AKA Gamma Pi Omega

77 Years of Service in Middle Georgia

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Contact Information

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Gamma Pi Omega Chapter

P. O. Box 1603
Fort Valley, GA 31030

South Atlantic Regional Director
Carolyn G. Randolph
Significant SAR@akasouthatlantic.org

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
International Headquarters
5656 South Stony Island Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637








































































































About Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc.


Gamm Pi Omega Past Presidents


Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of women that has provided service to the nation for over 109 years and the Fort Valley community for over 76 years.
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established in America by Blackcollege women. The record of its origin, growth and development, activities, and accomplishments are more than an interesting chronicle of college-based American. Rather, it is a significant and inspiring reflection of the development of a minority organization in a changing culture. Thus, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was founded in 1908 by Ethel Hedgeman and eight Howard University women in Washington, D.C.  The efforts of these women in scholarship, vocational guidance, encouragement of foreign study, health services, and the promotion of human and civil rights constitute a priceless part of the Black experience in America.
On March 21, 1942, Gamma Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was organized in Fort Valley, Georgia. At that time, the national chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority itself was only thirty-four years old and Fort Valley State College was barely three years old and making the transition from a church related to a state operated institution. Dr. Horace Mann Bond, the first president of Fort Valley State College, recruited faculty from Black colleges throughout the United States. 

Among the group of recruits were five young Black women keenly aware of their privileged position as college trained members of a minority. They were determined that their college experience would be as meaningful and productive as possible. These five women Mary Clay, Aquilla Thompson, Kathleen Pitts, Lillie Merriweather, and Myrtle O’Shields went on to become charter members of Gamma Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Fort Valley, Georgia. 
Mary Clay was a business major from Tennessee State University. She was the go between for the chapter and the president who at first did not think too highly of introducing Greek organizations into the rural setting; Kathleen Cook graduated from Talladega College. She provided her home on Scuppertown Road, now Carver Drive for various meetings and activities; Aquilla Thompson, a music and English teacher and choral director at Ballard Hudson High School in Macon, Georgia provided whatever music was needed for the group; Myrtle O’Shields was the wife of the Fort Valley State College Coach, and provided whatever assistance was needed by the organization; and Lillie Merriweather Adkins, a graduate of Clark College, provided all research for the group. She was the first head librarian of the newly formed Fort Valley State College. These dynamic and forward thinking women were also among the first officers of the organization. 

The new chapter, Gamma Pi Omega Chapter, quickly began the implementation of projects and activities that would enhance the Fort Valley community. 
The first fund raising project of the sorority was a benefit Bridge Party which was held at the college center (now St. Luke’s Episcopal Church). Members solicited gifts from local businesses in Fort Valley; perhaps a bag of pecans from Wright and Solomon, a handkerchief from Johnson Department store, a tray from a local jeweler or a subscription to the Leaders Tribune. The profits from this project were placed in the business office at Fort Valley State College so that students could borrow small amounts of money in emergencies. The money would be repaid according to the arrangements made at the time of the loan.

In 1952, Soror Nora Dawson, a teacher in the Peach County school system transferred to Gamma Pi Omega Chapter and suggested a Debutante Ball to replace the Bridge Party Project. The Debutante Ball started in 1955 and afforded the opportunity for sorority members to work with young women and men (escorts) in areas of improving social graces, dressing for success and travel. This project has continued for the past 53 years and has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to young ladies from funds raised from the ball. 

Gamma Pi Omega developed several service projects in the community. Thus, a Career Conference, held for two days at H.A. Hunt High School and Fort Valley State College provided young people the opportunity to meet leaders in all walks of life, including the late Whitney Young of the National Urban League and Attorney Vernon Jordan, who impressed upon the young participants the importance of education and career goals.
The Arts were introduced through the production of Operettas and Plays for presentation to young people during the summers. These plays were the forerunner of the Fort Valley State College Players Guild founded by Soror Lillie Adkins and her husband, Dr. Joseph Adkins, who was a professor at Fort Valley State College. They produced a host of plays, most notably, Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”.

Realizing the importance of remedial education, a tutorial program was developed for students in need of extra help in reading, math and science. The success of this program inspired Soror Jasmine Dawson Ellis to begin the Men of Tomorrow Project for the purpose of establishing a mentoring program for young men utilizing positive male mentors in the community. In addition to these many local programs, the chapter also supported and contributed to numerous projects of the national Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

From the time of its establishment in 1942, Gamma Pi Omega has grown rapidly and consistently. Today, there are 91 members in the chapter, and the focus on serving the community remains consistent with that of the founding members of the organization. As the chapter has grown, so have the projects and services to the community. Today, some of the signature projects for Gamma Pi Omega include: the Fort Valley Nursing Home Pageant, the Debutante Pageant, a Community Health Fair, the Sisterhood Luncheon, the Boys & Girls Club Back to School Program, a Santa’s Workshop for Boys and Girls, Christmas Caroling in the Park, Black History Radio Spots, and the African-American Male Initiative Project. 

As the women of Gamma Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. continue the mission of the charter members, we are humbled by the vision of those five women trailblazers who saw the need to establish such an organization in Fort Valley, Georgia. Their goal for serving the community continues to be the major platform for the chapter today.