In the Beginning
Apalachin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was chartered on May 22, 1982 in Binghamton, NY, at the Beautiful Plain Baptist Church. Apalachin Alumnae Chapter became the 702nd chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
To understand Apalachin’s history, you must understand the wisdom and foresight of Dorothy Bell Garner. Mrs. Garner is the inspiration and the driving force behind the establishment of Apalachin Alumnae.
When Dorothy Bell Garner moved to Broome County with her husband, in 1968, the closest Delta alumnae chapter was Ithaca Alumnae. Although living in Vestal, N.Y., Dorothy Bell Garner commuted to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where she was Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. Yearning the sisterhood in this new environment, she joined the Ithaca Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
As time went by, Dorothy Bell Garner discovered that a number of women had migrated to the Broome County area who had pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated at various colleges and universities across the country. It was then that she developed the idea of chartering a chapter that would be close to her new home, more convenient for meetings, and allow her and the new chapter to do community service within the communities that they lived in. Dorothy Bell Garner began to search out other Delta members in businesses and churches, sending notices to Deltas in the surrounding areas asking for help to form a new chapter. Thus, Apalachin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was born.
There were thirteen professional women of Delta Sigma Theta, residing in the Greater Binghamton area who responded to the call and met in 1982. Many of these Deltas had relocated to the area to work for IBM, headquartered in Endicott N.Y. at the time, a major firm employing thousands of skilled labor, including many professionals of color.
The following Deltas became charter members of Apalachin Alumnae Chapter:
Valerie Oldwine Barnes – Finance, IBM
Myrtle Williams Bell – Finance, IBM
Geneva Carter Bullard – Programmer, IBM
Lois Collins – Social Worker
Dorothy Bell Garner – Teacher/Assistant Dean, Cornell University
Angela Jones – Programmer, IBM
Velesta W. Morrison – Manager Asset Recovery Center, IBM
Mary B. Harris Oldwine – Social Worker/Teacher/TV Talk Show Host
Marilyn Simon – Programmer, IBM
Delarise Vick – Finance, IBM
Linda Tankersky Rookwood (later Linda T. Williams) – Social Worker, State Mental Health Association
E. Veronica Woody – Marketing & Sales, IBM
Shawneequa Wyche – Mother/Part-time Nursery School Teacher
Location and Leadership
Over the last 30 years, Apalachin Alumnae has continued to make an impact on the Greater Binghamton community. Our chapter is unique in that we are located in a dynamic area, greatly influenced by the decline in manufacturing employment, population loss, and the changing racial/ethnic makeup of the area.
Much of the success of Apalachin Alumnae Chapter can be attributed to the excellent leadership that the chapter has benefited its inception.
Listed below are the charter leader, past presidents and the current president of Apalachin Alumnae Chapter:
1982 – 1983
Dorothy Bell Garner (Charter Leader)
1983 – 1985
Geneva Carter Bullard
1985 – 1987
1987 – 1989
1989 – 1991
Carol Boyce Davies
1991 – 1993
1993 – 1995
Sally Malone Hawkins
1995 – 1997
1997 – 1999
1999 – 2001
2001 – 2003
2003 – 2005
2005 – 2007
2007 – 2009
2009 – 2011
2011 – 2013
Kimberly Buckner Felton
2013 – 2015
Stacy C. Marrow
2015 – 2017
2017 – 2019
Dr. Angela C. Riley
2019 – Present
DeAnna M. Brown
(Current Chapter President)
*Moved to Texas in September 2005
In Search of Sisterhood
Over the years, Apalachin Alumnae Chapter has been home to over 100 Delta members who have lived in the area, even if for brief periods of time. Due to climate, diversity, amenities and other factors, professional women tend to come into this community and then transfer to other locations within a shorter time frame than in many other communities. For this reason, Deltas who move into this area are actively encouraged to join the chapter, and many have.
Apalachin Alumnae Chapter has initiated over 50 women into the sisterhood of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Membership intake efforts have brought in several lines of new Deltas. Keeping the chapter’s membership numbers up has been and continues to be of paramount importance to ensuring the breath and depth of the chapter’s commitment to service within the community.
Apalachin Alumnae Chapter members assisted in the charter of the collegiate Pi Eta chapter at Binghamton University. In 2009, Apalachin Alumnae assisted in the reactivation of Pi Eta Chapter at Binghamton University, initiating 12 women into the sisterhood on April 4th. Pi Eta had been inactive since the spring of 2002.
Committed to Service
Apalachin Alumnae is following the Five Point Programmatic Thrust of the national organization: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.
Our chapter is committed to providing public service to the Broome County community in hope of generating an improved the quality of life for all of its citizens.