It was a wonderful time of fellowship, reflection and reconnection to what it means to be a Delta at the Delta Sigma Theta Madison Alumnae Chapter’s Founders Day Dinner and Fellowship Jan. 13 at Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse on Madison’s west side.

“Delta Sigma Theta is now 103 years old,” says Delta President Terri Strong. “It was a great time to gather together as sisters to reflect on what it was that our founders did, the sacrifices they made, and the challenges and hurdles they overcame to create our illustrious sorority.”

Sorors gathered to share their impressions about the strength of the founders. “Words like ‘stepping out on faith,’ ‘perseverance,’ ‘tenacity,’ ‘bold,’ ‘courageous,’ ‘wise,’ ‘strong,’ ‘grace,’ and more were used to describe our 22 founders,” Strong says. P_Delta Crest & Symbols

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is an organization of college-educated women committed to scholarship, sisterhood and public service. They are a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. A sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately Black college educated women, the Sorority currently has over 900 chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Republic of Korea.

“Our gathering on the Founder’s Day anniversary was also a great time to reconnect with sorors that we may not see every day and haven’t seen in a while,” Strong tells Madison365. “We just want to make sure our bond remains intact and is strong. Our organization was founded on Christian principles and our history is so important to us and it is important to pass it down to our younger Delta sorors so they really understand the legacy that they are in charge of continuing.”

The major programs of the sorority are based upon the organization’s Five Point Programmatic Thrust that include economic development; educational development; international awareness and involvement; physical and mental health; and political awareness and involvement. Strong has been the president since last year when she took over from Carola Gaines.

Current Delta President Terri Strong (right) with former president Carola Gaines
Current Delta President Terri Strong (right) with former president Carola Gaines

“Being president of the Deltas has been a mind-blowing experience,” Strong says. “It’s wonderful. It was the next step in my long Delta journey. It’s a new era for me and it’s a new era for the Madison alumni chapter. It’s given me a great opportunity to use my leadership and development skills and to keep this Madison alumnae chapter rolling down the tracks.”

The Madison Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Thetas was chartered in 1977 and since then has been devoted to public service and developing and implementing programs that transform lives and impact the community.

“We have so much work to do in the name of social justice and in the name of our educational programs,” Strong says. “We have a lot to do but we are ready to get at it.”

Part of that work is getting ready for the Deltas’ signature event – the 21st annual Heart and Soul Scholarship Ball – that will take place Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Double Tree Hotel. All proceeds from this event will benefit educational programs and scholarships provided by the Madison Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Deltas celebrate at a previous Heart and Soul Scholarship Ball.
Deltas celebrate at a previous Heart and Soul Scholarship Ball.

This year’s exclusive evening will feature Madison Alumnae Chapter scholarship recipients, community awards, live entertainment and elegant dancing.

“This is our signature event and the major fundraiser for our scholarships,” Strong says. “It is truly, truly a fun time. We have great music, great fellowship, and great food. I think it’s one of the highlights for winter activities for African Americans in Madison. I think people really do plan for this event.”