National Sorority History
It is the mission of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service, civil, and social action. Our goal is to achieve greater progress in the areas of education, health awareness, and leadership development.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on November 12, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Dulin Redford, Bessie M. Downey Martin and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha chapter at Butler University. Soaring To Greater Heights Of Attainment Around The World, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., as a leading national service organization, has met the challenges of the day and continues to grow through Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.
From seven young educators, Sigma Gamma Rho has become an international service organization comprised of women from every profession. Sigma Gamma Rho offers its members opportunities to develop their unique talents through leadership training and involvement in sorority activities. Sorority activities provide an atmosphere where friendships and professional contacts are developed which often lead to bonds that last a lifetime. Sigma women are dedicated to helping each other and their personal success is recognized in The AURORA and through various awards.
In a time when education for African Americans was difficult to attain, the founders of Sigma Gamma Rho became educators. They believed that the self-respect, knowledge and discipline gained through study would help individuals to recognize their duty and responsibility for their society. Thus, Sigma Gamma Rho was founded on the precept of education and continues to promote and encourage high scholastic attainment. In addition to annual scholarships awarded by local alumnae chapters, in 1984 the National Education Fund was created. The Fund was designed to insure perpetual support for its commitment to education and for research in education, health and related fields. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and RE/MAX Supreme Properties, Inc. hold partnership to provide educational scholarships while promoting home ownership.
Sigma Gamma Rho's commitment to service is expressed in its slogan, "Greater Service, Greater Progress." The sorority has a proud history of offering service wherever chapters exist, including OPERATION BigBookBag, a program designed to address the needs, challenges and issues that face school-aged children who are educationally at-risk in local homeless shelters and extended care hospitals. The objective is for chapters to provide their local homeless shelters and children hospitals with educational materials, equipment and supplies. Other national projects include Wee Savers, Project Reassurance and Habitat for Humanity, Sigma Gamma Rho built seven homes across the United States in Florida, District of Columbia, Wisconsin, California, and Texas.
The service of Sigma Gamma Rho from a global perspective includes Project Africa and Project Mwanamugimu. Through active participation in programs and through networking with other organizations such as the National Council of Negro Women, Urban League and the NAACP, Sigma's legacy of service to improve the quality of life for all mankind continues.
The first three years were devoted to organizing. The first call for a national boule (convention) was held in Indianapolis, December 27-29, 1925. The second was held in Louisville, Kentucky at which time Fannie O'Bannon became the Grand Basileus.
In keeping with the ideals of Sigma Gamma Rho, the sorority has supported the following organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Council of Negro Women, National Pan Hellenic Council, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Urban League, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, National Mental Health Association, United Negro College Fund, Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Black Women's Agenda and American Association of University Women.
With over 500 chapters & 85,000+ members in the United States, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Germany and Korea, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is committed to improve the quality of life for its members and the society it serves.
Quick Sigma Facts
Established: Nov. 12, 1922 at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana
Classification: Nonprofit service and social organization
Divisions: Five Regions
Central, Northeastern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Western
Service Channel: Over 500 chapters in the U.S., Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany and Korea
Sorority Flower: The yellow tea rose.
Sorority Mascot: The Poodle.
Sorority Colors: Royal blue and gold.
National Sorority Website: http://www.sgrho1922.org
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated was founded 100 years ago on November 12, 1922 on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Through Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service, our organization works to continuously meet the demands and challenges that impact the community in order to enhance the quality of life.
We are thankful for our 7 seven founders who have paved the way for us to dream today. We reflect on their vision and leadership to continue to highlight the accomplishments of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.