Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has donated $1 million to Howard University, the institution where it was founded 100 years ago.The money will be used for a Founder’s endowed scholarship, in addition to helping preserve the extensive collection of sorority documents kept on a database at Moorland-Spingarn Research Center on Howard’s campus, according to a news release from the organization (www.butler.edu).
The sorority also donated a digitized version of the organization’s magazine, the Ivy Leaf. The digital edition contains issues dating back to 1921 all the way to the present. The sorority was founded on Howard University’s campus on Jan. 15, 1908, and was legally incorporated in 1913.
Debbie Origho, a member of Howard’s Alpha Chapter, said the donation made her feel “very proud … because this is exactly what Alpha Kappa Alpha stands for. And since we were founded at Howard University, what better place to continue our charitable efforts than at The Mecca, at our home.”
The $1 million contribution is said to be only the first installment of an even bigger gift to come at the end of the year, according to the release.
The donation comes during the celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary. if we were allowed the opportunity to maybe help direct the spending just because we have first hand experience both being Howard students as well as being ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha, so … I am very, very proud and excited for what Howard is going to do, but I would hope that they may seek our advice possibly on what it could be used for.”
Shekha Arrington, another member of the organization’s Alpha Chapter, called the donation “very monumental.” She added, I am very, very proud and excited for what Howard is going to, but I would hope that they may seek our advice possibly on what it could be used for.”
On Jan. 15, more than 1,500 women of Alpha Kappa Alpha came from all over the world to meet at the birthplace of their sorority, celebrating their 100th year. The sojourn was taken to reconnect with their roots and to pay respects to their ancestors.
A service at the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel followed the expedition around campus. Barbara A. McKinzie, the sorority’s International President, told the audience, “If we don’t preserve our heritage, no one else will. In the interest of safeguarding our legacy, we’re more than happy to give $1 million this day.”
According to the organization’s press release, it has grown from nine founding women on one campus to 200,000 members in 975 chapters.