; Frequent contributor to Opportunity Magazine and Fire! – a literary magazine started by Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes; Known for her short story, Wedding Day. [20]
Selma Burke Honorary American Female artist who designed the profile of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the United States dime; Sculptor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt portrait [20]
Elizabeth Catlett Alpha Sculptor and printmaker; Mother and Child [20]
Varnette Honeywood Honorary Famous Painter known for her unique portrayals of Black culture in paintings exhibited in home settings of several popular television shows, including "The Cosby Show". [20]
Selma Burke


Name Original chapter Notability References
Harriette Cole Alpha Current Creative Director for Ebony magazine; Author How to Be: A Guide to Living with Grace and Integrity; Image Consultant [8]
Alice Dunbar-Nelson Honorary Poet & Author of Short Stories; Wife of Paul Dunbar; First woman to serve on the Delaware State Republican Committee [21]
Paula Giddings Alpha Author of When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America and In Search of Sisterhood [22]
Jessie Redmon Fauset Honorary Novelist during the Harlem Renaissance [23]
Nikki Giovanni Honorary Renowned Poet [24]
Gloria Naylor Honorary "Author of the "Women of Brewster Place"
Ethel L. Payne Honorary "First Lady of the Black Press", First Black woman journalist to cover international affairs; she was a columnist, lecturer, and free-lance writer [25]
Alice Dunbar-Nelson
Nikki Giovanni


Name Original chapter Notability References
Judith Jamison Honorary American dancer and choreographer; Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Awards include One of 2009 Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World; Kennedy Center Honors (1999) and the National Medal of Arts (2001); Emmy Award winner and an American Choreography Award winner for Outstanding Choreography for the PBS "Great Performances: Dance In America" special, A Hymn for Alvin Ailey; Her autobiography, Dancing Spirit was published in 1993. [26]
Judith Jamison

Miss America winners[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Kimberly Clarice Aiken-Cockerham Epsilon Tau Miss America in 1994 [17]
Ericka Dunlap Mu Iota Miss America in 2004 [27]
Pamela Michele McKelvy Delta Iota Miss Kansas in 1992 and 3rd Runner-Up to Miss America [28]
Allison Bourne-Vanneck Mu Upsilon Miss Virgin Islands in 2005 [29]
Staci Shands Brooklyn Alumnae Ms. New York in 2006 – Ms. America International; the first Ms. Liberty America International 2007 [30][31]
Shirley Rivens-Smith Federal City Alumnae Ms. Senior DC 2009 [32]
Pauli Mayfield Phi Miss Iowa 2010 [33]
Ericka Dunlap
Kimberly Aiken Cockerman

Mrs. World, Mrs. United States, Mrs. U.S. Beauties[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Juanita Richelle Brown Ingram, Esq. Alpha Chi Chapter Mrs. Universe UK 2013, Ms. World International 2012, Mrs. Great Britain World 2011, Mrs. U.S. Beauties Natl Queen 2009; Mrs. Indiana United States 2007 [citation needed]

Miss USA winners[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Shayna Rudd NoVAC Miss Black USA 2009 [34]
Kalilah Allen-Harris Mu Zeta Miss Black USA 2007 [35]
Kimberly Brown-Dobine Delta Delta Miss Black California USA 2008 [36]
Andrea J. Hill Alpha Miss Black Texas USA 2009 [37]
Stacey Lee Sigma Miss Michigan USA 2004; Contestant on Fear Factor [38]
Tiffany Monique Lloyd Alpha Tau Miss Black Louisiana USA 2008 & 2009; 3rd Runner-Up Miss Black USA [39]
Shenita McConis Alpha Chi Miss Black Kentucky USA 2008 [40]
Terysa Singleton Alpha Tau Miss Black Louisiana USA 2007 [41]
Crystle Stewart Unknown Miss USA 2008 [42][43]
Adrienne Davis Sigma Miss Black New York USA 2009; Former Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleader [44]
Natalie Newbill Tau Nu Miss Black Tennessee 2012 [45]
Sanikwa Randle Alpha Pi Miss Black Ohio 2011 [46]
Crystle Stewart

Singers and musicians[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Germaine Bazzle New Orleans Alumnae World Renowned Jazz Vocalist; Highly respected director of musical education at Xavier Prep in New Orleans
Harolyn Blackwell Iota Iota Soprano; Opera singer [47]
Marcia Butler Holt Mu Epsilon Jazz singer
Shirley Caesar Honorary Known as the "First Lady of Gospel"; Gospel singer; [17]
Maurette Brown Clark Kappa Phi Gospel singer
Florence Cole Talbert Honorary Opera singer; composer of the official "Delta Hymn"; Dean of Music at Wiley College [48][49]
Natalie Cole Upsilon Singer of "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" [17]
Roberta Flack Alpha Singer of "Killing Me Softly with His Song" [11][50]
Aretha Franklin Honorary R&B and Classically Trained Opera Performer; Singer of "Respect"; Queen of Soul [17]
Shirley Graham Alpha Gamma Composer of the Opera Tom-Tom; Second wife of W. E. B. Du Bois [51]
Lena Horne Honorary Jazz, pop, and Broadway singer [11][17]
Dorothy Maynor Gamma Iota Soprano; Opera Singer [52]
K. Michelle Beta Alpha American recording artist and pianist as well as songwriter.
Leontyne Price Beta Soprano; Opera Singer; Awarded the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson [11][53]
Philippa Schuyler Honorary Musical child prodigy and pianist; Journalist; Daughter of Harlem Renaissance writer George Schuyler. [54]
Beverly Sills Honorary American operatic soprano. Called "America's Queen of Opera" by Time. [55]
Crystal Taliefero Gamma Nu American multi-instrumentalist and vocalist [17]
Támar Upsilon Actress in several Tyler Perry plays and finalist on The Voice [56]
Leslie Uggams Honorary Emmy and Tony Award-winning singer in Hallelujah, Baby!; "Kizzy" in Alex Haley's Roots [11][53]
Nancy Wilson Honorary Grammy Award winning blues, jazz, cabaret and pop singer [11]
Natalie Cole
Leontyne Price
Nancy Wilson
Philippa Duke Schuyler

Television and radio[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Mara Brock Akil Theta Alpha Television writer and producer; Creator of Girlfriends and The Game. [57]
Ramona Holloway Epsilon Gamma Grace Award Winning Co-host of the nationally syndicated "Matt and Ramona Show" based in Charlotte, NC. Producer and co-host of "The Satisfied Life" [58]
Monique Braxton Valley Forge Alumnae Emmy-Nominated News Anchor at NBC-10 in Philadelphia; Former MSNBC anchor and correspondent. [59]
Erica Bryant Kappa Omicron News Anchor at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC. [60]
Cheryl Burton Chicago Alumnae Emmy Award Winning News Anchor at WLS-TV in Chicago. [61]
Polly Spiegel Cowan Honorary Radio and television producer and a political activist. National Council of Negro Women board member and organizer of Wednesdays in Mississippi. [62]
Kysa Daniels Omicron Omega CNN Headline News overnight anchor. [63]
Sara V. Finney-Johson Upsilion TV Producer, Writer, Former Co-Creator of "Moesha" [64]
Lesli Foster Alpha Emmy Award Winning Reporter 9 Eyewitness News (CBS). [65][66]
Triscina Grey Xi Gamma Current Radio Disc Jockey for WHUR's 96.3. [67]
Danita Harris Kappa Phi News Anchor at NewsChannel5 at 6pm anchor position in Cleveland; Former 1st Female and African-American host of "Academic Challenge"; Interviewed Oprah Winfrey. [68]
JC Hayward Unknown News Anchor at WUSA9 in Washington DC; Vice President of Media Outreach; the 1st DC market female news anchor. [69]
Deborah Holt Gamma Rho Host/Producer – North Carolina Weekend – UNC-TV. [70]
Charlayne Hunter-Gault Tau Africa Bureau Chief for Essence Magazine; Journalist on CNN [53][71]
Allison Keyes Unknown Award Winning Journalist and Reporter at NPR – National Public Radio's National Desk. [72]
Jennifer Moss Delta Beta Daybreak Anchor at Wood TV-8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. [73]
Jacque Reid New York Alumnae Current news contributor for The Tom Joyner Morning Show; former anchorwoman on BET Nightly News; former co-host of the radio show The Steve Harvey Show. [74]
Robi Reed-Humes Gamma Iota Emmy Award Winning Casting Director (The Tuskegee Airmen & Malcolm X) who has been a major contributor to the success of over 30 films, including eight with director Spike Lee (Malcolm X). TV credits include Bill Cosby's A Different World and LL Cool J's In the House [75]
Shannon Royster Unknown News Anchor at KSLA 12 TV in Louisiana. [76]
Allison Seymour Gamma Iota News Anchor at WTTG Fox-5 in Washington, D.C. [77]
Tracie Strahan Kappa Lambda WNBC News 4 Reporter in New York. [78]
Mary E. Vroman Honorary First black woman accepted into membership in the Screen Writer's Guild; Wrote "Shaped to its Purpose, Delta Sigma Theta, the First Fifty Years" [79]
Lisa Washington Sigma Morning and Noon Anchor at WHNT TV 19 in Huntsville, Alabama. [80]
April Wilson Woodard Kappa Rho Senior Reporter, INSIDE EDITION; Celebrity News Commentator; Former Miss Black USA; Former 2nd Runner-Up – Miss Virginia [81]
Melissa Harris Perry Pi Omicron Professor of political science at Wake Forest University. Former associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Tulane University and Princeton University. Author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. Guest host and contributor to The Rachel Maddow Show. [82]
Naomi Yané Montclair Alumnae Traffic Anchor;NY1 News [81]
Shaila Scott Kappa Rho Radio Personality 98.7 Kissfm New York; former Miss Teen New York [81]
Soledad O'Brien Honorary Anchor and Special Correspondent, CNN [83]
Gwen Ifill Honorary Managing Editor and Moderator for Washington Week and Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour on PBS [84]
Soledad O'Brien

Civil rights[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Joyce Barrett Honorary SNCC worker; One of the few white northerners to join the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s [85]
Daisy Bates Honorary Advisor to the Little Rock Nine to integrate Little Rock Central High School; civil rights activist [86]
Nannie Burroughs Honorary One of the founders of National Association of Colored Women; Founder of the National Training School for Girls in Washington, DC; Associate editor of the Christian Banner, a Philadelphia newspaper; civil rights activist [87][88]
Coralie Franklin Cook Honorary One of the founders of National Association of Colored Women; Civil rights activist and suffragist [89]
Fannie Lou Hamer Honorary American voting rights activist and civil rights leader
LaDonna Harris Honorary Native American activist; Founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity; She made history as the first Native American woman to run for Vice President of the United States; founding board member of the National Urban League and National Women's Political Caucus; currently serves on the boards of Think New Mexico and Advancement of Maori Opportunity, as well as the advisory boards for the National Museum of the American Indian, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Delphi International Group .
Myrlie Beasley Evers-Williams Unknown Wife of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers; In 1995 she made history as the 1st woman to chair the NAACP; former NAACP chairwoman [71]
Vivian Malone Jones Delta Delta Civil Rights Activist. First African-American to enroll and graduate from the University of Alabama despite Governor George Wallace infamous "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" who was in defiance of orders to admit black students.
Mary McLeod Bethune Honorary Eighth President of the National Association of Colored Women; founder of the National Council of Negro Women; founder of the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls; civil rights activist; founder of Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona beach, Fl) [90]
Frankie Muse Freeman St. Louis Alumnae Civil rights attorney; First woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1964 to 1979) [91]
Betty Jean Sanders-Shabazz New York Alumnae Civil rights activist; Wife of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X; Former director of the Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn's Department of Communications and Public Relations. [71][92]
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Gamma One of the first African Americans to receive a Ph.D. in the United States; First black woman to receive a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and in the United States; First black woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; First black woman admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar [20]
Eslanda Goode Robeson New York Alumnae Anthropologist, author, actress, civil rights activist. She was the wife of Paul Robeson [71][92]
Mary Church Terrell Honorary Writer, Civil Rights and Women's Rights activist; First president of the National Association of Colored Women; First black woman to represent the U.S. Congress of Women; First black woman to serve on the Washington DC Board of Education [20]
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Gamma Psi Civil rights activist; Freedom Rider; featured in PBS documentary Freedom Riders.
Amelia Boynton Robinson Unknown Civil rights activist; went to Selma in 1929 with George Washington Carver; inspired and convinced Dr. Martin Luther King to march on Selma in 1965; guest of honor when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law; the first African American to run for Congress in Alabama (in 1964). She led a march in 2010 at age 100 to help elect President Barack Obama.[clarification needed]
Henrietta Bell Wells Alpha Iota Member of the Historic Wiley Debate team as portrayed in the "Great Debaters"; basis for Jurnee Smollett's character; First African-American teacher at Bonner Elementary School [93][94]
Fannie Lou Hamer
Mary McLeod Bethune
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander


Name Original chapter Notability References
Mary Frances Berry Honorary Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and the former chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights
Hallie Quinn Brown Honorary Wilberforce University Board of Trustees member; Former Dean of Allen University in Columbia, SC; President of the Ohio State Federation of Women's Clubs; Vice-President of the Ohio Council of Republican Women [95]
Dr. Constance Carroll, Ph.D. Unknown Chancellor, San Diego Community College District; Former President – San Diego Mesa College; Former President – Saddleback College [96]
Constance Clayton Epsilon Phi First African American woman superintendent of the Philadelphia Public School system (1982-1993); national social action chairman of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority [97][98]
Johnnetta Cole Unknown First African American female president of Spelman College from 1987–1997 and president of Bennett College from 2002–2007; currently Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art [71]
Janie Hill Hatton Delta Eta First National Principal of the Year 1994, Milwaukee, WI conferred by U.S. President Bill Clinton, National Association of Secondary Schools and Met Life Insurance Company [71]
Dr. Althia F. Collins, Ed.D Unknown 13th President of Bennett College [71]
Dr. Elnora Daniel, Ed.D Unknown President of Chicago State University (CSU); W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Consultant on Regulatory health care reform to Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. [71]
Meredith Daniels Unknown First African American to graduate with a Doctoral degree in Mathematics from the University of Virginia in May 2008. [99]
Juliette Derricotte New York Alumnae Dean of Women at Fisk University [100]
Eva Dykes Alpha The first woman to complete the degree requirements for her Ph.D. One of the First African American woman to earn a PhD. in the U.S. from Radcliffe College (a total of three were earned the same year, including Sadie T.M. Alexander, another Delta Sigma Theta member) [101]
Ramona Edelin Unknown Founder and former chair – Department of African American Studies, Northeastern University; Former president and CEO of the National Urban Coalition; Created the M. Carl Holman Leadership Development Institute & Executive Leadership Program to bring minorities into leadership development opportunities; Former member of Presidential Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (appointed by Bill Clinton); Former Executive Director – Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. [102][103]
Mary Futrell Alpha Eta First African American Female and Former President of National Education Association; [104]
Robyn Hadley Kappa Omicron Third African American Female selected as a Rhodes Scholar. [105]
Dr. Muriel A. Howard, Ph.D. Buffalo Alumnae First female president of Buffalo State College and 7th President of the School; First AA female chair of the United Way Campaign for Buffalo and Erie County [106]
Julia Gee Hunnicut Honorary Wilberforce University instructor [95]
Shirley Ann Jackson Iota Eighteenth president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [107]
Dr. Marvalene Hughes Unknown President, Dillard University – New Orleans, Louisiana Dillard
Dr. Sebetha Jenkins, Ph.D Unknown Former President of Jarvis Christian College; Former member – Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. [71]
Adah Hyde Johnson Delta First African American woman to graduate from the University of Iowa [108]
Anna Johnson Julian Gamma First African American woman in the nation to receive the Ph.D. degree in sociology; First African American to receive Phi Beta Kappa honors at University of Pennsylvania; 4th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. [109]
Joyce Ladner Gamma Psi First woman to serve as President of Howard University; Former Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution [110][111]
Dr. Julianne Malveaux Iota President of Bennett College; Economist; Columnist; Author [112]
Dr. Valarie Ena Swain-Cade McCoullum, Ed.D Epsilon Gamma Vice Provost for University Life – University of Pennsylvania; First Female President of Cheyney University (the oldest HBCU in the united States) – Pennsylvania from 1991–92 and; former Chair of the Landmark School Equity Educational Panel – resulting in the settlement of a major suit against the Philadelphia School District. [113]
Dr. Marie V. McDemmond, Ed.D Unknown Former and First President of Norfolk State University; First female CEO of a 4-year, state supported university in Virginia; First African-American female to head any of the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers (NACUBO) regions. [114]
Dr. Floretta McKenzie Unknown Vice Chair of Howard University Board of Trustees; Former D.C. Public School Superintendent & Chief State School Officer; CEO of the McKenzie Group [115][116]
Gabrielle Pelham Honorary Howard University's Director of Music, 1905–1907. [117]
Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed, Ed.D. Unknown Current President of Bethune-Cookman University; 11th president of Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Arkansas); First female president of Philander Smith in 125 years; Youngest elected General Secretary CEO. [118]
Sarah Scarborough Honorary Former First Lady of Wilberforce University; wife of William Sanders Scarborough [95]
Gloria Randle Scott Gamma Nu First AA President of the Girl Scouts of the USA; First AA to get a degree in zoology from Indiana University; Former President of Bennett College [119]
Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber, Ed.D Unknown 10th President of Saint Augustine's College (North Carolina); First female President. [71]
Niara Sudarkasa Honorary First female president of Lincoln University [71]
Josephine Washington Honorary Writer, Educator, Advocate of Women's Rights and Racial Justice; Wilberforce University Dean of Women; A copyist for Frederick Douglass during his tenure as Recorder of Deeds for DC [95]
Margaret Murray Washington Honorary Dean of Women at Tuskegee Institute; Former President of National Association of Colored Women (1912–1916); Third wife of Booker T. Washington; Writer, Educator, Advocate of Women's Rights and Racial Justice; Wilberforce University Dean of Women [120]
Kimberly A. Lloyd Zeta Omega Chair of Board of Trustees at The Lincoln University; In 160 years of The Lincoln University existence, Lloyd is only the 2nd female to Chair the Board. The Lincoln University, the 1st Degree Granting HBCU [121]
Julianne Malveaux

Heads of organizations and business executives[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Juanita Baranco Unknown Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Baranco Automotive Group (one of 1st AA owned car dealerships in Atlanta area); Former Assistant Attorney General of Georgia; 1st African American women to chair Georgia Board of Regents. [122]
Susan Bass Unknown President of Susan Bass Group; Former VP of Communications & Community Relations for the Atlanta Falcons [123]
Sheryl Battles Unknown VP of Corporate Communications – Pitney Bowles [124]
Ingrid Saunders Jones Epsilon Epsilon Director of the Coca-Cola Foundation [124]
Cora Masters Barry Unknown Founder of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center; Founder and CEO of the Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC) of Washington, D.C. – an organization dedicated to ensuring every youngster has access to safe and decent recreational facilities; Former 1st Lady of Washington, D.C. [125]
Melanie L. Campbell Sigma Executive Director of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation; Civic leader; Civil Rights Activist who implemented projects: VOTE Election Reform Task Force, Unity Civic Engagement & Voter Empowerment Campaign, and ReBuild Hope NOW; charter member of the Future PAC. [126]
Monica Cost Gamma Iota Commercial Real Estate Broker at Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. (C&W), a global commercial real estate firm; 1st AA broker in the New England Area of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. & 1st AA female to hold this position for a major real estate firm in Massachusetts. [127]
Deborah Elam Gamma Alpha Chief Diversity Officer at General Electric (GE) – one of the highest ranking women at GE [128]
Carla Harris Brooklyn Alumnae Managing Director in Global Capital Markets at Morgan Stanley; Member of the Equity Syndicate desk; Gospel Singer [129][130]
Amy S. Hilliard Alpha Founder, President and CEO of The ComfortCake Company LLC; Former senior marketing executive with Gillette, Pillsbury and L'Oreal; First African-American elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade [131][132]
Eunice W. Johnson Alpha Zeta Executive of Johnson Publishing Company; Creator of the Ebony Fashion Show [53][133]
Edith Irby Jones Gamma Mu First African American student to attend the University of Arkansas School of Medicine; First Female and Former President National Medical Association [134]
Elaine Jones Unknown Former NAACP Legal Defense Fund Director and General Counsel [135]
Madeline Lawson Alpha Executive V.P. – Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine. [136]
Paula Madison Honorary Business executive with Williams Group Holdings; former Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of NBC Universal; former Chairman and CEO of the Los Angeles Sparks and a member of the WNBA Board of Governors; Black Enterprise Magazine's "75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America".
Renetta McCann Theta Alpha CEO of The Americas Starcom MediaVest. [137]
Karen McGill Lawson Unknown Current President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF)
Glenda G. McNeal Beta Gamma Senior Vice President – Global Partnerships, American Express Company
Kelly Owens Unknown Director of the CBCF Leadership Institute
Dr. Vivian Pinn Unknown First and current Director, Office of Research on Women's Health – National Institutes of Health [138]
Lavonia Perryman Unknown V.P. of PR Networks, Inc.; Former Cable Commissioner for D.C.; Former Founding member and Former president – National Black Women's Political Congress; Former president & Founding member – National Coalition of 100 Black Women, District of Columbia Chapter; Charter member of The Future PAC [125][139]
Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Unknown President and CEO at Global Policy Solutions; Former Chief of Staff/Administrative Assistant at Office of Congressman Charles Rangel; Former Professional Staff at House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee
Elsie L. Scott PhD. Unknown Current President and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Jane E. Smith Unknown Former President and CEO of the National Council of Negro Women; Founding member of the Women's Chamber of Commerce [140]
Stacey Davis Stewart Unknown Former President and CEO of the Fannie Mae Foundation (1999–2007); Current Sr. VP of the Fannie Mae Foundation's Office of Community and Charitable Giving [141][142]
A. Shuanise Washington Unknown V.P. of Government Affairs Policy & Outreach for Altria Group, Inc. (formerly Philip Morris USA) [125]
Shelia Ruth Wheatley Clark Zeta Eta First African-American accountant and AA female partner at firm Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company [143]
Dr. E. Faye Williams Unknown Chairperson of the National Congress of Black Women; Former Counsel to Congress [144]
Susan L. Taylor Honorary Former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine [145]
Marion Stubbs Thomas Gamma Referred to as the "Grand Madame of Negro Society," Thomas founded Jack and Jill of America, chartered the Philadelphia chapter of the Northeasterners, Inc., and served as the group's national president from 1956-1958 [146]
Edith Irby Jones

Health and science[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Regina Benjamin Gamma Alpha Current United States Surgeon General; Third African-American woman to be appointed Surgeon General; First physician under the age of 40 and First AA woman named to the American Medical Association's Board of Trustees; Former president – Alabama State Medical Association; Recipient of MacArthur Genius Award. [147][148]
Dorothy Levinia Brown Unknown First African-American female Surgeon in the South; First single woman in Tennessee to adopt a child; First AA woman elected to the Tennessee State Legislature. [71]
Alexa Canady Nu First African-American female Neurosurgeon [71]
May Edwards Chinn New York Alumnae First AA female to graduate from Bellevue Hospital Medical College; One of the First Female AA physicians in New York City; 1st AA woman to intern at Harlem Hospital; 1st female physician to ride with ambulance crews of Harlem Hospital for emergency calls; 1st AA woman, and for several years the only woman, to practice medicine in Harlem; and 1st AA woman to receive admitting privileges at Harlem Hospital. [149][150]
Gladys B. Dillard, RN Tau First AA nursing graduate of Wayne State University [71]
Karen Drake Beta Gamma Obstetrician/Gynecologist; Attending Physician in the birth of the Iowa McCaughey Septuplets [151]
Joycelyn Elders Gamma Gamma United States Surgeon General from September 8, 1993 to December 31, 1994; First African American, and the second woman to be appointed Surgeon General; First African American Resident Pediatrician at the University of Arkansas Medical Center [152]
Bettye Washington Greene Charter member of Midland, Michigan chapter First African-American female Ph.D. chemist to work in a professional position at the Dow Chemical Company. [153]
Ruth Bates Harris Unknown First Female Deputy Assistant Administrator of NASA [154]
Joan Higginbotham Unknown An American engineer; Former NASA Astronaut who flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-116 as a mission specialist; Third African-American female to go into space [71]
Juvonda S. Hodge Unknown First African-American female General Surgeon in Mobile, Ala. [155]
Audrey F. Manley Honorary Acting Surgeon General of the United States of America from January 1995 to July 1997; Second African-American woman to serve in the capacity of Surgeon General; First Alumna President of Spelman College, 1997 to 2002.
Paula R. Newsome Kappa Omicron First African-American female Optometrist to practice in North Carolina; Second African-American female Optometrist licensed by North Carolina; Country's first African American female fellow in the American Academy of Optometry. [71]
Betty Smith Williams Unknown Founder, Charter member & 7th President of the National Black Nurses Association; American Academy of Nursing fellow. [156]
Marie Wright Unknown First woman to receive a dental degree from Meharry Dental College in 1919; One of the founders of the Urban League of Flint, MI; first black employee of the Flint Public Library system [71]
Regina Benjamin
Joycelyn Elders
Bettye Washington Greene
Joan Higginbotham
Audrey Forbes Manley

Legal Profession[edit]


{{Mem/fstart |ilist =

Hon. Juanita Kidd Stout
Hon. Ann Claire Williams


|- style="vertical-align:top;" class="vcard" | class="fn" | Nadine Allen | style="text-align:center;" class="org" | Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae | class="note" | Senior Judge – Hamilton County Municipal Court (Cincinnati, Ohio) | style="text-align:center;" | [157] |- style="vertical-align:top;" class="vcard" | class="fn" | Vicki Janice Ballou-Watts | style="text-align:center;" class="org" | Alpha | class="note" | Circuit Court Judge (Baltimore County, Maryland); First AA female judge appointed in Baltimore County; First AA in Baltimore County history to win a countywide election. | style="text-align:center;" | [158] |- style="vertical-align:top;" class="vcard" | class="fn" | Patricia Ann Blackmon | style="text-align:center;" class="org" | Unknown | class="note" | Judge – Eighth District Court of Appeals; First AA woman elected to any Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio; First Night Prosecutor – City of Cleveland. | style="text-align:center;" | [159] |- style="vertical-align:top;" class="vcard" | class="fn" | Izetta F. Bright | style="text-align:center;" class="org" | Detroit Alumnae | class="note" | Judge – 36th District Court (Detroit, MI) | style="text-align:center;" | |- style="vertical-align:top;" class="vcard" | class="fn" | Jean Murrell Capers | style="text-align:center;" class="org" | Unknown | class="note" | Former Municipal Court Judge (Cleveland); First AA woman in the U.S. to be elected as a City Council member; First to serve as an Assistant County Prosecutor in Cuyahoga County. | style="text-align:center;" | [160] Template:Member/f


Law Enforcement[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Cassandra M. Chandler Iota Theta Assistant Director for Training at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Currently the highest ranking AA woman at the FBI. [162]
Valdez B. Demings Orlando Alumnae First female Chief of Police of the Orlando Police Department. [163]
Rhonda M. Glover Lambda Eta Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) assigned to the Drug Section-Colombian/Caribbean Unit at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; Part of the Drug Learning Team at the FBI Academy. [164]
Beverly J. Harvard Gamma Zeta Former Chief of the Atlanta Police Department; 1st AA woman in the nation to run a major police department. [165]
Debra Mack Beta Gamma One of two AA females to head a field office for the FBI. [166]
Janice Currin Pilot Epsilon Kappa Deputy Director – Memphis Police Department; Highest ranking woman in the Memphis Police Department; First female Deputy Director [167]
Tawya Young Epsilon Tau Bailiff on the Judge David Young show; First AA female lieutenant in the Civil Court of the City of New York. [168]

Law – other[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Honorable Dorothy Rabb Brown Alpha Tau First AA elected Clerk of the Circuit Court (Cook County, Illinois) [169]
Sharon R. Barner "unknown" Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO [170]
Jewel Carter Stradfordd. Lafontant-Mankarious Unknown First American woman to be admitted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; First female Deputy Solicitor General of the U.S. – Nixon Administration; Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois under President Dwight D. Eisenhower [169]
Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale Nu Assistant Secretary, Manufacturing and Services – United States Department of Commerce; former Deputy General Counsel – United States Department of Commerce (under President Barack Obama); First AA female Managing Partner in Detroit, MI. [171]
Portia Roberson Detroit Alumnae Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison – United States Department of Justice (under President Barack Obama); Former Associate General Counsel – Detroit Medical Center. [172][173]
Gertrude Rush Honorary First AA female lawyer in the state of Iowa; First AA female admitted to the National Bar Association [174]


Name Original chapter Notability References
Clara Adams-Ender Honorary 18th Chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps; First Army Nurse Officer to be Appointed as Director of Personnel for the Surgeon General of the Army 1987–1991, and held the rank of Brigadier General 1991–1993 [175]
Hazel Winifred Johnson Brown Honorary First Black woman promoted to the rank and position of Brigadier General in September 1979, Chief of the Army Nurse Corps [176]
Major General Marcelite J. Harris Unknown First AA female general of the United States Air Force; First United States Air Force female aircraft maintenance officer; 1st female Deputy Commander for Maintenance; One of the first two female air officers commanders; Personnel Staff Officer & White House Social Aide [177]
Colonel Stayce D. Harris Unknown Highest Ranking AA female in the U.S. Air Force Reserve; 2nd AA female pilot in the U.S. Air Force; 1st AA woman to command an operational flying wing; 1st AA woman to fly the Boeing 747 aircraft, the world's largest commercial aircraft [178]
First Lieutenant Tiffany Pasker Beta Lambda 2nd AA female to be commissioned at the 180th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base [179]
Karen Wagner Unknown Lieutenant-Colonel who was killed during the September 11 attacks;a high school is named after her [180]
Marilyn D. Wills Hampton Alumnae Awarded a Purple Heart for helping aid victims out of The Pentagon during the September 11 attacks [181]

Political figures[edit]

Humanitarian and social causes[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Marian Wright Edelman Honorary President and Founder of the Children's Defense Fund, Established and Directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Office in Jackson, Mississippi; First Black Women admitted to the Mississippi Bar [182]
Clara Hale Honorary Also known as "Mother" Clara Hale; Founder of Hale House, which provided a home to drug addicted and abandoned babies [183]
Dorothy Irene Height Rho President of the National Council of Negro Women, administrator, Educator, Civil Rights activist, and a Recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal; [184]
Lillian Roberts Honorary Labor Leader; Former U.S. Department of Labor Commissioner; First Black woman to head the New York State Labor Department
Dr. Stephne' R. Coney Gamma Lambda Founder and CEO of National Stop the Violence Alliance, Inc., a national organization geared to the promotion of nonviolence and with the goal of ending violence without our communities.
Marian Wright Edelmen
Dorothy Height

Non-elected officials[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Shirley Barnes Rho Former Ambassador to Madagascar [185]
Honorable Viola O. Baskerville Richmond Alumnae Former Secretary of Administration to Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine; 2nd African American and the only African American female cabinet head in his administration; Former Vice Mayor of the Richmond City Council; Former member of the Virginia House of Delegates; 1st African American woman to run for Lieutenant Governor in VA. [186]
Jacqueline A. Berrien Brooklyn Alumnae Head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [187]
Gloria Bryant-Banks Beta Gamma Former Secretary of the Department of Social Services – State of Louisiana
Alexis Herman Gamma Alpha First African-American Secretary of Labor (1997–2001) [20]
Lisa P. Jackson Honorary Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama from 2009-2013; Environmental Director for Apple, Inc. [20]
Anne Forrester Holloway Unknown Former Ambassador to Mali [20][188]
Margaret McDonald Honorary Former Ambassador to the U.S. from Nassau, Bahamas [189]
June Carter Perry Unknown Current Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone [190]
Esther Peterson Honorary Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Kennedy administration [85]
Patricia Roberts Harris Alpha First Black Female U.S. Ambassador (1965; Luxembourg), First African-American Secretary of Housing and Urban Development [20]
Suzan Johnson Cook Honorary Policy advisor to President Bill Clinton; Ambassador-at-Large under President Barack Obama; dean and professor of communications at Harvard University, and the first female senior pastor in the 200-year history of the American Baptist Churches USA. [191]
Barbara Mae Watson Honorary First African American woman to serve as a Chief of State Department Bureau; Former Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs for the U.S. State Department; First African American woman to serve as a U.S. Ambassador; Former Ambassador to Malaysia (August 20, 1980 – February 1981) [20][192]
Alexis Herman
Patricia Roberts Harris

U.S. politicians[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Dixie Allen Unknown Former State Representative for the 39th House District in Ohio (1998–2006). [193]
Diana Bajoie Alpha Tau State Senator for the 5th District in Louisiana; 1st AA woman elected to the Louisiana State Senate; Served as President Pro Tempore of the Louisiana Senate; Founder of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. [125]
Joyce Beatty Delta Kappa U.S. Congresswoman from Ohio's 13th congressional district (2013–present) [194][195]
Amber Boykins Epsilon Psi Former Missouri State Representative; Youngest African American woman legislator elected in the history of the Missouri House. [196]
Carol Moseley Braun Honorary First African-American female U.S. Senator, Represented Illinois 1992–1998
Barbara-Rose Collins Honorary Former U.S. Congresswoman from Michigan's 15th congressional district, First African-American ever elected to Congress from Michigan
Shirley Chisholm Brooklyn Alumnae First African-American woman elected to Congress; First African-American and the First female to run as a major party candidaate for Presidential candidate in 1972 [20]
Yvette Clarke Brooklyn Alumnae U.S. Congresswoman from New York's 9th congressional district (2007–present) [197]
Linda W. Cropp Unknown Former DC Councilwoman At-large; Former Council Chairwomanman of the District of Columbia City Council; 1st female chairwoman [198]
Lois DeBerry Alpha Upsilon First African-American female Speaker Pro Tempore for the Tennessee House of Representatives; Former President Emeritus of National Black Caucus of State Legislators; 1st AA woman from Memphis, Tennessee elected to the House. [125][199]
Shirley Franklin Honorary Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
Marcia Fudge, Esq. Epsilon U.S. Congresswoman from Ohio's 11th congressional district; former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio (01/00–11/08); past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (1996–2000) [200]
Cheryl A. Gray Omicron Chi Current Louisiana State Senator, District 5; Former Member, Louisiana State House of Representatives [201]
Edith Green Honorary Former U.S. Congresswoman from Oregon's 3rd congressional district (1955–1974) [202]
Laura Hall Huntsville Alumnae State representative for 19th District of the Alabama House of Representatives, since 1993; 1st AA woman to represent the 19th District; Former chairwoman of the Governor's Commission on AIDS. [125][203]
Joyce Wilson Harley Unknown First African-American elected to South Orange City Council (NJ); Former Mayor South Orange, New Jersey. [71]
LaDonna Harris Honorary Vice Presidential nominee of the Citizens Party
Tracy Maxwell Heard Unknown State Representative for the 26th House District in Ohio. [204]
Adrenne Hooper Wooten Unknown State Representative for District 71 in Jackson, Mississippi. [205]
Carolyn JB Howell Unknown Delegate – Rep. 24th Legislative District in Prince George's County, MD. [206]
Teresa Hughes Staggers Rho Former Democratic assembly woman and California State Legislature.
Barbara Jordan Delta Gamma U.S. Congresswoman from Texas's 18th congressional district (1973–1979) [20]
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick Detroit Alumnae U.S. Congresswoman from Michigan's 15th congressional district (1997–2011) [207]
Brenda Lawrence "unknown" U.S. Congresswoman-Elect from Michigan's 14th congressional district [208]
Jeanne Lucas Unknown First African-American female in the North Carolina General Assembly; First African-American female Senate Majority Leader in the NC General Assembly [71]
Carrie Meek Beta Alpha Former U.S. Congresswoman from Florida's 17th congressional district (1993–2003), First African-American elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction [209]
Karen Carter Peterson New Orleans Alumnae Democratic Member of the Louisiana Senate and the First Chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party [210]
Blondell Reynolds Brown Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter Current Philadelphia City Councilwoman At-Large. Only woman to win a city wide Council seat since 2000[211]
Jacqueline Johnson Roberts Pine Bluff Alumnae Former State Representative; Arkansas House of Representatives; 1991–1998
Jacque Robinson Unknown Member of the Pasadena City, California City Council (1st District). [212]
Lottie Shackelford Gamma Gamma First Female mayor of Little Rock, AR; Current Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee [213]
Stephanie Tubbs Jones Cleveland Alumnae U.S. Congresswoman from Ohio's 11th congressional district; 1st black woman to represent Ohio in the House; Former chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee (since 2007); 1st black woman to serve on the House Ways and Means committee. [20]
Wilma Webb Honorary First Lady of Denver, Colorado; Former member of the Colorado Legislature; First woman of color to serve on the Colorado Joint Budget Committee; First woman to serve in the U.S. Department of Labor as the primary official for Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. [214]
Verda Welcome Unknown First African American elected to the Maryland Senate [71]
C. Bette Wimbish Beta Alpha First black person elected to the City Council of St. Petersburg, Florida; First black female attorney in Pinellas County; Third black female attorney in the State of Florida. [215]
Carol Moseley Braun
Shirley Chisholm
Marcia Fudge
Edith Green
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Barbara Jordan
Carrie Meek

World leaders[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Louise Jackson Unknown Member of Parliament, Bermuda [216]
Tererai Trent Honorary Humanitarian, educator and Oprah Winfrey's all time favorite guest. Holds a doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Evaluation and is the principal of Tinogona Consulting. [217]
Winnie Mandela Honorary First Black Social Worker in South Africa; Anti-apartheid advocate; Former Leader of the African National Congress, Women's League, Member of the ANC's National Executive Committee; Ex-wife of former South African president
Winnie Mandela


Name Original chapter Notability References
Vashti Murphy McKenzie Baltimore Alumnae First woman to become a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; National Chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Granddaughter of Delta Sigma Theta Founder, Vashti Turley Murphy. [218]
Suzan Johnson Cook Honorary United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
Vashti McKenzie


Name Original chapter Notability References
Tynesha Lewis Mu Omicron Former WNBA player for the Charlotte Sting and Minnesota Lynx [219]
Andree Pickens Lambda Zeta Two-time individual NCAA Champion; Former captain of Alabama's NCAA Gymnastics Championship squad; Former member of U.S. National gymnastics team; extra in the movie Stick It [220]
Wilma Rudolph Alpha Chi First American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during one of the Olympic Games [221]
Olympia Scott-Richardson Omicron Chi WNBA basketball player [17]
Rochelle Stevens Memphis Alumnae Two time Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist & 3 World Championships in Track and Field [222]
Candice Wiggins Omicron Chi WNBA player for the Minnesota Lynx [17]
Carla McGhee Mu Zeta Current Assistant Coach of Women's Basketball at Auburn University; Former ABL and WNBA player; Member of the 1996 Women Basketball Olympics Team that won gold in Atlanta. [223]
Monique Ambers Iota Kappa Current Assistant Coach for the WNBA New York Liberty; Former WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury [224]
Francena McCorory Hampton Alumnae 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, 4x400 meter relay, 2011 World Outdoor 4x400m gold medalist and American indoor 400m record holder [225]

See also[edit]


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  • Fine, Elizabeth C. (2007). Soulstepping: African-American Step Shows. Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 
  • Giddings, Paula (1988). In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenges of the Black Sorority Movement. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 
  • Hairston, Jr., Otis L. (2007). Picturing Greensboro. North Carolina: The History Press. 
  • Ross, Jr., Lawrence (2000). The Divine Nine: The History of African-American Fraternities and Sororities in America. New York: Kensington. 
  • Vroman, Mary Elizabeth (1965). Shaped to Its Purpose, Delta Sigma Theta, the First Fifty Years. New York: Delta Sigma Theta & Random House. 

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