By Anna-Claire Terry
Staff Reporter

The Mu Sigma Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. celebrated 108 years of “cultivating pearls” on Jan. 16. The members met at White Street Baptist Church in Auburn for fellowship, presentations and recognitions.
The Mu Sigma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha was chartered in Opelika Aug. 18, 1979 under International President, Dr. Barbara K. Phillips. The founding members set out to bring eternal sisterhood to women of Lee County. Among those charter members still active today are, JoAnn Harper, Beverly Johnson, Patricia Jones, Betty Reese and Johnnie Johnson Tinsley. They promoted a theme of “service to all mankind” through many projects and charities.  Since then, members of Alpha Kappa Alpha have encouraged a high level of achievement, and they continue to maintain their legacy of service through community involvement.
The guest speaker of the event was A. Faye Boykin-Calhoun, a motivational speaker and well-known author, who told the sisters of AKA to “dare to make it happen.”
Boykin-Calhoun finished up her speech with a challenge to the audience. “Know your worth, know your value. Become your own Webster’s Dictionary and define yourself,” she said.
Attendees were treated to several musical selections including the AKA National Hymn. Pamela Norris, chapter vice president, presented the chapter programs and initiatives. Community award honorees were Nancy Haynes and Frank Tolbert. Haynes and Tolbert were honored for their tireless service to the community. Tolbert has been an educator and coach in the Auburn City school system for approximately 40 years. In 2005, he earned the boys basketball state championship after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
Haynes served as a nurse in Lee County for more than 20 years. Despite her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, her commitment to healthcare in the community has not wavered.