The Pine Bluff Alumnae and Delta Eta chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., have planned three days of activities in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sorority.
The focus for the centennial celebration is “DST: 100 Years of Service, 1913-2013”.
At 7 p.m. Friday, a rededication ceremony will be held at the Arkansas River Service Cooperative, 912 W. Sixth Ave.
A public Founders Day program will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Bettye J. Williams, a retired professor and administrator at UAPB, will be the speaker.
Williams was initiated into the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter on April 30, 1998, along with 126 other sorors. From journalist to vice president, she served as the president of the alumnae chapter from 2008-2010. As one of the tri-chairs of the 65th anniversary celebration, she compiled a first-ever photographic history of the alumnae chapter. She now serves as chair of the Program Planning and Development Committee.
Williams’ other affiliations are national second vice president of the Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women and past president of the Pine Bluff branch of NAUW. She is the founder/executive director of the upcoming museum, Oak and Ivy: African American Museum and Cultural Center.
CASA is the service project for the centennial observance. CASA is a program that supports battered women and their children. Funds are being collected from sorors to support CASA programs and activities. Tonia Ailsworth is the chair for the CASA initiative. Another DST anniversary highlight is the preparation of a 100th Anniversary Souvenir booklet, compiled by Connie Jackson.
The Founders Day committee tri-chairs are Betty Jo Lacy, Tonya Lemons and Linda L. Simmons. Other members of the Founders Day Committee are Evelyn Blunt, Delores Broughton, Kara Brown, Shelia Brown, Donna Cunningham, Patricia Gardner, Dr. Barbara Grayson, Mae Hawkins, Vickie Hicks, Alice Horton, Birlee Lever, Hazel Linton, Andrea MeBeth, Eva McGee, Patricia Meadows, Alandara Minor, Shawn Mitchell, Dana Mooney, Mary Morgan, Sharon Nicholson, Karla Rice, Maxi Ruth, Ralynn Ruth, Stephanie Shavers, Hazel Smith, Katrina Tate, Elizabeth Taylor, and Carolyn E. Williams.
Charlene Kelley is the president of the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter. Brittany McBride is the president of the Delta Eta Chapter.
Organized as a college-based group on Jan. 13, 1913, 22 young women attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., chartered Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. From this self-contained group of 22 founders, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority took on the goals of public service and support for those organizations seeking political change. DST is recorded as the first incorporated African American sorority. Throughout its 100 years of history, it has maintained a stable, yet dynamic sisterhood that is socially conscious and has consistently rendered service to the community. Membership today in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., exceeds 190,000 women throughout the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea, Liberia, and Panama.
Delta Days in the nation’s capitol and the Women’s Suffrage March Re-Enactment is scheduled in Washington, D.C., March 1-5. The 51st National Convention and the 100th Anniversary Celebration will be held in Washington, D.C., July 11-17.