Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters celebrate centennial

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 in Alumni News, Campus News, and News

Alpha Kappa Alpha, KU’s first historically black sorority, held its centennial celebration earlier this month. The Delta Chapter was originally chartered Feb. 15, 1915.  Audrey Lee,  j’76, g’78, reflected on the festivities, which included events for current and alumnae members of the sorority as well as for the general public.

Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters celebrate centennial | photo courtesy of Audrey Lee | www.kualumni.org

“We came to KU. Saw a Sorority. It was the AKAs. And they looked good to me.”

Those words, sung by the sorority sisters who pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha in the 1970s, brought back memories and a lot of bonding during our sorority’s reunion Feb. 13-15 in Lawrence. Not everybody knew each other when we arrived on campus for the Centennial Celebration, but it was like Six Degrees of Alpha Kappa Alpha. We were all connected through one another. It was great.

I stepped out of my car and immediately called out someone’s name who pledged four years after me. As I walked in the door, a young sorority sister asked if I knew her mother. Of course, her mother had pledged with me. It was a time of renewing friendships and making new friends. While posting on Facebook, I got a message from a sister in Kentucky who let me know that one of the women in my picture was one of her best friends. That was amazing.

Katherine Idelburg, who pledged in 1949, was the most golden of the sisters there. It was impressive to see the women in pledged in the 1950s who came back and all still have a strong bond with one another. They told us the stories of living in the sorority house. When I pledged in 1974, we no longer had a house. Each generation had their stories to tell, and each generation had their own strolls and chants to perform.

During the weekend, we reviewed the history with the representatives from University Archives. We raised funds for the Willow Domestic Violence Center and dedicated a bench on campus. We were greeted at a gala by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. Our featured speaker was the AKA Mid-Western Regional Director Jan M. Carpenter-Baker.

It was exciting. I had a friend drive me around campus and stop so I could take pictures of Strong Hall and the Campanile. The campus has grown so much and is so beautiful—just as beautiful as my ladies of the pink and green.

—Audrey Lee
Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters celebrate centennial | Photo courtesy of Audrey Lee | www.kualumni.org
Pictured above: Members of the Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Golden Sorors and Madam Regional Director making service donations to Willow Domestic Violence Center.

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