National History of zeta Phi Beta Sorority,Inc.
They thought, pondered,
and searched their minds for three letters that will define a "True Woman."
The five founders chose not to embrace the tenants of established sororities,
but instead decided to try a new organization. This organization
would be built upon four basic principles, to encourage the higher standards of
scholarship, provide exceptional community service, display unconditional
sisterhood and to exemplify the ideal of finer womanhood. So on January
16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,
Incorporated was born from the darkness into a bright, brilliant flash of
Today, those four principles remain
our foundation, and it is evident in everything we do. We the
"Distinguish Ladies," of the Omega Beta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta
Sorority, Incorporated dedicate our time, and service to our phenomenal
founders: Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Pearl Anna Neal, Myrtle Tyler
Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, and Fannie Pettie Watts. We say to you,
"that your success is written in our hearts."
Arizona Cleaver Stemons
Arizona Cleaver was the first basileus of Alpha Chapter and the first Grand
Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Inspired by Charles Robert
Taylor and A. Langston Taylor, fraternity brothers of Phi Beta Sigma
Fraternity, she encouraged the first group of young women to join her in
organizing Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
She once stated, "Being the one to say: 'Let's establish a new sisterhood,'
then to see it grow from five girls to the present status, indeed gives me
quite a thrill. Yet, I am humble and grateful that so many have been and
still are willing to go the Zeta way."
Founder Arizona Cleaver Stemons was a Life Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
and held membership with Beta Delta Zeta Chapter in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She was responsible for chartering numerous undergraduate and
graduate chapters throughout the United States.
Her triumphant life ended in March, 1980 in Philadelphia.
Viola Tyler Goings
Viola Tyler Goings was one of the co-founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,
Incorporated and a Life Member.
After graduating from Howard University with a teaching
degree, she taught in Smithfield, North Carolina and later accepted the
position of Assistant Principal at the Cambridge High School in Cambridge,
Maryland. She married Fred Goings and later moved to Springfield, Ohio
pursuing her career as a teacher.
Words of reflections: "There is a Zeta in a girl
regardless of race, creed, or color, who has high standards of principles, a
good scholarly average, and an active interest in all things..."
Founder Viola Tyler Goings' triumphant life ended
Myrtle Tyler Faithful
Myrtle Tyler Faithful was the second Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta
Sorority, Incorporated, blood sister to Viola Tyler, and Life Member.
Myrtle Tyler, like her sister, was born in Flushing, Ohio. Upon receiving
her high school diploma, she matriculated at Howard University. An Ohio
teacher of Mathematics and English for some years, she always had an active
interest in community affairs.
She taught for several years in the Annapolis High School in Maryland.
She gave up teaching when she married Ross Faithful and raised two
daughters, both of whom are Zetas. Founder Myrtle Tyler Faithful was an
active Life Member of Alpha Zeta Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.
She revealed that "one of the happiest moments I have spent with Zetas
was when the Five Founders met as guests of the Delta Alpha Zeta Chapter of
Brooklyn, New York at their Founder's Day Dinner in 1952. What a wonderful
reunion we had. It is that bond of sisterly love in Zeta women that unites
us and makes us grow." Founder Myrtle Tyler Faithful's triumphant life ended
Fannie Pettie Watts
Fannie Pettie Watts was a life member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and held
membership with the Delta Alpha Zeta Chapter in Brooklyn, New York. She
organized the Omicron Beta undergraduate chapter in Brooklyn, New York.
Professionally, she was the Social Investigator for the Department of Social
Service in Brooklyn.
Founder Pettie Watts' triumphant life ended in 1995 in New York.
Pearl A. Neal
Pearl A. Neal was one of the co-founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,
Incorporated and a Life Member.
Pearl Neal was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She exhibited early a
degree of excellence in music and attended the Lincoln Academy in Kings
Mountain, North Carolina. Upon completion of her studies at the Academy, she
entered Howard University where she earned a degree in music. She earned her
Master's degree in Music from Columbia University, New York in 1938, thus
becoming the first Black woman in the state to earn this degree. She did
further study at the Julliard School of Music in New York.
Founder Pearl A. Neal began her career in the field of Education in
Americus, Georgia, teaching briefly in Crockett, Texas. She completed her
career in the Winston-Salem Schools in 1966. She was extremely active in
church and community activities.
Founder Pearl A. Neal's triumphant life ended in 1978.
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