An Occasion to Celebrate

March 24, 2019 GMT

Theta Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., celebrated its 111th Founder’s Day.

The chapter encompasses Floyd, Bartow, Polk and Carroll counties and includes more than 70 members, many whom live in Rome. Civic projects have benefitted Rome residents and organizations throughout the years.

The recent anniversary celebration took place in Cartersville. Dr. Meda Rollings presided over the occasion and was co-chair of the Founders’ Day Celebration Committee along with Shalicia Thomas and Kendra Scott.

President Sherry Turner extended greetings and Shalicia Thomas gave the occasion. Henrice Berrien, Chaplain, rendered a meditation. In conjunction with honoring the AKA Founders, newly crowned “Golden Sorors (members of the sorority for 50 years) and Silver Stars (members of the sorority for 25 years) were presented by Wendy Brown and Karla Kincade.

Ruby Morgan and Nicie Parks have been in the sorority for 50 years while Andrea Dabney, MD and Gretchen Cleveland have been in the sorority for 25 years.

Ruby Jean Morgan was initiated in 1969 into the Gamma Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and was number 19 among 25. Morgan was President of the chapter.

Presently, she serves as the chairman of the Archives Committee and has participated on Relay for Life Teams, The Longest Day Teams, EAF Committee, Public Relations Committee and Membership Committee. A very special highlight of being a member of Theta Omicron Omega Chapter is having the honor of being voted “Soror of the Year” in 2017.

After being an educator for 30 years, Morgan retired in 2003. Community organizations in which she is affiliated include memberships in Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Bartow Retired Educators Association, The Les Savants Club, and The Martin Luther King Celebration Committee. Morgan is also mentoring a student at Cartersville High School.

Nicie Pollard Parks is a native of Cedartown. In 1967 when Theta Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was chartered, Nicie was among the first six candidates to seek membership in the chapter and in 1969, she, along with five other candidates, was initiated into this Chapter. Mrs. Parks was an energetic, hardworking member of Theta Omicron Omega chapter for many, many years until declining health prevented her from doing so. Among the many positions she held were: Parliamentarian, 1995-1996; Chapter President,1984-1986 and Ivy Leaf Reporter, 1980-81. She also served on numerous committees. For many years, she served as Membership Chair, a position that she highly regarded and worked very tirelessly at.

Nicie was married to the late Robert Lee Parks, and they were parents to an only child, Loretta Rose Parks and grandparents to an only granddaughter, Anice Moore. Both are active members of Theta Omicron Omega Chapter.

Gretchen Cleveland became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated in May 1994 when she was initiated into the Theta Omicron Omega Chapter.

A 1987 graduate of Bowdon High School, Cleveland graduated from Spelman College in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has served as the County Director for the Coweta County Department of Family and Children Services in Newnan, Georgia since August 2014.

Recently, after being inactive for several years, Mrs. Cleveland has had the opportunity to reconnect with her Theta Omicron Omega sorors and said the experience has been wonderful — the love and support shown was as if she had never left. Cleveland is excited about reactivating, reconnecting with sorors and recommitting to be a service to others.

According to Ms. Cleveland, “Being part of such an amazing sisterhood has and continues to afford me a vast array of opportunities to grow personally and professionally, but most of all, it has helped create lifelong supportive relationships.”

Dr. Andrea Dabney grew up in Rome. In 1989 she graduated from University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree. She then worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for almost 10 years. and in 2002, she graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine with the doctor of medicine degree. She subsequently graduated from residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at East Tennessee State University in 2007. Dabney received a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in 2009 and currently works in Decatur, GA at Emory Kirkwood OBGYN and with Emory Dekalb Medical.

Dr. Dabney has served in Theta Omicron Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated as Vice-President, served on committee that promoted one of our national goals: Partnership in Math and Science with a math and science bowl. She also worked in partnership with fellow sorority member Laney Stevenson and her husband John Stevenson’s boys in the Godfather Ministry group to promote stronger engagement in math and science.

After the introduction of the 2019 honorees, Yvonne Prater, Chapter Vice-President, presented a tribute to the Founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Prater mentioned that Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and eight other coeds at Howard University in Washington, DC crafted a design that not only fostered interaction, stimulation, and ethical growth among members, but also provided hope for the masses. From the core group of nine at Howard, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has grown into a force of more than 300,000 collegiate members and alumnae, constituting 1,007 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Germany, Liberia, South Korea, Japan, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East.

2019 Soror of the Year

The 2019 Soror of the Year is Shanell Butler, EdD. Shanell Butler. Since reactivating with Theta Omicron Omega Chapter, Butler has served as Parliamentarian and Membership Chair. She currently serves as Chapter Hostess and Social Courtesies Chairman.

The AKA Image Award

The AKA Image Award was bestowed upon Mary Ann Callins. Soror Mary Ann West Callins is a native of Cedartown. In 1957, she was initiated into Gamma Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Callins retired with a total of 31 years as an educator. It was at Main High where she met several members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and in 1966, the group made initial contact with Corporate Office to charter a chapter in Northwest Georgia. In May 1967, the chartering of Theta Omicron Omega Chapter became a reality, and many activities and programs have benefitted the citizens in the counties of Floyd, Polk, Bartow and Carroll. Callins has served in almost every capacity of the chapter. She served the office of president from 1972 -1973 and from 1993-1996. Over the years, she has been the recipient of various awards from the chapter, such as ‘Most Valuable Soror,’ ‘Perfect Attendance’ and in 2018, ‘The Spirit Stick.’ In 2012 at the South Atlantic Regional Conference, she received the third place Margaret Davis Bowen Outstanding Graduate Soror Award and in 2017, at the Cluster V Conference, she received the Mary Shy Scott ‘Sweet, Sweet Spirit’ Award.