Chapter History

The Zeta Alpha Omega Chapter was chartered in Toledo, Ohio on April 25, 1952, in the home of Soror Reba Harris of 635 Moran Avenue. Soror Laura T. Lovelace was Supreme Basileus and Soror Fayette B. Norris, Great Lakes Regional Director. The First Chapter Officers were:

  • Kathryn H. Franklin | Basileus
  • Thelma Jones | Anti-Basileus
  • Delia Ray | Grammateus
  • Helen Cohen | Tamiouchos
  • Anna M. Bolden | Hodegos
  • Theodorsia Tucker | Parliamentarian
  • Ruth Ross | Ivy Leaf Reporter
  • Katie Martin | Graduate Advisor, Alpha Lambda

2012 marked the 60th anniversary of Zeta Alpha Omega. During this time, the chapter has promoted and sponsored many outstanding projects in the metropolitan Toledo area. These projects evolved from community needs as well as the national programs targets.Concerts, stage-show productions, and card party raffles were early fundraising projects. Fashion shows and AKA-Rama pageants, which featured the talents and skills of our youth, made a great impact in the community during the 1960s, when racial pride needed constant reassurance and reinforcement by black community leaders.

Area-wide community support has allowed significant contributions to sickle-cell research and development, health screening and other similar health related activities. A central-city Blood Donor Drive conducted by the Chapter in association with the American Red Cross, contributed greatly to the local blood bank at a critical time of need.

About $160,000 over the last 35 years has been contributed for local scholarships, and numerous renewable scholarships awards have been made to deserving young women. The first awardees were restricted to attending Mary Manse College and University of Toledo. However, as young people have become more diversified in vocational goals and achievements award recipients are now able to attend any accredited college or university. Soror Sandra Gross Anderson, now of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the first four-year scholarship recipient. She teaches elementary school in Philadelphia.

Zeta Alpha Omega has consistently been involved in political action. During the 1950’s the National Program focus were civil rights actions (ACHR), urban redevelopment and education. The chapter was actively involved in a community education project called, “Operation Good Conduct.” This project brought the school and an indifferent neighborhood together for the good of all concerned. Parents attended PTA meetings, student attendance increased, and school projects and activities received the desired support of the community. Zeta Alpha Omega received special commendation from a grateful school staff and administration.

The Chapter has supported local politicians through providing forums for debate, telephone and letter-writing actions and financial donations. Zeta Alpha Omega has always supported the NAACP and the UNCF. Three Life memberships and Golden Heritage memberships, and emergency funding allocated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for Several Victims of Political strife in the “sizzling hot sixties” are documentation of continued support. To date, over $25,000 has been contributed to the United Negro College Fund.

In the Arts, Zeta Alpha Omega has co-sponsored the Great King and Queens Exhibit with Anheuser-Busch three times through 1981. The Chapter continues to support local artists exhibition and festivals as part of its local and international program.

Zeta Alpha Omega has been recognized on the regional and international levels and many Sorors from the chapter have been tapped to serve in leadership roles on the regional and international level.