Gamma Alpha Omega History

 

Gamma Alpha Omega Chapter was chartered March 4, 1939, thereby bringing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to Jackson, Tennessee.  The chartering was unique in that at the same time of its chartering the undergraduate chapter, Beta Chi at Lane College was also chartered.  These charterings were due to the interest of four Alpha Kappa Alpha Women:  Evelyn Caruthers, Annie Mai Miller, Carrie Pembroke and Nelda Williams.  These four members were joined by five other women:  Alice Brown, Georgia Hightower, Georgia Valarie Johnson, Anna L. Rogers and Corrye Nichols Stephens, who became the charter members of Gamma Alpha Omega.  Portia Trenholm, Regional Director and Maude Brown, Supreme Basileus, conducted the charterings.

 

The first officers for Gamma Alpha Omega were:  Carrie Pembroke, President; Annie Mai Miller, Vice Resident; Georgia Hightower, Secretary; Nelda Williams, Correspondence Secretary; Corrye Stephens, Treasurer; and Evelyn Caruthers, Graduate Advisor to Beta Chi. 

Gamma Alpha Omega grew rapidly because the community was eagerly awaiting activities which fostered constructive and personal relationships.  The chapter sought to culturally enrich the Jackson community.  In the earlier years noted artists such as Etta Moten and the Fisk Jubilee Singers were brought to the city. Fashionetta was introduced in 1951 using guest models from Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago and local models including sorors, their husbands and children. In 1964, the chapter presented the first Cinderella Cotillion.  This project was designed too help girls ages 12-15 to develop and appreciate aesthetic values, and to culturally enrich their lives. On December 2, 1978,  the first Miss Vogue/Mr. Esquire Pageant was sponsored by the chapter.  The pageant served as a culmination of a series of activities designed to broaden the cultural and social awareness of each participant. In February 1995, the “Most Precious Pearl” Award was begun by the chapter.  This award is given to the sorority member for her outstanding service to the community and the sorority.  This award is the highest award bestowed upon a member within Gamma Alpha Omega Chapter. On June 19, 1995, the first Hall of Fame Program was held to honor deserving individuals for their contributions in four areas-community service, education, fine arts and political action. 

Through its history, Gamma Alpha Omega has generously given of its resources to the community from providing milk to elementary school children to towels, wash cloths and other personal hygiene items at a local convalescent home.  The chapter continues to address our national targets and gives service to all mankind.

Former Chapter Presidents

Carrie Pembroke Biggers1939

Annie Mai Miller 1942-1943

Alice Brown Cunningham 1946-1947

Nelda F. Williams 1962-1963

Mabel Andrews 1964-1965

Rosetta S. McKissack 1968-1969

Annie Mai Miller 1972-1973

Mary F. Stone 1973-1974

Ruth Brantley 1975-1976

Loretta K. Jones 1976-1977

Maxine Stewart 1978-1980

Wilma Welch 1981-1982

Bobbie Pettis 1983-1984

Maggie Massey 1984-1985

Linda Pride 1986-1987

Farrar Apple 1988-1989

Bernice Lucas 1990-1993

Loretta K. Jones 1994-1995

Sallie Werthing 1996-1997

Rosa Earl 1998-1999

Vicki Burton 2000-2001

Mary Platt 2002-2003

Burnetta Pearson 2004-2007

Margaret Rogers 2008-2009

Joyce A. Peoples 2010-2011

Avis Baxter 2012-2013

Kimberly Rice Hicks 2014-2015

Tracy Perkins 2016-2019

Machelle Banks 2020-2021

Kimberly Jones 2022-present