Deltas | History

Our Chapter's Story

Delta Sigma Theta Chapter Photo

The Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter, (GRAC) Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was conceptualized in the summer of 1968. Several potential charter members met on a regular basis in the summer and fall of 1968, with the dream of initiating a local graduate chapter. Finally, after several months of meetings, the dream was realized. On November 17, 1968, members of Delta Sigma Theta held their charter installation ceremony. The ceremony was performed by our 18th National President, Hortense G. Canady. At the time, Mrs. Hortense Canady was the Midwest Regional Director. She and other members of the Lansing Alumnae Chapter and members of Detroit Alumnae Chapter attended the installation ceremony. The charter ceremony was followed by a buffet dinner at the Charcoal Room at the Pantlind Hotel, now the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

In November of 1993, the GRAC celebrated its twenty-five year Silver Anniversary. This celebration was again held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Past National President Hortense G. Canady was the featured speaker and leader of the procession. Almost all the living charter members and the Regional Director, Sharon Chapman, were present for this exciting and memorable occasion.

There were thirteen local Deltas that chartered the GRAC. Local chartering officers were: President Marilyn Eaddy (deceased), Vice President Betty B. Burton, Recording Secretary, Dr. Patricia Pulliam, Corresponding Secretary, Tempy Hoskins, and Treasurer, Jennie Baker. Additional chartering members included Diane Garnett, Mildred Griffen, Jana Jackson, Helen Johnson, Callie Plummer, Ruth Scott, Yvonne Sims and Bernice Whitley.

Then as is true now, the GRAC was dedicated to the Five Point Programmatic Thrust. The GRAC has many public service projects that incorporated the Five Point Programmatic Thrust: Academic Pentathlons, Advising Collegiate Chapters, African American Male Forum, the Lambda Pi, Sigma Beta and Tau Psi Chapters, Christmas Toy donations, Cotillion-Beautillion scholarships, Delta Days in the Nation's and State Capitals, The Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy, Delteens- now known as Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully), the Field to Factory Traveling Exhibit, Health Fairs, HIV/AIDS Speakers Bureau, Habitat for Humanity, Jabberwock, Jazz Brunch scholarships, Teen Mom Mentoring, Thanksgiving Basket donations, and Women's History and Legacy celebrations (We Keep Coming).

Over the years, the GRAC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has received many awards: the Chapter Legacy of Sisterhood Award for the State of Michigan in 2006, the Regional Social Action Award in 2005, the Chapter of the Year Award for the State of Michigan in 2004, the United Way Healthy Kent Award in 2002, the Ta-Wa-Si Community Service Award in 1998, the J.C. Penny Golden Rule Award in 1996, the National Delta Sigma Theta Outstanding Program Award in 1996, the Giant's Award in 1993. In addition to the local and national awards, the GRAC has written grants and received monies from those efforts. The funding sources include: The Frey Foundation, The Grand Rapids Foundation, The Kent County Health Department, the Michigan Arts Council, the Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., the Nokomis Foundation, and the Steelcase Foundation.

The history of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is rich in tradition and community involvement. The GRAC has always echoed these high standards. It is further hoped that the GRAC of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will far surpass the ideals and dreams of the local charter members and the founders, who founded the first chapter in 1913 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. since our organization was established, we have endeavored to provide help where the need is greatest.

Our team is made up entirely of volunteers. We advocate for those who need our help. Even a little help goes a long way.

That is why we are especially happy to find new volunteers who share our commitment to doing good in the world. Do you want to support us by helping with our work? Then do not hesitate to contact us. A helping hand is always greatly appreciated!