History of the
Beta Nu Omega Chapter
Beta Nu Omega Chapter, Montgomery, AL
Beta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®was chartered on June 13, 1936, with seven charter members of which four were transferees, namely: Jewette Langford Anderson, Chi Chapter; Albertine Moore Campbell, Pi Chapter; Portia Trenholm, Chi Chapter; and Elizabeth McLemore White, Phi Chapter. The other three members, Helen Sawyer Braxton, Ollie L. Brown, and Mary Hatchett Goldsmith were taken across the burning sands as the first three initiates of Beta Nu Omega.
The initiation activities supervised by the South Eastern Regional Director C. Russell Harris were performed in Portia Trenholm’s home. Trenholm was chosen as the first President with Elizabeth McLemore White as the first recording secretary. In the fall of 1936 Jule Clayton Lewis was initiated and Winifred Hall Smith transferred from Omicron Omega during this same year.
The initial important goal of Beta Nu Omega was to establish an annual scholarship for a freshman girl of Alabama State Teachers College. During the Honors Day Activities in the spring of 1937, Beta Nu Omega was the only Greek letter organization to present a sum of $25 to a deserving student to encourage high scholastic achievement. The second endeavor, during the year of 1937 through the fall of 1938, was to secure an undergraduate chapter on the campus of Alabama State Teachers College.
Upon the election of International President Margaret Davis Bowen at the Boule in Louisville, Kentucky, Beta Nu Omega was granted permission to establish an Ivyette Club on the campus. Members of the Ivyette Club were Emma Bynum, Mildred Harper Nilon, Walta Abbott, Doris Reynolds Parker, Blanche Brooks Hill, Lillian Taylor, Ruth Hawkins, Hazel Todd James, Bessie Ball, Gertrude Grayson, Gladys Alexander Seymour, Winona Nicholson, Lucile Finley, Natalie Davis, and Etta Mae Smiley.
Faustine Dunn and Mary Wells Shelby were initiated in 1937. Also in 1937, Evelyn Easterly, Wilhelmina Simpson Robinson, Alpha Psi, and Lillie Lee, Beta Eta, were transferred to Beta Nu Omega. Two things of importance happened for Beta Nu Omega at the 1937 Boule in New Orleans. The Undergraduate Chapter, Beta Pi, was granted a charter and Portia Trenholm was elected as South Eastern Regional Director. Mary Wells Shelby, a member of Beta Nu Omega, sang at the Public Meeting of the Boule, which was held at Xavier University.
The Chapter has grown from that humble seven (7) chapter members to two hundred (200 plus) strong members. Through our outstanding leadership, we have received many honors and awards. Giving “service to all mankind” is our highest objective.
[Excerpts taken from the History of Beta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® - February 15, 1986.]