Houston Alumnae Chapter History
In 1924, Soror Thelma Adele Patten Law, a recent OB-GYN graduate of Howard University’s Medical School, returned to her hometown, Houston, Texas to service the needs of working class and poor African Americans who could not afford healthcare or were refused service because of racist policies of the day. Simultaneously, she remained committed to the public service ideals of our 22 illustrious Founders and recognized the value of establishing a chapter in Houston as an additional safety net to improve the quality of life in our communities. Thus, she along with six additional charter members: Johnnie Mae Newton Berry, Marie Byers Briscoe, Victoria Dezon, Frances Durden Griffin, Lucille Brown Norris and Vielle Willard created history on Thursday, January 27, 1927 by chartering Beta Beta Chapter which due to national growth became Delta Beta Sigma in 1946 and eventually becoming Houston Alumnae in 1955. Additionally, on this historic day, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority became the first Black Greek-letter organization to organize in Houston, with Dr. Law assuming the role of 1st Chapter President. Houston Alumnae Chapter has embraced this inherited rich legacy of achievement for over 94 years and remains a steadfast leader in executing positive change and addressing the social ills that continue to impact our respective communities.
Today, the chapter boasts Annual Domestic Scholarships Awards totaling $100,000 as a result of the generosity of private donations of chapter sorors (Celebrity Waiter Fundraising Initiative) as well as our successful Annual Jazz Soiree Fundraiser. Additionally, the International Awareness and Involvement Committee has launched an International Scholarship Initiative in partnership with UNICEF which will pay annual tuition, books, room and board and transportation for girls to complete a calendar year of high school in Malawi which is also funded from private donations from chapter sorors. In February 2020, the chapter realized a noteworthy historical milestone by presenting Texas Southern University with a $150,500 check from the bequest of Soror Anna Pearl Barrett to DST, establishing the Anna Pearl Barrett Memorial Endowed Scholarship. TSU’s Foundation matched the donation, creating a $301,000 endowment, one of the largest to date. The late Soror Barrett was the first exchange student from TSU to study in Spain. This endowment will financially assist students desiring to study abroad.