Chapter History

The first Knoxville chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was organized by Lutitia O’ Neal of Chattanooga, Tennessee, three local sorors, and the Regional Director. The local sorors were Ruth Bond, Dorothy Shepherd, and Maureen Tinsley Taylor. The graduate chapter was named Alpha Kappa Sigma, and had its origin with nine newly-initiated charter members:

Bessie Brice                                        Lillian Cary Morrow                 

Marion Atkins Crippens            Mary Gillespie Jefferson               

Ruth Graham                                     Beulah Warren Sinclair                                         

Estelle Smith Lennon                  Martha Trigg Smith  

Estelle Cary Merrifield   

*Soror Nora Turner Jackson was the first to be initiated into Alpha Kappa Sigma.

In November 1938, the Regional Director created a mixed chapter by changing Alpha Kappa Sigma to Beta Omicron.  Beta Omicron accepted both graduate and undergraduate members.  However, the chapter had to abide by the rules of Knoxville College. Beta Omicron worked jointly with sorors living in the city.

At the request of those sorors residing in the city, the chapters were separated in March. The graduate chapter received its third charter in the name of Gamma Theta Sigma. The undergraduate chapter at Knoxville College was given the name Gamma Mu.

Due to the increase in the number of chapters in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., all alumnae chapters were given the name of their city location in the late 1950’s if there was only one chapter in the city. Thus, Gamma Theta Sigma became the Knoxville Alumnae Chapter.