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New York Alumnae Chapter, The First Graduate Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was approved at the national convention in December 1920 and chartered in January 1921. Its first name Alpha Beta was changed to Alpha Sigma and by 1960 changed to New York Alumnae.

During its 100-year history, New York Alumnae Chapter has continually incorporated projects consistent with the directions and emphases recommended at the national level. Pledged to academic excellence, cultural enrichment, social welfare, and community service, the 160 Deltas in NYAC continue to demonstrate leadership skills as we work on programs and projects for the young, the needy, and the elderly.


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Noteworthy Members


New York Alumnae Chapter is proud of its past and current members. Our most noteworthy members include three founders and two past National Presidents:

  • Osceola McCarthy Adams, Founder


  • Ethel Cuff Black, Founder


  • Naomi Sewell Richardson, Founder


  • Dorothy I. Height, 10th Past National President*

  • Jeanne L. Noble, 12th Past National President*

* The entire list of Past National Presidents is available here.

Leadership Positions

Members of our chapter have held leadership roles in Delta’s local and national offices and committees including:

  • Sorors Marie Barksdale and Shirley Brown, former Executive Directors, were members of NYAC

  • The late Maude L. Watkins was Acting Chairperson of the 1940’s National Library Project

  • Soror Winnie Norman was a National Nominating Committee member in 1963

  • Soror Phoebe C. LeSesne was elected Chair National Finance Committee in 1963.

    • In 1967,  she was elected National Treasurer, then later re-elected Chair of National Finance Committee at the next National Convention.

Conferences and Conventions

As a chapter in one of the largest cities in the United States, we have hosted conferences and conventions as listed below:

  • December 27 – 31, 1924: NYAC hosted the 6th National Convention at YWCA on 137th Street during which the Delta Hymn was adopted. Founder Naomi Sewell Richardson was a member of Alpha Beta Chapter.


  • August 28 – 31, 1939: NYAC hosted the 15th National Convention at St. James Presbyterian Church


  • August 14, 1954 – August 20, 1954: Under the leadership of 10th National President Dorothy I. Height, the Hotel Roosevelt was headquarters for the 23rd National Convention in 1954 – the first time a black organization met in a major, downtown Manhattan hotel


  • March 30 – April 2, 1978: The Eastern Regional Conference convened at the Americana Hotel


  • August 11, 1963 – August 17, 1963: Delta’s Golden Anniversary Convention was held at the Americana Hotel during 12th National President Jeanne L. Noble’s administration. 

    • The Golden Anniversary Jubilee" Theme:"The Past Is Prologue" Decision to participate in March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. Vote to launch voter registration drive among Negros. Hosted by the New York Alumnae Chapter.

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