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. The sorority became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to the Alpha chapter at Butler University. Founded in the midst of segregation, Sigma Gamma Rho is the only sorority of the four historically African-American sororities to be established on a predominately white campus. Setting a precedence that continues today, Sorors of Sigma Gamma Rho remain steadfast in their efforts to remove barriers and inequalities through civic service, education, and community outreach.
From seven young educators, Sigma Gamma Rho has become an international service organization comprised of women from every profession and diverse backgrounds. Sigma Gamma Rho offers its members opportunities to develop their unique talents through leadership training and involvement in sorority activities. Sorority activities provide an atmosphere where friendships and professional contacts are developed which often lead to bonds that last a lifetime.
Soaring to greater heights of attainment around the world, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., as a leading national service organization, has met the challenges of the day and continues to grow through Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.
Sigma Gamma Rho’s commitment to service is expressed in its slogan, “Greater Service, Greater Progress.” The sorority has a proud history of offering service wherever chapters exist, including OPERATION BigBookBag, a program designed to address the needs, challenges and issues that face school-aged children who are educationally at-risk in local homeless shelters and extended care hospitals. The objective is for chapters to provide their local homeless shelters and children hospitals with educational materials, equipment and supplies. Other national projects include: Wee Savers, Project Reassurance and Habitat for Humanity.