Sorors celebrate founding

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 18, 2003

Ava Hurdle, a news reporter with Wavy-TV 10, was presented a Special Honor of Achievement award from the Epsilon Theta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. at its Founders Day program and banquet last Saturday.

Mary Copeland and the late Sallie R.B. Graham were recognized as founders and charter members. The event’s theme was &uot;In Celebration of Our Founders.&uot;

Arlethia Elliott served as mistress of ceremonies and introduced Shelia Knight, who welcomed all guests and provided highlights of upcoming Zeta events.

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Inscribed plaques were presented to Hurdle and Copeland. Dr. Arlethia Elliott of Norfolk, daughter of Graham, accepted the plaque for her mother’s posthumous honor.

Hurdle joined the news staff at WAVY-TV in 1977. She is a graduate of Norfolk State University and also earned both bachelors and masters degrees. She has received the &uot;Outstanding Effort by an Individual Reporter&uot; award from the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters.

In addition, her work has been honored collectively by VAPB and United Press International. She is also the 2002 recipient of the Robert S. Gallimore Distinguished Service Award from the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters.

Hurdle received the &uot;Circle of Excellence&uot; award from Lin Broadcasting, the parent company of WAVY-TV 10 in 1997.

The entire program carried out the theme of celebration and information of the Zeta Founders, past, present, local and national.

A drama titled &uot;The Beginning,&uot; was performed by brothers of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and sorors of Zeta Phi Beta sorority portraying the founding of the sorority in 1920 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Cast members were Wendy Bullock, Orga Baker, Lillian James, Fannie Burke, Kendra McLeod, and Erika Cowling portraying the founders. Sigma Brother John Wesley Hill portrayed the Sigma Founder Brother of Zeta, Langston Taylor., and finer womanhood were presented in poetry and music. Original poetry was written by Berma White and Arlethia Elliott, and read by Dr. Ruth Perry and Elliott.

Perry also set the tone of the event, reading a rationale she wrote with a solo titled, &uot;Climb Every Mountain.&uot; She was accompanied by Mayo on the piano. Perry explained why Zetas celebrate this as their song of achievement.

A candlelight service was conducted by Mayo with all sorors encircling the entire banquet hall commemorating the deceased founders of Zeta Phi Beta.

Honored national deceased founders were Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Fannie Pettie Watts, Pearl Anna Neal and Viola Tyler Goings.

Profiles of Zeta projects and programs were presented by a selective group of sorors. They were as follows: Gladys Chapman, The Stork’s Nest; Orga Baker, Service-Homeless Shelter; Shelia Knight, The Scholarship Program; Wendy Bullock, The Genome DNA Project; Gwendolyn Mitchell, Zeta Day at the Virginia General Assembly.

The event was supported by the Beta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity of Norfolk as the Zetas Constitutional Sisters of the Sigmas.

The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is an international organization incorporated with chapters across the nation and in several foreign countries.

Officers are Basileus Shelia Knight; First Anti-Basileus Wendy Bullock; Second Anti-Basileus Orga Baker; Grammateus Janis Fulgham; Tamias Ruth Perry; Historian Kendra McLeod; Tamias Grammateus Virgie Sandifer; Epistoleus Karen Watson; Phylacter Lorita Mayo; and Keeper of Property Eunice Wiggins.

Other sorors are Hilda Abram, Kizzie Burgess, Fannie Burke, Gladys Chapman,Latanya Copeland, Janice Copeland ,Jessie Cross, Erika Cowling, Tameka Dillard, Dr. Arlethia Elliott, Lakita Frazier,

Mary Goodman, Tonica Harris, Ruth Hartsfield, Lillian James, Sunday Malone, Gwen Mitchell, Crystal Osborne, Doris Owens, Martha Polson, Dorothy Rawles, Virgie Rodgers, and Anna Urquhart.