Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the oldest and most prestigious of the four African American sororities, celebrated what is known as Founders Day this past Monday, January 15th. Founders Day commemorates January 15, 1908, the founding date of the sorority almost one hundred years ago. Founders Day not only honors the sorority’s founding date but it honors the founders and the women that ensured the existence and continuation of the sorority.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded on Howard University’s campus in Minor Hall on January 15, 1908 in Washington, DC. Nine women joined together to start an organization that was the first of its kind, the first sorority founded by African American women. Since its inception the sorority has directed its aims toward cultivating and encouraging high scholastic and ethical standard, promoting unity and friendship among women, addressing the problems concerning girls and women, maintaining a continued interest in college life, and being in service to all of mankind.
In its 99 year history Alpha Kappa Alpha has provided millions of service hours to the world community. Through programs for young women and reading and math tutorials this society has cultivated generations of well rounded individuals. Its presence on college campuses have given birth to unique and informative activities, seminars, and events that highlight topics such as health, the arts, and African American families and economic concerns.
Alpha Kappa Alpha has over 180,000 members and Founders Day is revered by each member. The sorority’s members are spread across the country and around the world and its undergraduate and graduate chapters have their own individual chapter charter dates. However, Founders Day is the one day celebrated by all.
Within the sorority’s elite membership one will find Jada Pinkett-Smith, Maya Angelou, Phylicia Rashaad, and Alicia Keyes. Past members include Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Women eighteen and up, doctors, lawyers, educators, politicians, and business women will all join together in recognition of the sorority’s twenty role models.
This one day stands on its own. Members’ previous obligations are rescheduled and letters, phone calls, and emails across the country and the world are exchanged between fellow sorority members. Songs are sung, parties are held, members go out to dinner, and the rest of the world remains oblivious to the occurrence of an elite holiday-like occasion. Members speak of the sorority’s humble beginnings in 1908 when nine college women discussed their lofty dream to serve all mankind, to change the world, and formed a sisterhood like no other. Many members reaffirm their commitment to the sorority and its ideals, sorority women attend private ceremonies, these women don traditional attire or sorority paraphernalia in the pink and green colors of the sorority, these ladies perform traditional activities, and members renew bonds of continued sisterhood and friendship.
All members said one phrase to one another on Monday night; in calling or seeing another sorority sister, the resounding message: Happy Founders Day!!!