National History

On Wednesday, January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated became America's first Greek-letter organization established by black college women.  In Miner Hall at Howard University in Washington, D.C., the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri. After Alpha Kappa Alpha's incorporation as a perpetual body on Wednesday, January 29, 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the channel through which selected college-trained women improved the socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this affiliation as a means of self-fulfillment through volunteer service. Alpha Kappa Alpha's purpose is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards; promote unity and friendship among college women; alleviate problems concerning girls and women; maintain a progressive interest in college life; and serve all mankind.

Today, our membership is 260,000 across the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa. Ladies of distinction, ladies of class and moral character; the quintessence of what a woman should be; the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha  Sorority, Incorporated have been around since 1908 and are STILL making an impact in a community near you.


Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe and Marie Woolfolk Taylor

Led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, nine Howard University students came together to form Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Each also had a special talent or gift that further enhanced the potential of this dynamic group.

The Sophomores: Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden and Harriet Terry

With the exception of Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, the original group of women was comprised of college seniors. To ensure the continuity of the organization, seven Class of 1910 honor students who had expressed interest were invited to join.

The Incorporators: Norma Boyd, Julia Brooks, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Nellie Quander, Nellie Pratt Russell and Minnie Smith

Nellie Quander was elected president in 1911. Under her visionary leadership, Alpha Kappa Alpha initiated a dynamic plan of expansion. The first step of establishing a national body in perpetuity was taken in 1913 when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was legally incorporated.