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JOURNAL Spring 2016 s5 The Early Years of Her Career Looking back at the year of 1974 when Soror McNair joined the Na-tional Headquarters many news-mak-ing events and trends dominated the media including: the Watergate Scan-dal, Grammy Record of the Year be-ing awarded to Soror Roberta Flack for “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” and inflation spiraling out of control at 11.3 percent. Women were also en-tering the professional workforce in record numbers in the early 1970s, Soror Ella McNair waves to Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital attendees after being recognized by Dr. Paulette C. Walker, National President, Feb. 28, 2016. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER generating much support for the Equal Rights Amendment. In keeping with that trend of em-ploying more women professionals, an energetic and optimistic 25-year old college-educated woman, Soror McNair joined the evolving Nation-al Headquarters staff of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Feeling compe-tent and highly qualified with a bacca-laureate degree from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Soror McNair, a proud initiate of Alpha Mu Chap-ter (Fall ’70), was hired as a program assistant at National Headquarters. When she reported for duty at 9:00 a.m. (then the starting time) on her first day, she never imagined that she would exit the DST National Head-quarters building 41 years and nine months later ending an epic journey. “I came to Delta as a result of a conversation between Soror Glo-ria Scott then Delta National Sec-retary and one of my former pro-fessors at NCA&T and Soror Lillian Pierce Benbow 15th National Pres-ident. They were looking for some-one to lead the Delta Resource Data Bank,” Soror McNair recalled. “After being ‘volun-told’ that I would head the project, I agreed only on a tempo-rary basis. As you can see, the work of Delta never ended.” “I never really considered leaving Delta. If I did consider it, something groundbreaking and visionary would be happening in Delta at the time that would make me want to be a part of it,” said Soror McNair. And over the years, she has witnessed a great por-tion of the Sorority’s history unfold; history that she has played a major role in creating and observing. Stellar Service to Delta When Ella joined the staff on March 4, 1974, Soror Lillian Benbow, 15th National President, was at Del-ta’s helm; Soror Lynnette D. Taylor was the executive director; and So-ror Frances M. Flippen was the dep-uty director. National Programs and Projects was a combined entity re-sponsible for signature programs, in-cluding Jabberwock, Teen Lift, and the National Commission on Arts and Letters initiatives Soror McNair, a social worker at heart and by professional training, pos-sessed the propensity to manage external Delta af-fairs. In true social work-er mode, she approached her responsibilities to im-plement the Sorority’s core programs with the in-tent of alleviating the con-ditions of those in need or helping to improve their well-being. In accomplish-ing this, she held numer-ous positions during her tenure; director and chap-ter and program support, serving as Acting Execu-tive Director (1983-1984) and again as Interim Exec-utive Director (1984-1985). Despite her many re-sponsibilities and work de-mands as a Headquarters staff member, Ella found time to earn a law degree from Amer-ican University’s Washington College of Law in 1989 – all the while con-tinuing to exceed expectations in her work performance and overcome any challenges presented to her. Ella was recognized throughout her ca-reer for her hard work and dedicated service. At the 49th National Conven-tion in 2008, she received special rec-ognition and was presented a mone-tary gift in appreciation and love on behalf of Grand Chapter. Her professional service to the Sorority has been instrumental in


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