Kappa Rho Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc


Our Founders

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded on November 12, 1922 in Indianapolis, IN by seven school teachers.

Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson - a product of the Indianapolis Public School System and received both B.S. and M.S. degrees from Butler University. In 1923, she received her first teaching assignment and over the years, she was promoted to principal of the largest elementary school in Indianapolis. She was also very involved with many clubs and organizations dedicated to community service. Ms. Johnson retired in 1966.
Hattie Mae Dulin Redford - A graduate of South Bend Central High School cum laude, Indiana State Teachers College with a B.S., and Butler University with an M.S., Ms. Redford also studied at Western Reserve in Cleveland and Indiana University Extension. She taught one year in Terra Haute, and thirty seven years in Indianapolis, IN. She was Grand Epistolous, Grand Tamiochus, Financial Consultant and received various awards and honors from Sigma Gamma Rho. Plaques are awarded in Ms. Redford's name at each Boule for exhibits of chapter achievements.
Mary Lou Allison Little - Raised by a family friend because both of her parents were killed when she was three, Ms. Little graduated from Shortridge High School in 1915 and received a diploma from the Indianapolis Normal School in 1918 when she began teaching. In 1928, Little moved to Los Angeles with her husband and finished her undergraduate training at UCLA. She taught in the Los Angeles School System until her retirement in 1967. The Mary Lou Allison Loving Cup Award is presented at each Boule to the chapter reporting the most successful program.
Cubena McClure - A graduate of Shortridge High School, the Indianapolis City Normal School, Ms. McClure attended Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She won the Gregg Scholarship which she planned to use to attend Columbia University, but due to illness, she could not accept the scholarship. McClure was talented in art and she helped to design the sorority pin. Ms. McClure died very young on August 24, 1924.
Dorothy Hanley Whiteside - After graduating from Shortridge High School, Ms. Whiteside entered the Indianapolis City Normal School. In 1922, when in training as a cadet teacher, she met the teachers who became her best friends and founders of Sigma Gamma Rho. Ms. Whiteside taught school until 1951 when she retired and later helped her husband to develop a business. She also started her own millinery business and worked with her church and various other organizations. After the death of her husband, she ran their business from 1955 until 1957 and returned to teaching in 1959, where she remained until her retirement in 1970.
Vivian White Marbury - Like her friends, Ms. Marbury also attended Shortridge High School and the Indianapolis City Normal School. She received a B.S. from Butler University and a Master's from Columbia University in New York City. Her professioinal career included teaching at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Director of Practice Training of teachers from Butler University, Indianapolis University, and Indianapolis State University. She taught in the Indianapolis School System for nine years. Ms. Marbury organized Public School 87, which grew from a 4 room portable school to 18 rooms and 24 teachers, where she was principal for 39 years until her retirement in 1967. She married in 1929 and is the mother of two children. She was the last living founder. She passed away on July 27, 2000 at the age of 100.
Bessie M. Downey Martin - The youngest of six children, Ms. Martin attended grade school in Indianapolis. She graduated from the Manual Traing High School and the City Teachers Normal. Ms. Martin taught school for over 25 years. She married twice and was a devoted wife and hard worker in school and the sorority.

The Charter Members are the founders of Sigma Gamma Rho. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 20, 1929, when a charter was granted Alpha Chapter at Butler University. More than 400 undergraduate and graduate chapters have since been established throughout the country and abroad.


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