SOURCE: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

November 27, 2007 10:27 ET

World's Oldest and Largest African-American Sorority to Celebrate Centennial in 2008

Member Phylicia Rashad Among Guests Scheduled to Attend Festivities

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - November 27, 2007) - In January 2008, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. becomes the first African-American sorority to reach its 100-year milestone. In commemoration, from January 12-15, thousands of members will make a solemn pilgrimage to their founding Home of Howard University in Washington, D.C. There, in a series of joyous and solemn tributes, they will salute Alpha chapter on its Centennial and reflect on the journey that took them from nine founding members of Alpha Chapter in 1908 on one campus of Howard University, to 200,000 members in 975 chapters worldwide.

Led by international president Barbara A. McKinzie, members will walk hallowed ground and engage in a series of sentimental rites of passage. They will also pay tribute to the foremothers whose brilliant vision gave life to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

McKinzie said that the Sorority has endured because it was built on a bedrock of strength: "The conviction of our founders to create an organization dedicated to service has enabled Alpha Kappa Alpha to thrive through ten decades. In this 100-year span of time, we have rendered an invaluable service to the worldwide community."

This nostalgic pilgrimage home to Alpha chapter will feature A Walk Through History where members will follow the same sacred paths as the founders. Members will also rededicate themselves to the powerful concept of service that represents the sorority's core mission. Among those who will return to their roots include five former international presidents, and high-profile members like Actress Phylicia Rashad; The Honorable Peggy Quince, Florida Supreme Court Judge; and 102-year-old Mrs. Hazel Hainsworth Young, one of the Sorority's most senior members.

In keeping with the Sorority's credo, "to provide service to all mankind," members will participate in a series of projects where they will outreach to seniors, cancer patients and respond to the needs of the community. A climactic high point of the weekend will be the dedication of a library. Sorority members will donate books to the library and solicit donations of reading material from area bookstores.

The Alpha Birthday Celebration is the first of two major celebrations to take place during its Centennial year. More than 20,000 members will converge upon Washington, D.C. for its Centennial International Conference from July 12-18. At that time, the sorority will engage in a weeklong series of meetings, plenaries and "conversations" about how to deal with today's pressing issues while charting a course for the Sorority as it enters its second millennium. The public will be invited to some of the events.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is America's first Greek-letter organization founded in 1908 by, and for, African-American college women. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, it is one of the world's leading service organizations. The sorority's members have made a commitment "to serve all mankind" through a nucleus of more than 200,000 women in over 975 chapters in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan and in the continent of Africa. For more information, log on to

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Melody M. McDowell
    Chief Information Officer
    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
    773-660-2001 - office
    Email Contact - e-mail