Auburn AKAs maintain dream of founders
Members of the local Nu Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. recently hosted a dinner program to mark the national sorority’s 102nd year.
Founded in 1908, the first Greek-lettered sorority established by African-American women has more than 250,000 members across the U.S. and other countries.
Fourteen of them are members of Nu Xi, the collegiate chapter on the campus of Auburn Montgomery. Nu Xi is among 900 Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters that recently conducted observances honoring the nine women who founded the national organization and who set the tone for a legacy of sustained sisterhood and service.
Carrying on the dream
The Nu Xi chapter was established in 1980, when 18 determined young ladies formed the first African American Greek organization on their university’s campus, and dared to carry on the founders’ dream of service. This year’s Founders’ Day Dinner was more significant as it also marked the beginning of the chapter’s 30th year of service to the community.
Friday’s celebration included representatives of other area Greek organizations as special guests. Nu Xi chapter adviser Sandra Washington was joined by fellow members of the local Beta Nu Omega graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, including its president, Alonzetta Landrum Sims, Johnnie Nelson, Sylvia Thompson, Sharon Hardy and Beverly Johnson.
Several AUM students and members of the general public also were among those in attendance, as well as representatives of other organizations.
Among them were Melvin Bridges and Tre Paul of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Travis Thomas and Eldexter Truss of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and Brittany Barnett and Akilah Alleyne of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
All were welcomed in the multipurpose room at the Taylor Center on AUM’s campus, which was decorated with elements emphasizing the sorority’s colors of salmon pink and apple green. Floral arrangements around the room complemented the color scheme and the glow of floating candles was reflected on mirrored squares at the dining tables, which were covered with white cloths and alternating pink and green runners.
Amid the ambiance, those supporting the Founders’ Day celebration enjoyed a dinner of baked chicken, fried chicken, green beans, rice pilaf and garden salads. A cake bearing the images of the sorority’s nine founders was displayed during the evening as the special dessert for the occasion.
A legacy of service
Beta Nu Omega chapter member Katie Bell was the dinner’s guest speaker. Recognized as a Golden Soror by the national organization for her more than 55 years of membership and service, Bell reflected on the sorority’s legacy of service and sisterhood, and encouraged attendees to be productive global citizens.
Doing their part, the Nu Xi chapter members have engaged in service projects that include visiting local nursing homes with gift baskets, participating in various walks in the community, collecting clothing and cell phones for battered women supported by A Call for Hope and Change, contributing Christmas gifts for the children assisted by Aid to Inmate Mothers, and partnering with the Beta Nu Omega chapter on various community projects.
Among the Nu Xi chapter members who planned the Founders’ Day Dinner were Ashley Wright, Memendra Paige, Erica Flowers, Kendra Finley, Jennifer West, Destini Williams and the chapter’s president, Candace Cleveland.
Cleveland welcomed all to the Founders’ Day Dinner, including her fellow sorority sisters Shenealya McCurdy, Annice Jessie, Brittany Lee, Edrea Danielly, Caprice Coleman, Porche Marshall and Whitney Tuck.
Recent AUM graduates Pamela McDade and Michele Gibson were among the former Nu Xi members in attendance as were Kalandra Haynes, Patrice Carter Kelly, Autumn Wilson, Calandra Crenshaw, Schronna Brown, Tomikee Nickerson, Tasondria Tarea Thomason, Fidelia Coleman, Kimberlee Money, Aaliyah Muhammad and Danielle George.
Valarie Samuels and Lakecia Harris, who work on the AUM campus, were among those who listened as Kendra Finley and Ashley Wright reflected on the national sorority’s history and lit candles in memory of its nine founders.