Preface
The Heritage Committee gratefully acknowledges the many contributions from our Sorors while preparing the history of Sacramento Alumnae Chapter. We pay a special tribute to Soror Lucille Copeland, who in her many communications to Grand Chapter, initiated the chartering of Delta Theta Chapter which began as a mixed chapter in 1950. In 1973, Delta Theta Chapter was chartered as Sacramento Alumnae Chapter.

The Chapter’s history is presented through activities by decade.

1950-1959

In January 1950, plans were initiated for the establishment of Delta Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in Sacramento. After much footwork by Soror Lucille D. Copeland, and through conferences and correspondence with the Regional Director for the Farwest, Soror Samantha Lee, and past National President, Vivian Marsh, the plan reached its culmination.

The application for a chapter was approved by the National Board of Standards in August 1950. On October 14, 1950, Delta Theta, a mixed chapter, was formally chartered in Sacramento by the Farwest Regional Director, Samantha Lee, assisted by eight members of Kappa Chapter in the home of Soror Sumatra Mulholland, who became the chapter’s first president. This marked the first African American Pan-Hellenic Greek Letter organization in Sacramento.

CHARTER MEMBERS:

On January 14, 1951, in observance of Founder’s Day, the group made its first public appearance at a tea at the Women’s Civic Improvement Club Center. The speaker was past National President, Vivian Osborne Marsh, who presented the Chapter to 250 guests.

In October 1952, the Chapter held its first fundraiser, a Bridge Luncheon at the Tuesday Club House. Funds from the luncheon were contributed to a Dean’s Discretionary Fund at Sacramento State College to assist needy students. The Chapter was the initial donor to the Fund.

In commemoration of Negro History Week, the group co-sponsored the appearance of Bella Taylor Cooper, artist, in an illustrated lecture “Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin”.

Other activities during the 1950s included but were not limited to:

1960-1969

In December 1960, the Chapter sponsored a successful fundraiser, the Ebony Fashion Show. The proceeds allowed the Chapter to purchase a baby grand piano for the Women’s Civic Improvement Club Center, and make substantial contributions to the Sacramento Society for the Blind, the Mental Health Association, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Chapter became paid life members of the Urban League and the NAACP.

As a mixed chapter, Delta Theta began its quest to bring more undergraduates into its membership. At the Chapter’s 1968 Fall Tea, “New Faces in the Community”, educators within the community were introduced. The program highlighted new Black businesses through displays.

Other activities included awarding scholarships as follows:

1970-1979

Delta Theta held its first Scholarship Recognition Ball. Twenty-two graduating senior high school students participated.

The Ebony Fashion Show continued to be the only fund raising project. It grew from an audience of approximately 600 to 3,000. With such an increase in funds, the chapter had the capacity to enlarge its program thrust.

The Financial Assistance Program was broadened. Scholarship awards to graduating high school seniors through these years increased to $7,000. In 1977, the Chapter sponsored a “Delta Chair” and contributed to the United Negro College Fund. Revolving Loans were established at two junior college campuses, Cosumnes River Junior College and Sacramento City College, to assist students in securing emergency loans.

In 1973, Delta Theta Chapter was chartered as the Sacramento Alumnae Chapter. The Chapter was chartered during the presidency of Eleanor Nelson.

The CHARTER MEMBERS were:

Verna BanksJeanette HamptonHazel MahoneGertrude Tyler
Gloria Blanchette Pauline Harris Vivian Martenia Esme Williams
Lillie Campbell Elaine Hudson Eleanor Nelson Gwen Williams
Lucille Copeland Joyce Irving Edith Roberts Doris Woods
Barbara Desmangles Muriel James Gloria Robertson Virginia Woods
Lana Edwards Adah Kennon Shirley Shaw
Margaret Fortune Cohuita Kennon Julia Sledge
Juanita Gilbert Sumatra Kirkland Brenda Smith
Connie Gipson EmClaire Knowles Lou Spencer

Sacramento Alumnae sponsored the establishment of two undergraduate chapters, Lambda Xi at the University of California, Davis, and Nu Lambda at the California State University, Sacramento.

One of the Chapter’s major objectives as suggested by Grand Chapter was the reclamation of in-active Deltas. The Founder’s Day Program served as the vehicle for honoring 25 and 50 year Deltas (Lucille Copeland/Julia Sledge), past presidents, chapter founders, and rekindling sisterhood through a program of chapter memories.

1980-1989

The 1980s began with implementing themes such as “Visions of the Future” and “Challenge of the 1980s for Youth and Women”. The National President, Mona H. Bailey, was the Chapter’s honored speaker for the 1981 Founder’s Day Forum and Scholarship Award Ceremony.

In recognition of the two million plus Black female heads of households, the Chapter began awarding scholarships to Black female heads of household who were pursuing academic goals. A scholarship is provided to a single head of household who is currently enrolled in a junior college or a four-year college. The four-year scholarship (Delores Bryant Scholarship) was established in memory of our Soror whose community service record was above outstanding.

1990-1999

The Chapter continues its public service and fundraising activities expanded in the 80s. While our own Soror June Long was serving as Regional Director, she had a vision. From that vision, Delta Youth State was born as part of Delta Days at the Capitol with our very own Soror Gloria Robertson serving as the first Youth State Coordinator. This workshop is a living civics lesson that allows students to discuss state budget issues (during a crisis period), establish priorities, and develop draft bills in response to community issues while role playing as legislators.

The Delta Youth State program officially became a part of the National Delta Social Action Program in 1991. Delta Days and Delta Youth State at the Capitol still continues today. Piloted by the Spring 1996 Line, the Chapter hosted a full day speed-mentoring event for teenage girls, which developed into the Delta Teens program and soon after was designated as the “African Sistahs United” (A.S.U.) program. That program later evolved into what was known as the Dr. Betty Shabazz Senior Academy Program.

2000-Beyond

The Chapter celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary on October 14, 2000 with an elegant banquet attended by the Regional Representative, Soror Mary Frances Carnes where the Regional Director, Doris Jackson Britt was the keynote speaker. That same year the Spring 2000 Line, Umar Umoja, organized a Partnership with Dr. Alan Rowe of the United College Action Network (U-CAN), a sponsor of the Black College Recruitment Fair where students come and talk to recruiters from various Historically Black Colleges about scholarships and financial aid. Students also benefit from waived application fees and on the spot acceptance. This has developed into an annual community service event for the chapter. Sorors assist students at the registration table, copying transcripts, as well as lend support to the recruiters and Dr. Rowe where needed. This event occurs every September so it can give students enough time to prepare for college.

In December 2001, the chapter voted to partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern California. Ronald McDonald House Charities matches the amount in scholarships the chapter awards. This collaboration enables us to give students more funds toward their college expenses and has proven to be a very strong partnership even today. When Soror Gwendolyn E. Boyd was elected the 22nd National President, she initiated Summit V: Health and Healing with focus on HIV and AIDS Awareness in the African American Communities and called upon all chapters to collectively participate in an International Day of Community Service highlighting this epidemic. In March 2002, for the sorority’s International Day of Service, the chapter organized the Summit V: Health and Healing Walk-A-Thon for HIV/AIDS in Oak Park to help raise funds to donate to organizations that work to find a cure for this epidemic here in the United States and Africa. The walk promoted health awareness to the community at large and garnered participation from the public and other National Pan Hellenic members. The chapter also held a walk-a-thon in 2003 and 2004.

At our 46th National Convention in Atlanta, GA in July 2002 the chapter received numerous commendations but the highlight was the two plaques Membership Services won for the Transition Innovation Award and the Highest Number Transitioned. The description stated “Having the most innovative collaborative programs to foster ties with a collegiate chapter and encouraging graduating collegiates to immediately join an alumnae chapter.”

In December of 2002, spearheaded by Soror Eleanor Clark-Thomas, the chapter initiated its first Prayer Breakfast as a vessel for reclaiming inactive Sorors in the Sacramento area. In addition to reclamation, this event is currently used for Sorors to be an active voice of the organization’s Christian Principles in which it was founded.

In February of 2003, Sacramento Alumnae hosted the NCCC Founders Day event at the Arden Hills Country Club where the then current National President, Soror Gwendolyn E. Boyd, was the well-regarded speaker. Soror Boyd has been labeled one of the sorority’s most dynamic speakers; therefore, this event is still one of the most talked about. The chapter also recognized all of its members who had 25 and 50 years plus in the sorority at this event.

In Spring 2003, the chapter under the leadership of Soror Eleanor Clark-Thomas, facilitated the reinstatement of its undergraduate chapters, Nu Lambda, at California State University Sacramento and, Pi Xi, at California State University Chico. Even now, Sacramento Alumnae chapter continues to work closely with the collegiate Sorors in carrying out the principles and mission of the sorority while serving the community.

This was also the year in which the California Capital City Step Team was officially formed. The step team went on to win several step show competitions in and around Sacramento, Solano Valley, Arizona and two National Conventions. The funds from these winnings greatly contributed to the chapters programs and other areas such as buying a table at Ebony Fashion Fair exclusive to the parents of the scholarship award recipients. The make up of the step team was primarily members of the Sacramento Alumnae Chapter. However, over the years other sorors from Nu Lambda, Lambda Tau, Pi Xi, Kappa (collegiate chapters), San Jose Alumnae and Contra Costa Alumnae Chapters joined in and greatly contributed to the team’s success.

At the 2003 44th Far West Regional Conference in Seattle, Washington, for the Farwest Region’s Sisterhood Recognition Program, the chapter received the “Catch the Vision” Award for largest number of collegiates who transitioned into an Alumnae chapter. The chapter once again was also awarded the Transition Innovation Award for the most creative programs to transition recent graduate sorors to the alumnae chapter. The Membership Committee also won 2nd place for its Sisterhood Month scrapbook.

In the fall of 2003, the Ways & Means committee organized a very successful and memorable Boat Cruise event on the Sacramento River. This event helped to contribute to the chapter scholarship fund and other programs.

In June 2004, the chapter hosted its first End of the Year Luncheon which honored our 30 Delta Dears (62 years and older) in the chapter at that time. The event was held at CSUS. This was the first event ever that the chapter held that focus and honored our Delta Dears.

At the beginning of July 2004, our Ways and Means committee continued with innovative fundraising ideas with a successful fireworks stand. Sorors and friends lent their time to work in the summer heat. This fundraising event helps to raise money for our chapter’s annual scholarships and other programs.

The Olympic Trials came to Sacramento in July 2004. Approximately, 30 Sorors reached out to perform their community service duty. Sacramento Alumnae assisted with hospitality, worked the event information desk, served as banquet hosts at the awards ceremony, and stuffed packets.

In the scorching summer of 2004, the chapter traveled to the 47th National Convention in Las Vegas, NV. At this convention, Sacramento Alumnae was put on the map as the chapter receiving four regional awards and five recognition awards. Most notably was the chapter’s 2nd place win in the National Step Team competition. The step team, recently formed in 2003, astounded thousands in attendance at the MGM Grand. Their win brought well-deserved attention to the entire Farwest since our step team was the first team from the Farwest to compete in years. To Sacramento Alumnae's surprise, the chapter was also awarded the 1st place National award for Transition Innovation Award.

The 2005 New Year brought an exceptional 92nd Founders Day celebration at The Sterling Hotel hosted by our chapter. The 17th National President, Soror Mona Humphries Bailey, was the esteemed guest speaker and this event was well attended and enjoyed by Sorors as well as notables in the community.

In the Spring of 2005, the chapter was awarded a joint Project Science and Everyday Experiences (SEE) grant of $2,500 with Nu Lambda chapter. Project SEE was funded by the National Science Foundation to help parents and care-givers of African American elementary and middle school age children (K-8) develop effective ways to support children’s science and mathematics learning experiences. Sacramento Alumnae and Nu Lambda’s target groups were the students from the seventh grade science classes located in Sacramento City Unified School District, Grant Joint Union School District and the Dr. Betty Shabazz Junior Delta Academy (11-14 years) in Sacramento, CA. The grant was for the 2004-2006 years.

The chapter, once again, was well recognized at the 45th Farwest Regional Conference held in Universal City, CA from August 25-28, 2005. The chapter won first place in the Regional Website competition. Also, the new national program, Delta G.E.M.S (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) was introduced. The new program was implemented to give the existing Dr. Betty Shabazz Senior Academies (14-18 years old) uniformity and standardization. The Delta GEMS program consists of five components that emphasizes that chapters need to provide the young ladies with a road map for college and career planning. During the 2005-2006 the chapter implemented the Delta G.E.M.S. program into the existing Senior Academy as required.

During the 2005-06 sorority year, the chapter directory and Policies and Procedures were put on a CD in order to keep up with the evolution of today’s technology. This was also around the time when the chapter strengthened its ties with the National Pan Hellenic Council and sparked the beginning of various joint community service activities such as book drives, diaper drives, and even social gatherings such as a 70’s party and a bowling tournament.

During the fall of 2005, the chapter continued organizing events to further our sorority’s Five Point Thrust programs. Sorors participated in the Breast Cancer Walk, the Multicultural Healthy Aging Summit held at U.C Davis and the Bridges to Success Financial Management Workshop in conjunction with Sacramento’s Birthing Project. An overwhelming number of sorors participated in the Grand Chapter’s Healthy Lifestyles weight loss competition. The chapter’s Arts and Letters Commission worked diligently to recognize visiting Soror Ruby Dee at the “Tribute to Ruby Dee” held at the Wells Fargo Pavilion.

In January 2006, the Ways and Means committee organized another successful fundraiser, our first crab feed.

April 2006, Ebony Fashion Fair sold out and was marked as one of the most successful Ebony’s in recent years. The theme of the show was “Fit to be Fabulous” and was held at the Sacramento Convention Center.

The chapter continued to increase our community service activities. We participated in Literacy is Liberation at Father Keith B. Kenny charter school with the other sorority organizations in March 2006, and held its first Summit VI workshop in Del Paso Heights in May, 2006 focusing on practicing healthy lifestyles in the African American community.

From the Membership committee’s vision, the chapter culminated the sorority year with a “sisterhood” DVD of all of our activities of the year and presented them as gifts at the chapter’s first “End of the Year Banquet.” The purpose of this banquet was to recognize members for their outstanding hard work during the year with “Soror of the Year” award being the highest honor.

From the 48th National Convention in Philadelphia, PA in August 2006 the chapter brought home three awards! The Sacramento Alumnae won first place in the National Website Competition, first place National Step Show Competition and first place for best newsletter in the Farwest Region.

For the 2006-07 sorority year, the chapter is focusing on reclamation and retention by leadership of the Membership committee, International Awareness with educating sorors about third world countries, and implementing our 23rd National President's mandate for economic empowerment with our new Financial Fortitude program.

The Arts and Letters Commission sponsored two events, A Spoken Word in February 2007 and A Night of the Arts in June 2007.

The Social Action committee conducted its first successful Public Town Hall Meeting as part of Delta Days at the State Capitol on April 29, 2007. The topic of discussion was “The State of Black Women in California”.

The Summit VI committee held its second healthy lifestyles workshop entitled “Delta Fitness Day” which was an opportunity for participants to learn about nutrition, healthy eating habits, and spiritual fitness as well as take part in a 15 min kickboxing session.

The Computer Project Management team continued to keep us in the forefront of technology in May 2007 giving committee chairs the capability to place their committee reports on the Members Only Section of the website for sorors to download before chapter meetings.

Lastly, to culminate all of Sacramento Alumnae’s rich and diverse history the Heritage and Archives committee created a DVD on the history of the chapter from 1951 to the present. For the 2007-2009 terms, Sacramento Alumnae will continue to grow and work hard, while still remaining focused on our sorority’s Five-point program thrust and the founding principles.