Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded January 15, 1908 at Howard University in Washington D. C. It was the first Negro sorority and also the first and only incorporated one. The sorority was incorporated on January 29, 1913. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established in America by Black college women.
The sorority is divided into nine regions: North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Southeastern, Great Lakes, Central, Mid-Western, South Central and Far West. The Mid-Atlantic Region was once a part of the South-Atlantic Region and included chapters located in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The realignment happened during the administration of National President Lovelace. The new Region, Mid-Atlantic, consists of Virginia and North Carolina. Zeta Epsilon Omega, Suffolk-Smithfield, VA was the first chapter to be chartered in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Over sixty years ago, Zeta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. had its inception. It had its distinction for being the first chapter chartered in the Mid-Atlantic Region under the leadership of Dr. Rose Butler Brown, Regional Director. A dream became a reality.
On February 14, 1954, twelve foresighted women forged the way to make it possible to charter Zeta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for the Franklin-Suffolk area.
The twelve charter members were Pauline C. Morton of Franklin, VA-Home Economics and English Teacher at Hayden High School; Dr. Ernell Harris Holland of Franklin, VA - a medical doctor; Mary Craig of Ahoskie, NC - elementary teacher; Lola Spease of Ahoskie, NC-elementary teacher; Alma Diggs of Suffolk - Librarian in the Public Schools of Suffolk; Jeanne Hoffler of Suffolk, VA - a Registered Nurse; Rose Hurst of Suffolk, VA - a teacher and administrator at Jordan Kindergarten in Suffolk; Annie Newton of Suffolk, VA - elementary teacher in Suffolk; Dorothy Rainey of Suffolk, VA - a guidance counselor in Suffolk Public Schools; Dr. Margaret Reid of Suffolk, VA - a medical doctor; Marilyn Wyatt of Courtland, VA - elementary school teacher; and Elva Goode of Courtland, VA - elementary school teacher. For sixty years, the chapter has been moving forward. Zeta Epsilon Omega has seen many changes. From this chapter, the Lambda Psi Omega Chapter was chartered in 1978 in Franklin, Virginia. Some members joined other graduate chapters and some are Ivies Beyond the Wall. The chapter has only one surviving charter member, Elva Warren Goode.
The members have helped others to capture the vision fair and their legacy lives on. The chapter will continue to move forward to greater heights.