Sorority History

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is a, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.

Founded on January 13, 1913 by twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University, the Sorority is currently a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately Black college educated women.

This includes 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, Canada, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Republic of Korea.

The major programs of the sorority are based upon the organization’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust:

  • Economic Development
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Educational Development
  • Political Awareness and Involvement
  • International Awareness and Involvement

For more information, visit our national website at www.deltasigmatheta.org.

Chapter History

In 1973 fourteen visionary sorors felt the need to establish a graduate chapter of Delta Sigma Theta in order to further the work of the sorority and provide an opportunity to continually renew their commitment.  The Kalamazoo Alumnae Chapter was chartered on June 23, 1973. Those distinguished sorors who signed the first charter were:

Chiquita BarbeeCheryl HamptonDoris Saulsberry
Michelle BarnesMarvene HarleyMary Spradling *
Sharalyn BrownLois PattersonIzora Ward *
Leona ColemanPauline Roberson *Jaquita Willis
Peggy DavisIris Salters
(* Deceased )

Through the years, Kalamazoo Alumnae Chapter has made its presence known in the community with the quality of its programs and the outstanding service of its sorors.  Kalamazoo Alumnae takes pride in maintaining Delta’s tradition of public service by providing and supporting programs that meet the needs of the community.  This has been accomplished by primarily looking to Delta’s Five Point Program for direction and guidance.

In 1975 the Kalamazoo Alumnae Chapter established the Mary McLeod Bethune Public Service Awards, which honors Black women who have given outstanding service to this area and who have attained outstanding personal achievement.  Beginning in 1982 and continuing, the Chapter has provided renewable academic scholarships to African-American female high school seniors who have been accepted to a college or university.  In addition to the academic scholarships, the sorority voted in 1997 to award an annual grant to Kalamazoo Valley Community College for emergency funds to assist in meeting the random financial needs of qualifying African-American female students.  The Kalamazoo Alumnae Chapter collaborated with several women’s organizations to establish The Women’s Education Coalition with an endowment of over $1,000,000 that supports non-traditional female students, many of whom are single mothers attending college.

Dedicated to public service, the Kalamazoo Alumnae Chapter has consistently supported efforts to empower African Americans through increased voting awareness and political action.  Through the years sorors have become voting registrars, worked in, and contributed to, successful campaigns of African American men and women in this community.  The Chapter is a Life Member of NAACP and as part of its support of Arts and Culture in the community, the Chapter has hosted productions of the Civic Black Theater, and participated in the Black Arts and Cultural Center’s Annual Festival.

Indeed, the Kalamazoo Alumnae Chapter’s legacy of support and service to the Kalamazoo Community lends credence to the fourteen visionary founders who in 1971 wanted to “further the work of the sorority and provide an opportunity to continually renew their commitment.”