On June 28th, not only did Kentucky’s oldest historically black college, Simmons College of Kentucky make history, but also Kentucky’s oldest black Greek organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Simmons returned home to her original campus at 7th & Kentucky Streets after, as Simmons College President Dr. Kevin Cosby put it, “77 years of exile.” Delta Sigma Theta Sorority celebrated a significant founding and 85th anniversary in that return.
Delta Sigma Theta’s Xi chapter was founded on April 15, 1922 at Simmons College of Kentucky, then Simmons University, as the first black Greek organization in the state. “I was impressed to learn of the historical significance of Simmons' involvement in the founding and lives of Deltas,” stated DST Louisville Alumnae Chapter member, Irene White. Delta’s participated in the Simmons motorcade, some stepped briefly to mark the occasion.
In 1931, the University of Louisville purchased Simmons University from the National Baptist Convention and renamed the school Louisville Municipal College. Along with the purchase, Xi chapter then became a part of the University of Louisville. Because of Jim Crowe laws, African Americans were not allowed to attend classes with UofL's Caucasian students. Therefore, UofL operated in two locations, the main, and white's only campus, at Belknap, and the black campus at Louisville Municipal College. The campuses were later combined in 1951. Today, Xi chapter initiates held and continue to hold leadership positions in the community.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as a national organization was founded January 13, 1913 on the campus of Howard University by 22 African American women. The illustrious women envisioned an organization based on Christian principles of college-educated women pledged to serious endeavors of community service. Today, the organization has over 200,000 members and approximately 860 chapters spanning the globe. Delta Sigma Theta is a public service organization committed to the ideals of community service and scholarship. Members include such notables Dorothy Height, Nikki Giovanni, Robert Flack, Senator Carol Mosely-Braun, and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie (photo right with Rev. Angela Lee Price).
Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!
First three pictures by photographer Allen Hill.