Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. celebrates 96 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service! The organization was founded on November 12, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha chapter at Butler University.
It is the mission of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service, civil, and social action. It is the organization’s goal to achieve greater progress in the areas of education, health awareness, and leadership development. Its members, affiliates, International Corporate Headquarters staff, and community partners work to create and support initiatives that align with the sorority’s vision.
Sigma Gamma Rho’s commitment to service is expressed in its slogan, “Greater Service, Greater Progress.” The sorority has a proud history of offering service wherever chapters exist, including OPERATION BigBookBag, a program designed to address the needs, challenges and issues that face school-aged children who are educationally at-risk; Project Cradle Care, a program to address unplanned and teenage pregnancy, and Project Wee Savers, a program to increase financial literacy amongst school age youth.
The local chapter, Theta Omega Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Rochester, N.Y., was chartered on October 23, 1999, by Romunda Harris-Fonville, Brande Hunt-Newsome, Trina Duncan, Michele Butler-Thuo and Natalya (Nikki) Collins-Howard. Today, the chapter works collaboratively with community serving agencies to host a variety of service initiatives and youth engagement projects. The chapter hosts annual social events, fundraisers, and sponsors a youth auxiliary group, Rhoer Club and an adult affiliate for non-degreed women, Philo Club. The local chapter also grants scholarships to students in Monroe County through its Romunda Harris-Fonville Scholarship fund.