Mu Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha celebrates Founder’s Day
By Alison James
Years of service and achievement were celebrated Saturday by the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., at the Mu Sigma Omega Chapter’s Founder’s Day Celebration – recognizing more than a century of sisterhood.
At White Street Baptist Church in Auburn, those assembled were joined by guest speaker Judge Deborah Hill Biggers, a member of the Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and district court judge of Macon County.
She commended the founders of the sorority, founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., for their actions in the challenging time period in which they lived, in 1908.
“African-Americans were still treated as second-class citizens,” Biggers said. “Blacks did not have the fundamental right to vote. The 15th amendment … gave (them) the right to vote on paper in 1870, and some, in fact, were able to utilize that right … However, we know in the Deep South, Jim Crow quickly snatched away that right for all practical purposes.
“Can you imagine what extreme challenge confronted the 16 founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1908?” Biggers continued. “Alpha Kappa Alpha founder Ethel Hedgeman Lyle believed college-bred women owed an everlasting debt to make things better for Negro people, and she embraced the vehicle of a sorority as a means to improve their plight.”
The Mu Sigma Omega Chapter was chartered in Opelika Aug. 18, 1979, embodying the theme of “Service to All Mankind.” Charter members were: JoAnn Blackmon, Mary Brooks, Patricia Deas, Bernice Echols, Connie J. Frazier, JoAnn Harper, Bessie P. Jackson, Beverly Johnson, Jeanetta Jones, Patricia Jones, Glennie Peters Melton, Shirley Melton, Gloria Morgan, Yvonne Hargrove Phillips, Betty Reese, Sharon Richardson, Johnnie Johnson Tinsley and Cynthia Williams.
As part of the celebration, several community members were recognized for their achievement as African-Americans in Opelika, Auburn and Lee County: William “Bill” Parker, the Rev. Larry Patterson, Napoleon Stringer, Birdie Peterson, the Rev. Clifford Jones, Everett Debrow, Kenneth Burton, Dolly Marshall and Patricia Jones.
To learn more about Alpha Kappa Alpha visit www.aka1908.com. Today there are 983 chapters and over 265,000 members.