Sorority Celebrates 100th Anniversary - Black Enterprise

Sorority Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. capped off nearly a week of celebration ending on Friday commemorating the 100th anniversary of its founding by donating $1 million to Howard University for the purpose of preserving the sorority’s legacy. The first AKA chapter was launched at Howard on Jan. 15, 1908.

The money will be used to maintain the extensive collection of sorority documents housed at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center on campus and, in the form of a founders’ endowed scholarship in the name of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s first national president, Nellie Quander, the donation will also help others attend the prestigious school.

“If we don’t preserve our heritage, no one else will. In the interest of safeguarding our legacy, we’re more than happy to give $1 million this day,” said Barbara McKinzie, the sorority’s 27th international president.

The donation was not the only historic move made by Alpha Kappa Alpha to help memorialize its 100th anniversary. Mattel invited the AKAs to be immortalized in the image of Barbie.

Along with wearing the AKA’s trademark pink and green, AKA Barbie will emulate the organization’s most recent service platform—promoting economics and financial literacy, says McKinzie. “The economic education platform is meant for members to educate themselves in order to be able to educate others. The idea is that economics permeates every element of our lives.”

She adds, “Barbie was created to inspire young girls to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up. I hope that will be a socially responsible and economically mature adult.”

The doll will be available later this year for $50 at and Barbie Collector Catalogue, says Liz Grampp, director of marketing for Barbie Collector at Mattel. Alpha Kappa Alpha will receive an undisclosed royalty from sales of the doll, and Mattel will handle manufacturing and distribution.