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The Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. will culminate its celebration of “75 Years of Sisterhood, Leadership and Service” with its Diamond Anniversary Gala and Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The black-tie event will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Santee Conference Center, 1737 Bass Drive, Santee. Live music, a program and dinner will be featured. Tickets are $75.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is a private, not‐for‐profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Since its founding, more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. The organization is a sisterhood of predominantly black college-educated women. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea.

The Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter was chartered on July 31, 1943, originally as the Alpha Tau Sigma Chapter.

Rosamond Alston and Helen Wilkinson Sheffield were the architects for the graduate and undergraduate chapters with Helen W. Sheffield serving as the first chapter president. Six local members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Rosamond Alston, Cassandra Maxwell (Birnie), Willie B. Calhoun, Helen W. Sheffield, Mamie E. Thompson and Clemmie E. Webber (all now deceased), initiated 14 women - Elizabeth Calhoun, Rosebud E. Embly, Cora Green, Rosa Harris, Dollis Simpson Johnson, Marjorie Kelly, Alethia Lewis, Rosa Reed Odom, Nettie Parler, LaVerte Reed, Etta B. Rowe, Beatrice Thompson, Edith Vaughn and Trudell Wimbush - to form this newly created chapter of 20 distinguished women.

In 1954, in keeping with the policy of Grand Chapter to designate non‐campus chapters by county, city, or area of chapter location, the Alpha Tau Sigma Chapter name was changed to the Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

The chapter would also host the organization’s newly formed South Atlantic Region’s first Regional Conference on the campus of now-South Carolina State University in Orangeburg on April 6‐8, 1961.

When created, the region consisted of 54 chapters (17 undergraduate and 34 graduate) and more than 1,400 active members. The Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter would go on to be the only chapter in the region to produce four regional directors; they were Clemmie Webber, Barbara Williams Jenkins, Ruby Davis and Andria Jeffries.

The Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter continues to host state events, attracting members from across the state and nation.

The initial members and many members over the years have been recognized as leaders of community activism, athletics, business, education and scholarship, health and human services, media and literature, as well as government. Members have excelled in these roles at local, state and national levels.

Past presidents of the chapter include Helen W. Sheffield, Rosa Harris, Etta Rowe, Alethia Lewis, Johncie Williams, Clemmie Webber, Geneva Williams, Beautine DeCosta, Trudell Wimbush, Anna Hunter, Dorothy Isaac, Amelia Roberts, Bernice Middleton, Barbara Williams Jenkins, Valeria Staley, Alba Lewis, Inez Duncan, Ruby Davis, Barbara Townsend, Barbara Clark, Margaret Roberts, Rosa Perry, Lelia White, Grace Salters, Ida Wanamaker, Andria Jeffries, Sara Funderburk, Shirley Hugee, Rosemary Smith Hickman, Debra Felder, Georgia Montgomery, Cynthia Keller and current President Rita Teal.

The Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. currently has more than 170 active members. Over the years, the chapter has established programs to provide public service initiatives based on the sorority’s Five‐Point Programmatic Thrust: (1) economic development, (2) educational development, (3) international awareness and involvement, (4) physical and mental health and (5) political awareness and involvement. Through its local and national programs, the chapter continues to fulfill the founders’ dreams of achieving excellence, providing scholarships and rendering public service to the community.

Major projects of the chapter have included emphasis in the areas of political awareness, voter registration, tutorial services, health and wellness, youth development, performance arts and literacy, community empowerment, financial fortitude and other positive community impact areas.

The chapter sponsors many activities and programs that benefit the community including scholarships, May Week, the Betty Shabazz Delta Academy/GEMS, the Monsieur Ebonaire Beautillion and Pageant and financial management workshops. Some of the organizations that benefit from chapter support are the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, CASA Family Systems and Habitat for Humanity.

The Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. continues to be recognized for its commitment to service. To join in the chapter's Diamond Anniversary celebration, contact a member or oac75thanniversary@gmail.com. For more information about the organization, visit www.orbgalumnaedst.org.

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