On Sunday, September 28, 1975, twelve members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated convened at the home of Constance Kinard Holland in Bloomington, IN. One of the issues discussed during this first meeting was whether there was the opportunity for potential growth as an established chapter in the area. It was determined that there were other members of the sorority among the ranks of graduate students who were interested in forming a graduate chapter. Based on this information, the women made a decision that would ultimately birth Kappa Tau Omega chapter. At the time, no Black Greek graduate chapters existed in the city of Bloomington.
Calling themselves the Sisters of Ivy, the women took the necessary steps to build a chapter. They would invite then Regional Director, Gloria Bond, to Bloomington to meet with the group, hold monthly organizational meetings, assess community service needs, and identify potential women in the community who would make membership growth possible.
Regional Director Bond came to Bloomington in late October or early November 1975. She met with the Sisters of Ivy and declared them a functioning group. The Sisters initiated a Saturday tutorial project, took lessons on storytelling so that they could engage the minds of young children in the community, hosted bake and garage sales to raise funds, and made plans for the chapter chartering.
The chartering ceremony was held on Saturday, April 10,1976 with the Sisters of Ivy, national and regional officers, chapter members across the state, and over 300 Bloomington Residents were in attendance. The Sisters of Ivy were delivered an official charter as Kappa Tau Omega. Charter members included: Iris Cooper, Shirley A. Fluellen, Linda Grooms, Wanda F. Harris, Epsey Y. Hendricks, Constance Kinard Holland, Linda Leland, L.L. Michelle Ligon, Anna Kathleen Moore, Patricia Ann Shipp, LaVerta Lorene Terry, Carolyn Ann Thomas, Edith Peete Thomas, Deloris Walker (Birch), and Artee F. Young. Nine women were initiated into the chapter in December 1976.
For almost 45 years, Kappa Tau Omega has implemented local programs for the Bloomington Community. The chapter has hosted three Cluster Retreats: two in Bloomington, Indiana and one in Columbus, Indiana, one of them the most well attended clusters in Alpha Kappa Alpha history.
In 2003, Kappa Tau Omega created a teen etiquette workshop called Cultured Pearls. The Cultured Pearls workshop prepared female high school students for the world through career building, professional etiquette, and leadership training. The chapter also participated in initiatives such as Adopt-a-Family to provide meals for families during the holidays.
Two chapter members have received distinguished national awards including the Founders’ Graduate Service Award. Members have chaired and served the sorority on national committees and eight of its members have been certified as Graduate Advisors. Charter member Constance K. Holland conceived the idea for the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF) in 1980, served on the International Nominating Committee (1986-1988), and was elected Supreme Parliamentarian (1994-2000).
Today, Kappa Tau Omega continues to uphold the legacy of its charter members by implementing programs and initiatives that promote "service to all mankind". From graduate students and educators to engineers and business professionals, our chapter works tirelessly on behalf of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Current programs and events include: mentoring high school juniors and seniors as part of #CAP; conducting enrichment sessions through a partnership with the local Boys & Girls Club, hosting a Ladies Room series for women to discuss issues that impact us and our community, the Constance K. Holland Memorial Scholarship, and our annual Pink and Green Holi-DAY Party. Recognized on the regional level for outstanding service, Kappa Tau Omega members are committed to having a positive impact on the Bloomington and Monroe County community.