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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority celebrates its centennial

124th Rose Parade

Delta Sigma Theta Society Inc. “Transforming Communities Through Sisterhood & Service” float during the 124th Rose Parade on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2012. COURTESY PHOTO

Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper

Members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority are celebrating their 100th anniversary with a series of events, including a Founders’ Day weekend that took place Jan. 11-13 in Washington, D.C.

The centennial celebration touched off New Year’s Day when the sorority, which was founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University, presented a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., the parade that coincides with the Rose Bowl.

Organizers said the Delta float was the first ever by a Black Greek organization to participate in the parade. The theme of the sorority’s float was “Transforming Communities through Sisterhood & Service.” It featured a golden globe sitting atop flowers and olive branches and a floating hexagon representing the sorority’s “Five-Point Programmatic Thrust,” which was established in 1955 depicting the organization’s outreach goals: economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health and political awareness and involvement. The sixth side displayed the sorority’s service medallion. The back of the float contained a replica of Downing Hall at Howard, where the sorority was founded.

Twelve members were scheduled to ride on or accompany the float, including Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, the national president, the executive committee and seven past presidents. One-hundred flanked the sides representing the 100 years of service and 22 additional members represented the founders, according to the parade’s Web site.

Also on New Year’s Day, a 22-city tour of the Delta Torch, which symbolizes the “passion and commitment of the organization’s global reach,” began in Los Angeles, according to a statement.

Scheduled stops on the tour include: Seattle, Dallas, Little Rock, Detroit, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York City and Baltimore. The tour will end in Washington, D.C.

The torch tour will culminate at DST’s 51st national convention in Washington, D.C., which is scheduled for July 11-17, when it is passed to national president, signifying the start of the convention.

“We honor our founders and past national presidents as we bring the flame they ignited in us so many decades ago back to their cities and gladly carry the ever-burning torch of sisterhood, scholarship and service into the next 100 years,” Butler-McIntyre said.

She said the stops represent jurisdictions that are “infused into the history of this organization.” The torch will also visit international chapters in Japan and Bermuda. At each location, programs will be held including historical reflections, music and acknowledgements from elected officials and other invited guests.

Delta Sigma Theta has more than 300,000 members in almost 1,000 chapters around the world.

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