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Our Story

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Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on November 12, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian Irene White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin, and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to the Alpha chapter at Butler University. Since its inception, the dynamic women of Sigma Gamma Rho have built and sustained a well-known and well-respected reputation for leading positive change to help uplift the community through sisterhood, leadership, and service.

The 'Notable' Northeastern Region

The Notable Northeastern Region of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on Friday, December 29, 1939 during the 14th Boule, which took place in New York City and was hosted by the Kappa Sigma Alumnae Chapter. More than 100 delegates and visitors across 13 states and the District of Columbia were in attendance at this meeting where the decision was made to redistrict the two-region sorority into four regions.  

The original chapters included in the newly-created Northeastern Region were: 

  • Alpha Zeta (Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA) 

  • Alpha Pi (Hunter College, New York, NY) 

  • Alpha Phi (Howard University, Washington D.C.)

  • Tau (Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA) 

  • Iota Sigma (Richmond, VA) 

  • Kappa Sigma (New York City, NY) 

  • Phi Sigma (Washington, D.C.) 

  • Omega Sigma (Newport News, VA) 

 

At the very same Boule, Soror Edna F. Browne, who is fondly referred to as “The Mother of the Northeastern Region,” was elected as the First Northeastern Regional Syntaktes. She called the first meeting of the Northeastern Region to order one hundred thirty-three days after its birth on Saturday, May 11, 1940 on the campus of Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA with Iota Sigma serving as the host chapter. 

The first chapter organized by Syntaktes Browne in the newly-formed region was the Alpha Alpha Sigma Alumnae Chapter located in Baltimore, MD. Alpha Beta Sigma (Portsmouth, VA), Alpha Eta Sigma (Philadelphia, PA), Upsilon (Cheyney University), Alpha Nu Sigma (Wilmington, DE), and Beta Lambda Sigma (Raleigh, NC) were other chapters also chartered under her leadership. 

The impact of the Northeastern Region on Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. continued in 1959 when Soror Annie Whitehead Neville revised and expanded the TORCH. The TORCH served as a bulletin publication for local chapters and then transcended into a manual guide for undergraduate chapters. For this reason, the manual was adopted by the Grand Chapter as the official manual for undergraduate chapters. Soror Neville is also credited with developing the handbook for Syntakti and Basilei. The Annie Neville Luncheon is named in her honor. 

 

Today, the Northeastern Region is comprised of the following areas: Bermuda, Canada (Eastern), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia (Washington D.C.), Ghana, Haiti, Korea, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

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