National History

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.

Founded on January 13, 1913, by twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University, the Sorority is currently a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately Black college educated women.

This includes 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, Canada, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Republic of Korea.

The major programs of the sorority are based upon the organization’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust:

  • Economic Development
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Educational Development
  • Political Awareness and Involvement
  • International Awareness and Involvement

For more information, visit our national website at

Visit the Midwest Region’s website at

Chapter History

Date of Establishment: May 13, 1939

Type of Chapter: Graduate

Region: Midwest

In 1924, Tau Chapter of Detroit, Michigan was first chartered. Its membership was comprised of undergraduate students of the University of Detroit and Wayne State University, as well as alumnae members who met Grand Chapter requirements. The task of establishing the chapter was given to Lillian Woodyard Brown, formerly of Alpha Chapter at Howard University; Prudence Beasley Perry; and Sara Pelham Speaks of Nu Chapter, who were to make a close inspection of Tau’s prospective membership.

In 1939, graduate sorors of Tau who met the requirements set forth by Grand Chapter formed a graduate chapter in Detroit, Michigan. This newly formed chapter was named Alpha Pi Sigma. Members of Tau Chapter, prior to the establishment of Alpha Pi Sigma, are either listed under charter members of Alpha Pi Sigma or under the 1939 reissue of Tau Chapter’s charter. The new charter made Tau Chapter exclusively an undergraduate chapter.

In 1958, Grand Chapter decided that all graduate chapters were to be identified according to the geographical area. Initial graduate chapters were to be identified by the name of the city and state in which they were located. Because of this decision, Alpha Pi Sigma became the Detroit Alumnae Chapter in 1958.

Charter Members

Loretta McKee (Briscoe)*

Lucy B. Morris*

Sue Morton*

Elizabeth Morton*

Wilamette Mosby*

Frances Owens*

Ernestine Postles

Esther Randall (LaMarr)*

Ruth Routt (King)*

Louise Sims*

Margret Smith

Zelma Sykes (Sparks)*

Marion Taylor

Helen Thomas*

Mamie Alexander*

Gladys Barthwell*

Marquerite M. Bleach

Eleanor Boykin (Jones)*

Marion Carter*

Ethel Childs (Baker)*

Phyllis Colden*

Elizabeth Cole*

Irene Duncan Wise

Hortense Fears*

Maxine Fears (Worsham)*

Bertha Lantoin*

Victoria McCall (Davenport)*

Ruby McLendon (Wills)*

Edith Watson (Bland)*