Kappa Eta Omega Chapter History
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated extended its legacy of service to mankind in the South Georgia/North Florida region in the early 1970s. Alpha Kappa Alpha women in the Valdosta/ Quitman, Georgia area discussed the prospects of a chapter whenever they encountered one another. As interest mounted, Soror Patricia Rayford took the first step toward organizing a chapter and wrote to the National Office on January 15, 1972. On February 1, 1972, Soror Patricia Rayford received a reply from Soror Carey Preston, Executive Secretary, who also sent a copy of her letter to the Regional Director, Soror Homie Regulus. Soror Regulus responded to Soror Patricia and agreed to come to Valdosta to discuss establishing a chapter. Realizing that a unified effort would be needed from area sorors to ensure success, chapter discussion sessions were held in Valdosta, Georgia and Jasper, Florida beginning in the spring of 1972. The attendees included Sorors LaVerne Shiver, Patricia Rayford, Ruby Pompey, Betty Williams, Beatrice King, Alpha Gilmore, and Gene Chandler. Sorors Patricia Rayford and Betty Williams traveled to Quitman, Georgia to locate other sorors. Contacts were also made with Alpha Kappa Alpha women in Morven and Adel, Georgia. The sorors responded enthusiastically and plans were made to invite the Regional Director to Valdosta.
During the summer of 1973, sorors held a luncheon meeting at the King of the Road Restaurant in Valdosta, Georgia with Soror Regulus as special guest. Soror Regulus outlined the requirements for establishing a chapter. First, the group had to organize a formal interest group of at least 15 graduate sorors who were financial with the national office. Next, the group was to complete a number of service projects. Finally, the group had to submit a written account of these service projects to the Regional Director three months before the Boule. With these directives in mind, sorors established an interest group on September 23, 1973 and shortly thereafter elected the first officers: Betty Williams, President; Gladys T. Williams, Vice President; Jacqueline Harper, Secretary; Jacquelyne Moore, Assistant Secretary; Gene Chandler, Treasurer; and Patricia Rayford, Reporter. Once the interest group was established, sorors commenced completing the required community service projects. Concerned that they would not have the required 15 members to establish a chapter, Soror Regulus advised them that they could initiate a line to make up the 15 members. Although they were fortunate enough to locate 15 sorors, a group of ivies was still established.
After the chapter was established in the community, the next task was to charter an undergraduate chapter at Valdosta State College. Chapter membership launched off under the dynamic leadership of Soror Betty Williams, Graduate Advisor and Soror Patricia Rayford, Basileus. Kappa Upsilon was chartered at Valdosta State College on May 23, 1976 with 14 members. Kappa Eta Omega Chapter has served as a positive role model to the undergraduate chapter, Kappa Upsilon, at Valdosta State University by fostering sisterly relations and furthering the legacy of service to all mankind. Since its charter was established in June 1974, Kappa Eta Omega Chapter has grown to over 100 talented Alpha Kappa Alpha women who excel as educators, business women, and community leaders.
A major initiative of the chapter has been the establishment of a foundation, laying the groundwork to secure land on which to build a facility which will not only serve our needs, but the needs of the community. Kappa Eta Omega Chapter with commitment and dedication continues to be of service to all mankind as it enters the second centennial with over 110 years of service.
Kappa Eta Omega Charter Members
The 15 charter members comprised sorors from Adel, Morven, Quitman, and Valdosta, Georgia and Jasper, Florida. The charter members are: Gene Chandler, Mary DeBerry (Gosier), Alpha Gilmore, Jacqueline Harper, Brenda Lane (Smith), Jacquelyne Moore, Joyce Person (Williams), Patricia Rayford, LaVerne Shiver (Carter), Leila Simmons, Marilyn Small, Marion Stanley, Edna Stephens, Betty Williams, and Gladys Williams (Lee).
The first members to join Kappa Eta Omega Chapter were Irene Godfrey (Miller), Frances Hall (2013), Della Lawton, Melinda McMillan, Essie Rayford, Mary Frances Roe, Rebecca Taylor (Gentry) and Brenda Willis.