On April 3, at the Sheraton Baltimore Hotel in Towson, over 200 people gathered to welcome the newest Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority undergraduate chapter and the first African-American sorority organized on Stevenson University’s campus. “Cultivating New Pearls to Continue the Legacy” was the theme chosen to highlight this new beginning in the sorority’s history.

Stevenson University, formerly Villa Julie College, is a private liberal arts university located in Baltimore County. Thirteen undergraduate young women became members of the oldest African-American sorority in the United States. Initiated in the Tau Theta Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority were Corde Battle, Stephanie Bryant, Melanie Briscoe, Kristen Carter, Stephnie Davis, Arielle Holliday, Jasmine Jarrett, Oyinade Koyi, Tamara Lovelist, Jennifer Robinson, Krystal Sharp, Megan Smith and Shaniqua Warfield.

Leslie Lyles-Smith, president, and members of the Upsilon Epsilon Omega graduate chapter of Baltimore County advised and guided the undergraduate chapter throughout their process, which culminated with the chartering luncheon.

In her greetings, Lyles-Smith said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is set apart from other women’s organizations by its goals of cultural awareness, scholastic achievement and service to the community.

Constance R. Pizarro, the North Atlantic regional director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority served as the guest speaker for the event. “To much is given, much is expected,” Pizarro said as she spoke to the new sorority members. She went on to challenge the young women to continue the great legacy of the sorority by upholding high educational standards and giving a lifetime of service to their community.

Orrester Shaw, representing Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D), presented a citation to the Upsilon Epsilon Omega chapter for providing leadership to the Tau Theta chapter chartered at Stevenson University. A citation was also presented from Sen. Delores Kelley’s, Dist-.10, office. Claire Moore, the vice president of student affairs at Stevenson University, congratulated and welcomed the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority undergraduate chapter to Stevenson’s campus. Dr. Tamara Lewis, immediate past president of the Upsilon Epsilon Omega chapter, serves as the graduate advisor to the Stevenson University undergraduate chapter.