Zeta Phi Beta History
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. as the sister organization of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Five women chose not to embrace the tenets of established black sororities, and chartered Zeta Phi Beta Sorority to encourage the highest standards of scholarship through scientific, literary, cultural an educational programs; promote service projects on college campuses and in the community; foster sisterhood; and exemplify the ideal of Finer Womanhood. The five founders are: Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Viola Tyler Goings, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Pearl Anna Neal, and Fannie Pettie Watts. A private nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is incorporated in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Illinois.
Since its inception, the sorority has chronicled a number of “firsts” among the established black sororities. In addition to being the only organization constitutionally bound to a fraternity, the sorority was the first to charter international chapters, those in West Africa and Germany; to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes and Pearlettes; and to organize its internal affairs within a central, national office, administered by paid staff.
Zeta Phi Beta’s purpose is to foster the ideal of service, charity, scholarship, civic and cultural endeavors, sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood. These ideals are reflected in the sorority’s national programs for which its members and auxiliary groups provide untotaled hours of voluntary service to staff community outreach programs, fun scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.