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History of Alpha Pi Omega Chapter



In the 1920’s plans for establishing a Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority began in Knoxville.  If you were a member of Knoxville’s young social set, you frequently heard discussions of the merits of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  The day vision and night dreams of many of the young women determined to bring this great sisterhood to Knoxville were:  Mrs. Henri Henderson Green, wife of a prominent doctor; Mrs. Sallye Long Carr, city librarian and outstanding civic worker; Ms. Gladys Johnson, a teacher at West Virginia State Institute; Ms. Mildred Cansler and Margaret Singleton, teachers in the Knoxville public schools; and Ms. Arvella Picket, teacher in the Chattanooga public schools, but a native of Knoxville.


Around 1929, Knoxville with pride, opened its newly built Austin High School.  A number of young ladies from various cities in the United States became members of the school’s faculty.  There were four Alpha Kappa Alpha women among them: Alethea Miles Lawrence, Tau Chapter, Indiana University; Jessie Quarles Tripps, Kappa Omega Chapter, Atlanta University; Alta Rooney, Beta Eta Chapter, University of Michigan; Mildred Smithers Henderson, Nu Chapter, West Virginia State; and Olive Wallace Henry, Chi Chapter, Talladega College and a teacher in the public schools of Alcoa, Tennessee.


Since these ladies were away from their home chapters, they decided to ask Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated to set up a chapter in Knoxville, TN.  Through their combined efforts on November 23, 1929, Maude Brown Porter, South Eastern Regional Director, came to Knoxville and established the Alpha Pi Omega Chapter.

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