International History

The History of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America’s first Greek-letter organization established by Black college women. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri. She viewed the Sorority as an instrument for enriching the social and intellectual aspects of college life by providing mental stimulation through interaction with friends and associates.

Through the years, however, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s function has become more complex. After her incorporation as a perpetual body in 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the channel through which selected college-trained women improved the socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation and the world. Alpha
Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is based on the principles of sisterhood, scholarship, and service to ALL mankind.

Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown through the years to become an international organization with a membership in excess of 200,000 women. Membership in our organization consists of women of distinction and exemplary character. These women excel in all areas of life and work closely with the community. Alpha Kappa Alpha has undergraduate and graduate chapters located in the United States, West Africa, Great Britain, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Korea and Germany. For more information on our national history, please visit