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

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