The Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation of Houston, Inc. awarded $27,000 in scholarships to deserving high school graduates and college students. To honor and recognize the 2020 scholarship recipients, IEACF produced a video presentation, “Fiercely Moving Forward with Excellence.” Through the recorded virtual program, IEACF achieved its objective of highlighting each scholarship recipient and provided words of wisdom from Mrs. Jana Nickerson Williams who encouraged the recipients to make the most of all opportunities. The video was posted on the IEACF website for public viewing

IEACF General Scholarship

The Ivy Educational & Charitable Foundation of Houston will award scholarships to graduating high school African American students, from a Houston area school. The Ivy Educational & Charitable Foundation of Houston, Inc. (IEACF) expects all winners of this scholarship to continue the high academic standards that they displayed in high school. The Scholarship winners are required to maintain a cumulative semester average of at least a “C+” and above according to your university or college standards. If the average falls below a “C+” the recipient will be placed on probation for a semester. If the average has not increased to a C+ after the probationary period, the scholarship will not be renewed. There will only be one probationary period allowed during the duration of the scholarship.

Only scholarship winners will be notified and an applicant can only win one (1) scholarship award. All information obtained in this application will be held in strictest confidence and will not be returned to applicant.

Gladys Davis Simon

Gladys, one of the six founders, became a soror at her alma mater, Wiley College, in Marshall, Texas (Phi Chapter) in 1926. She excelled in oratory and dramatics at Wiley College. Her mother and stepfather, Mr., and Mrs. Ned McGowan reared her in Houston. Upon graduation, Gladys became a teacher at Gregory School.

Upon her retirement, she had served the school for forty-three (43) years. Soror Gladys was noted for and remembered as a teacher who touched the lives of thousands of youngsters. As adults, these individuals still refer to her as a loving, caring person who not only instructed but also who con­ tributed to their becoming capable, productive citizens.

Soror Davis Simon brought to Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter the experience of having attended a National Boule at Wiley College as an undergraduate. This experience gave our chapter a head starts in creating programs to support the national thrust of the sorority. She was married to George F. Simon, an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, in 1947. Both enjoyed traveling to sorority and fraternity meetings. The information gained from Soror Simon’s travels aided the sorority’s networking efforts and establishment as a chapter on the move. She was a dedicated Life Member of the YWCA and Trinity First United Methodist Church.

Gladys Davis Simon was the second Basileus of the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Hazel Hainsworth Young

I, Hazel Hainsworth Young, a founder of Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., became a soror in Alpha Chapter, Howard University in 1923.

My life began in Navasota, Texas with my parents, Harry Alvin, and Beatrice Cornelia Hainsworth. I am the oldest of three siblings: a brother, Robert Wendell Hainsworth and a sister, Maye Frances Hutson.

Both of my siblings attended Howard University. My brother received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Doctor of Law degree from that institution. He was noted for serving as the driving force who interceded in the courts for the apportionment of Texas State Representatives. In addition, he personally sued the Houston Public Library for posting a sign on a library table designating it for “Black Lawyers.” My sister is a retired government employee of the Naval Shipyard in Oakland, California. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Omega for many years. She is a founder of and presently holds membership in the Houston Chapter of Xi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

My family moved to Houston, Texas in 1910 when I was 5 years old. The city. readily became my home. I matured in it and was fortunate to have a full and bountiful life.

Upon returning to Houston as a graduate of Howard University and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, I immediately made a resolution to carry out my dream of establishing a graduate chapter in the city.

In 1926 I began my teaching career at Jack Yates Senior High School with Mr. James D. Ryan as principal. He was the former principal of my 1921 alma mater, “Old Colored High School.” It was during the early years of my teaching career that Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter began to take form.

I lovingly recall those anxious days of the late twenties, when I had frequent conversations with Erma Sweatt, Lillie Vance, and Marie Viola Butler. We anxiously awaited the arrival of the final two sorors to join. They were Gladys Davis and Anna Belle Edwards. They would complete the num­ber of six sorors needed to set up Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter. We all beamed with joy when the sorority was set up by my good friend and beloved Soror, Susie Brown Waxwood of New Orleans (later of Princeton, New Jersey) in 1928.

Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter, established in 1928, was the first graduate chapter in Texas. It was organized only twenty years after the founding of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1908. Presently, there are thirty (30) graduate chapters in the State of Texas.

I married Howard Young in 1940 and I have one daughter, Marianne. She is also deeply involved in Alpha Kappa Alpha. Together we share good times promoting programs and projects for our beloved sorority. My sister, Maye Frances Hutson is a member of Xi Alpha Omega.

I have given all of 78 years as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and for 72 years I have been a member of Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Anna Belle Stokes

Anna Belle Edwards Stokes was the daughter of George and Anna Edwards. She was one of five children: George, the youngest, Anna Belle, Thyra, Thelma and Marian Edwards. Their mother was an elementary school teacher and lived on Hutchins near Webster. Anna Belle Edwards Stokes, an Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter founder, became a soror at her alma mater, Wiley College in Marshall Texas.

She was a founding member of Phi Chapter at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Upon graduation in 1923, she taught at her alma mater. The Chapter was extremely fortunate to have Soror Stokes as a founding member. She brought to the graduate chapter a vital insight into establishing great and successful beginnings.

Soror Anna Belle Edwards Stokes’ tenure in Houston, Texas ended soon after the founding of Alpha Kappa Omega and her remarriage. She played an important role in founding and anchoring the future of Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter. She moved to New Orleans, Louisiana although she never returned to reside in Houston, her contributions to the graduate chapter will always be regarded as essential and of great significance.

Erma Sweatt Wallace

Erma Sweatt Wallace, an Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter founder, became a soror at her alma mater, Wilberforce University, Zeta Chapter. She graduated in 1924. Her parents, Mr. John Sweatt and Mrs. Ella Perry Sweatt, were established leaders in the Houston community and devout members of Wesley Chapel AME Church. Erma had four siblings: John, Heman, Jack and Wendell.

Her father, John Sweatt, was a postal service clerk and an organizer of the Houston Postal Alliance. Ella Perry Sweatt came from a prominent family that produced Heman Perry who was a founder of Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Libbie Perry Boutte, Oliver Perry and William Perry, Sr., a noted Mason.

As a civic leader she conceived the idea of placing milk bottles (with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on each one) in Black businesses urging people to contribute to a milk fund for tubercular children.

Mrs. Perry Sweatt was a leader in the Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Perry Sweatt’s sister, Libby Perry, was an outstanding principal in the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

Heman Sweatt, Erma’s brother, made history in Texas when he applied for entrance into the University of Texas Law School. When he was denied entrance, he filed suit and carried his case to the Supreme Court and won. This lawsuit opened doors at Texas State University for Negroes in 1947 where a school of law was established.

The accomplishments and contributions of Soror Wallace’s family enhanced the chapter’s reputation as a group of women who were members of families that were successful visionaries. Soror Wallace was no exception to this family reputation.

After graduating from Wilberforce University in 1924, Erma Sweatt began teaching at a Houston high school under Principal James D. Ryan. She was later transferred to Jack Yates High School when this school was divided. Soror Wallace possessed a beautiful voice and was a gifted pianist. Her talents were used to help train the Glee Club at Yates High School.

Erma married Lawrence Wallace and in her late adult life was a real estate broker. Lawrence gave arduous support to the early fund-raising projects of Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter.

Aside from using her talent to play music for the various events of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Er chaired one of the first projects, the Mi\k fund, which provided milk for unfortunate underprivileged babies.

Lillian V. Chester

Lillie Vance Chester, a founder of Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter, became a soror and graduate of Wilberforce University in Xenia, Ohio, Zeta Chapter, graduating with a major in Elementary Education. She was the daughter of£ Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vance who lived on Clay Street in what is now downtown Houston near Allen Center. Frank Vance, a businessman, was an early trustee of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church and was one of the pioneers who bought Emancipation Park.

Soror Lillie Vance Chester was an older soror who had been out of college longer than any of the other founders. She brought to the sorority a maturity and stability essential for survival. She was able to serve as a depend­ able resource for making the community contacts necessary for the implementation of chapter programs and activities. Most of all, she was able to critique our efforts with an insight that only wisdom could share. She taught at Luckier Elementary School and was married to Nelson Chester. She died on Wednesday, April18, 1934.

Marie Viola Butler Taylor

Marie, one of the six original founders, coordinated the founding of the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter. She became a soror at her alma mater, Wilberforce University, in Ohio in 1923. In 1924 she graduated with a major in Social Studies. Her parents were the Reverend and Mrs. J. B. Butler. The family moved to Houston when Reverend Butler became pastor of Wesley Chapel AME Church on Dowling Street.

Marie taught at Phillis Wheatley High School. At the time of her death by car accident in 1949, she was a science teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston. She was an outgoing and scholarly young woman who wait­ ed patiently for sorors to arrive in the Houston area so that a graduate chapter could be founded. Her charming personality and unique ability to make friends in all circles placed her in a unique position to recruit for our chapter.

Marie attended the University of Southern California and earned a Master of Arts Degree. During that time, persons of color could not enter the University of Texas and seek advanced degrees, but the state was willing to give financial assistance to Blacks to go out of state for higher education. Thus, Marie took advantage of this offer. She traveled extensively throughout the United States. Eventually, Marie married Charles Taylor.

Marie Viola Butler Taylor was the first Basileus of the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Faye B. Bryant

21st International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc., Faye Beverly Bryant was born on March 15, 1937, in Houston, Texas. Under Bryant’s leadership, the theme of the AKA Sorority became P.O.W.E.R. During her tenure, Bryant also created the Alpha Kappa Alpha Connection, completed construction on the Sorority’s national headquarters and initiated the African Village Development Program in collaboration with Africare.

Bryant was initiated into the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Howard University in 1955. After graduating from Howard University with her B.A. degree, Bryant returned to Houston and transferred her affiliation to the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of Houston in 1957. She went on to earn her M.A. degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Houston. In Houston, Bryant was instrumental in establishing the Epsilon Lambda Chapter at the University of Houston and worked as a teacher in the Houston Independent School District where the 18th International President of AKA Sorority, Ms. Mattelia B. Grays, served as Deputy Superintendent. After teaching at Booker T. Washington High School and serving as a counselor at Bellaire High School, Bryant worked as the Director of Magnet Schools for the Houston Independent School District. She was later hired as the Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources and the Deputy Superintendent for School Administration. She also served as Interim Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

In 1982, Bryant succeeded Barbara K. Phillips as International President of the AKA Sorority and Programs of service, Organizational impact, Women in global issues and Economic development and Renewal (P.O.W.E.R.) became the agenda for the Sorority. Bryant’s administration also sought to improve the communication with individual members by approving cluster meetings where AKA Sorority members from various chapters could convene. In addition, Bryant initiated a governmental relations team to represent the Sorority at various government affairs. Bryant added the Alpha Kappa Alpha Connection to the Sorority’s list of programs and registered new voters for the 1984 U.S. Presidential election. During her tenure, Bryant met with the Council of Presidents of the eight predominantly black Greek organizations and launched a drive to leverage the collective power of Greek organizations.

In 1998, Bryant became the first African American to serve as Deputy Superintendent for School Administration in the Houston Independent School District. In 2002, Bryant retired from the school board as Executive Deputy Superintendent after forty-two years of service.

Jewel McFarlin Thomas

Jewel McFarlin Thomas, a native Houstonian, graduated from Jack Yates High School where she was a cheerleader, “Miss Yates” and a member of the first group of Worthing scholarship recipients. She enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and was initiated into Alpha Chapter in 1954. She graduated from Howard with a Bachelor of Science degree and later earned a Master of Education degree at the University of Houston and the Juris Doctor degree at Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

Thomas served Alpha Kappa Omega as its 26th Basileus for two consecutive terms and as Grammateus. Her sorority participation extended to membership on the AKA Connection National Standing Committee, the National Program Committee and she served as 17th South Central Regional Director (1986‐1990). She presided over the Regional Conference in 1990. Thomas’ professional history included: Cancer Research Biologist, National Institute of Health (NIB), Cancer research supervisor, Baylor College of Medicine, Attorney at Law, Certified Mediator and Civil Service Commissioner, City of Houston.

Awards and honors included Outstanding Basileus of South-Central Region (1979 and 1980), Outstanding Woman in Houston (YWCA 1980), Basileus Award for Outstanding Soror to Alpha Kappa Omega (1984) and Outstanding Community Volunteer (YWCA 1984). Thomas served as president of the Houston Council of Greek Letter Organizations and also as vice president, Board of Directors of the Houston Area Urban League. She was a Life Member of the YWCA, a member of Top Ladies of Distinction and a member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women. She was married to John Wayne Thomas and reared two children from a previous marriage.

Additional Named Scholarships

  • Dr. Polly Sparks-Turner
  • Annie S. Brew
  • Charlotte Bryant
  • JoAnn Brown
  • Lucy Bremond
  • Odessa Davis
  • Connie Steward