About Us


Chapter History
Upsilon Omega Chapter was chartered October 24, 1925 by Sydney Mayo Brown, Zenobia Henderson Gilpin, Ruth Thomas Hargrave, Leah Virginia Lewis, and Gladys Powell, the first Black sorority in the city of Richmond, Virginia. Evelyn Lightner served as Regional Director at the time and the chapter was a part of the South Atlantic Region. Zenobia Henderson Gilpin was the first chapter president.

Prior to the establishment of the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) in 1953, Upsilon Omega Chapter members who served as regional director in the South Atlantic Region include Sydney Mayo Brown, a leader in chartering Alpha Epsilon Chapter in Petersburg, Virginia, Zenobia Henderson Gilpin, Viola Chaplain, and Clarissa Kyles Dillard. Upsilon Omega Chapter members who served as Regional Director of the Mid-Atlantic Region include Grace Matthews Pleasants, Janet Jones Ballard, and Maxine Lewis Black.

After being elected First Vice-President and completing her term in that position, Janet Jones Ballard ascended to the highest position on the Directorate, that of 22nd International President. Clarissa Kyles Dillard served as First Vice-President and Grace Matthews Pleasants served as National Parliamentarian. Maxine L. Black was Chairman of the International Standards Committee (1986-1990). In addition, through the years, numerous chapter members have served on various national and international committees.

Upsilon Omega Chapter has hosted several regional conferences and cluster meetings. The first regional conference was hosted in 1930 as a part of the South Atlantic Region. Since the establishment of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Upsilon Omega Chapter hosted Regional Conferences in 1954, 1970, 1983, and 1993. The cluster concept for hosting conferences began in 1994, and Upsilon Omega Chapter, part of the Northern-Western Virginia Cluster, hosted regional conferences in 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011.

Upsilon Omega Chapter’s active membership averages 200 and the chapter is proud to boast of 3 Diamond (75-year) Members, Clara N. McCreary, Eddie N. Patrick, and Thelma M. Robinson.

Upsilon Omega Chapter’s 90th Anniversary Celebration
The Chapter sponsored community- oriented events that culminated with a 90th Anniversary Celebration: An Evening at the Pearl Supper Club, a black tie event at the Richmond Marriott Hotel on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

Upsilon Omega Chapter Presidents who have served include:
1925 - 1927 Zenobia Gilpin Henderson*
1927 - 1928 Sydney Mayo Brown*
1928 - 1929 Viola Chaplain *
1930 - 1933 Edwina Clay Sharp Hall*
1933 - 1934 Ora J. Newman *
1935 - 1937 Corinne Brown Galvin *
1938 - 1940 Henrietta Barrett Segear *
1940 - 1942 Zenobia Gilpin Henderson*
1943 - 1947 Emma Bradley Davidson *
1947 - 1948 Ruby Townsend Bryant*
1948 - 1950 Mary Wingfield Payne *
1950 - 1952 Lenora Coleman Ziegler *
1952 -1954 Grace Matthews Pleasants *
1954 - 1956 Ruby Towensend Bryant *
1956 - 1958 L. Barbara McDaniel Harris
1958 - 1960 LaVerne Byrd Smith *
1960 - 1962 Edna Bradford Hale *
1962 - 1964 Lucille Murray Brown
1965 - 1966 Thelma M. Robinson
1967 - 1968 Maudy W. Mays
1969 - 1970 Janet Jones Ballard *
1971 - 1972 Calvine Shadd Battle*
1973 - 1974 Rizpah L.Welch
1975 - 1976 Maxine Lewis Black
1977 - 1978 Laverne W. Cooper
1979 - 1980 Florence B. Henderson
1981- 1982 Muriel D. Felder
1983 - 1984 Jane H. Gray
1985 - 1986 Cynthia R. Mayo
1987 - 1988 Henrietta A. Morris*
1989 - 1990 Gloria E. Green
1991 - 1992 Joanna T. McLaughlin
1993 - 1994 Vasti DeLoatch
1995 - 1996 Justine J. Baugham
1997 - 1998 Elaine M. Wright
1999 - 2000 Lillian Avent Shearin*
2001 - 2002 Patrese A. Pruden
2003 - 2004 Lillie Lipscomb Taylor
2005 - 2006 Cynthia E. Bentley
2007 - 2008 Jacqueline M. Curtis
2009 - 2010 Peggy Fox
2011 - 2012 Rosalin Ball
2013 - 2014 Tabatha M. W. Spurlock
2015 - 2016 Johnelle M. Torbert
* Deceased

Upsilon Omega Chapter has a proud history that is cherished for its focus and service to the community. The diligent effort continues to strengthen the chapter and promote its growth. Committed to “greater laurels to win, greater tasks to begin,” Upsilon Omega Chapter looks forward to meeting the challenges of keeping Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ® “supreme in service to all mankind.”

2018 Upsilon Omega Chapter Officers

Audrey H. Swann

Vice President
Mary R. Hicks

Immediate Past President
Johnelle M. Torbert

Recording Secretary
Loretta O. Speller

Assistant Secretary
M. Janet Palmer

Corresponding Secretary
Cynthia D.C. Reveley

Financial Secretary
Michele L. Atkinson

Financial Secretary: Special Projects
Cheyenne H. Moss

Allison Coles-Johnson

Treasurer: Special Projects
Sonya P. Shaw

Ivy Leaf Reporter
Gladys H. Jordan

Sargeant at Arms
Velma Jackson-Williams

Doris D. Moseley

Assistant Hostess
Stephannie F. Crutchfield

Nancy J. Parker

Former Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
Maxine L. Black

Graduate Advisors
Andrea D. Coleman, Patricia Gould-Champ, Kristina Molyneaux, Loretta O. Speller

2018 Upsilon Omega Standing Committees

AKA Connection
Linda Jackson Shaw, Chairman

Brenda G. Spell, Chairman - Valerie L. Mills, Vice Chairman

Nancy C. J. Parker, Chairman

Debutante Committee
Andrea D. Coleman, Chairman

Educational Enrichment
Vickey D. Drew, Co-Chairman - Doreen L. Williams, Co-Chairman - Jamelle S. Wilson, Co-Chairman

Environmental Ownership
Unwanna B. Dabney, Chairman - Gina M. Burgin, Vice Chairman

Family Strengthening
Antionette H. Smith, Chairman - Janice W. Robinson, Vice Chairman

Allison Coles-Johnson, Chairman

Future Young Leaders
Kamala Payne Chapman, Chairman – Patricia C. Janes, Vice Chairman

Global Impact
Gwen P. Whiting, Chairman - Marsha G. Vandervall, Vice Chairman

Graduate Advisor’s Council
Andrea D. Coleman

Health Promotion
Lisa M. Overton, Chairman – Deanna L. Parker, Vice Chairman

Carlotta B. Jackson

Lena Morgan, Chairman

Margie R. Booker – Cynthia R. Woodson, Vice Chairman

Johnelle M. Torbert, Chairman

Sandra Robinson, Chairman

Middle School Leadership
Kamala P. Chapman, Chairman - Patricia C. Janes, Vice Chairman

Jacqueline M. Curtis, Chairman

Mary R. Hicks, Chairman

Justine J. Johnson, Chairman

Public Relations
Gladys H. Jordan, Chairman

Brenda Spell, Chairman – Michele L. Atkinson

Shoe Bank
Lillian S. Rasberry, Chairman - Daisy D. Greene, Vice Chairman

Sisterly Relations
Tanicea D. Dennis, Chairman – Bonita C. Towner, Vice Chairman

Patrese A. Pruden, Chairman – Cynthia R. Woodson, Vice Chairman

Tiffany Owens, Chairman - Leonetty Gray, Vice Chairman

Young Artists’ Showcase
Shequra L. Dickerson, Chairman

2018 Special Committees

Deanna L. Parker, Co-Chairman - Billie Winzor, Co-Chairman

Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF)
Jennifer L. Giles, Chairman

MLK Living the Dream
Jane H. Gray, Chairman

Luncheon in Honor of Mothers
Lisa F. Townes, Chairman

Thelma G. O’Neal, Chairman - Runia B. Bullock, Vice Chairman

Velma Jackson-Williams