Chapter History

Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, formally known as the New England Chapter, was the first chapter of any black sorority in the New England Area. Iota Chapter was chartered on December 29, 1921, and it is the ninth chapter of the sorority. The sorority’s First National President, Sadie T.M. Alexander, and Virginia Alexander came from Grand Chapter in Washington, D.C. to initiate the women who had hopes of becoming members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The sixteen women initiated into Iota Chapter were:

• Harriet Banks • Helen Hunter
• Emily Bennett • Evelyn Klugh
• Marieta Bonner • Mabel Patterson
• Inez Fields • Francis Phillips
• Emma Gilbert • Katherine Robinson
• Ethel Hay • Corissa Scott
• Cecil Higgins • Helen Wheatland
• Elizabeth Hill • Jeanette Banks Wright

Iota Chapter was initially a mixed chapter that consisted of undergraduate and graduate women. The chapter’s at one time included, but is not limited to, prestigious Boston colleges and universities such as Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Simmons College.

As the chapter began to expand, the graduate members felt that they could better serve the community through an alumnae chapter. With the approval and assistance of Grand Chapter, the Alpha Omicron Sigma Chapter was chartered in 1945, making it the first alumnae chapter in the area. After the sorority changed its nomenclature system in the late 1950s, the Alpha Omicron Sigma Chapter became known as the Boston Alumnae Chapter.

Since its charter, Iota Chapter has been the birthplace of many phenomenal women and excellent programs. One of our signature programs, Jabberwock, was established in 1925 by Soror Marion Hope Conover as a unique means of raising scholarship funds. Members of the chapter presented a variety of performer’s who competed for prize money. From this successful venture, Delta’s Jabberwock was born and became part of Delta tradition. Iota Chapter’s annual production was adopted by chapters of the sorority throughout the country. Since that time, innumerable Jabberwocks have been produced by Deltas in both the United States and abroad. On December 28, 1947, Jabberwock was formally adopted and copyrighted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.