After it’s founding in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, experienced an impressive growth. Throughout the years, as members began to relocate back to their home towns or to new cities where they could find employment or enter graduate school , they continued their friendships and shared the vision and mission of the sorority with the founding of new chapters.
Chicago was home to Founders Osceola Macarthy Adams and Marguerite Young Alexander. In 1921, seeing the need to establish a chapter for Deltas attending Chicago area schools, Founders Adams and Alexander, along with several members who had been initiated in other chapters, formed a mixed chapter at the University of Chicago, Lambda Chapter. Founder Adams served as the chapter’s first president.
Under her leadership Lambda’s membership became so vast that in 1924 another chapter was formed, Theta Sigma. In 1931 Lambda was designated a collegiate chapter.
As the sorority continued to grow in the Chicago area, another chapter Gamma Chi Sigma was chartered in 1947. With three active chapters in the city of Chicago, members came together and formed a Joint Council that served as the coordinating body for Delta’s public service programs. The Joint Council was so successful and binding in its efforts, the two chapter, Theta Sigma and Gamma Chi Sigma, merged in 1959 establishing the Chicago Alumnae Chapter.
The Chicago Alumnae Chapter, now in its 56th year as one of Chicago’s premier public service organization, boasts a membership of over 700+ professional women with diverse backgrounds who render public service under the Sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust – Economic Development; Educational Development; International Awareness and Involvement; Physical and Mental Health and Political Awareness and Involvement.
Chicago Alumnae programs are housed at D’Estee, Inc. Located at 4525-19 S. Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago. The chapter’s service area includes metropolitan Chicago, Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn, Illinois.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on the campus of Howard University by 22 college students.
The first seed of Delta Sigma Theta’s presence in the Chicago area was planted by sorority Founders Osceola Macarthy Adams and Marguerite Young Alexander, who assisted in the organization of Lambda Chapter at the University of Chicago.
4th National Convention held in Chicago.
Chartering of second Chicago Delta Chapter, Theta Sigma.
Anna Johnson Julian elected 4th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Julian held membership in Chicago Alumnae Chapter.
Lambda initiate Gladys Bryham Sheppard elected 5th National President. Lambda Chapter was designated as an undergraduate chapter.
12th National Convention held in Chicago. Chicago native and Lambda initiate Jeanette Triplett Jones elected 6th National President.
Chicago Deltas Jeanette Triplett Jones and Eileen T. Marks (both initiated in Lambda) design the Sorority Crest.
Chartering of third Chicago Chapter, Gamma Chi Sigma.
Chicago Deltas play an instrumental role in the establishing the first sorority house at the University of Illinois, (Champaign, Urbana).
Gamma Chi Sigma and Theta Sigma merge to form the Chicago Alumnae Chapter.
26th National Convention held in Chicago.
Midwest Regional Conference held in Chicago.
D’Estee, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) arm of Chicago Alumnae Chapter was established.
D’Estee, Inc. purchased the facility located at 4525 S. King Drive in Chicago, IL.
The 4525 S. King Dr. portion of the D’Estee building named The Marian Huffman Room.
The Chicago Alumnae Step Team wins the National Championship at the New Orleans National Convention.
The Mortgage of the D’Estee, Inc. building is burned.
The 45th National Convention is held in Chicago.
Chicago Alumnae member, Darlene Pollard is elected Midwest Regional Director.
Chicago Alumnae celebrates the 100th birthday of Dorothy Penman Harrison, 11th National President and Chicago Alumnae member. Deborah Jones Buggs is elected Chair of the National Finance Committee.
Chicago Alumnae Chapter celebrates 50 years of service in the Chicago area.
Expansion of D’Estee Inc .begins.
D’Estee, Inc. reopens. Grave marker dedication held for Founder Marguerite Young Alexander.
Chicago Alumnae Chapter chosen to host the Centennial Torch. Over 3,000 members, youth, and community supporters participated in an awareness march from the campus of the University of Chicago to D’Estee Headquarters.