In a room filled with black and white photos and newspaper clippings, local chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, one of the largest African-American women’s organizations in the country, celebrated its 100th anniversary Saturday at the Bell County Museum in Belton.
The photos and clippings were part of an exhibit called “A Day at the Museum” that gave guests the opportunity to step back in time and view the history of local chapters.
The sorority, founded in 1913 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., has more than 250,000 members in 900 chapters around the world.
The Temple Alumnae Chapter was chartered in 1945 and the Killeen Alumnae Chapter in 1974.
“This is an opportunity to share some of the joy and excitement of the national centennial with our local groups,” said LaQuita Clark, president of the Killeen alumnae chapter. “I’m just embracing this moment with my sisters and the community that has served us for all these years.”
Ethel Flowers, president of the Temple alumnae chapter, echoed Clark’s feelings about the celebration.
“I am thrilled that we have this day to celebrate and commemorate the centennial together,” she said.
Along with several of the sorority’s regional coordinators, state and local city officials also were in attendance.
“I’m so pleased to be here among these wonderful women,” said Elizabeth Blackstone, Killeen city councilwoman. “Killeen is so proud to have such a great organization like Delta Theta Sigma with us.”
Both the Killeen and Temple chapters are involved in community service activities, such as senior citizen outreach, scholarship programs and voter registration drives.
A photo displayed at the exhibit showed a smiling group of Temple members at a shoe donation drive in Belize, while another pictured the group delivering Christmas baskets to a nursing home.
Delta Sigma Theta members expressed pride in the good works of the organization.
“We make a mark in our communities that cannot be erased,” Killeen member Anita Corbin said.
“I joined Delta because it’s an organization that was founded on Christian principles and one that’s committed to serving the community,” Temple member Cassandra Carwise said.
Besides helping the community, the sorority also has a positive impact on the lives of its members, Clark said.
“For me, with my husband being in the military, we moved around a lot,” Clark said. “But wherever we went, I had (sorority) sisters ready to embrace me. This was a great advantage for me; they brought me into their community.”