Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on November 12, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Dulin Redford, Bessie M. Downey Martin and Cubena McClure.
It's Mission: "To enhance the quality of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and education of youth are the hallmark of the organization's programs and activities. Sigma Gamma Rho addresses concerns that impact society educationally, civically, and economically."
Founder Mary Lou Allison Little would serve as acting Grand Basileus from 1922-1925 and go on to become the first elected Grand Basileus of the Sorority from 1925-1926.
On August 24, 1924, Sigma suffered a great loss when Founder Cubena McClure, a young talented artist who designed the Sorority pin, passed away. The remaining Founders carried on and the group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha chapter at Butler University.
The sorority had its beginnings on the Irvington campus of Butler University. Today, a commemorative stained glass window is located just outside the tower room at the south end of Atherton Union, as well as decorative bricks on the right side of Atherton.*
In 1937, the Sorority became a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. It would be the only Sorority of NPHC to be founded on a predominantly white campus, rather than at a historically black college or university.
*Taken from the official Butler University website.
Pictured: The Seven Founders of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (L to R) Bessie Martin, Cubena McClure, Dorothy Whiteside, Hattie Redford, Mary Little, Nannie Johnson, Vivian Marbury
Sorority Quick Facts
Founded: November 12, 1922 at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana
Incorporated December 30, 1929
Classification: Nonprofit service and social organization
5 Regions: Central, Northeastern, Southeastern, Southwestern, Western
Sorority Flower: Yellow tea rose
Sorority Mascot: Poodle
Sorority Colors: Royal Blue and Gold
Slogan: "Greater Service, Greater Progress"