Our History - Chi Phi Omega
In the fall of 2003, 14 Alpha Kappa Alpha women came together with the hopes of chartering a graduate chapter in the Greater Lafayette, Indiana community. The Lafayette area women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. held their first official meeting on September 26, 2003 in the basement of Second Baptist Church in Lafayette, IN. After sorors quelled their excitement and anticipation, Soror Thomanisa Ash called the meeting to order. Five women decided to become members of the Executive Board: President: Thomanisa Ash, Vice-President: Nicole Gale, Treasurer: Ja’Neair Perry, and Secretary: Naressa Cofield. There, 16 sorors in attended (14 graduates and 2 undergraduates).
During this preliminary meeting, a number of objectives and concerns were discussed during this meeting. Among these goals discussed were acquiring the required number of interested members in order to charter a graduate chapter and gaining Regional Director Dorothy W. Buckhanan’s approval. Many sorors expressed the need for a graduate chapter to oversee the undergraduate chapter at Purdue University, Epsilon Rho. At the close of this first meeting, sorors left with the intentions of drafting the Bylaws of the interest group and brainstorm fundraising ideas.
Monthly meetings were held in the fall of 2003 and winter of 2003-2004. The women who initially met to discuss the possibility of chartering a graduate chapter later became the Lafayette Pearls interest group. During the October 2003 meeting, a dialogue ensued regarding the importance of having an official name. Subsequently and through a unanimous vote, these women became the Lafayette Polished P.E.A.R.L.S. Interest Group of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The acronym signifies: P: Perfection, E: Excellence, A: Allegiance, R: Radiance, L: Leadership, S: Styles. They began to enhance their communication with one another through a group list serve.
The interest group’s first official meeting was held on March 2, 2004. The PEARLS at this point included Thomanisa Ash, Naressa Cofield, Chasity Cole, Stacy Curry, Nicole Gale, Jamila Greene, Johari Miller, Avione Northcutt, Ja’Neair Perry, Aisha Reed, Pamella Shaw, Heather Smith, Karla Smith and Candiss Williams. In the dawn of a new academic year at Purdue in August 2004, three more sorors joined the interest group. These sorors were Willette Crawford, Traci Graham, and Terri Jackson. As an interest group, these Alpha Kappa Alpha women carried out the five targets presented under Supreme Basileus Linda M. White’s “Spirit of AKA” program. Some of the many activities held during the group’s first year include but not limited to the following: The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project; voter registration drive; health walks; Second Baptist Church Annual Youth Fair; Gospel Fest; AKA Coat Day; breast cancer awareness activities; Buckle Up Day; Chat & Chew / Silent Auction; National Black Family Volunteer Day; World AIDS Day; the Young Authors Program; prom dress drive; sisterly relations activities and many more.
One year and six months after their first meeting, these 16 hardworking sorors would soon become an official chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha. On April 7, 2005 at high noon, the Lafayette Polished P.E.A.R.L.S. interest group became the Chi Phi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. during the 71st Regional Conference located at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The official officers inducted were:
President, Tomanisa Ash;
Vice President: Nicole’ Gale;
Secretary: Naressa Cofield;
Assistant Secretary: Karla Smith;
Treasurer: Candiss Williams;
Assistant Treasurer: Aisha Reed;
Corresponding Secretary: Willette Crawford;
Parliamentarian: Stacy Curry;
Hostess: Ja’Neair Perry;
Door Keeper: Jamila Greene;
Chaplain: Heather Smith;
Ivy Leaf Reporter: Terri Jackson;
Members-at-Large: Stacy Curry and Johari Miller;
Graduate Advisors (Epsilon Rho, Purdue University): Pamella Shaw and Traci Graham; and
Historian: Pamella Shaw.
Chi Phi Omega’s signature program is a Book Scholarship Fund, created to fill a void in education funding. Its mission is to provide financial support to individuals engaged in lifelong learning. The Book Scholarship Fund provided by Chi Phi Omega is in our 9th year in an effort to assist in the needs of undergraduate students matriculating through Purdue University- West Lafayette and Ivy Tech Community College –Lafayette. It is our goal to help undergraduate students focus more on learning than on financial burdens by providing financial assistance of $675 per student (two per year). To date, Chi Phi Omega has donated more than $10,000 to local students attending college.
Our award-winning chapter is committed to service under the leadership of International President Dr. Glenda Glover and Central Regional Director Sonya L. Bowen. Internationally, Alpha Kappa Alpha women have been inspired to dedicate themselves in Exemplifying Excellence through Sustainable Service with new program initiatives focusing on HBCU for Life: A Call to Action, Women’s Healthcare and Wellness, Building Your Economic Legacy, The Arts and Global Impact from 2018-2022.
The spirit of AKA was definitely in the room as the charter members of Chi Phi Omega pledged their lifelong commitment to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Chi Phi Omega.
Chi Phi Omega Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®
Thomanisa J. Noble-Ash May 2005 (Chartering Basileus)
Nicole Gale 2005 – 2007
Candiss O. Williams 2008 - 2009
Lori M. Ward 2010 - 2011
Jennifer H. Dennis 2011 - 2012
Heather N. Smith Henley 2013 - 2018
Natasha L. Harris 2019 - present
Our award winning chapter is committed to service in the areas of Health, the Arts, Economic Empowerment, Youth Literacy, and Global Impact under the leadership of International President Dr. Glenda Glover and Central Regional Director Sonya L. Bowen. Internationally, Alpha Kappa Alpha women have been inspired to dedicate themselves in Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service with new program initiatives focusing on HBCU for Life: A Call to Action, Women’s Healthcare and Wellness, Building Your Economic Legacy, The Arts and Global Impact from