Written by: Atiya Elliott-Semper ’13, student writer
When seven women were selected to join the sisterhood of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. by chartering a chapter at Valdosta State College (VSC) in 1971, they helped to establish the first predominantly black Greek organization on campus.
The Theta Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. began with a small group of women who worked to maintain the mission of “sisterhood, scholarship and service,” while dealing with racial segregation and other issues happening at VSC. At the time, Catherine Carter and other charter members did not know the Theta Tau chapter would remain a lasting part of the school’s history.
Carter had to endure the challenging process of becoming a member of the sorority while being married with a young daughter.
“I was told that members of this charter line were carefully selected and that we would be a very important part of the chapter’s history,” said Carter, who graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. “We were motivated to maintain our good character, values, and grades as we proceeded through the chartering process. For me, it was extra challenging because I was the only married charter member with a young daughter. We knew the importance of being the first black Greek organization on campus.”
The original members worked diligently to build a sorority on campus that would excel for 42 years and continue to grow stronger.
“Here we express our gratitude and remind and inform others of how great and influential these individual women were, as well as how well they worked together to create such stamps in society as they had,” said Takira Borden, who is currently serving as historian and programming and planning chair of the Theta Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. “I have always seen these women as women who had acquired much but would also give back greatly. I knew that was the epitome of myself as well.”
Carla Carter Jordan, daughter of founding member Catherine Carter, now serves as the adviser for Valdosta State University’s Theta Tau chapter and is part of the Valdosta alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Jordan was influenced by her mother to become an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
“I do recall the times of my life watching my mother dressing in her crimson and cream and going to her meetings and participating in events,” said Jordan. “One of the most amazing times was to be at the mall with her and she would see a woman wearing those Delta letters and watching how they would greet each other and share a hug and share a brief testimony on how good it is to be a Delta.”
Shaunda Bennett joined Valdosta State’s Theta Tau chapter in 1994 and served as chapter treasurer.
“I had teachers in middle school and high school who were active members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,” said Bennett. “These ladies introduced me to the meaning of sorority and sisterhood through their service and dedication. In my opinion, Deltas have always been true pioneers.”
Locally, the Theta Tau chapter participates in national and local programs, including the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, voter registration, Adopt-A-Highway, the literacy program, and mentoring school-age children.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is celebrating its centennial anniversary and commemorating the first chapter founded at Howard University in 1913. The founders’ goals for Delta Sigma Theta led them to create a sorority that would focus on the core principle of sisterhood and provide programs categorized under five primary principles — economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement — while also serving communities throughout the world.