Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
P. O. Box 23292, Savannah, GA 31403
Gamma Sigma Omega
Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was chartered May 29, 1943. There were seven charter
members. Six were listed on the charter. They were Irene Pope Alexander, Frances Clarke Dye, Juanita Fogg Jennings, Mattie
Beverly Payne, Mayme E. Hubert Russell, and Martha Wright Wilson, first President of the chapter. These ladies were guided and
directed in their chartering efforts by Collye Riley, then Regional Director of the South Eastern Region, of which Georgia was a part
at that time.
The chapter immediately began to seek a project, a way to be of “Service To Mankind.” In June of 1943, a well-known Savannah
white woman, Adeline Graham, died and left a sizable portion of her estate to local charities. At the September 1943 meeting of
the chapter, Frances Dye told the other members that she had learned from a newspaper notice that the deceased woman had left
property and funds “to whoever might start a movement to establish an Orphanage for Negro Children.” A committee composed
of Dye, Martha Wilson, and Dorothy Jamerson investigated the bequest, reported to the chapter their findings, and thus the
chapter’s first project was undertaken.
With Gamma Sigma Omega’s members at the helm, community support was sought and received, the provisions of the deceased
woman’s will carried out, and an institution for orphaned and destitute Negro children began to take organizational shape. On June
8, 1944, Greenbriar Children’s Center, Incorporated came into being, just one year after the chapter was chartered. On July 15,
1949, the Center’s first building opened for occupancy, all through the efforts and leadership of Gamma Sigma Omega’s
members. Thus for many years, Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Greenbriar Children’s
Center, Inc. were almost synonymous. In addition to Gamma Sigma Omega’s other service projects, Greenbriar was the chapter’s
primary project, which included fundraising, leadership, personal involvement, and service from the beginning until approximately
1966 when Federal, State, and City funding became more readily available to the Center. Today, the Center is a viable one in the
Savannah community, meeting the needs of all races of children, and Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter makes yearly donations to it.
In the 70s and 80s members served in the Ogeecheeton Project, Tutorial Program at Butler Presbyterian Church, the Yamacraw
Project, the Cuyler Community Project held at St. Mary’s School, Hitch Village Project, the Precious Gems Mentoring Program for
Middle School girls, PIMS (Partnership in Mathematics and Science, an after school program held at St. Pius Community Center).
The SCANA/AKA Homework Center in partnership with Robert W. Gadsden Elementary School, beginning in 1999, members
“blazed new trails” and with ON TRACK programs, nurturing 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Gadsden. Thereby, the chapter
implemented PROJECT AKA, a collaboration among Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter, Gadsden, the Housing Authority of
Savannah, and other community partners. From this impetus, the Ivy Reading AKAdemy anchored by the Spirit of Alpha Kappa
Alpha shone as a beacon of resources for Gadsden and Esther F. Garrison Elementary students, in 2001. In partnership with First
Student school transportation, Savannah Leisure Services, and local churches, children were transported from Yamacraw Village
to attend the Ivy Reading AKAdemy and field trips. To encourage reading, Top Readers were recognized at Gadsden and
Garrison Elementary schools, and members volunteered to read to classes during the school day and after school.
Under the captivating ESP Icon, GSO performed the Extraordinary Service Program of Economics, Sisterhood and Partnership:
ESP Kids Club (Earn, Save Prosper), Economic Smart Fair, and the Non-Traditional Entrepreneur. Preparing to meet the
challenges of the 21st Century, 2013 ushers in the international emphasis of “Global Leadership through Timeless Service.”
Gamma Sigma Omega nurtures Emerging Young Leaders (EYL), promotes Health Initiatives, Global Poverty Initiatives, Economic
Security Initiatives, Social Justice and Human Rights Initiatives.
Due to the growth in the number of chapters, they were realigned. In 1953 Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter became a member of
the new South Atlantic Region, comprising the states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Gamma Sigma Omega supervises two undergraduate chapters: Gamma Upsilon Chapter, chartered November 26, 1949 on the
campus of Savannah State University and Sigma Tau Chapter, chartered April 24, 2005 on the campus of Armstrong Atlantic State
M.A.R.T.H.A., Inc., Moving All Races to Higher Achievement, the chapter’s foundation became a 501(c)(3) August 25, 2006,
organized to support the charitable, educational and community programs and initiatives of Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter.
Fundraising through M.A.R.T.H.A., Inc, has permitted the chapter to make financial donations to many charitable causes, in
addition to Greenbriar Children’s Center, Inc., notably, the United Negro College Fund, Economic Opportunity Authority (EOA) of
Savannah, Scholarships at Savannah State University and Armstrong Atlantic State University, scholarships to graduating high
school seniors, recipients of oratorical contests, Boys and Girls Club, West Broad Street YMCA, the American Cancer Society and
many, many more.