Connie R. Yerwood Conner – 4th South Central Regional Director and Charter Member
A charter member of the Beta Psi Omega chapter, Soror Conner was also the 4th South Central Regional Director (1941-1946). In 1936, she became the first African American doctor to work for the Texas Public Health Service, now the Department of State Health Services. In the March 25, 1971 issue of Jet Magazine, she was described in the Society World column as “the best dressed woman seen around official and social affairs” at a UNCF event at Atlanta.
Olive Durden Brown – 6th South Central Regional Director
Soror Brown served as the 6th South Central Regional Director (1947 – 1951). A graduate of Hampton Institute in Virginia, she was the Head librarian at the school now known as Huston-Tillotson University for thirty-three years.
Onie B. Conley - Community Advocate
Lifetime Member and Golden Soror Onie B. Conley was educated in the public schools of Austin, attending Old Anderson High School where she graduated valedictorian. After graduating from Samuel Huston College with a B.A. Degree, she began teaching in the Austin Independent School District. In a career that spanned 43 years, Soror Conley was absent from work only one day. As a participant in the Blackshear Neighborhood Group, she served as the liaison between the neighborhood and the City Council. Her East Austin advocacy efforts resulted in the 10,000 square foot Carver Library and the use of the old library for a Carver Museum. That experience provided the groundwork for securing the senior center that today bears her name, the Conley-Guerrero Senior Center.
Azie Taylor Morton – United States Treasurer
Soror Morton served as Treasurer of the United States during the Carter administration
(September 12, 1977 to January 20, 1981). She remains the only African American to hold that office. Soror Morton was born in Dale, Texas and graduated from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin. Before becoming Treasurer, she served on President John F. Kennedy's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. She was also an election observer for the presidential elections in Haiti, Senegal, and the Dominican Republic; a member of the American Delegation to Rome, Italy for the Enthronement of Pope John Paul II; chair of a People to People Mission to the Soviet Union and China; and a representative to the first African/African American Conference held in Africa.
Betty N. James – 8th Executive Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
Soror Betty James was initiated in the Gamma Psi chapter at Texas Southern University in Houston. Preceding her appointment as Executive Officer, she worked as Assistant Commissioner for Access and Equity for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating. As noted in “The Pearls of Alpha Kappa Alpha” by Soror Earnestine Green McNealey, her accomplishments as Executive Director include “Improved operational efficiency. Integrated strategic planning. Created a staff more responsive to the needs of the membership. Upgraded technology, adding online records management and fee payments.”
Wilhelmina Delco – Texas State Representative
Golden Soror Wilhelmina Delco attended Fisk University and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor ofArts with a major in sociology and a minor in economics and business administration. In April 1968 she ran and was elected to the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees, making her the first African-American to be elected to the school board in Austin. While on the school board, she helped found Austin Community College in 1973. After six years on the school board, Soror Delco decided to run for the House of Representatives and became the first African-American at large in Travis County elected to the Texas House of Representatives. She was sworn into office in January 1975 and in her twenty year tenure, she served on over twenty committees, including the House Higher Education committee, which she chaired. In 1991, she was appointed Speaker Pro Tempore and became the first woman to hold the second highest position in the Texas House.
Today, The John B. Coleman Library at Prairie View A&M University is home to the Delco Collection of documents, memorabilia and photographs and the Wilhelmina F. Delco building on that campus is home to the Department of Educational Leadership and the Counseling College of Education. In 2001, Pflugerville I.S.D. named the Delco Primary School in honor of Soror Delco. In 2002, The Austin I.S.D. Delco Activities Center was named in honor of Dr. Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco for their community service and activism dedicated to improving educational opportunities for all Texans and in particular, for students in need.
Dawnna Dukes – Texas State Representative
Soror Dukes is an eight term member of the Texas House of Representatives and a third generation native of District 46, which comprises inner-city East Austin and Northeast Travis County. Soror Dukes currently serves on several committees, including the Appropriations Committee and the Recreation and Tourism Committee. As an active member of the Texas House of Representatives, Soror Dukes has led the fight to improve public and higher education, increase funding for early childhood education, and promote dropout prevention programs. She has also fought to make college more accessible to low income students by cosponsoring the 100 million dollar TEXAS Grant Program. Soror Dukes is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology.
Zakiya Larry – Miss Black Texas USA
Soror Zakiya Larry was crowned Miss Black Texas USA 2010 on November 22, 2009. She won both the fitness category and the talent competition, in which she performed a monologue she wrote about an abused woman struggling with whether to leave her husband. During her reign, the communications director for March of Dimes in Austin used her position to bring attention to the issue of premature births. A graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston with a degree in broadcast journalism, Soror Larry has been in over a dozen pageants and won several, including Miss Black Houston, Miss Texas Southern University and Miss Central Texas USA.