Two teachers at Hillside High School were largely responsible for establishing the first chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in Durham. They were Mary Lee Fisher Morris and Minnie Pearson Turner Spaulding who were initiated into the Beta Chapter at Wilberforce University and the Alpha Chapter at Howard University respectively. Others caught the spirit of Morris and Spaulding - Snowdrop E. Bailey, Rachel Brock Pratt, Amada Lee Walker, Dorothy Shepard Manley, Inez Coleman, Lyllian Taylor, Ethel Henry, Janet Avery Goff, Julia James Yancey, Nannie James Lash, Mollie Huston Lee and Thelma Wofford. These members along with Morris and Spaulding, brought into being Alpha Lambda Chapter at North Carolina College for Negroes now North Carolina Central University. Alpha Lambda was a mixed chapter of graduate and undergraduate members. Five charter members were initiated on Saturday, May 30, 1931. They were Ethel Humphrey Marshall, Thelma Gilmer Gibson, Helen Baker, Marion Woods Boyd and Lucy Ariel Williams Holloway.
Mary Lee Fisher Morris was the first president of Alpha Lambda Chapter and she remained in office from 1931 to 1937. Jochebed Christmas Locust was the second president. During her term of office, the graduate chapter, Alpha Kappa Sigma was established. It was chartered April 25, 1941, and later became known as Durham Alumnae Chapter. The charter members of Alpha Kappa Sigma were Alice M. Farrison, Grayce Lanier Thompson, Lu Sybil Taylor, Vivian Merrick Sansom, Snowdrop Bailey, and Edna Mason. Edna Mason is currently an active member of Durham Alumnae Chapter. Vivian Merrick Sansom (sister of past Durham Alumnae President Constance Watts) is currently a member of the Raleigh Alumnae Chapter.
Today, Durham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is one of over 950 chapters internationally who share this public service commitment with over 200,000 members.
Through the years Durham Alumnae Chapter has dedicated itself to the ideals set forth by the national Founders and local Charter Members. We hope and pray that this Chapter will continue to grow and progress in the spirit of the Founders and Charter Members by giving and generating services to the Greater Durham Community.