top of page

Sigma Gamma Rho


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 Irene White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin, and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to the Alpha chapter at Butler University. Since its inception, the dynamic women of Sigma Gamma Rho have built and sustained a

well-known and well-respected reputation for leading positive change to help uplift the community through sisterhood, leadership, and service.



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 83 years.



Edna Forrest Browne, Basileus

Edna Miles Holland, Anti-Basileus

L.Louise Pinkett Hall, Grammateus

Florence Brown LaFoon, Anti - Grammateus

Dorothy Wright Atkinson, Tamichous

Hermione Porter Atkiss

Ida Z. Ball Alphin

Beatrice Bianchi Williams

Ethel L. Bianchi

Marian Bianchi DeBerry

Alma D. Cooper Hawkins

Marie Clarke Taylor

bottom of page