First Row: (left to right) Mariam Victorianne, Hildred Mathieu (Treasurer)
Second Row: Juanita Waiters, Valjeanne Taylor (President), Evelyn Gueringer (Secretary)
Third Row: Olympia Eaglin, Irma Haydel Braden, Natalie Smith (Vice-President), Joy Smith White, Ella Davis
The young ladies pictured above were members of the Xavier University Gamma Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1945. Young women attending both Dillard and Xavier Universities were inspired by the works of the national sorority and decided to apply for membership. Dillard applied for their charter in 1937 as the Beta Gamma Chapter. Five years later, 1941, Xavier sought permission to establish the Gamma Alpha Chapter. During the 1960s and 1970s, Southern, UNO, Tulane and Loyola Universities established chapters in the New Orleans area. New Orleans was the host city to the National Convention of Delta Sigma Theta in 1979 and 1998 and was proud to host the 50th National Conference held here in 2010.
Just what is the history of this sorority? Well, Delta Sigma Theta was founded on January 13, 1913 by twenty-two collegiate women on the campus of Howard University. These women had visions that went beyond self-fulfillment and wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The very first public act the group performed involved their participation in the Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, D.C. on March, 1913. As a non-profit organization they sought to provide scholarships, support the underserved, participate in positive public policy, and provide solutions to problems in their community. Cynthia Butler McIntyre, graduate of Dillard University, is their 24th National President and Carolyn Lewis, graduate of Xavier University, is the current National Treasurer.
Today, there exists a sisterhood within their ranks of over 200,000 predominately black college educated women in over 900 chapters located in the United States, England, Japan, Germany, Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, and Republic of Korea.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority –Pyramid Club Members (ca. 1944-1945)
First Row (Left to Right): Helen Williams, Adrienne Martinez, Dardanella Blandin
Second Row: Annabel Jeffrion, Dorothy Harper, Helen Ward, Gloria Raymond, Melba Fortune (Vice-President)
Third Row: Ruth Pratts, Veronica LeDoux (Treasurer), Fanny McKnight, Pearl Dejoie, Edwina Matthews (Secretary), Eleanor Thompson (President), Edna Lecesne
The young ladies pictured above are aspiring to be initiated into Delta Sigma Theta. This photo also comes from Xavier University from the 1944-45 school year.