Foreground: AKAs from Western Carolina University. Dais: Yvonne Dendy, Verita Woods, City Manager Debra Campbell, Terry Bellamy.

AKA’s Founders’ Day Celebration

Foreground: AKAs from Western Carolina University. Dais: Yvonne Dendy, Verita Woods, City Manager Debra Campbell, Terry Bellamy.

Confined to what she called ‘a small circumscribed life’ in the segregated and male-dominated milieu that characterized the early 1900s, Howard University coed Ethel Hedgeman dreamed of creating a support network for women with like minds coming together for mutual uplift, and coalescing their talents and strengths for the benefit of others.

In 1908, Ethel Hedgeman’s vision crystalized as Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), the first Negro Greek-letter sorority.

“Together with eight other coeds at the mecca for Negro education, Hedgeman crafted a design that not only fostered interaction, stimulation, and ethical growth among members, she also provided hope for the masses. From this core group at Howard, AKA has grown into a force of more than 300,000 collegiate members and alumnae.”

With these thoughts in mind, Gamma Gamma Omega Chapter of AKA celebrated its 111th Founders’ Day, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. The attendees were welcomed by Chapter President Terry Bellamy. The invocation was given by Vernell Woldu and the occasion by Mary Harmon. Kimberly Collins’s strong beautiful voice held her audience captive as she sang two selections. Brenda Wilkerson offered grace before a delicious meal.

The guest speaker, Asheville’s newly appointed City Manager Debra Campbell, shared statistics about the city’s residents and opportunities that surprised many of the attendees. She requested that members of Gamma Gamma Omega and the audience assist in addressing the various issues that are hampering African American citizens within our community.

Alberta Drane and Barbara James gave special recognition to Yvonne Dendy who was the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Mid-Atlantic Region’s first Western Carolina Cluster Coordinator. Closing remarks were offered by Cora Harper.

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