Alpha Beta Omega Chapter History
On July 23, 1927 the Alpha Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was chartered in New Orleans, Louisiana by seven visionary women. The Charter members are Susie Ione Brown, Marcella Cornella Dumas, Betty Estella Graves, Hattie Price Jones, Mary Henrietta Jones and Pearl Grigsby Richardson. Alpha Beta Omega became the 30th graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the first Black Greek Letter sorority in the State of Louisiana.
Community service has always been the heart of Alpha Beta Omega. Early chapter programs included providing scholarships to young women at Talladega College, hosting vocational guidance teas for junior high students, donating toys to African American nurseries, and participating in the Mississippi Health Project where chapter members were involved in the distribution of vaccines to prevent small pox and diphtheria to sharecroppers in the Mississippi delta.
During the 1930’s, the chapter started the May Day Court that showcased youth and raised money for scholarships. After many successful May Day Fetes, the chapter decided to develop a parade of fashions with a definite theme. The first was held April 10, 1942 and was called “Fashionetta Dream”—a name given by chapter member Louise Bouise. This most successful fundraiser has become they symbol of the National Scholarship project for Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Other successful programs that have been sponsored by the chapter include eyeglasses to Africa, Voter Registration Drives, AKA Coat Day, Health Fairs, Buckle-Up, Pink and Green legislative day at the capital and city hall, hygiene kits for the homeless, toys for children at Christmas, partnering with the Red Cross to educate the community on HIV/AIDS, Poise N’ Ivy etiquette workshop for junior high girls, and countless more. The chapter’s signature program, The Beautillion , developed in 1989 provides positive enrichment activities for young Black males who are high school seniors and culminates with their presentation to society and awarding of scholarships.
The membership of this chapter includes talented and professional women who are dedicated to carrying on the traditions, ideas, and goals established by the founders.
With more than 85 years of service, the women of Alpha Beta Omega Chapter have pooled their resources and talents to help improve the quality of life in Orleans Parish and the metropolitan New Orleans Area.