National History

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was founded January 16, 1920 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. by five coeds. These women dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for Black women and sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood. The trail blazed by the founders has been traversed by thousands of women dedicated to the objectives and ideals of the Sorority.


The Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes; and to be constitutionally bound to a brother group, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.


Zeta's national and local programs include endowment of its National Educational Foundation; community outreach services; and support of multiple affiliate organizations. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given untotaled hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.


A nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta is incorporated in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Illinois. The Sorority is supported by the dues and gifts of its members.




Chapter History

Lambda Zeta, the second oldest active graduate chapter in Texas, had its beginnings in the Houston community March 29, 1934. The chapter is a part of the "Mighty" Southern Region. Its existence is associated with a number of young college graduates, native Houstonians, and charter members of the first undergraduate chapter in Texas, Theta Chapter at Wiley College, Marshall, Texas.

National President Violette W. Anderson granted Lambda Zeta its charter. In a private ceremony, Roberta F. Bell, National First Vice-President and Assistant National Organizer, presented the charter, with the following members present:


  • Juanita Bates
  • Sallie Booker
  • Eula Cotton
  • Esther Collins
  • Thelma Collins
  • Lillian Gales
  • Jacelyn Henderson
  • Marian Hill (Charter President)
  • Claudia W. Hunter
  • Lucy Johnson
  • Geraldine Sheppard
  • Esther Starks
  • Vera Thompson
  • Helen Turner
  • Ethel Washington
  • Olive Watson
  • Hazel Lewis
  • Vicie Johnson Sheppard
  • Olive Wright
  • Ruby Walls

Lambda Zeta was presented to the Houston community though public worship services at Mount Vernon Methodist Church in May 1934.


Since its inception, Lambda Zeta has made great strides in the Houston and Zeta communities. Lambda Zeta is proud of the following distinctions:

  • c In 1936, Lambda Zeta hosted the first Southern Regional Conference, with Lullelia W. Harrison serving as Regional Director.

  • c In December 1937, the chapter hosted the Grand Boule', which was the first Black Greek Letter national conference held in the South.

  • c Houston Zeta Amicae were the first to receive a charter from the national office following the 1948 Boule'.
  • c The first Zeta Phi Beta National Executive Office was established in Houston, with Greekdom's first Executive Secretary, Mrs. Lullelia

    W. Harrison, in December 1948.

  • c Lambda Zeta is an AWARD WINNING chapter on the regional and national levels for outstanding service.

  • c Our members have served with distinction in leadership roles on the regional and national levels. We are one of two chapters within the

    Southern Region to have two International Presidents-Lullelia Walker Harrison, 12th International President, and the current 24th International

    President, Mary Breaux Wright.