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.
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 of 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, held 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.
The chapter purchased three life memberships in the N.A.A.C.P. within the first two years of their existence. The chapter has also for many years been the only organization holding a Golden Life membership in the N.A.A.C.P. Within 18 years, chapter contributions to Cleveland Job Corps and to the United Negro College Fund exceeded $3,500. The chapter has hosted three Cluster Retreats, one of them the most well attended cluster in Alpha Kappa Alpha history. Members have chaired and served the sorority on national committees. Charter member Constance K. Holland served on the International Nominating Committee (1986-1988) and Supreme Parliamentarian (1994-2000).
From graduate and professional students and educators to engineers and business professionals, our chapter works tirelessly on behalf of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Current programs and initiatives include: a service partnership with My Sister’s Closet, a local agency committed to helping low-income women develop professional and personal skills as they pursue employment; the Constance K. Holland Memorial Scholarship, the Annual Pumps and Pearls Women's Empowerment Tea, and the Annual Pink and Green Holi-DAY Party. Kappa Tau Omega continues to uphold the legacy of its charter members and beloved Founders of the sorority by implementing programs and initiatives that promote Service to All Mankind
About Kappa Tau Omega
The Date: January 15. Year: 1-9-0-8r. Place: Howard University In
Washington D.C. Nine Young Women Had A Vision To Create An
Organization In Which African American Women Could Join Together
And Promote Sisterhood, Scholarship, And Service. The leader of
group, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, along with Anna Easter Brown, Beulah
Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Lavinia
Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe and Marie Woolfolk Taylor were dynamic
in thought, and academically sound. In order to ensure the continuity
of the organization, they added seven members of the sophomore
class: Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Murray, Sarah
Meriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden and
Harriet Terry. In 1911, four more women joined the organization: Julia
Brooks, Minnie Smith, Nellie Pratt Russell, and Nellie Quander.
Quander was elected president in 1911 and under her leadership,
Alpha Kappa Alpha became legally incorporated in 1913.
Through the years, Alpha Kappa Alpha women have worked tirelessly
to promote social, political, and economic change in the community.
Prominent members of our organization, including Rosa Parks and
Coretta Scott King, fought alongside activists and leaders to ensure
justice for the African American race in this country. Others like Maya
Angelou and Toni Morrison have contributed to the rich literary
traditions that define our heritage. Diane Watson, first African
American to preside over the California State Senate, left her mark on
the political spectrum.
Although beautiful, strong, and smart individuals, Alpha Kappa Alpha
women believe in the power of unity. Our primary mission is to do
what is necessary to improve the conditions of our community and be
of Service to All Mankind.