National History


Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913, by 22 collegiate women at Howard University to promote academic excellence and provide assistance to those in need. Their vision was to enhance the world of social welfare, academic excellence, and cultural enrichment while de-emphasizing the social side of sorority life. It was that same year, in which the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated participated in their first service event: the Women’s Suffrage March. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated in 1930.

The ideas of scholarship and service stood the test of time. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a public service organization, continues to provide programs and services towards human welfare. The sorority has become one of the largest Black women’s organizations in the world, with members numbering over 200,000 and more than 1,000 chapters. Since the inception of the Alpha chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated has spread not only nationwide, but also worldwide with chapters in West Germany, Japan, Bermuda, Haiti, Liberia, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Korea.

The 22 Founders are:

  • Osceola McCarthy Adams
  • Marguerite Young Alexander
  • Winona Cargile Alexander
  • Ethel Cuff Black
  • Bertha Pitts Campbell
  • Zephyr Chisom Carter
  • Edna Brown Coleman
  • Jessie McGuire Dent
  • Frederica Chase Dodd
  • Myra Davis Hemmings
  • Olive Clare Jones
  • Jimmie Bugg Middleton
  • Pauline Oberdorfer Minor
  • Vashti Turley Murphy
  • Naomi Sewell Richardson
  • Mammie Reddy Rose
  • Eliza Pearl Shippen
  • Florence Letcher Toms
  • Ethel Carr Watson
  • Wertie Blackwell Weaver
  • Madree Penn White
  • Edith Motte Young

National Website

On January 13th, 1913 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was founded on the campus of Howard University by 22 dynamic women. The Founder’s first act of public service was participating in the Suffrage March of 1913.

On December 29th, 1921 the Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was chartered in Boston, Massachusetts by 16 trailblazing women.

The Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., established the Jabberwock in 1925 by Soror Marion Hope Conover as a unique means of raising scholarship funds. The chapter presented a variety of performers who competed for prize money.

On January 20th, 1930 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated.

On December 28, 1947 Jabberwock was formally adopted and copyrighted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.