OUR NATIONAL FOUNDERS
On Palm Sunday in April 1923, Gladys Merritt met with a young lady, who to this day is simply known as Ms. X, and discussed the possibility of creating a sorority for teachers in Jersey City. This discussion was different than other conversations the two had as this one resulted in invitations being sent to eight other teachers to attend an information meeting. Ms. X attempted to discourage Ms. Merritt from this venture thinking of how difficult and troublesome. Ms. Merritt promised should there not be interest from those invited she would give up the idea. However those who attended that information session were so motivated they voted to create a permanent organization that Friday night.
Within a matter of weeks they had engaged an attorney to assist in establishing the sorority. However being so young themselves, they needed to elect trustees to sign for them to become incorporated. May 23, 1923, they were finally official and this date is still celebrated as our offical Founder's Day.
These truly outstanding women each went on to live up to the ideals they set forth as the mission of the sorority. Each of them becoming educational leaders in their community having lasting impact where they served so diligently. From those eight amazing young women meeting on a Friday evening the sorority has grown to over 130 chapters internationally.
Pictured – Front, Left to Right: Gladys Cannon Nunnery, Julia Asbury Barnes, Gladys Merritt Ross (Mother Founder), Dr. Florence Steele- Hunt
Rear- Ella Wells Butler, Marguerite Gross, Mildred Morris (not pictured Edna McConnell)
Eta's Charter Members
Pictured – Front, Left to Right: Anna Yarbrough, Lillian Burns, Aline Sheffy Walker -Mother of Eta, Francena Sullivan , Carolyn Hutchins – Not pictured : Marian Gardener Brown, Jessie Clark Flournoy, Marguerite Lemmon and Dororthy Jones Russ,
OUR CHAPTER'S HISTORY
Nearly, four years after the this sorority had its beginnings in Jersey City Ms. Aline Sheffy was hostess to a meeting with eight other ladies and shared with them information about the teaching sorority from Jersey City. Realizing the need for a similar professional organization in Camden, they voted that they too would work to continue the aims of the sorority for our community. That afternoon in January 1927 these nine young ladies agreed that they too
would foster a spirit of sisterhood among teachers
promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession
encourage our youth to attain higher levels of education and character
Members from Alpha Chapter- Jersey City and Beta Chapter-Washington D.C. traveled to Philadelphia to organize two new chapters. These nine young women from Camden NJ along with fifteen others from Philadelphia were officially charted becoming Eta and Zeta chapters on March 5, 1927.
Eta Chapter has continued to grow and serve the community since. Eta has four auxiliary groups. The Xinos and Kudos, our high school girls and boys clubs. The HUB group the support organization for their parents. Eta was the first chapter to create a Men in Our Lives auxiliary group known as the Kapitans in 1952- currently nationally known as the Anthropos. Eta first hosted a youth conference at 1967 at the Cherry Hill Inn.
Each year Eta Chapter gives two local scholarships and a host of achievement awards to our Xinos, Kudos and graduating middle school students where our members work.
We continue in many ways to “lift the torch of enlightenment” and invite you to learn more through our programs page.