Greetings From the President
Welcome to IOTA PHI LAMBDA SORORITY, INC., Alpha Chapter’s Website. We are in the 92nd year of service to our communities and to each other. Our website spans many decades, dating back to 1929. Last year was one of the most challenging for our Chapter, for our Sisterhood, and for our nation. The year 2020, saw the coronavirus pandemic completely take over our lives. Wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands has been our reality, but we see a light at the end of this dark tunnel that we’ve been stuck in.
As you go through our website, you will no doubt experience our past history, our present reality of awesome women, and look into the plans we have for the future.
Our past started with our illustrious founder, Lola Mercedes Parker, a successful business woman. On June 1, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois, Alpha Chapter had its’ beginning. Mrs. Parker, for some time, had considered means by which she might raise the morale of business women, and to heighten the prestige of this group. In consultation with and advice from Mrs. Irene McCoy Gaines, the late Dr. L.K. Williams, and the Honorable Arthur W Mitchell, Mrs. Parker called together six women-Ethel T. Edwards, Mildred G. Hardin, Harriet M Robinson, Ophelia Harrison, Birdette Trigg, and Marjorie Tyndall- to discuss her plan. All these women were close friends, and they were quick to see the value of the undertaking outlined.
They were willing to become pioneers, along with Mrs. Parker and meeting with her on June 1, 1929, formed the nucleus of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority. This group became the first chapter of the sorority, our chapter, Alpha Chapter. Since that time, other professions have been embraced, however, the major emphasis has remained in the broad field of the business arena. The aim of Soror Parker had been to “Encourage young women to enter the Business Field by means of business training. Lola Mercedes Parker served as National President from 1929 to 1946 and President-Emeritus until her death in 1987.
History will record her great work for humanity. Although designed to seek greater opportunities for Black business women, the organization was founded on the social principles of Jesus Christ – friendship, love, and loyalty. The Greek letters IOTA PHI LAMBDA, were chosen because of their meaning- Ideals of Friendship and Love- which expressed best the Founder’s hopes and aspirations, and the principles undergirding the plan.
Alpha Chapter’s history is “ongoing”, and as we look toward the dawning of a new day, I reflect on the following quote by historian, Mary Beard, when we think of the essential need of preserving and proclaiming Alpha Chapter’s legacy: “Papers. Records. These we must have.
Without documents; no history
Without history; no memory
Without memory; no greatness
Without greatness; no development among women.”
Enjoy your visit to our fabulous Website!
Naomi R Kilpatrick, President