First Undergraduate Chapter Chartered:
First Graduate Chapter Chartered:
History of the Region
The Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. consists of chapters in nine states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington), which constitute the Sorority's largest geographic region.
The natural beauty of these states run the gamut—from majestic snow-topped mountains and rolling hills, fertile green valleys, scenic vistas, magnificent sea coasts, enchanting painted deserts, exotic tropical islands and frozen natural glaciers to splendid mesas and plateaus, quaint towns, rambling ranches, historic mansions, bustling-cosmopolitan cities and everything in between—with the Pacific Ocean bordering all but four of them.
Phenomenal, exotic and diverse would paint the broadest, yet most defining brushstroke to describe the fantastic Far Western Region. It is known for earthquakes, volcanos and giant redwood trees and home to both the historic Hollywood movie industry and the more recent Silicon Valley technology industry.
Alpha Kappa Alpha members who comprise the Far Western Region are a microcosm of the nation and of the organization at large. The region is fantastic, not only because of its unparalleled natural beauty and cutting-edge ideas and achievements, but because of its phenomenally creative and talented members who are well-noted for their avant-garde spirit and accomplishments.
Rho Chapter (University of California, Berkeley) – The Region's First Undergraduate Chapter
In 1920, Jackson conceived the idea of organizing a chapter on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley for young Black college women. A "club" was formed, and the national Alpha Kappa Alpha office sent Inez Wood Fairfax to organize a chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area. On August 1, 1921, the Far Western Region was established when Rho Chapter was chartered. At its inception, the five chapter members were Virginia Stephens, Ruby Jefferson, Aretha Richardson, Myrtle Price and Ida Louise Jackson, who served as the first president.
Sigma Chapter (University of Southern California)
Sigma Chapter's initial members were Leola Lewis, Ursula Puritt Murrell, Helen Wheeler Riddle, Corinne Stovall and Naida McCullough, who served as president.
Alpha Gamma Chapter (University of California, Los Angeles)
The First Graduate Chapters
In 1929, the region's second graduate chapter, Alpha Nu Omega, was chartered in Oakland, CA. Ida Jackson was a charter member and the chapter's first president. In 1931, both Alpha Omicron Omega, in San Francisco, and Alpha Sigma Omega, in Phoenix, were chartered.
Far Western Region – Convention Host
In 1946, the region hosted the convention for a second time, with 11 chartered chapters and Manila Hudin Smith serving as the regional director.
The region continued to grow as chapter charterings expanded. The chapters also grew in prominence as they personified the AKA theme of "Service to All Mankind" through their many community service projects, from their very inception to the present time.
The region has hosted six biennial conventions over the 100-plus year history of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Los Angeles 1932, 1946, 1966 and 1988; San Francisco 1955 and 2012).