Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., by five coeds. These women dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for African-American women and sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood. The trail blazed by the founders has been traveled by thousands of women dedicated to the emulation of the objectives and ideals of the sorority.
Our sorority is the first organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes; and to be constitutionally bound to a brother group, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
Zeta’s national and local programs include endowment of its National Education Foundation, community outreach services, and support of multiple affiliate organizations. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given numerous hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities, and promote legislation for social and civic change.
A nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta is incorporated in Washington, D.C., and in the state of Illinois. The sorority is supported by the dues and gifts of its members.
The Founders of Zeta were strong, principled coeds who possessed a great deal of modesty, strength of character and pride in academic achievement. They are indeed a worthy foundation upon which to base our illustrious Sorority.
Arizona Cleaver Stemons: Arizona Cleaver was the First President of Alpha chapter and the first national president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She completed her graduate and post-graduate studies in the field of social work and was responsible for chartering numerous undergraduate and graduate chapters throughout the United States.
Pearl Anna Neal: After graduating from Howard University’s Conservatory of Music, Founder Neal continued her studies at the Julliard School of Music. In 1938, she was the first black woman in New York to earn a Master’s Degree in music from Columbia University. An extremely accomplished musician, Founder Neal taught music in North Carolina public schools and served as a Director of Seniors majoring in music at Teachers College in Winston Salem, NC.
Myrtle Tyler Faithful: Myrtle Tyler was the Second National President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and blood sister to Viola Tyler. A high school mathematics and English teacher, Founder Tyler was an active member of Alpha Zeta Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.
Viola Tyler Goings: Viola Tyler graduated from Howard University with a teaching degree and a major in math. She taught school in Ohio for many years and was always very active in community affairs.
Fannie Pettie Watts: Fannie Pettie graduated from Howard with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and taught junior and senior high schools in Savannah, Georgia. She was credited with organizing two additional Zeta chapters and had active membership in Delta Alpha Zeta Chapter.