The Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated sorority is an alumni chapter serving Champaign, Danville, Savoy and Rantoul. Alpha Kappa Alpha has a rich heritage, strong sisterhood, and programs that are rooted in service.
April 9, 1949, was a vintage year for it not only gave Champaign-Urbana the Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter, but it gave the community thirteen dynamic women. They were determined in perpetuating the idea of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, "Supreme in Service to Mankind." Since that eventful day, Epsilon Epsilon Omega continued to grow. By the year 2000, its membership reached thirty sorors. The continuous turnover of graduate students at the university helps to decide the size of the chapter. The last membership intake process was in March 2008. Nine women were initiated during that intake. Due to graduations and transfers, the Chapter remains a small chapter of fewer than twenty-five members.
The charter member of Epsilon Epsilon Omega were: Erma Bridgewater, Louise Brown, Bernice Brightwell, Annetta Parmer Chavis, Marian Davis, Helen Hite, Lizzie Johnson, Marguerite Chism Johnson, Carrie Alice Pope, Marie Mack Rivers, Clara Smith, Mary Grace Thomas, and Mary Varnado Walden.
The chapter has maintained its effectiveness due to the belief that programs should be geared to meet the needs of the community, while at the same time, compatible with the sorority's international programs. In the early days of Epsilon Epsilon Omega's inception, chapter members met in each others home and at Gamma House to conduct business of the sorority and to plan activities that accomplish the chapter programs. Executive meetings were conducted at the Douglass Library, University of Illinois, and the Don Moyers' Boys and Girls Club. Currently, with the addition of several members who reside in Danville Illinois, the chapter alternates meetings between Danville and Champaign.
Through the years, the Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter has tried to maintain her presence in the community; sponsoring some activities and supporting others. The chapter has historically participated in community service and fundraising activities. Listed below are some of the contributions and activities of Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter.
THE SALAD BOWL: The Salad Bowl began in 1966. It was one of the chapter's smaller fundraisers. It was designed to be an annual summer community-social activity. For fifteen years, on a Sunday afternoon in July, it was held on the front lawn of Maudie Edward's home. The center table had a large AKA umbrella over it. All other tables were covered with pink tablecloths. The event was a dress up affair. Many people in the community attended and for several years, many sorority members attending summer school at the University of Illinois were guests. For this event, the chapter members made the salads. One summer, a salad cookbook was sold. In the early eighties, the Salad Bowl was moved to Douglass Community Center. The event expanded to include a fashion show. Local stores donated clothes to be modeled. The funds raised were given back to the community. The activity funded the following: items for seniors at the Douglass Center, fruit baskets for seniors, the Girls Club, NAACP and helped with the senior picnic. The Salad Bowl was discontinued in the late eighties.
SCHOLARSHIP DINNER DANCE: The major fundraiser, used to promote scholarships to area graduating African American seniors and juniors, was first held in the early sixties. In the past the chapter mad a commitment to give scholarships to at least four graduating high school young ladies each year. In more recent years, the Chapter has made a commitment to give out as many scholarships as possible.
PINK PANACHE: In the year 2000, the Chapter adopted the theme, "Pink Panache." This would be the major fundraising event each year. Pink Panache has taken many forms: dance, art auction, silent auction, and book reading/signing. This event has allowed the Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter to give more substantial and a greater number of scholarships.
HALLOWEEN FRUIT BASKETS FOR SENIORS: Baskets were initially decorated and filled with fruit to be given to seniors in the community during the Halloween celebration. The Chapter has since incorporated this event into the sorority's National Volunteer Day. In recent years, baskets have been filled and given to a local church during the Thanksgiving holiday.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL (RIF): Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter receives a grant each year to help fun the RIF program. Children's books have been distributed at the Girls' and Boys' Club, Douglass Branch Library and the Douglass Community Center. Through this program, many books have been distributed to area children and youth. Most recently RIF distributions have been at Mount Olive Baptist Church and during the C-U Day in Douglass Park.
F.A.A.C.E.S. (Focused African Americans with Class, Elegance, and Style): In the year 2001, Epsilon Epsilon Omega adopted a community program called F.A.A.C.E.S. It is a mentoring program for area high school female students. Since its inception, many African American teenage females have gone through the program and thought it was a worthwhile experience.
Epsilon Epsilon Omega has hosted two Central Regional Conferences in Champaign, Illinois, one in 1951 and again in 1985. The officers and sorority members working on the 51st Central Regional Conference under the direction of Central Regional Director, Mabel Evans Cason in 1985 were: President, Arnetta Rodger, Conference Chairmen Patricia Lewis, and Registration Chair Maudie Edwards. Epsilon Epsilon Omega co-hosted the 2001 Central Regional Conference which was held in Springfield, IL.
EPSILON EPSILON OMEGA CHAPTER BASILEI
1949-1950 Louise Brown 1980-1981 Patricia Lewis
1950-1951 Mary Grace Thomas 1982-1983 Renee Renfro
1951-1952 Margarete Johnson 1983-1984 Arnetta Rodgers
1952-1953 Helen Hite 1985-1986 Hester Suggs
1954-1957 Hester Suggs 1986-1987 Rose Adkisson
1958-1959 Bernice Pope 1988-1989 Teretha M. Johnson
1960-1961 Michelle Grant 1990-1991 Nell Taylor
1962-1963 Judy Zackrey 1992-1993 Hettie Collins
1964-1965 Jessie Donaldson 1994-1997 Hester Suggs
1965-1966 Maudie Edwards 1998 Frances Graham
1967-1968 Helen Hite 1998 Terrilyne Cole
1968-1969 Bernice Pope 1998-1999 Camille Chang-Gilmore
1970-1971 Juanita Van Dorn 1999-2001 Deanie Brown
1972-1973 Hester Suggs 2002-2003 Murial Bondurant
1973-1974 Ethel Mincey 2004 Courtney Tucker
1975-1977 Maudie Edwards 2004-2005 Rychetta Watkins
1978-1979 Karen Bagley 2005-2006 Delores Henry
2006-2009 Rhonda Williams
2010-2011 Alice Payne
2012- Present Murial Jones
Current Chapter Officers (2015)
|Vice President||JoAnn Archey|
|Corresponding Secretary||Dionne Webster|
|Financial Secretary||Tia Butler|
|Graduate Advisors||Jolynn Caroline/Kaamilyah Abdullah-Span|
Sergeant at Arms
Committee Chairs (2015)
|Founder's Day||Jolynn Caroline|
|Fundraising||Patricia Lewis / Kymberly Burkhead-Dalton|
Information from eBlackCU: http://bit.ly/JfiOW9