AKA Great Lakes Regional - History


The proud history of the Great Lakes is built on the celebrated work ethic of members in the region and their intense love for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.


This region's story mirrors the struggles and gains of women and Blacks in our country evidenced by the move of our conferences from community housing to mainstream hotels. The intrepid women who have led the Great Lakes Region as Regional Directors also made their mark as pioneers in their careers and communities while serving Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.


There are ninety-seven Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapters located in Michigan, Western New York, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia comprising the AKA Great Lakes Region. The Region's first Undergraduate Chapter was Zeta, chartered in 1916 at Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio. Alpha Omega, the Sorority's first graduate Chapter was chartered as Eta Chapter in 1917 on the campus of Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. The name was changed in 1922. Psi Kappa Omega, Battle Creek, Michigan, chartered February 7, 2009 is the region's newest graduate chapter. Zeta Epsilon, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, chartered April 29, 2012 is the regions’ newest undergraduate chapter.


The Great Lakes Region has hosted eleven National Boules since 1920: Cleveland, Ohio -1920, 1927, 1947, 1952, Columbus, Ohio -1926, Cincinnati, Ohio - 1931, 1959 and Detroit, Michigan - 1938, 1962, 1986, and 2006. The region has 27 Regional Directors, six of whom served Alpha Kappa Alpha as National Presidents.*


Great Lakes Sorors, through the years, have rendered unwavering support of Alpha Kappa Alpha programs. Through their tenacity and perseverance, chapters have demonstrated loyalty to the programmatic thrusts of the International Presidents.


Established: 1924 (initially as the North Central Region)

First Regional Director: L. Pearl Mitchell

First Regional Conference: 1931

Geography at Creation :Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Geography Today: Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, Western New York

First Undergraduate Chapter Chartered: Zeta (Wilberforce College); 1916

First Graduate Chapter Chartered:
Eta Graduate (Cleveland, Ohio; name later changed to Alpha Omega); 1913

Undergraduate & Graduate Chapters at Creation:
Undergraduate Chapters - 5
Graduate Chapters - 3

Undergraduate & Graduate Chapters Today:
Undergraduate Chapters - 46
Graduate Chapters - 51

Region Highlights



A History of the Great Lakes Region -  Every Chapter's History Is Precious 1924-2010,
Published and Copyright 2010, Editor-Octavia Walters Cabey