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Founded January 16, 1920, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. began as an idea conceived by five coeds at Howard University in Washington D.C.: Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal. These five women, known as our Five Pearls, sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of Scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love and Finer Womanhood. It was the ideal of the Founders that the Sorority would reach college women in all parts of the country who were sorority minded and desired to follow the founding principles of the organization.

Since its inception, the Sorority has chronicled a number of firsts. Zeta Phi Beta was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups; to centralize its operations in a national headquarters; and to be constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. The organization is currently holds United Nations NGO status.

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

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has a rich heritage and tradition. Zeta Phi Beta's members have provided the world examples of our dedication to our service endeavors, of our commitment to scholarship and of our active practice and cultivation of sisterly love, all while illustrating the epitome of Finer Womanhood. The organization continues to thrive and flourish while adapting to the ever-changing needs of a new century.

For more about the Sorority’s heritage, visit the National website at



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