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CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIION Founders Day Weekend The Howard Walk By Daphne Monix Higins and Bernadine Wiliams Stallings Two hundred fifty-six acres of land nestled in the northwest area of Washington, D.C. is a considerable amount of ground to canvass in one day. For the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. it was not an obstacle, but an opportunity to walk the campus of Howard University—the birthplace of the organization—during the Sorority’s Centennial Celebration Weekend Jan. 11. Members were invited to begin their day at the opening session of the Centennial Founders Day Weekend in the John H. Burr Gymnasium. Sorors were greeted by Howard University president, Dr. Sidney A. Ribeau and Alpha Chapter president Soror Erin Keith. Deltas for Howard, a group of members employed at the university and/or are alumnae, presented the university president with $50,000–$25,000 for scholarships and $25,000 for the renovation of Rankin Chapel. Members were also greeted by the 22nd National President and Centennial Celebration Members gather at Howard University during Founders Day Weekend. chair, Rev. Gwendolyn Boyd and National President Cynthia Butler- McIntyre. “We are here today at the very foundation of our purpose,” said Soror Butler-McIntyre in her remarks. “Our presence here today continues a legacy that will carry the name, the mission, and purpose of Delta Sigma Theta into the next bicentennial.” Immediately following the opening session, members dispersed onto the campus to walk the paths of Delta’s Founders. They visited the buildings where the Founders studied, were nurtured, and set in motion a movement that would change a culture. In honor of the 22 founding members of the sisterhood, members participated s26 DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. in the Sorority’s IMPACT Day – community service projects performed simultaneously at 22 designated locations around Howard University’s campus. Others gathered by the hundreds to tour and embrace the surroundings of the historic university. Some of the sites visited included the Armour J. Blackburn University Center, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, the Howard University Gallery of Art, LuLu Vere Childers Hall, the Founders Library, the Andrew Carnegie Building, Oliver Otis Howard Hall, and Fortitude. Soror Nita Gilbert of the Houston Alumnae Chapter found herself in awe of the events of the day. "When I was able to walk onto the campus and breathe the air, knowing this is where our 22 Founders walked, I was just so impressed," said Gilbert. Also, she found herself captivated by Fortitude, the sculpture commissioned by the Sorority in 1979 under the leadership of 16th National President Dr. Thelma Daley as a symbol of strength and hope. Soror Vickie Byrd of Houston Alumnae Chapter relished in the opportunity to review Delta’s history. "We toured the entire Heritage and Archives museum (Founders Library) which was fabulous.  That committee did a wonderful job," said Byrd. Soror Butler-McIntyre reminded those gathered of the definition of Fortitude, commenting that “Delta’s Founders had a vision 100 years ago and because of their strength and determination, Delta Sigma Theta has transformed into a Sorority of great women that has accomplished a lot, but still has greater work to do.” “I was mesmerized by the words of our National President, the singing of the “Sweetheart Song,” and being on one accord with those around me. It felt as if the Founders were in our presence and approved of DST’s progress over this past century. It was a very humbling and emotional day,” said Regina Kuykendoll Cash of the Memphis Alumnae Chapter. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER continued on page 71


SummerJournal2013
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