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Sorority renews purpose at centennial event
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Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, recently elected President of Alabama State University, spoke Saturday to members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Western Cluster at a Founders Day event at the Dutch Inn in Collinsville. (Bulletin photo by Ben R. Williams)

Monday, March 24, 2014

By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer

After 101 years, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority still is going strong.

Roughly 150 alumni turned out at the Dutch Inn in Collinsville on Saturday for a Founders Day celebration of the service sorority, which historically targets programs in the African American community.

Recently elected Alabama State University President Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd was the keynote speaker and guest of honor. She also is a member of the sorority.

Mary Carrington, president of the sorority’s Martinsville/Henry County chapter, said members of the sorority’s Western Cluster came from as far as Georgia, Maryland and Delaware to hear Boyd speak.

“We have over a thousand chapters throughout the world,” Boyd said, all of which celebrate the annual Founders Day event. The sorority was formed in 1913 at Howard University.

On Founders Day, she said, “we focus again on our mission, our vision, our goals of academic excellence, service to the community, service to our young people, to the elderly ... . It is a moment of reflection. We want to leave energized.”

The key to the sorority’s success, Boyd said, is continuing its track record of community service while incorporating new methods of helping the community.

“As times change, people change and needs change,” she said. “We need to stay aware of those changes in our community and be a part of positive change in our communities.”

Boyd, who also a graduate of Alabama State University, located in Montgomery, Ala., said she joined the sorority while in college. She later served as the sorority’s 22nd national president.

“The sorority provides an immediate network for you wherever you live,” she said. “Wherever people are, Deltas are there. As our members move about in their careers, they will be able to move into a community and immediately find a network of women who are already engaged in that community in terms of service. Whatever connections you need, whatever information you need about that community, the members of the sorority are already there, ready to participate and help you get settled in and help you become an active part of that community.”

Joyce Staples of Martinsville, who co-chaired the Founder’s Day event, said that it was an honor to have Boyd address the Western Cluster.

“This is huge,” Staples said. “We are so excited to have our 22nd national president with us today. We just celebrated our centennial last year, and she was the chair of the centennial. We’re just continuing the celebration.”


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