Meet Pi Delta Chapter
Five collegiate women who set out to make a change and be a difference for Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. established Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Pi Delta Chapter. The chartering ceremony took place on Feb. 5, 1972 on the campus of the University of Michigan.
The charter members are Beverly Nickels-Johnson, Wanda Smiley- Dawson, Pamala Rouse-Hawkins, Elenor Carroll-Gilchrist and Triumphant Glenda Hodges. We affectionately call these trailblazing women: “Fabulous Five.”
The charter members are Beverly Nickels-Johnson, Wanda Smiley- Dawson, Pamala Rouse-Hawkins, Elenor Carroll-Gilchrist and Triumphant Glenda Hodges.
As of 2020, Pi Delta has had 34 intake classes. This includes the following two reactivation intake classes: Year 2000 (Sorors Akilah Jones, Tiwana Frazier, Vanover-Chandler, Jendayi Monroe-Gardner and Dawn Taylor); and Year 2017 (Sorors Shanell Leonard, Breyanna Sylvia-Moals, Keliah Davis, Trina Ervin, Maxine McLeish, Diedre Springfield-Bryant, Tachelle Jeffrey, Ikeyla Bray, Chandlar Hines, LiDeja White, Ewere Benard, Tyneisha Solomon, Briana Baston-Cooper, Trudy Greer, Dominique Clark and Shanay Cuthrell).
The Pi Delta Chapter’s Centennial officers are: Jasmyne Townsend (Basileus), Kya Fordham (1st Anti-Basileus), Courtney Herrod (2nd Anti-Basileus), Tiara Hayes (Grammateus), D’Anna Hayes (Tamias), CaShawnna Ramsey (Phylacter), and Makaylah Liddell (Epistoleus).
We have ongoing projects which align with our national programs/initiatives such as March of Dimes (Washtenaw County), Elder Care (Gilbert Nursing Home), Adopt-A-School (WSC Academy), Voter Registration and Education, Domestic Violence Awareness (Washtenaw County), Triple Negative Breast Cancer (Washtenaw County), and Z-HOPE/GET ENGAGED programs. Z-HOPE stands for Zetas Helping Other People Excel.
Some of the highlights of our community engagement is our partnership with Washtenaw County Juvenile Detention Center, Ypsilanti Community High School, Adopt-A-Road and many collaborations with organizations on the Eastern Michigan campus such as EMU Black Student Union, EMU NAACP, EMU CORE and EMU Campus Life.
Within the last year, Pi Delta Chapter’s community service projects have included collecting hygiene supplies for the Ann Arbor Homeless shelter, conducting voter registration canvassing and facilitating Trap Yoga with Soror Dymon Wilson. We have also done mental health awareness programming, a book drive (donated books went to our Adopt-A-School and Alpha House), Safe Sex Education, Campus Community Clean-up, Domestic Violence Awareness programming, Walk for Alzheimer’s, Breast Cancer Awareness programming, and MLK Day programming.
March of Dimes
The Pi Delta Chapter enjoys our partnership with March of Dimes. We have continuously shown our support by educating and informing students on campus, collecting donations, volunteering at Washtenaw County’s March for Babies Auction and hosting our Premature Awareness Sunday at Reach Church (where Soror Ebony Robinson is first lady and a minister) in Ypsilanti. We have also participated in the “Run Scream Run” and the March for Babies to support the improvement of children and mothers health.
As a chapter, Pi Delta presents our Finer Womanhood Week during the second week of March. Our latest Finer Womanhood week theme was Black Cinema where we highlighted popular Black movies and paired them with programming. The featured films were “Beauty Shop” (the exploration of Black hair), “Baby Boy” (discussion centered around healthy relationships and a self-defense portion), ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin'’ (money management/credit education), “Do The Right Thing” (community service/Adopt-A-Road), “Love Jones” (Poetry Night/Fundraiser), and “Waiting to Exhale” (Morning Yoga/Stress management).
In the past, Pi Delta has hosted two big events during our Finer Womanhood Week. They have included: Mr. Blue Magic (male pageant where the recipient wins a scholarship) and Blue Table Talk (event centered around a hot topic discussion within our community and country).
Local, State, Regional Recognition
Pi Delta Chapter was honored to host the Michigan State Organization Undergraduate Retreats in 2011 and 2018. These meetings focused on leadership development, community outreach and sisterhood. Then, in 2019, the campus National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chose Pi Delta Chapter as “Sorority of the Year."
The Eastern Michigan University Greek Life Standards and Assessment Program has given Pi Delta, our members and advisors a number of awards. They are as follows:
For the chapter: Positive Relations and Civic Engagement Award (2005-2011, 2017-2019), The Unity Award (2018-2019) and The Chapter of Excellence in Positive Relationships & Leadership Development Award (2018-2019).
For individual members: Soror Marnese Jackson (Greek Life Member of the Year, 2006) and NPHC Presidency term (EMU Gold Medallion), Soror Chandlar Hines (Character Award, 2017- 2018), Soror Ewere Bernard (Scholastic Award, 2017-2018) and Soror Pariss Walden (Working Together Award, 2018-2019).
For our advisors: Soror NaQuina Moore was named Undergraduate Advisor of the Year for the 2011-2012 academic year, and Soror M. Jeanice Townsend was Undergraduate Advisor of the Year Award in 2017-2018.
Other accolades: Sorors NaQuaina Moore (2008) and Tachelle Jeffrey (2018), “Undergraduate of the Year” award from our sponsoring graduate chapter, Rho Delta Zeta; NAACP Chapter of the Year, during Soror Kya Fordham presidency term; and Soror TėLor McClary, Michelle Obama awards fro Project Big Sister (2019-2020).
Regional Level: Pi Delta has won first place for the Great Lakes Top Undergraduate Fundraising Team (2017, $1,428.44). Soror Ikeyla Bray won second place for the 2017 Top Regional “Champions for Babies” award (2017/ $1,100). The chapter earned a third place regional Z-HOPE Award in 2018.
The Pi Delta Chapter has done many different projects with our brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Epsilon Chapter, including a luau hosted on campus, Friendsgiving, and Adopt-a-family for Christmas.
Soror Karen Tucker was appointed Michigan State Organization March of Dimes Projects by past State Director Angela Philmore. Soror Marnese Jackson was recently appointed Michigan State Organization Resolution Chair by current State Director Lynese Thomas.
Our legacies are Carl’Meisha (Wourman) Caraballo, Trina Ervin, Meredith Fox, Cyntrea Johnson, Entrea Johnson, Myra (Rawls) Lumpkin, Jamela (Mitchell) McCray, Lendra McGruder,Stephanie (Thompson) Sutton, Karen Thompson, Jasmyne Townsend, Karen Tucker, Vikki Richards, LiDeja White, Tameka Singleton-Hughes and Tameka Billingslea.
Note: This is part of the Michigan State Organization’s online series "The MSO Great History Countdown! Our Centennial Journey to State Meeting" to leave a lasting gift to the state in honor of Zeta’s 100th anniversary. Histories from every graduate and undergraduate chapter in Michigan is being published in the month of September 2020 in the days leading up to the centennial state meeting. The project was approved under State Director Lynese Thomas’ administration, and overseen by MSO Epistoleus Earlene McMichael in partnership with MSO Historian Trudy Hale and Great Lakes Region Historian Norma Dartis.