In February of 1943, a group of women met at Lewis College of Business to discuss the need for an organization that would support and promote opportunities for women who were striving toward better education and self-development. To meet the needs of these women, Elizabeth Garner, an instructor at the college, assisted by her sister, Violet T. Lewis, Lewis College of Business owner and president founded Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Inc.
Their mission was to improve the economic, social and political status of all women; to encourage members and other women to further their education and maintain a progressive interest in the values of humanity; and to promote refinement and culture to establish and maintain a better relationship among women of all races. The sorority stresses the importance of being a greater service to the community, county and to each other.
Recently, the Gamma Chapter of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Inc. has awarded four young women, who have just graduated from high school, a scholarship to aid them in the schools they plan on attending this fall semester.
Jada Bailey, Courtney Chandler, Karmen Johnson and Shakira Strayhorn have all been awarded partial scholarships.
Bailey will be attending Ball State University this fall to study Bio Science. She said the closeness of being at home played a role into her school selection.
“I knew what I wanted to do after high school and my goal is to be a bio scientist. I took a lot of science classes in order to prepare me for that. After college I would like to get involved with medical research,” said Bailey.
Chandler announced she would attend Indiana University to study biology.
“One of my goals in high school was to try to get connections with different people that I’d like to talk to in the future, whether it be some doctors. It wasn’t my main focus, but I took some science classes in high school to see if this is really what I want to do because pursuing a pre-med career takes hard work and it costs a lot of money. Finding these connections helped me to see what’s going on so I can make the right choice,” said Chandler.
Johnson will study physics at Tuskegee University with hopes to get involved with a general practice or become a family doctor.
“I knew I wanted to go into the medical field but wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do in high school. As high school went along I became interested in becoming a physical therapist, so I started taking physics classes, different sciences as well as chemistry,” stated Johnson.
Strayhorn will be studying biology at Wilberforce University in the fall semester of 2015.
“My goal my senior year was to get involved with the community and participating in service activities. Being the captain of my dance team my coach suggested that I should do various activities and I just thought it was pretty cool. I would like to get involved into the surgical field with my degree,” said Strayhorn.
Gamma Chapter President, Maxine King and scholarship chair and member, Yvette Banks were also in attendance. King has been president of the chapter since 2000.
“This (scholarships) is an annual thing we do for those who wish to pursue more for themselves. If you seek us out and show the initiative that you want to better yourself, we will help you. We usually provide $5,000 to $6,000 in scholarships each year,” mentioned King.
“We think young people should want to aspire to do more in their lives and scholarships like these are resources to help them achieve those goals,” added Banks.
The Annual Scholarship and Charities Jazz Brunch has become Gamma Chapter’s signature gala fundraiser with the specific purpose of supporting deserving community youth while bridging the gap to higher education between the privileged and the underprivileged.
The next Annual Scholarship and Charities Jazz Brunch will be hosted at Ritz Charles in Carmel on, Feb. 27, 2016. The event will include live entertainment; a fashion show; vendors; fine food and door prizes.
For more information, visit GammaPhiDeltaSorority.com.