About Delta Phi Chapter
In 1958, a number of young college women came together with the common desire to establish an organization on campus that would support the needs and concerns of Black women at a predominately white institution. As a result, a local sorority was formed calling itself Kappa Alpha Alpha. In 1961, “Those Interested in Alpha Kappa Alpha” (TIAKA) was started. The goal of both groups was to eventually affiliate with the national body of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
In 1962, TIAKA disbanded. But the interest and desire for Alpha Kappa Alpha did not diminish. In the Fall of that year, the Ivy Interest Club was started taking the colors of green and white. Club members were Sharon Battle, Sandra J. Boyd, Jackie Browning, Joyce A. Bryant, Cleo P. Ivory, Janet Keys, Molly L. Richardson, Carolyn Spicer, Barbara A. Walker and Janet West.
Members of the Club sought to find other young women on campus that shared their goal of becoming a part of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Questionnaires were distributed around campus. Plans were made for a “rush party". As a result, four new members were accepted into the club. They were Bettie Gayles, Melanie C. Hall, Marcia Lewis and Kate Pryor.
The Ivy Interest Club recognized the importance of becoming an active and visible part of the Ohio University community. In the Spring of 1963, they embarked upon “a program of service.” Working in conjunction with the Athens State Mental Health Center, members of the Club collected old jewelry, which was refurbished and made into gifts for the patients of the center.
The university’s Pan-Hellenic Association was petitioned again in the Fall of 1963 for recognition as a local sorority, but the request was denied. Club members were disheartened but not defeated. Four members went on to pledge Omicron Chapter at the University of Cincinnati. They were Melanie Bush, Sandra K. Drane, Beverly Hubbard and Yvonne L. Oxley.
In spite of the Pan-Hellenic Association’s recommendation that the Ivy Interest Club seek recognition as a “social club,” members again submitted a request, stating their desire to be recognized as a sorority with all rights and privileges and nothing less. To achieve this end, Club members met individually with University administrators and association members to plead their case. This course of action proved to be successful because, on May 12, 1964, both the Pan-Hellenic Association and the Ohio University administration granted the Ivy Interest club “sorority” status. The Ivy Interest Club was then required to change its name. The group decided to take the name of Alpha Kappa. The first officers and members of Alpha Kappa were: Barbara A. Walker, President; Melanie C. Hall, Vice-President; Romaine Bayless, Treasurer; Roberta Brown, Corresponding Secretary; Sandra J. Boyd, Parliamentarian; Schyllbea Jean Hopkins, Music Chairman; Joan Ewing, Scholarship Chairman; Molly Richardson, Dean of Pledges; and Janet West, Pat Clark and Charon Battle.
Alpha Kappa was now ready to take the final steps toward national affiliation with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The University required a two-year probationary period before a national charter could be granted to a local chapter. At the request of the Great Lakes Regional Director, Bernice I. Sumlin, this requirement was waived. With the assistance of graduate soror, Mabel Dillard, Alpha Kappa participated in numerous campus activities while at the same time promoting the bonds of sisterhood.
On October 10, 1964, the Great Lakes Regional Director came to Ohio University and pledged the following women into the Ivy Leaf Pledge Club: Romaine Bayless, Sandra J. Boyd, Roberta Brown, Joyce Bryant, Pat Clark, Joan Ewing, Melanie C. Hall, Schyllbea Jean Hopkins, Sharon Battle Patterson, Molly Richardson, Barbara A. Walker and Janet West. After much preparation and hopeful anticipation, Great Lakes Regional Director, Bernice I. Sumlin, chartered Delta Phi Chapter on January 16, 1965.
From 1994 to 1999, Delta Phi Chapter was not an operational chapter on the Ohio University campus. Due to the hard work of two Alpha Sigma Omega Chapter sorors, Dr. Regina R. Randall and Julia L. Allen, the Chapter was reactivated on May 23, 1999.
Following its reactivation, Delta Phi Chapter continued to uphold the ideals of the sixteen founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the twelve charter members of Delta Phi Chapter by providing “Service to All Mankind.” Delta Phi Chapter programs have included the “Read With Me” program, “Adopt a Family” program, Sophisticated Gents Ball, AKA outreach program, Rec AKA program, volunteer work at Hickory Creek Nursing Home, visits with patients at Echoing Meadows Center, Kimes Nursing Home and other ongoing programming with the Ohio University community.
From 1999-2008, Delta Phi Chapter upheld the values and ideals of the sixteen founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the twelve charter members of Delta Phi by providing “Service to All Mankind” and programs that were both As a chapter, they maintained the highest GPA on campus.
In 2009, the privileges were withdrawn from several members of Delta Phi chapter causing the chapter to be inactive until fall of 2014 when members of the Alpha Sigma Omega Graduate Advisory Council led by Soror Valery M. Tarver, Graduate Advisor reactivated Delta Phi.
Since the fall 2014 reactivation, Delta Phi chapter members have served on the local, regional and international levels of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Their commitment to uphold the values and mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha has reigned supreme.
Delta Phi Chapter has received several local chapter awards and recognitions on the Ohio University Campus.