Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc
Phi Sigma Alumnae Chapter, Washington, DC“Greater Service, Greater Progress”



Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc was organized on November 12, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhodes Martin and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha Chapter at Butler University.

Soaring To Greater Heights of Attainment Around The World, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., as leading national service organization, has met the challenges of the day and continues to grow through Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.

Established: November 12, 1922, at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Membership: 85,000+

Division: Five Regions –
Central, Northeastern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Western.

Service Channel: Over 500 chapters in the U.S., Bahamas, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany and Korea.

Sorority Flower: The yellow tea rose.

Sorority Mascot: The Poodle.

Sorority Colors: Royal blue and gold.



Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s aim is to enhance the quality of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and education of youth are the hallmarks of the organization’s programs and activities. Sigma Gamma Rho addresses concerns that impact society educationally, civically, and economically

Vision Statement

We visualize a world in which all women and their families reach their full potential in all aspects of life and are able to create unlimited opportunities for future generations.


Founders Pictures in this order Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhodes Martin and Cubena McClure

Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little

Dorothy Hanley Whiteside

Vivian Irene White Marbury

Annie Mae Gahn Johnson

Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford

Bessie Mae Downey Rhodes Martin

Cubena McClure

Phi Sigma Chapter Information

Northeastern Syntaktes Ruby Peake chartered the Phi Sigma Chapter on August 14, 1938 at the home of Soror Edna Forest Browne, the Charter Basileus. The sorority’s motto, “Greater Service, Greater Progress,” has been a guiding light for the members of the Phi Sigma Chapter. As leaders in the city of the District of Columbia, sorors have been elected to numerous civic, social, and religious offices. Two such notable Phi Sigma members are Ruth Nesbitt and Dr. Lorraine Williams. In 1975, Soror Nesbitt was sworn in as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission for the District of Columbia. Dr. Lorraine Williams was the first soror to hold the position of International Grand Basileus for two consecutive terms. She also has served as the first female Vice President of Academic Affairs at Howard University, as well as the Chairman of the Department of History.

Several Phi Sigma Sorors, past and present, have held a variety of leadership positions on the National and Regional levels of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. The late Soror Edna Forest Browne, served as the first Northeastern Regional Syntaktes. Other Phi Sigma Sorors have served as Northeastern Regional Syntaktes during the past 75 years.

Phi Sigma Charter Members:

Ida Alphin Ethel L. Bianchi

Beatrice Bianchi Williams

Marian Bianchi DeBerry

Marie Clarke Taylor

Alma Cooper Hawkins

Louise Pinket Hall

Hermione Porter Ackiss

Florence Brown LaFoon

Dorothy Wright Atkinson

Phi Sigma Chapter has hosted several Regional and National meetings. Boules hosted by the Chapter include the 24th Boule in 1956, the 39th Boule in 1982, and the 41st Boule in 1984. Since then the chapter has hosted the Northeastern Regional Conference in 1997 and 2012.

Phi Sigma Chapter has received numerous awards and honors including, but not limited to: Certificates from Citizens Corporation of DC for special contributions; a certificate from the Mississippi Project of Howard University; certificates and prizes for Annual Soirees sponsored by the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA; a citation and a plaque from the Capital Press Club for outstanding services rendered to the community; and special thanks from former Mayor-Commissioner Walter E. Reed, Mayor Marion Barry, Mayor Anthony Williams, Mayor Adrian Fenty, and Mayor Vincent Gray for the many community service activities performed throughout the metropolitan area.

Philanthropic Efforts

Throughout its existence, Phi Sigma has supported man national projects such as Program for Africa (formerly known as Africare), Assault on Illiteracy Program, NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, March of Dimes, National Pan-Hellenic Council, United Negro College Fund, and Habitat for Humanity. Generous donations of time and financial contributions have been given in support of the Kennedy Center, Foster Home Recruitment, Urban League, the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, and many other beneficial projects. In addition, the Chapter has sponsored its undergraduate chapters, Philo Affiliates, and Rhoer Clubs whose members have made outstanding contributions by providing community service.

Other Phi Sigma Chapter philanthropic endeavors include, but are not limited to: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Project Giveback, March of Dimes, USA Swimming, DC Boys & Girls Club, DC Public Library, DC Literacy Council, et al.

Prominent Members

Soror Edna Forrest Browne, Charter Basileus & Past NE Regional Syntaktes
Soror Dr. Lorraine Williams, Past International Grand Basileus & NE Regional Syntaktes
Soror Dr. Mynora J. Bryant, Past International Grand Basileus & NE Regional Syntaktes
Soror Theresa B. Leeke, Cultured Pearl
Soror Thelma Johnson, Cultured Pearl
Soror Garlynn J. Parker, Charter Member Eta Beta Chapter (University of Maryland, College Park)
Soror Ellen Blue, Rearranger of the NE Regional Hymn
Soror Erica Moore-McDade, Scorer and Transposer of the NE Regional Hymn