Facts | Foundations | Mission | Future | Prominent Sigmas
So you want to know a little about Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. Well, you've come to the right place! Here you will find general information about our sorority.
As a leading national service organization, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. has met the challenges of the day and continues to grow through Sisterhood, Service, and Scholarship.
The founders of Sigma Gamma Rho knew what they had to do to ensure the survival of our people. They taught us that we must strive for excellence, hence not only should we serve but we should go the extra mile to provide Greater service.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded by seven prestigious school teachers that wanted to make a difference in their community. Promoting unity among women is the legacy that bonds over 72,000 Sigma women today. Seven became 72,000 because somebody cared and somebody worked, and somebody had a vision. Today, the vision has grown into a reality. And, the reality has become a way of life.
Mary Lou Gardner Little, Dororthy Whiteside, Hattie Mae Dulin Redford, Nannie Gahn Johnson, Bessie Downey Martin, Vivian Marbury, Cubena McClure
November 12, 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana
Royal Blue & Gold
Greater Service, Greater Progress
Yellow Tea Rose
French Toy Poodle
The Legacy Begins...
Seven noble young women teachers of Indianapolis, Indiana, had a dream of a legacy for greater service and achievement through higher education. These women -- Mary Lou Allison, Bessie M. Downey, Hattie M. Dulin, Nannie Mae Gahn, Dorothy Hanley, Cubena McClure, and Vivian White - dared to dream of such a legacy because they were dedicated to the boys and girls for whom they sought to provide richness in life. To attain this, they felt deeply that certain definite needs must be met -- higher education, living by the highest ethical standards and rendering unselfish service to make a better society.
Sharing the Dream...
November 12, 1922 launched a great movement for thinking, planning, and growing. From that day, the birthday of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, sorors thought together, planned together, and reach decisions together that they might render the highest possible service to young people.
The first three years were formative years. Alpha Chapter, the first chapter which included the seven founders, had the responsibility of carefully planning an organization that would enjoy a long life. Countless hours were spent in clarifying points of view, charting means for creating a sisterhood of unity and concern.
Making the Dream a Reality...
At the crossroads of time, the women of Sigma Gamma Rho recognized that a change would be in the wind, and to avoid being tossed about aimlessly by the winds of change, sorors of Sigma Gamma Rho were poised for progress and focused on service.
Sigma Gamma Rho left a blazing trail of community service during its history that dated back to 1922 when the organization sank its roots on the campus of Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) under the tenacious leadership of Mary Lou Allison. Service and progress have always been hallmarks of the Sorority, and the future of the Sisterhood will continue to be anchored on that platform of service and progress which was laid in 1922.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority's aim is to enhance the quality of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and education of youth are the hallmark of the organizations's programs and activities. Sigma Gamma Rho addresses concerns that impact society educationally, civically, and economically.
From seven young teachers, 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 (the official publication of the sorority) 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'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 future of Sigma Gamma Rho lies in the hands of it members. Sigma Gamma Rho aims to achieve great heights in excellence and serve its community as well. Currently, the women of Sigma Gamma Rho participate in various national projects; those being:
Operation Big Book Bag
This project is the sorority's newest community service venture and was set up in conjunction with the Ancient Egyption Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Inc. It was developed in 1996 by Past Grand Basileus Dr. LaRona Morris. With this project, members of Sigma Gamma Rho work to get supplies to needy school children.
Mwanamugimu Essay Contest
Increasing the knowledge of young people about the historical and contemporary development of African nations, is the primary goal of this project. The secondary goal of the program seeks to improve the writing and research skills of students. The Mwanamugimu (pronounced wan-nah-moo-gee-moo) project allows local chapters to sponsor essay contest where students are awarded annually.
75% of the food produced in Africa are grown with the aid of African women. These women spend countless hours bending over to pick grain and manually grind them day in and day out. With the help of Sigma Gamma Rho, in conjunction with Africare, African women are put at ease while aiding in the production of the food supply. The cooperative efforts, through this project, is to provide funds to purchase diesel-powered and hand-operated grain grinders and other agricultural assistance that enable women of Zimbabwe, the major food providers, to significantly reduce the time and labor needed to process grain.
Responding to the concerns of the high-risk health problems of teen-age pregnancies is the goal of this project. Through Project Reassurance, Sigma Gamma Rho and the National Foundation/March of Dimes help young mothers by assisting them in planning for family living; acquainting them with community health and social resources; and by providing them with guidance in adjusting to parenthood.
The importance of financial stability is increasing with the times. With economics the way they are today, more African Americans need to dedicate themselves to investing in their future. As more people become aware of the obsoletion of social security, we must learn to fend for ourselves. Sigma Gamma Rho has dedicated itself to focusing on expanding the knowledge of young people about effectively managing personal finances and making wise investment decisions.
...Sigma Gamma Rho's goal is to continue to uplift the community through its projects and create new ideas to continue to motivate people throughout the world. Ideally, our future will remain bright, allowing the members of Sigma Gamma Rho and those affected by us, to benefit greatly through Sisterhood, Scholarship, & Greater Service.