Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., founded in 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, is a national business and professional women’s organization which strives to:
- Unite in sisterhood qualified business and professional women in order to enhance and improve the status of women in our highly complex, competitive business and professional world;
Promote increased interest in the broad field of business education among high school and college young women through planned programs and scholarships;
Encourage the development of personal goals and leadership potential; and
Establish and promote civic and social service activities for youth and adults.
The Sorority’s national theme: Business and Professional Women: Furthering the Dream of Economic Independence seeks to focus on advancing the economic foundations of women through leadership, entrepreneurship, education and technology. In addition, the Sorority aims to:
Make worthwhile contributions to the changing socio-economic patterns of our time;
Project the philosophy of the pursuit of excellence in all worthy endeavors among youth and adults;
Develop leadership expertise among business and professional women.
The first members of Gamma Delta Chapter
Sorors Fannie Baylor, Hope Blackwell, Ann Carter, Dorothy Lee, Catherine Trent, Catherine Johnson and Gwendolyn Shelton.
Front left to right: Vivian Johnson, Janine Miller and Carolyn Wallace Jacobs
Gamma Delta Chapter was chartered on November 27, 1954 in Richmond, VA. The sorority was introduced at the Virginia Teacher’s Association (VTA) Annual Meeting held in Richmond, Virginia. During this era, the white teachers association and the Negro Teacher’s Association were kept separate, which was mandated by the segregation laws of the south.