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Chapter History

The History of The Roanoke Alumnae Chapter

The Roanoke Alumnae Chapter, formerly known as Alpha Mu Sigma, was officially organized in May 1939. During this time, Elsie Austin was National President and Reba Bowens was the Regional Director. A list of our charter members appears to the left. Clara Elizabeth Howard, our last surviving charter member passed away on June 26, 2014.


Since its charter, the chapter has initiated numerous projects and worked tirelessly in the promotion of public service in the largest city, west of Richmond, in Virginia. The chapter was instrumental in the formation of the first black girl scout troop and was a regular contributor to projects in support of Burrell Memorial Hospital--the major healthcare facility for African Americans in the region (prior to integration). 


The chapter has long been a "partner" in educational initiatives involving local school systems, especially the Roanoke City school system. Aside from playing vital administrative roles in public education, our membership also is regarded as one of the school system's strongest.

The chapter has been a source of support to young persons seeking scholarship support. In recent years, we are proud to acknowledge total scholarship awards exceeding $10,000. Whenever feasible, the chapter attempts to acknowledge the efforts of the young people who have participated in DST enrichment programs through scholarship awards. 

Jabberwock, an annual tradition of many Delta Sigma Theta chapters, is one of the Roanoke community's renowned and treasured performing arts showcases for youth of all ages including our "Jabberwock Kids" segment. The Jabberwock is the major fundraiser for the annual scholarship program.  

Our educational programs, delivered in partnership with local school systems, include the Delta Academy, EMBODI, Precious Pearls, and Delta GEMS. Our membership of women collectively and individually supports at least a dozen schools in Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Bedford, Franklin, and Montgomery County school systems.

With an approximate membership of 100 women annually, the Roanoke Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is believed to boast some of the most energetic and creative female public servants in the Roanoke community. We remain unwavering in declaring that we have been and will always be "a sisterhood called to serve"!

For more information on our initiatives please click on the "Programs" and "News and Events" tabs above.

Charter Members


Alva Craighead

Arthelia Cundiff

Clara Elizabeth Howard

Malena Law

Sadie Lawson

Emma Logan

Marguerite Nabors

Geneva Penn

Mary Saunders

Evelyn Skipper

Iretha Woodliff

Beatrice Woodson



Previous Chapter Presidents

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