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SORORITY & REGION HISTORY

National History

 

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on November 12, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Dulin Redford, Bessie M. Downey Martin and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha chapter at Butler University. From seven young educators, 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 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.

Website: https://www.sgrho1922.org//

Southwestern Region History

During the 14th Boule held in New York, New York December 27-30, 1939, the Grand Chapter voted to establish the Southwestern Region of the sorority. Over the course of the subsequent months, the strategy for the region's organization was developed under the leadership of Soror Mary Scales Greenwood of the Gamma Sigma Chapter of Houston,Texas.  Soror Greenwood became the First Syntaktes of the Southwestern Region and during her tenure as Syntaktes (1940-1948) most of the region's chapters were organized.

 

The Region is now comprised of nearly 100 alumnae and undergraduate chapters and continues to provide meaningful service to the four states of its jurisdiction - Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Southwestern Region consistently executes the Sorority's essential programs, increases awareness of the organization and its purpose, promotes its national partnership and initiatives, and ensures the Sorority is at the forefront of all issues impacting its service area. 

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Greater Service. Greater Progress.

Our Mission

Our Mission

It is the mission of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service, civil, and social action. Our goal is to achieve greater progress in the areas of education, health awareness, and leadership development. Our members, affiliates, staff, and community partners work to create and support initiatives that align with our vision.

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Our Vision

We visualize a world in which all women and their families reach their full potential in all aspects of life and are able to create unlimited opportunities for future generations.

Learn more about our affiliates.

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Our Founders

MARY LOU ALLISON GARDNER LITTLE

At the young age of three, Little suffered the tragic loss of both her parents and was then raised by a family friend. She graduated from Shortridge High School in 1915 and received a diploma from the Indianapolis Normal School in 1918 when she began teaching. In 1928, Little moved to Los Angeles with her husband and finished her undergraduate training at UCLA. She taught in the Los Angeles school system until her retirement in 1967. In her honor, the Mary Lou Allison Loving Cup Award is presented at each Boule to the chapter reporting the most successful program.

VIVIAN IRENE WHITE MARBURY

Marbury attended Shortridge High School and the Indianapolis Normal School. She received a B.S. from Butler University and a Master's from Columbia University in New York City. Her professional career included teaching at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Indianapolis University, Indianapolis State University and serving as Director of Practice Training of teachers from Butler University. She served as Principal of Indianapolis Public School #87 for 39 years. She was an active member and leader in her church and several local organizations.

HATTIE MAE ANNETTE DULIN REDFORD

Redford graduated from South Bend Central High School cum laude, from Indiana State Teachers College with a B.S., and studied at Western Reserve in Cleveland and Indiana University extension. She taught one year in Terra Haute, and thirty-seven years in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was Grand Epistoleus, Grand Tamiochus, Financial Consultant and received various awards and honors for her sorority service. Plaques are awarded in Redford's name at each Boule for exhibits of chapter achievements.

BESSIE MAE DOWNEY RHOADES MARTIN

Martin was the youngest of six children and attended grade school in Indianapolis. She graduated from the Manual training High School and the City Teachers Normal School. Martin taught school for over 25 years. She married twice and was a devoted wife, educator, and engaged founder.

DOROTHY HANLEY WHITESIDE

Whiteside graduated from Shortridge High School and entered the Indianapolis Normal School in 1922. During her training as a cadet teacher, she met the teachers who became her best friends and fellow founders of the sorority. In 1951, she retired from teaching and later assisted her husband in developing a business. She also started her own millinery business and worked with her church and various organizations. After the death of her husband, she ran their business from 1955-1957; subsequently returning to teaching in 1959 before retiring again in 1970.

NANNIE MAE GAHN JOHNSON

Johnson was a product of the Indianapolis Public School System and received both B.S. and M.S. degrees from Butler University. In 1923, she received her first teaching assignment and over the years she was promoted to principal of one of the largest elementary schools in Indianapolis. She was also very involved with many clubs and organizations dedicated to community service and retired in 1966.

CUBENA McCLURE

Cubena McClure graduated from Shortridge High School, the Indianapolis City Normal School and attended Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She won the Gregg Scholarship, which she planned to use to attend Columbia University, unfortunately, illness prevented her from accepting the scholarship. McClure was talented in art and she helped to design the Sorority pin. She died very young on August 24, 1924.

KEY SORORITY FACTS

  • Established: November 12, 1922, at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Membership: 100,000+ members

  • Conference: National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC - Divine 9)

  • Division: Five Regions – Central, Northeastern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Western

  • Service Channel: Over 500 chapters in the U.S., Bahamas, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Sorority Flower: The Yellow Tea Rose

  • Sorority Mascot: The Poodle

  • Sorority Colors: Royal Blue and Gold

  • Sorority Slogan: Greater Service, Greater Progress

  • Sorority Abbreviated Title: SGRho or Sigma 

  • Sorority Call: EE-yip!

  • Sorority Magazine: The AURORA

 

Sigma Gamma Rho is the only: 

 

  • member of the NPHC which started as a professional organization

  • NPHC sorority founded at a predominately white institution

  • NPHC sorority not founded at Howard University

  • greek-letter organization founded by university graduates rather than undergraduates 

  • sorority founded at Butler University

  • sorority with a poodle as its mascot

 

From seven young educators, 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 and through various awards.

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