Our Chapter History
In 1949, a group of enterprising, young professional women of Port Arthur, Texas, who were active in social and civic affairs in their community, met to discuss their desire to establish a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® in their hometown. Their experiences as Alpha Kappa Alpha women at their colleges had instilled in them the need to perpetuate the goals and objectives of their sorority. Members of this group, destined to become the charter members of Epsilon Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, were Jo Etta Chester, Gloria Freeman, Helen Hannah, Helen Matthews, Ann Morris, Mildred Reid
Morgan, Bobbie Wells, and Genevieve B. Yates.
Meeting almost daily, these young women secured and completed the necessary forms. They fervently set about contacting the proper authorities, securing the proper documents, paying the required fees, and making arrangements for the appointed day for the “big event”. Finally, on April 2, 1949, Ollie Brown, South Central Regional Director, met in the home of Mildred Reid Morgan to establish our chapter, Epsilon Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The ceremony was a refined and solemn affair, followed by a jubilant celebration. The newly-organized chapter presented its constitution and its slate of officers along with charter members Jo Etta Chester, Gloria Freeman, Helen Hannah, Helen Mathews, Mildred Morgan Reid, Bobbie Wells and Genevieve Yates.
As news of the chapter’s involvement in civic and social activities circulated in the community, other young women expressed their wish to join the chapter. Since 1949, forty women have been inducted into our sisterhood.
Through the years our sisterhood increased in number as members from other areas moved to Port Arthur and joined Epsilon Theta Omega Chapter.
Unfortunately, our chapter membership diminished to the point that we had too few members to continue as a chapter; therefore, the chapter disbanded. However, dedicated members Zeta Wise and Ladonna Harrison Anderson campaigned long and vigorously to encourage former members to consider forming an interest group to work toward once again chartering a chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated in our city. In the fall of 2005, interested members met, exchanged addresses and telephone numbers, and compiled a list of college graduates who had joined Alpha Kappa Alpha through undergraduate chapters.
In February 2009, they wrote Regional Director, Gwendolyn Brinkley, who sent an immediate response in which she set dates for meetings with the group. Pearls with A Purpose received directorate approval to become an interest group on February 11, 2011. Nine months later, Pearls with A Purpose received official approval to be re-chartered. On November 26, 2011, Epsilon Theta Omega was re-chartered under its original chapter name by Regional Director Gwendolyn Brinkley. Charter members of the newly re-chartered chapter are Chandra Alpough, LaDonna Anderson, Linda Batiste, Perrel Chambers, Phyllis Charles, Jo Ann Clay, Loyce
Comeaux, Araina Daniels, Gloria Dean DeBlanc, LaWanda Finney, Rita Frazier, Mary Getwood, Latania Harrison, Priscilla Jones, Freida Landry, Donna Laverne, Gloria Jean Lee, Akilah Lewis, Gina Lofton, Darla Mann, Annette Mitchell, Charles Etta Norman, Claudia Reed, Angela Vincent, Sherry Vital and Zeta Wise.
The competent leadership which we had since our inception, enabled our chapter to initiate and execute many plans which provided services for our community, especially the youth of the community. All of the presidents of Epsilon Theta Omega Chapter fervently promoted the foci of the national organization. These leaders inspired our sisterhood to provide vital activities and services that led to the City of Port Arthur’s recognition of our chapter, as one of its leading women’s organizations that worked for the good of the citizens of Port Arthur.
The mission of the Epsilon Theta Omega Chapter is to help cultivate and encourage high scholastic and
ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate
problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive
interest in college life and to be of service to all mankind as stated in the Constitution and Bylaws of
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ®
Past Chapter Presidents
Helen Hannah 1949-1950
Helen Mathews 1950-1951
Faye Wells 1951-1952
Jo Etta Chester 1952-1954
Laurabeth Hicks 1954-1956
Mattie Londow 1958-1960
Priscilla Jones 1960-1962
Laurabeth Hicks 1962-1964
Beatrice Dunbar 1964-1966
Dorothy Charles 1966-1968
Velma Jeter 1968-1970
Jamesetta Franklin 1970-1972
Priscilla Jones 1973-1974
Annette Mitchell 1975-1976
Gloria Dean DeBlanc 1976-1977
Mattie Londow 1979-1980
Emma Rose Huston 1981-1982
Linda Batiste 1983-1984
Gayle White 1985-1986
LaDonna Harrison Anderson 1987-1991
Terri Simmons 1991-1994
Zeta Wise 2011-2013
Chandra Alpough 2014-2019
Donna Laverne 2020-Present