During the early years, the Chapter focused on sisterhood, togetherness, and community service...
By combining their strengths, talents, and resources, the Alexandria Alumnae Chapter had a profound impact on the community.
At the inception of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in 1913 at Howard University, the founders envisioned an organization of college women pledged to serious endeavor and community service. These youthful students demonstrated a vital concern for social welfare, academic excellence, and cultural enrichment, de-emphasizing the social side of sorority life. Their ideals of scholarship and service have withstood the test of time. Today, Delta Sigma Theta is an international public service organization, dedicated to a program of sharing membership skills and organizational services in the public interest. In 1930 the Grand Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated as a national organization.
In the summer of 1958, thirteen concerned Deltas felt a need for an alumnae chapter in the Northern Virginia area and began working towards that end. The Northern
Virginia Alumnae Chapter (NoVAC) was originally chartered as the Alexandria Alumnae Chapter and became the 251st chapter on May 17, 1959.
DST Northern Virginia Alumnae Charter Members
*First Chapter President
Charter member Izzetta Callahan (r) with 27th NoVAC President Jameece Pinckney
recognized at the chapter's 60th Anniversary Celebration, May, 2019.
During the early years, the Chapter focused on sisterhood, togetherness, and community service. These included the establishment of a scholarship, programs and projects for the well-being of nursing home residents, enrichment program activities for teenage girls, and committed involvement with various programs in support of civil rights. By combining their strengths, talents, and resources, the Alexandria Alumnae Chapter had a profound impact on the community.
Due to the increased number of Deltas in the Northern Virginia area who elected to affiliate with the Alexandria Chapter, the Chapter voted in 1977 to change its name from the Alexandria Alumnae Chapter to the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter to reflect the geographical composition of its members. The charter establishing this new name was issued on January 21, 1977.
As the Chapter’s focus expanded and membership increased, its influence was recognized; and community service projects became more expansive. NoVAC was on the move. Chapter members were elected to various regional and national offices. Two past presidents have served as regional directors. Alice Fleet, the Chapter’s fourth president (1967-1969), served as the Regional Director of the South Atlantic Region from 1970-1972. Dorothy White, the Chapter’s 13th president (1985-1987), was the South Atlantic Regional Director from 1997-1999. Angella P. Current, the Chapter’s 9th president (1977-1979), served as the 6th executive director of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority beginning September 22, 1980. Madeliene H. Dobbins, the Chapter’s 17th president (1994-1996), served as the director of the Delta Research & Educational Foundation. In addition, Nancy Randolph is a past National Secretary, and M. Lucia James was the Southern Regional Director from 1952-1956 and a past National Treasurer. And sorors too numerous to list have chaired or served on the Regional Council and various national committees.
NoVAC reached another milestone in 1992 when the Northern Virginia Delta Education and Community Service Foundation was established. The Foundation plays a significant role in providing educational, scientific, civic, literary, and service programs and initiatives for the Northern Virginia community.
Since the inception of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter in 1959, the Chapter has awarded approximately a half million dollars in scholarships to high school graduates entering college. Some of the fundraising activities to support scholarships, as well as other Chapter programs, include Jabberwocks, talent shows, fashion shows, hat shows, cabarets, cruises, plays, dances, balls, musicales, galas, the Alvin Ailey Dancers, car washes, card sales, bowling parties, stay at home teas, step shows, and prayer breakfasts.
The Chapter's programs model Delta’s National Five-Point Programmatic Thrust focusing on economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement. Our programs support our children, our youth, our young adults, and our senior citizens providing quality service to the community in the form of social and cultural activities, educational activities, career enlightenment, and scholarship opportunities. Our emphasis on the community is demonstrated with such excellent, long-standing programs as Fall Awareness, Teen Lift, Project A.F.R.I.C.A., Project DESTINY, Delta Academy, and Reading Is Fundamental. We reached beyond our service area to international shores in February 2007 when 32 members visited Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; in February 2011 when 30 members visited Ghana; and again, in February 2017 when 39 members went back to South Africa for our 10th anniversary.
Community Service Initiatives
Arts & Letters
Provides opportunities for the display of talent in all aspects of the arts.
Enriches youth culturally, socially, and developmentally through various programs.
Raising awareness and involvement around global issues such as human rights, poverty, & water to name a few.
Provides scholarships to qualifying high school graduates that reside in our service areas who are entering post-secondary programs.
Serves as an advocate and conducts service for the elderly population, especially the African- American community in Northern Virginia.
Advocates wellness and early intervention for members and the community by providing information, activities, and services.
Promotes reading and literacy among children and youth and parental participation in learning.
Conducts advocacy activities ensuring citizen, institutional, governmental, and organizational response to the emerging needs of the community.
Designed to promote understanding of all aspects of the financial system, to address the need for financial literacy and achievement.
In addition to the Chapter’s collective public service projects, individual members carry out the sorority’s mission while achieving excellence in their personal lives and professional careers. Delta Internal Development seminars are sponsored by the Chapter for its members and are designed to provide opportunities for growth and interaction. NoVAC members blaze trails and leave footprints for others to follow, whether serving on boards, commissions, or foundations as trustees of local, state, national, and international organizations, and have been widely recognized for outstanding service and stellar achievement.
Today the Chapter’s membership has grown to over 500 members, ranking NoVAC number one in size in the state of Virginia, number two in the South Atlantic region, and number 14 nationally. The Chapter has initiated more than 345 women on 16 different occasions, and 27 presidents have served the Chapter. Melanie J. Carter is the current Chapter president.
NoVAC has a rich history and so many have contributed to building its foundation and its structure. To those on whose shoulders we stand to see further and to reach beyond our grasp, we say “thank you”.