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Dr. Yvonne Kennedy 19TH NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. The Lady, the Life and the Legacy From a modest white house on s Glennon Avenue in Mobile, Ala. came a legendary leader of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The news of the passing of our beloved 19th National President, Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, sent shock waves through the city of Mobile, the State of Alabama and the Delta family around the world Dec. 8, 2012. Dr. Kennedy was a civic stalwart and family rock, who embraced her gifts from God with an anointed passion for service, a mission to empower and a love of learning. Her legacy was nurtured and celebrated by the love of many; however, it was the unconditional love between Dr. Kennedy and her family, which she often credited as the “wind beneath my wings.” "In Soror Kennedy we have lost a Delta jewel. We have lost a strong and courageous leader, a visionary who led beyond the horizon,” said National President Cynthia M. A. Butler McIntyre. “In 1988, the theme of her presidency was, ‘Pass the Delta Torch: Ignite a New Vision.’ Here we are 25 years later passing the torch for our Centennial Celebration. Delta is a major beneficiary of Dr. Kennedy's leadership and so am I. She made a great Sorority greater. With her guidance and wise counsel, she made me a better leader." Dr. Kennedy served our sisterhood with honor and distinction leading with heart, intellect, compassion and genuineness from 1988-1992. During her presidency, she was considered an elegant warrior who was determined to make “every Delta welcomed in the Delta House” not just by words, but by deeds. This unyielding commitment to her Delta family was an authentic extension of how Dr. Kennedy treasured her family. Delta national conventions were like family reunions for the Kennedys. Dr. Kennedy’s family was the tangible representation of her legacy in Delta and in life. She inspired and pinned 15 Deltas in her family including a great niece initiated during Delta’s centennial year. “I am excited to be the newest Kennedy legacy,” said Qadera Kennedy Malveaux, initiated March 24, 2013, at Alpha Mu, North Carolina A&T University. “Although I am saddened that my aunt was not physically present to welcome me into the sisterhood, I am comforted, in the words of Dr. Paulette Walker, national first vice president, that I was ‘pinned by an angel.’ She left me a great legacy. I feel it is my duty to keep it alive and make her proud.” As president, Dr. Kennedy also had a special opportunity to pin one niece, Sheryl, and a sister-in-law, Jean, who is Sheryl’s mother. “I remember being able to feel her presence as I walked in the room for my initiation,” said Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, of New Orleans Alumnae Chapter, who was pinned by Dr. Kennedy on Nov. 19, 1988 at Sigma Chapter, Clark Atlanta University. “It was the most soothing and exciting moment for me, but that was one of many unique qualities about Yvonne. She had a way of comforting and stirring things up for the better when she walked through the door. She was just that dynamic.” As an eloquent orator, Dr. Kennedy often coined her own words and phrases such as “historicity,” “communiversity” and “the correctness of it all” which became new vernacular for many Delta and family conversations. However, as a scholar, Dr. Kennedy immersed herself in Shakespeare and other literary giants such as Tenneson, Bronte and Hemingway. Along with her Delta service, Dr. Kennedy was a champion of human rights and a well respected Alabama State Legislator for 33 years. As a young activist, she participated in the historic Selma to Montgomery March. Also, she was chair of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus. Dr. Kennedy believed that education was the great emancipator – the equalizer. She was president emeritus of Bishop State Community Col- By The Kenedy Family Dr. Yvonne Kennedy DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.


SummerJournal2013
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