AKA Founders' Centennial Endowed Scholarship Fund
AKA Scholarship Background
Under the direction of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 21st International President Faye Bryant and sorority member Linda Burkley, during Alpha Kappa Alpha's Centennial in 2008, the Sorority continued its commitment to Howard University and honored the Founders by establishing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Founders Centennial Endowed Scholarship Fund, in partnership with the College of Arts & Sciences. The scholarship will support student retention, research and national or international studies. By July 2012, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Educational Advancement Fund and Howard University's College of Arts & Sciences, individual sorority members, Howard University alumni, and other supporters had donated over $250,000 to the Scholarship Fund.
Founded two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, in 1867, Howard University established a mission of “Truth and Service,” to advocate social, economic, and intellectual justice for all. In accordance with the mission of Howard University, the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) provides its students with an undergraduate education grounded in the quest for intellectual freedom, social justice, artistic expression and pursuit of knowledge to encourage development of critical and creative thinking in both the scholarly and artistic modes.
Continuing the mission and tradition of Howard, in 1908, sixteen undergraduates, committed to the university’s mission to fight for social and economic justice for all, founded the first African American Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. The sixteen students were Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Lavinia Norman, Lucy Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones Mowbray, Alice Murray, Sarah Meriweather Nutter, Joanna Berry Shields, Carrie Snowden and Harriet Terry. Founded just 43 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became a leader in fighting for civil and human rights, while serving the oppressed. After the early years of volunteering with the YWCA, NAACP and other organizations, the Sorority led an anti-lynching campaign and worked with the Mississippi Health Project. Over time, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. extended its world-wide human rights efforts through the United Nations sanctioned Non-Partisan Council. Today, the Sorority has initiatives targeting global poverty, education, economic security, health disparities, environmental stewardship, youth empowerment, and leadership training. More than 260,000 members have been initiated. Through its approximately 968 chapters and general membership, the organization's mission continues to advance.