Honoring the Seniors of Alpha Kappa Alpha

The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Zeta chapter, pose outside of Kresge Gymnasium. The seniors of the chapter have dedicated time and effort the past few years to recruiting new members to keep the chapter's legacy alive (Photo illustration by Savannah Waddick).

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sigma Zeta chapter was chartered on Albion College’s campus on April 8, 2001. After being inactive for around two years, five women, four of whom are now seniors, set ahead to reinstate their chapter and leave behind a legacy for generations of Albion students to come.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is known for its extensive philanthropic work that targets five different areas within local and international communities. It is for this reason that these women found it important to reinstate their chapter.

The five women who reinstated the Sigma Zeta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority have left a mark on their fellow sisters and have done impressive work to get the chapter back up and running. The four graduating seniors reminisce on the reasons they joined Alpha Kappa Alpha, as well as the challenges they were presented with when reinstating their chapter.

“I have always wanted to be a part of this wonderful organization, and once there was a chance to be a part of the chapter on campus, I jumped at the opportunity” said LaRhonda Richardson, senior from Lathrup Village,  “COVID-19 made the process very difficult because it sent everyone home and into a lockdown before we could complete the process.”

Chapter President Lucretia Woods, a senior from Chicago, shared this sentiment in an introductory statement on the chapter’s website. Woods also mentioned how resilient this chapter has been when it comes to members’ service projects.

While COVID-19 has halted many plans, Sigma Zeta [has had] a virtual Skee-Week highlighting the five targets in the International Program,” said Woods, “The International Program of Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service, designed by International President Glenda Glover, places emphasis on HBCU for Life: A Call to Action, Women’s Healthcare and Wellness, Building Your Economic Legacy, The Arts, and Global Impact.”

Despite the many challenges these women faced, many said that the rewards have far outweighed the costs.

“The most rewarding part was gaining four new sisters and to be a part of the community service that our chapter has done this far,” said Richardson.

Woods also shared that despite the challenges, the women of the sorority have still pushed through to spread their mission on campus.

“In 2021, the Sigma Zeta chapter will continue to provide support and service to our community and within our sisterhood while celebrating the 20th anniversary of our chapters chartering,” said Woods.

Aubrey Speers, senior from Chicago, also talked about the impact the seniors of Alpha Kappa Alpha has had on the general Black student population on campus.

“I have known many of the seniors since Freshman year. Both individually and together as AKAs. They have shown tremendously how to be who they are,” said Speers. “How to support one another. How to show out. That inspires me because that shows me that no matter what season that I may be going at the time. That I can lean on to my brothers and sisters for support. That I can be who I am and don’t worry what others are thinking.”

These seniors have done the work to cement a new legacy for all those that follow them. Many of them said that they wish to see continued growth and recognition for the Sigma Zeta chapter on Albion’s campus in the coming years.

“I hope that the Sigma Zeta chapter can continue to be involved in the community and provide service to both the campus and the community,” said Richardson.

Speers also shared these opinions, adding that these women are doing so much more than just serving their community. They are role models to other young black women who will follow them.

“They brought back a black sorority to a predominantly white institution and they are making a name for themselves,” said Speers, “Here on campus and out in the world. I have so much hope for them that they are going to do such great things in the world. I can’t wait to hear their stories and how their stories inspire many others, especially young black women. We better join them or get out of the way because they’re coming and coming big.”

About Kenna Childress 20 Articles
Kenna Childress (she/her) is a junior from Berkley, Mich. She is currently working towards an English major and a Biochemistry minor, with law school intentions. She is a varsity Cross Country and Track athlete, and member of Delta Gamma and Sigma Tau Delta fraternities, Prentiss M. Brown honors college, and Albion College's Tour Guide Program.

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