Gamma Zeta Zeta History
Gamma Zeta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was organized and chartered in Columbus, Ohio on September 4, 1943. Charter members were Sorors Rousillon B. Davis, Anne Jordon, Calpurnia Allen, Bertha Mason Allen and Hazel Truitt. Of these Sorors, only Bertha Allen Mason is still with us. During that time the chapter was involved in various service and designated National projects. Soror Bertha Allen Mason was Regional Director at one time.
1948 – 1951: Soror Rousillon B. Davis – Basileus
Highlights – usual service projects and "Finer Womanhood" Celebrations. Initiation of Sorors Anna Scarborough-Pryor- Lee, Virginia Irwin, and Dr. Lucille Higgins-Strain took place. Soror Essie McLean Yuill, joined the graduate chapter from undergraduate chapter of Shaw University. Sorors Thelma Downs and Essie McLean Yuill attended Chicago Ill. Regional, as the chapter's delegates.
1953: Soror Evelyn Robinson, from Beta Zeta Zeta Chapter in Cincinnati, Ohio, reactivated Gamma Zeta Zeta Chapter. During this tenure usual projects and activities took place.
1960 – 1961: Soror Evelyn Robinson – Basileus
Highlights – Primary programs and outreach activities were implemented. Soror Mary B. Logan Bolling and Geraldine McCoy were initiated into chapter.
1961 – 1962: Soror Anna Pryor Lee – Basileus
Usual projects and programs took place. Highlights – "Finer Womanhood" observance, special 'vesper' service held at Second Baptist Church. Soror Deborah P. Wolfe, International Grand Basileus was keynote speaker. First formal held at "The White House" (Cleveland Ave.). In 1952, with Soror Lee as Basileus, our second vesper service was held in celebration of a "Finer Womanhood" week. Soror Ida B. King Chairperson of National Executive Board addressed the public on, the subject: "Integration and The Space Age"
1962 – 1964: Soror Essie McLean Yuill – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and outreach. October 16, 1962- chapter sponsored Clyde Turner’s "Broadway Theatrical Extravaganza", Veteran's Memorial. Life membership in, NAACP initial payment made. Scholarship awarded Yvonne Pryor, daughter of Soror Anna Lee. Soror Anna Lee appointed Associate Regional Director of Ohio. April 1963 second presentation Clyde Turner’s "Broadway Theatrical Extravaganza", at East High School.
1965 – 1966: Soror Faye R. Yuill – Basileus
Highlights- Woman of The Year luncheon held at Ilonka's. Soror Lucille Higgins-Strain Ph.D. honored Soror Mildred Braham Boone, International Grand Basileus, keynote address "A Woman's Challenge- Anti Poverty”. Christmas Ball held at Ilonka' s.
1967 – 1969: Soror Bessie K. Jackson – Basileus
Highlights- "Finer Womanhood" luncheon Christopher Inn. Past Basilei honored. Dr. Juliet Mascarenhas, speaker, Past Basilei honored were Soror Rousillon B. Davis, Evelyn Robinson, Anna Lee, Essie McLean Yuill, Bessie Jackson and Faye Yuill. "Miss Blue Revue", pageant held at Valley Dale; Rhonda Williams crowned. Hope E. Black crowned in 1966. In 1968 Xi Gamma Chartered at OSU (City Chapter). Soror Doris Phillips Tanksley transferred to GZZ from Epsilon Zeta in Atlanta, Ga.
1970 – 1972: Soror Evelyn Robinson – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and outreach. "Finer Womanhood" observation held at Woodland Christian Church. Soror Ida B. King, Chairperson Executive Board, speaker. April 25, 1970 GZZ hosted Great Lakes Regional, Ohio State Inn. Fashion Show Amicae chapter organized.
1973 – 1975: Soror Cora Miller – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and Outreach programs. Formal dance, Berwick Party, "Zeta Fantasy” Soror Evelyn Robinson appointed State Director.
1976 – 1977: Soror Bessie K. Jackson – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and programs took place. Boule' held in Atlanta, Ga. Delegates were Sorors Aljena Freeman, and Essie McLean Yuill. Sorors in attendance: Sorors Trudy Walls, Cora Miller, Evelyn Robinson, Faye Yuill, Mae Edmondson, Bessie Jackson and Doris Tanksley. Sorors Bernice Smith, Deliah Parham, and Mae Edmondson initiated during this tenure, with Anti-Basileus Trudy Walls. First social service workshop, Soror Alyce Guallautte of Washington, D.C., principal leader. Third vesper service held at Hosack Baptist Church. Berwick formal ball with undergraduate participation. Stork's Nest officially opened. International Grand Basileus Janice Kissner, guest lecturer. Second social service workshop, theme "Our Role in Welfare, Education and Health Services within the Community". Presenters: Gladys Mack, Welfare, Dr. Georgiana Berwman, Education, Mrs. Jewel Barron, Health, Sorors Trudy Walls and Essie McLean Yuill Chaired. Sorors Carla Robinson and Rita A. Barksdale joined from their undergraduate chapters.
1978 – 1979: Essie McLean Yuill – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and outreach programs executed. First joint (Sigma's& Zeta's) "Crystal Blue Persuasion", Formal Dance held at Neil House. Third annual social service workshop theme: "Community Outreach Service". Presenters: Jewel Barron, Alvin Hadley and Eleanor DeLoache. Soror Evelyn Robinson, Chairperson. Soror Wanda Clifton, Iona Ladson and Mary West, initiated into Chapter, under Anti- Basileus Trudy Walls. "Finer Womanhood" observance, panel discussion theme: "The International Year Of the Child", St. Phillips Church- Speaker Dr. Gwen Gilbert. Sorors Lillian Martin, Iona Ladson served as Chairpersons. A scholarship was awarded to Gail White.
Charity Martin-King - Chapter President
Rousillon B. Davis, Anne Jordon, Calpurnia Allen, Bertha Mason Allen, Hazel Truitt
1960 – 1961
Mary B. Logan Bolling, Geraldine McCoy
1976 – 1977
Bernice Smith, Deliah Parham, Mae Edmondson
1978 – 1979
Wanda Clifton, Iona Ladson, Mary West
1979 – 1981
Rubye Kyles, Deborah Childs Macklin, Jacque' Jones, Alita Cantrell
1984 – 1986
Marian Hann, Dorothy Mathis, Francis Beasley
Sharon Calhoun, Deborah Copeland, Sherri Morgan
Theresa Todd, Danita Taylor
Pam Johnson, Chevon Toler, Kochiya McDade, Leomaris Trujillio, Jennie Cepeda, Rasheda Hansard, Kayhela Sellers
Monique Hall, Nychola Richardson, Tennille Cooley (Thomas), Destiny (Roberts), Laila McCloud, Kiesha Mitchell
Mesha Bostic, Izetta Thomas, Latonya Thurman, Esther Gray, Paige Fields, Danielle Brown,
Audia Fraley, Autumn Woody, Melina Favors
Felicia Ocdise, Sheena Boswell, Zakiya Murphy, Chidinma Amadi, Dawn Lee
Jazmin Jackson, Lady-Dreama Gordon
Sandra Phipps, LaShonta Hodges, Shelonda Carruthers, Stefany Wynn, Cimeone Starling-Ellis, Ashley Montgomery
Bri'ana Jackson, Lori Diaz, Katie Schuessler,
Karen Murdock, Sherra Cook
Karen Anderson, Dana Ross, D Malone,
Rachelle Dulan, Amber Crosby, Angela Green,
Vickie White-Callender, Constance Smith,
Kara Davis, Julie Holston, Donna Williams,
Niderra Malone Boone, Dawn Williams,
1979 – 1981: Soror Trudy Walls – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and outreach programs executed. Zeta's and Sigma's jointly presented, The Sound of Music, at Country Dinner Playhouse. Joint Founder's Day held OSU Faculty Club. Social service projects: serviced various nursing homes throughout the year with gift presentations and entertainment. Zeta re-instituted financial reporting strategies for the chapter. Scholarship awards given to Gregory Ladson and Tonya Rayford. Four new Sorors Rubye Kyles, Deborah Childs Macklin, Jacque' Jones and Alita Cantrell entered sisterhood. Zeta participates in the March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon and UNCF Walk-a-Thon. Zeta sponsors Night at the Races as its annual fundraiser.
1981- 1983: Soror Rita A. Barksdale – Basileus
Highlights – Outreach and usual projects on going during the year. Joint Founder's Day (Zeta's & Sigma's) held at Hilton East, using the theme "New Directions New Dimensions", International Grand Basileus, Dr. Edith Francis speaker. Brother Virgil Ladson and Essie McLean Yuill, Chaired. Rush and Round up held at Don-Nita's Restaurant for new and inactive members, chaired by Basileus Rita A. Barksdale. GZZ serves as advisor to the Ohio University undergraduate chapter.
1984 – 1986: Soror Cathy Copeland Mock – Basileus
Highlights – The usual GZZ projects outreach programs and designated national activities took place. During this tenure two joint Founder's Days were held (Gamma Zeta Zeta & Beta Omicron Sigma) one held at Berwick Party House, Dr. Deborah P. Wolfe, Past International Grand Basileus, Keynote speaker. Theme for the event "New Tomorrows, New Visions". Second Founders’ Day, held Capital University with social hour following. Brother Jacob Gayle speaker for the occasion. Soror Garlena Jackson, Chaired the event. Soror Bessie Jackson appointed State Director. Soror Marie Clifton transferred to GZZ from Zeta Nu Zeta. Social service projects: Scioto Village, Adopt-A Family, March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon, Chaired by Soror Cheryl Christie. Initiated into our sisterhood Sorors Marian Hann, Dorothy Mathis, and Francis Beasley. Zeta hosts Night at the Races as its annual fundraiser.
ADDITIONAL HISTORY: During 1986-92, Gamma Zeta Zeta was the only Great Lakes Region chapter to receive a program mini-grant from Zeta’s National Executive Board during the Board’s 1st round of awards, & 1 of 2 chapters in the Region to receive a mini-grant during the 2nd round.
1986 – 1990: Soror Cheryl Christie – Basileus
Highlights – Routine projects and outreach activities took place. Joint Founder's Day (Zeta's & Sigma's) held at Grandview Inn. Project Zeta, an AIDS education/prevention initiative for Franklin County middle & high schoolers, organized, Chaired by Soror Bessie K. Jackson. First Camp Breezewood Planning Retreat held compliments of Soror Garlena Jackson. Archonette Club Ceremony Bethany Baptist Church. Soror Jerri K. Smith, organizer. Health symposium: Hosack Baptist Church. Program participants and presenters: Beryl T. Battle, Sarah F. Bivens, Ronald Fletcher, Alyce Gullattee, and Richard Rodriquez. Soror Cora B. Miller Chairperson. GZZ received a $10,000.00 grant from the Ohio Department of Health, for work with the Aids Program. GZZ chosen to represent Great Lakes Region, for outstanding efforts "Project Zeta". Award given, chapter for outstanding work with Aids program from National Ethics Committee. Social service program (Feeding Homeless) Chaired by Soror Wanda Clifton. "Finer Womanhood" breakfast program held Hyatt Capital Square. Theme: "The 21st Century Black Woman,” Keynote speaker). Gwenolyn O'Neal. Event chaired by Soror Marva Davis. Sorors with ten years or more of continuous chapter service were awarded plaques. GZZ relinquishes the Ohio University undergraduate chapter to the Cleveland Alumni Chapter. Great Lakes Regional Meeting held at the Holiday Inn downtown. Regional marshals were Sorors Trudy Walls and Cathy Copeland Mock
ADDITIONAL HISTORY *During it's 3-yr. run (Jan. 1988 - Dec. 1990), Project Zeta, was awarded nearly $30,000 in grant funds from the Ohio Department of Health . As a result, Zeta Phi Beta was the first National Pan-Hellenic Council member in Columbus to seek & win grant funds from the State of Ohio for a community-based initiative. Project Zeta also received $2,000 from Zeta’s National Executive Board, and received commendations from the federal Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Convention on HIV & Minority Populations, the (Dionne) Warwicke Foundation, the Ohio Senate, and from Zeta’s Great Lakes Regional and National Executive Boards.
1990 – 1993: Soror Barbara Hartgrove – Basileus
Highlights – Usual projects and activities. Joint Founder's Day (Amicae's, Sigma's & Zeta's) OSU Faculty: Brother Carter Womack, National President Phi Beta Sigma keynote speaker. Event chaired by Soror Faye R. Yuill. "Finer Womanhood" celebration held Grandview Inn. Theme for the day "The Year of the Child", keynote speaker Archonette Jamie West. Project Zeta sponsored more than 25 youths for this event. Workshops for adults and youths. Blue and White picnic (Amicae's & Zeta's) program chaired by Executive Board. Aids youth pajama party, sponsored by "Project Zeta". SCI)'~or Bessie K. Jackson, named Regional Director for Health and Human Services for Zeta Phi Beta. Soror Cheryl Christie appointed Director, State of Ohio. Soror Bessie K. Jackson selected by Grand Basileus Thomas, as Zeta's "1,000. Points of Lights", Director. Soror Arlene M.J. Taylor elected as Regional Tamias. Scholarship awarded Jamie West. Basileus Barbara Hartgrove, attended Sorority's biannual National Leadership Institute, in Washington D.C. In February of 1992 Zeta hosts workshops at the Ohio Union as a study of the Black Male Crisis concerning high school drop out rates, AIDS education and prevention, substance abuse, social disadvantages, and health and senior issues. September meeting campground retreats instituted. Received top honors at the 1992 Great Lakes convention for programs addressing Zeta’s international programmatic thrusts: illiteracy eradication, Project Zeta, and health & human services--as well as an award for all-around chapter programming. First Great Lakes chapter to collaborate with a major, research university in presenting a day-long program addressing health & social issues of importance to the minority community: Survival: An Issue of Today, A Reality of Tomorrow, convened at The Ohio State University, the largest single-campus university in the world. The program's workshops, exhibitions, luncheon, & banquet featured experts from the federal government, national agencies, and local agencies. Held 2nd annual town meeting, where sorors & Amicae dialogued w/ legislators. Six sorors and two Amicae served at the state, regional, &/or national level. Held homegoing service for our oldest chapter member, Soror Ora Middleton, a 50-yr. Zeta. Soror Middleton, a long-time resident of the Eastern Region (West Virginia) prior to moving to Columbus, was the first national “Miss Blue Review.” She was the catalyst in reviving the chapter's Amicae auxiliary, now the largest in Ohio after just six years, & served as Amicae Advisor. Soror Middleton was also active in numerous Columbus community organizations.
1993 – 1996: Arlene MJ Taylor – Basileus
Highlights - “What’s happening in Zetadome” newsletter created and distributed monthly. Annual chapter report card to every financial member. Entertainment books fundraiser. Receipt of several grants from the Ohio Health Department. Scrapbook created. In ’95 major revisions to the constitution, frequent host to Grand Basileus Jylla Moore Foster, Sole organization to receive Volunteer Services Award in 1994 from Columbus’ Neighborhood House. Sponsored 2 Zeta Challenger Kids to the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Zeta Challenger Kids program received the 1995 Civic Leadership for Education Award (for “significant contributions to the field of education by a non-education group”) from the Ohio Assn. for Supervision & Curriculum Development, Inc. Columbus Amicae named Great Lakes Region's “Amicae Chapter of the Year” in 1994. In 1993, Ohio’s “Zeta of the Year” and “Amica of the Year” hailed from Gamma Zeta Zeta Chapter. One of two Ohio chapters to receive grant funds for Open Airways for Schools, a partnership with the American Lung Association which addressed asthma among minority children in at-risk communities. Feed the Homeless initiative--quarterly meal preparations for a local family shelter. Participated in 6th annual Capital City Classic Parade with horse drawn carriage white horse and white carriage with Grand Basilieus Jylla Moore Foster, raising funds for Columbus’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center. 200 supporters attended “Celebrating 75 Years of World Class Service” GZZ as host chapter, a dinner-dance commemorating Zeta’s Diamond Anniversary. Highlights included reflections by Great Lakes Regional Director Doris Stokes, and presenting Gamma Zeta Zeta’s Scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love, and Finer Womanhood awardées.
1996 – 1997: Laurie Tufts – Basileus
Highlights - Sponsored The Arts, Artists: Today & Tomorrow, a celebration of youth accomplished in the fine arts. Hosted 3rd Annual Step With Zeta, a fitness benefit for the Billie Brown Jones Health Center. Held Scholarship Nite at the Races, annual scholarship fundraiser. Held Sisters of Greekdom: Celebrating Our Successes . . .Honoring Our Diversity While Serving Our Community for local NPHC sisters. (This later evolved into the Sister-to-Sister program.)
1997 – 2001: Bessie King Jackson – Basileus
Highlights - Soror Jackson admirably served Zeta Phi Beta Sorority for more than 50 years and in numerous elected & appointed offices on the Sorority's chapter, state, regional, and national levels; andSoror Bessie King Jackson shared her entrepreneurial abilities for addressing community needs as Founder and Director of the Bethune Center for Teenage Families, as a member of the Mayor's Task Force on Household Benefits, as a volunteer at Neighborhood House, and as a catalyst in establishing a local Zeta Phi Beta Sorority STORK'S NEST; and Soror Bessie Jackson, for 47 years, was a strong advocate for child welfare--most recently as a gubernatorial appointee to the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force; and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Court of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Division; and the quality of life for senior citizens was enhanced by Soror Jackson, who served as President of AARP Ohio, Executive Committee Member of AARP Ohio, Vice Chair of the Advisory Council of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, as a witness before the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, and as a contributor to the Voices of Civil Rights Project. Indeed, her stellar contributions were acknowledged when she was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizen Hall of Fame in 2004. Sponsored annual "Breakfast with the Artists" programs. Zeta Amicae sponsored 5th Annual Scholarship Fundraiser. Sponsored annual Sister-to-Sister programs for local National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek sisters. Sponsored Public Policy & Issues forums. Undergraduate Chapter, Kappa Rho at Otterbein College chartered.
2001 – 2003: Carla Robinson – Basileus
Highlights - Co-sponsored community alternative health expo with Shepard Library. Teamed with Columbus Northeast Health Center to sponsor chapter's 5th Annual Health Fair, featuring over 20 community partners.
2003 – 2007: LaRita MJ Smith – Basileus
Highlights - Received four Excellence in Public Relations/Marketing Image Awards at the Sorority’s 2004 national convention. In 2005, assisted New Salem Baptist Church build a Habitat for Humanity home. Teamed with OSU to present College Life program. Teamed with Project Linden to sponsorYouth Commit To Be Fit. Sponsored domestic relationship abuse forum, "Love Should Not Hurt!" Provided clothing items to Amethyst, Inc., an organization which provides housing; skills training; and treatment & therapeutic services for alcohol & drug-dependent women. Annual Bid Whist tournament, Outreach to Faith Mission and YWCA, City-wide baby shower initiative, Girls to Pearls Rites of Passage Program, Host to Great Lakes Regional Conference, Blue Arzenol Step Team, State Undergraduate Retreat co-host, Elected State Graduate Member at Large
2007 – 2011: Monique A. Hall, Esq. – Basileus
2011 – 2015 – Charity Martin-King– Basileus
Highlights – Gamma Zeta Zeta experiences unprecedented growth by reaching a record number of 76 members. GZZ becomes the largest chapter in the state of Ohio and 2nd largest in the region. Charity Martin-King reactivates local Z-HOPE initiatives and March of Dimes partnerships. She also re-activates the Columbus Amicae, Amicettes, Pearlettes, and Archonettes. The Storks Nest and community baby shower programs are re-activated in partnership with Neighborhood House. Beta Epsilon Chapter at Ohio University is re-activated. The Gamma Zeta Zeta Chapter Newsletter, The Trailblazer is introduced. The chapter website with a member’s only section is created. Partnerships include: Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Beta Omicron Sigma Chapter (Joint Founders’ Day Brunch, MLK Walk & Service Project, Re-dedication, Joint Blue & White Cookout & Book-bag/ School Supply Drive), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Rho Lambda Chapter (Michael Nicholson Hip Hop Fitness Fundraiser & March of Dimes Challenge), Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; Delta Omicron Sigma Chapter (Youth Symposium), Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Eta Omega & Beta Mu Chapter (Adopt-A-Family Thanksgiving Dinner). The chapter scholarship is renamed the “Janice Castle Trailblazer Award”. Basileus Martin-King creates the “Move with Zeta Program” as a focus on health and fitness. She also institutes a “Strategic Plan for Leadership” with a focus on community service, leadership development, and member recognition. The “From Girls to Pearls Program” is deemed a signature chapter program. Awards: 1st place State & Regional Z-HOPE Award, 2nd place Regional Scrapbook award, 1st place chapter size award. Xi Gamma at The Ohio State University receives “Chapter of the Year”. The chapter is recognized by the Columbus City Schools School Board, Columbus City Council, and Ohio Senate. GZZ appears in the National Publication “The Archon” 3 times. Martin-King receives the “9 Who Care Award” from Iota Phi Theta Fraternity & the “Hardest Worker Entrepreneur Award” from Tom Joyner.
2015 – 2017 – Deborah R. Woodley – Basileus
2017 – 2019 – Angela M. C. Cousin – Basileus
2019 – PRESENT– Charity Martin-King– Basileus
History Contributors: History compiled by Sorors Evelyn Robinson & Essie McLean Yuill, 1981. Rewritten & updated by Soror Essie McLean Yuill, l991. History Contributors: Sorors Cathy Mock, Arlene MJ Taylor, Cheryl Christie, Carla Robinson, LaRita Smith, 2007. Rewritten & updated by Soror Charity Martin-King, 2007, 2010, 2011
ADDITIONAL GZZ HISTORY: Sponsoring community initiatives which feature renown experts from national, state, & local agencies, including: Beryl Battle, Director of Community Services, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation; Dr. Ronald Fletcher, Director, Ohio Dept. of Health; Dr. Jacob Gayle, Jr., Special Asst., Minority HIV Policy Coordination, Centers for Disease Control; Dr. Elaine Johnson, Director, Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, U. S. Dept. of Health & Human Services; Dr. Vergel Lattimore, Director, Masters Program in Alcohol & Drug Addiction Ministries, Methodist Theological School of Ohio; Eunice Thomas, Director, Community Services Family Support Administration, U. S. Dept. of Health & Human Services; & Dr. Deborah P. Wolfe, Deputy Secy., U. S. Dept. of Education.