IOTA ALPHA OMEGA CHAPTER HERSTORY

CHARTER MEMBERS

Iota Alpha Omega Chapter, of the Notable North Atlantic Region was chartered in Fishkill, New York, on December 6, 1969, becoming the sorority’s 375th chapter. The chapter began as a group of sorors seeking friendship, camaraderie and sisterhood in the spring of 1967.  Barbara P. Battle was named the first unofficial president. The group called themselves themselves ‘The Alpha Kappa Alpha Women of the Mid-Hudson Valley’. 

After a couple of years, the focus of the group changed from a social one, to one that desired full affiliation with our international office. That vision came to fruition in 1969.  The charter members include: Jacqueline Blount (Wilson), Jeanette Briscoe, Jeanne Buie (Holmes), Brenda Burney (Whitaker), Linda Epps (Browne), Patricia Davis, Kaitie Griffin (Gafford)*, Loretta Jenkins*, Vivian Love Jones, Linda Kittrell (Waldemar), Celestine Mickens (Campbell), Laura Mimms, Annette Morgan*, Lorraine Roberts* (1st official Basileus), Gwendolyn Glover Stephens and Marlene Watts (Gray).  In 2019, Iota Alpha Omega celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. During its fifty years in the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Chapter has served Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties of New York, by bringing community service programs and scholastic enrichment to the area. 

*deceased

MID-HUDSON VALLEY, NY

The Mid-Hudson Valley was home to Sophomore Founder Harriet Josephine Terry of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Born: Feb 04, 1885 · Cornwall on Hudson, NY (Mid-Hudson Valley, New York)


Died: Aug 15, 1967 · Washington, D.C., United States

On October 30, 1908, Terry was elected treasurer of the sorority.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts in May 1910, with concentrations in Latin, English, French, German, political science, pedagogy, history, and chemistry.In 1949, she established the Epsilon Gamma Omega alumnae chapter in Normal, Alabama, and led it as president. In 1959, Terry retired from teaching after having worked at Alabama A&M University for nearly 40 years.

Mid-Hudson Valley area was also home to Naomi Sewell Richardson, a member of both Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta Sororities. She was the first African-American to graduate from Washingtonville High school in New York.

She became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Howard University in 1911. Two years later in 1913, she became a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Bottom Center: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Founders Harriet Josephine Terry, Joanna Berry Shields, Margaret Flagg Holmes & Beulah Burke

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS & RECOGNITIONS

Iota Alpha Omega Chapter won the NARC Evelyn Sample Oates HOPE Award in 2011, 2016 and 2020.

•In February 2020, IAΩ was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for Exemplifying Excellence in 37 years of dedicated service to the Ivy AKAdemy program in conjunction with 4-H.

 

•Iota Alpha Omega Chapter was voted 2018 Small Chapter of the Year Award at the 2018 67th Boule. This year our goal is to "Level Up" and continue to Exemplify Excellence through Sustainable Service. 

•In 2015, Iota Alpha Omega Chapter Scholarship Fund became the Mid-Hudson Ivy Foundation, Inc. It has provided over $135,000 in scholarships to college bound high school seniors and thousands of meals to those in need.

 

Currently, Alpha Kappa Alpha International Archives Committee and IAΩ are collaborating to have a permanent marker placed in honor of Founder Harriett Josephine Terry, in Cornwall, NY, the place of her birth. A Cornwall Wall-of-Fame induction ceremony took place on October 10, 2019 at Cornwall High School.  IAΩ Chapter received a plaque honoring Founder Terry which hangs on the wall-of-fame in the Cornwall Central High School and Public library.

 

•In collaboration with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, International office, the U.S. Navy and various agencies, Iota Alpha Omega helped bring recognition to WWII hero Dorie Miller, an African-American sailor and the first hero of WWII.  Dorie Miller assisted his mortally wounded captain and opened fire with anti-aircraft guns on seven enemy aircraft while aboard the USS West Virginia on December 7, 1941. On October 11, 1991 a memorial paid for by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was placed at the Miller Park Housing entrance.

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Iota Alpha Omega

P.O. Box 1682

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

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Site last updated: January 13, 2021