Sorority History



Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities and throughout the world. Founded on January 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate women at Howard University, the sorority is currently a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominantly Black college educated women. This includes more than 1,000 chapters in the United States and worldwide.



Our courageous Founders:

Osceola Macarthy Adams                                    Marguerite Young Alexander

Winona Cargile Alexander                                    Ethel Cuff Black

Bertha Pitts Campbell                                          Zephyr Chisom Carter

Edna Brown Coleman                                          Frederica Chase Dodd

Jessie McGuire Dent                                            Myra Davis Hemmings

Olive C. Jones                                                      Jimmie Bugg Middleton

Pauline Oberdorfer Minor                                     Vashti Turley Murphy

Naomi Sewell Richardson                                    Mamie Reddy Rose

Eliza Pearl Shippen                                              Florence Letcher Toms

Ethel Carr Watson                                                Wertie Blackwell Weaver

Madree Penn White                                              Edith Motte Young



These 22 students demonstrated a vital concern for de-emphasizing the social aspect of sorority life. Their ideals have withstood the test of time. Surviving on the strength of its sisterhood, today Delta Sigma Theta is a non-profit organization providing programs and services to improve society. 

Our Founders had the wisdom and the foresight to know that there was, and would always be, a need for Black women to be politically aware and involved. The first public act performed by Delta's Founders was the Women's Suffrage March in Washington, D.C. which was held on the eve of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration on March 13, 1913. They were the only group of black women to participate in the woman's suffrage march only two months after the sorority's inception.

Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. remains a service sorority dedicated to public service, and remains at the forefront of accomplishments for blacks and women. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is unparalleled in terms of accomplishments as a whole, as well as those of individual members.

With a growing membership of over 250,000 women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority continues to attract the brightest college educated women. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has been shaped by its members who have committed to a lifetime of public service. The Sorority's initiatives are based on its Five Point Programmatic Thrust: Economic Development, Physical and Mental Health, Educational Development, Political Awareness and Involvement, and International Awareness and Involvement. Delta continues to serve the community in numerous capacities providing services and programs to promote human welfare. The Sorority's new initiatives are carried out under the leadership of 25th National President, Dr. Paulette C. Walker and the National Executive Board.