Quick Facts

Current National Program:

Launching New Dimensions of Service


January 15th, 1908


January 29th, 1913 

Official Motto:

By Culture and By Merit

Official Flower:

Pink Tea Rose

Official Colors:

Salmon Pink and Apple Green

Official Symbol:

Green Enameled Ivy Leaf

The Beginning of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Image result for ethel Hedgeman Lyle

Ethel Hedgeman Lyle

Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-trained women, was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 1908. Since its inception, Alpha Kappa Alpha has been a channel through which select women improve socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world. The visionary women who organized the Sorority recognized their privileged position as college-trained women of color, one generation removed from slavery. They believed that by organizing their talents and strengths, they could use community service as a means of self-fulfillment and improve the social stature of African Americans.

      The Sorority's founders and incorporators, known as the Twenty Pearls, were Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Anna Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice P. Murray, Sarah Meriwether Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden, Harriet Terry, Nellie Mae Quander Nellie Pratt Russell, Julia E. Brooks, and Minnie Smith

The Twenty Pearls and early leaders of the Sorority succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Kappa Alpha's principles of sisterhood, scholarship, and service. As the Sorority has grown, and as its function has become more complex, it has kept in balance two important themes: the importance of the individual and the strength of an organization of women of ability and courage. Today, Alpha Kappa Alphas influence extends beyond campus quads and student interest. It has a legacy of service that deepens, rather than ends, with college graduation. Over a century after its founding, Alpha Kappa Alpha has blossomed into a sisterhood comprised of more than 225,000 women in 983 chapters worldwide who believe in "Service to All Mankind."