Charter Members


 

Picture of Helen Lawrence Brown

Helen Lawrence Brown graduated from Norfolk Mission College. She then attended Howard University where she was initiated into Alpha Chapter. She served as Secretary and Vice President of Alpha Chapter and later graduated in 1920. She also served as class Secretary and Treasurer. Upon graduation, Ms. Brown returned to Norfolk, Virginia. Ms. Brown was one of the sorority members, along with Evelyn Lightner and Wanser Bagnall who were instrumental in the chartering of the Iota Omega Chapter. She served as the chapter's first Secretary. She married Oscar C. Brown, Esq., who completed his law degree at Howard in 1922. He was president of Beta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha in 1921. Ms. Brown and her husband moved to Chicago in 1925. Ms. Brown worked briefly as a teacher and social worker. She published two books of poetry: My Window (1972) and A Second View: From My Window (1980). She was the mother of musician and composer Oscar Brown, Jr. Ms. Brown was very active in the Chicago community and was a member of Women's Board of the University of Chicago and the NAACP. Ms. Brown is the sister to Iota Omega's sixth chapter president Margaret B. Lawrence Lofton.

 


 

Picture of Evelyn Lightner Carter

Evelyn Lightner Carter was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University in 1922. She served as the chapter's second Vice President. After graduation in 1922, she returned to Portsmouth, Virginia where she was instrumental in the chartering of the Iota Omega Chapter along with Wanser Bagnall Webb and Helen Lawrence Brown. She served as the chapter's first Recording Secretary. She served as the First South Atlantic Regional Organizer from 1926-1929 and also served as Associate Editor of the Ivy Leaf in 1926 and the Sixth Second National Vice President. Ms. Carter and her family moved to Philadelphia, PA where she transferred her membership into Omega Omega Chapter. Ms. Carter became a Life Member in 1976.

 


 

 

 

 

Picture of Carline Davis

Carline Davis was a charter member of the Iota Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh. The chapter was chartered May 1918. Ms. Davis graduated in 1921 with a Ph.C. degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. It is believed that Ms. Davis was originally from Richmond. It is unclear as to why she helped to charter Iota Omega in 1922, when Delta Omega was chartered in Petersburg, Virginia in 1921, being that the proximity of Petersburg was much closer than Norfolk. According to the 1921 Ivy Leaf Magazine, she was listed as a Pharmacist in Richmond, VA.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Madeline Foreman

Madeline Foreman was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University where she graduated in 1918. Upon graduation she returned to Newport News, Virginia. Ms. Foreman became a charter Member of Lambda Omega Chapter in Newport News in 1934 and was instrumental in the forming of Gamma Upsilon Omega Chapter in Hampton, Virginia in 1937.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Pauline Johnakins

Pauline K. Johnakins was initiated into Zeta Chapter at Wilberforce College. She graduated in 1922 was a B.S. in History/Economics. Upon graduation, she returned to Newport News, Virginia, where she was a teacher at Huntington High School from 1923-1930. Ms. Johnakins later became a charter member of Lambda Omega Chapter in Newport News in 1934.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Ruth Pollard

Ruth Pollard was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University in 1914. Ms. Pollard considered it to be an honor to be initiated on Howard's campus before Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became incorporated. She served as Treasurer of Freshman class of 1914 and was active in the Girls Club of College of Arts and Sciences in 1916. She also served as Corresponding Secretary for The English Chatauqua. Ms. Pollard graduated in 1917 returning to Portsmouth, Virginia where she became a Mathematics Teacher. Ultimately, she retired as a science teacher. In 1939, Ms. Pollard became a charter Member of Gamma Delta Omega Chapter in Portsmouth. She served in every office, except President. Ms. Pollard was a Life Member and Golden Member.

 


 

 

 

 

Picture of Edna Prout

Edna Prout was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University. She graduated in 1918. She moved to Norfolk shortly after graduation. She served as the chapter's first Ivy Leaf Reporter.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University. She was a member of the Girls Club of College of Arts and Sciences in 1916. She graduated from Howard University in 1917. Upon graduation she returned to Portsmouth, Virginia where she became a Latin Teacher at I.C. Norcom High School. Ms. Russell was the chapter's first Hostess and assisted in completing the chapter's first constitution in 1923. Ms. Russell later became a charter member of Gamma Delta Omega Chapter in Portsmouth in 1939.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Virginia Sears

Virginia Sears was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University. She graduated in 1917. She returned to Norfolk, Virginia after graduation. Ms. Sears was the chapter's first Vice President and assisted in completing the chapter's first constitution in 1923.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Wanser Webb

Wanser Bagnall Webb was initiated into Alpha Chapter at Howard University. She served as President of Alpha Chapter from 1918-1919 and later graduated in 1919. Upon graduation she returned to Norfolk, Virginia. Ms. Webb was instrumental in the chartering of the Iota Omega Chapter and she served as the first chapter President. When the Mid-Atlantic Region was created, which consists of Virginia and North Carolina, the chapter continued its Founder's Day celebrations. One year Ms. Webb was the keynote speaker. She was also a State Women's Club and Community Leader. While in Norfolk, Ms. Webb served as the Executive Secretary of the Colored United Charities and worked in the Federation of Colored Women Clubs. She was President of the Norfolk-NAACP, and President of the Dorcas Sunday School Class for 27 years at the Historic First Baptist Church; as well as, Collaborator of Girls Week. She was a member of Mamie E. Gordon Women's Missionary Society, Eastern Stars, and Women's Auxiliary to Norfolk Medical Society. Ms. Wanser Webb was a Life Member and fifty year sorority member. The chapter sponsors a Mid-Atlantic Regional Award in her honor.