This past Saturday, members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated celebrated the 100th year of the sorority’s existence. Members, including this reporter, went to Butler University located in Indianapolis, Indiana where the seven founders: Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Vivian White Marbury, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford and Cubena McClure created this organization. One-hundred years later, members continue their legacy of sisterhood, scholarship and service.
After charting their Alpha chapter at Butler University on Dec. 30, 1929, the organization became an incorporated national collegiate sorority. It wasn’t until 1937 that the sorority joined the National Pan-Hellenic Council which is also known as the Divine Nine. The Divine Nine is an organization composed of historically African American Greek-lettered five fraternities and four sororities.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is the only D9 Greek letter sorority to be founded at a predominantly white campus where racism, sexism and prejudice was at its all-time high. These women, however, prospered and found a way to start their organization. Members who join aim to provide community service, and civil and social action for women and their families internationally. Some of the well-known international programs are Operation Big Bookbag, Project Reassurance, Hattie McDaniel Breast Cancer Awareness and Youth Symposium.
Sorority colors: Royal blue & gold
Mascot: French toy poodle
Flower: Yellow tea rose
Motto: Greater Service, Greater Progress
Notable members: Soror Kelly Price (R&B singer), Soror MC Lyte (rapper), Soror Robin Kelly (U.S. Congresswoman), Soror Martiza McClendon (Olympic athlete) & Soror Nina Turner (Ohio state senator)
While founders’ day may be over, members are still celebrating for the whole month of November. So if you see a pretty poodle today, you can still wish them a Happy Founders’ Day!
The weekend was spent with members from all walks of life and regions happily celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime experience. There was dining, live entertainment, and historic fellowship. Yes, “No one can do it like we can, We are the baddest in the land!…ee-yip!”