January 7, 1963

Chapters: Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest States

Flower: White Carnation

Mascot: Dove

Founders: Hazel Carr, Julia Stark, Helen B. Harris & E. Gertrude Thompson

Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc.

Alpha Pi Chi promotes ethical concepts in human relations; studies and understands current issues on all levels; teaches civic responsibilities and develops members socially, culturally and intellectually.

Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc. was incorporated in the state of Illinois on January 7, 1963. In 1962, a group of nine dynamic women met to form a democratic sisterhood. Since that time Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Incorporated has become a national organization consisting of more than forty chapters divided into three regions throughout the country, in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. For the past forty-vie years, the organization’s focus has been education and community service.

Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc. provides opportunities for energetic women to develop and implement their talents and skills. Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority exhibits gifts of love, commitment, concerns, conviction, dedication and joyfulness through diversified programs and projects.

Founders

Soror Hazel Carr

Hazel Carr, was one of the four Founders and a Past President of Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri and grew up in the Ville Community. She attended Simmons Elementary School, Summer High School, and Stowe Teachers College. Hazel continued her education receiving a master’s degree in Special Education. She was a well-respected special education teacher for many years. She was a lifelong member of St. James A.M.E. church, a member of the adult choir, a pianist for the Youth Choir and active in the Bible Study Class until her health began to fail. One of her passions was growing beautiful African violets. She was a member of the Metropolitan Saint Louis African Violet Council. She was also passionate about duplicate bridge. As an accomplished bridge player, she acquired master bridge status, playing in the American Bridge Association’s duplicate bridge tournaments.

Hazel Carr served in a leadership capacity from 1962-1987. Through her steadfast leadership, dedication and perseverance, a new organizational structure was developed that changed the policies and procedures of Alpha Pi Chi. Hazel brought Greek paraphernalia to our assemblies. The sorority flag, banner with the crest that holds all of the sorority’s symbols, and the torch light totally changing the atmosphere of the sorority while increasing pride in the organization. She introduces the program that awards scholarships each year to students with a 2.5GPA. She also initiated the charitable donation of $5000 every three years to a service organization in the host city of our convention. The first public sponsor, (Anheuser-Bush) underwrote a luncheon in the honor of Soror Jean Jackson, during Soror Carr’s administration.

Hazel Carr was an inspiration to many people and touched many lives with her can-do spirit, dedication and devotion. She was a friend, a teacher and a leader. She leaves a legacy that will last for an eternity in Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority and in the communities where she lived and worked.

Soror Julia M. Stark

Founder and President

Soror Julia M. Stark was the first National President of Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority and served in that position from 1963 to 1972. In that position, she appointed three vice presidents as department directors and guided the sorority to some of its most outstanding and successful events. She also held the first official Board of Directors meeting in her home in Chicago, Illinois in 1963. As a faithful member of Pilgrim Baptist Church of Chicago she served as Director of Religious Education and founded a fanancial effort to raise $50,000 on-going religious programs.

Soror Julia M. Stark attended Lemoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee and DePaul, Roosevelt and Northwestern Universities of Chicago, Illinois. She was employed by the National Conference of Christians and Jews for 37 years. As Associated Director and Program Director, she chaired its Advisory Council that sought to desegregate public accommodations and bring about amity and understanding among religious racial, and ethnic groups nationwide.

Soror Julia M. Stark was the President of Zonta International South Side Club and served as the delegate to the International Convention in Sydney, Australia. The organization under her leadership awarded four scholarship for young women studying in the field of engineering, law, and medicine.

For many years, Soror Stark served on the board of the Southeast Chicago Commission ( a housing affiliate of the University of Chicago), And a member of educational sorority, Alpha Gamma Pi, composed of retirees and for four years she was the Vice President and Luncheon Chairman. Additionally, she is an advocate of many youth activities.

Soror Julia M. Stark was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award of the National Hook-Up of Black Women of the Black Congressional Caucus and the Helen B. Harris Big Sister Award of Alpha Pi Chi for outstanding service.

Soror Julia M. Stark served as the Associate Director of the City Colleges of the City Colleges of the Chicago Foundation and is the sponsor of the Delta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority in Chicago, Illinois.

With these and other distinctions, she practices the characteristics of kindness, patience service and humility. She can meet all people regardless of meager background, superior training or lofty positions because life’s road she has met them all.

Soror Helen Blake Harris

Helen Blake Harris the youngest daughter of the Reverend Walter Scott Blake, a Baptist minister, and Tennis Blake, a school teacher, was born in Emporia, Kansas. She finished grade and high school in Muskogee, Oklahoma where her father was a pastor.

She attended Fisk University and Northwestern University. Helen was employed by the Chicago Board of Education and attended summer school at the Nation Playground and Recreation Association of America. She accepted a position with a settlement house in Syracuse, New York.

Several years passed before she enrolled in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Chicago and completed courses in law at Loyola School of Law where she graduated. She engaged in many activities such as playing leading roles in operettas and plays; dancing, cooking and most of all writing. One which was published titled, “The People Downstairs.” Helen’s final written presentations included the following philosophy expressed by Albert Schweitzer,”In gratitude for your own good fortunate, you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life.” All of us who have come together in service through Alpha Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. are dedicated to something that will out-last life and from that we will find true meaning of Learning and Living.

Soror E. Gertrude Thompson

E. Gertrude Thompson was born, raised and educated in Atlanta, GA. She attended Clark College and had the distinct honor of being one of the first students to attend the Atlanta University School of Social Work.

Born the third child of Henry and Gertrude Furlow, she was endowed with a special talent, a gift. A gift of love is a divine energy that comes from within and radiated in all directions. It was this boundless store of love coupled with the genuine desire to be of service to her fellow man, which motivated her to join the American Red Cross. After that, she traveled abroad to Europe to use her skills and talents as a social worker to serve the men and women of the Armed Forces. She continued to render noteworthy service to the Department of Public Welfare the Southside Comprehensive Health Center. She always had time for words of encouragement, to listen to their problems and offer a word of advice and to share a warm, friendly smile.

In 1955, Gertrude was contacted by Elizabeth Farmer, from the Midwest Region, who was in Atlanta to meet with key women in the community for the purpose of organizing a new sorority. The idea of universal sisterhood was overwhelming, to say the least, and from this inception, Gertrude was totally committed. Working countless hours with planning, organizing, traveling and praying to God for guidance, strength, and direction.

The Beginning of Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc.

1962

In 1962, a group of nine dynamic women previously associated with Alpha Gamma Chi Sorority, met to form a democratic and lasting sisterhood.

The Midwest and the Southeast Region’s Presidents of the predecessor sorority, Hazel Carr, and E. Gertrude Thompson provided leadership. They called a meeting in Chicago, Illinois, with Julia Washington, Helen Harris, Lula Brown, Cedella Bradford, Marion Green, Carrie Miller, and Ruth Lewis Henderson were in attendance. After much discussion and planning, it was decided to organize a new sorority.

On January 7, 1963, after all of the necessary procedures, a new Sorority known as Alpha Pi Chi emerged and  incorporated in the State of Illinois. The temporary officers were: Julia Washington, President; E. Gertrude Thompson, First Vice President; Hazel Carr, Second Vice President; Lula Brown, Recording Secretary, Ruth Lewis Henderson, Corresponding Secretary, and Odeal Steadman, was unable to serve as Treasurer. Lillian Adams served as the Treasurer. 

1970

National Board of Directors Meeting in Chicago – April 1970 at the Sheraton Chicago.

1971

Founders Day Luncheon January, 1971 at the Sonesta Hotel, Washington, D.C.  A gavel was presented to Soror M. Elizabeth Carpenter for her six successful years as President on the Northeast Region.