Eta Alpha Omega History
In the mid-fifties, Mary Sitgraves Johnson returned to Rock Hill to find several Alpha Kappa Alpha members in the community. Johnson and fifteen other young energetic members, from the Tri-County area (Chester, York, and Lancaster) formed an interest group. As a result, on March 16, 1957, Eta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was officially chartered by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Grace Matthews, in the absence of Kathryn Johnson, the South Atlantic Regional Director.
The charter members included: Videlia Smith Blakeney* Deloris Harper Goggins Emily Richardson Ivory Mary Sitgraves Johnson* Ruby Johnson Anne Lindsay Law Mary Montgomery Mackey Eliza Walker Mills Ella Beatrice Ferguson Moore Jennye Massey Pearson Katie Williams Reid* Eloise Covington Spann* Marie Davison Steele* Violet Garrett Washington* Helen Caldwell White Dorothy Harper Williams
Marie Davison Steele served as the chapter’s first President. Three other charter members have also served in the same capacity: Anne Lindsay Law, Eliza Walker Mills, and Ella Beatrice Ferguson Moore. Three charter members are still active today: Eliza Walker Mills, Ella Beatrice Ferguson Moore, and Helen Caldwell White.
The chapter began to grow and progress. This growth led to the development of another chapter in the Tri-county area. The sorors in Lancaster County realized there were enough sorors in their immediate area to foster our programs and form their own chapter. On September 23, 1972, Eta Alpha Omega became a “sister” chapter to Iota Theta Omega in Lancaster County. Today, the sorors in Chester and York still remain active with Eta Alpha Omega.
Eta Alpha Omega has become known for its signature Debutante Cotillion. The Debutante Cotillion or Debutante Cotillion Ball is the chapter’s major fund raising activity. Prior to the Debutante Cotillion, high school senior girls are involved in a number of workshops, seminars, and activities that focus on social graces, financial/economic awareness, cultural events, and leadership development skills. The funds raised help support the programs that fall under the guidance of our national strands. A total of seven scholarships are awarded annually: three to the winners of the Debutante Cotillion and four book scholarships. The funds raised also support a number of other activities in our city and community: AKA Reading Academy (tutoring program), Rolling in Rock Hill, March of Dimes, Diabetes Walk, Relay for Life, NAACP, Clinton Jr. College, and the Friendship College Development Fund.
For almost fifty years, the women of Eta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated remain steadfast in their commitment to be of service to all mankind.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated had its humble beginnings as the vision of nine college students on the campus of Howard University in 1908. Since then, the sorority has flourished into a globally-impactful organization of over 283,000 college-trained members, bound by the bonds of sisterhood and empowered by a commitment to servant-leadership that is both domestic and international in its scope.
As Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown, it has maintained its focus in two key arenas: the lifelong personal and professional development of each of its members; and galvanizing its membership into an organization of respected power and influence, consistently at the forefront of effective advocacy and social change that results in equality and equity for all citizens of the world.
For more information: www.aka1908.com