LAUREN LANDAU / THE EAGLE
Delta Sigma Theta’s Nu Alpha chapter celebrated its 35th anniversary with a reunion weekend for past and present sisters April 22-23.
Delta Sigma Theta was the first National Panhellenic Council organization at AU. Chartered at AU in 1976, the Nu Alpha chapter marked the beginning of black greek life on AU’s campus. The chapter was chartered at Georgetown University in 1997, and roughly half of Nu Alpha’s current members are Georgetown students.
“This is a really important milestone for our chapter,” said Nu Alpha President Tannis Spencer, a junior in Kogod. “Thirty-five years on any campus is something to be very proud of.”
The weekend’s activities included a gala dinner, volunteering at a community service event for childhood sexual abuse and a tree planting ceremony for AU graduate and Delta Sigma Theta soror Adeyinka Cynthia Adesioye, who died unexpectedly in March 2009.
Evetta Sherman, a School of Public Affairs 1980 graduate and former president of Nu Alpha chapter said there is a level of nostalgia in returning to AU and reuniting with her chapter, which she said is very different than it was in the 1970s. “We’ve come a long way,” she said.
Delta soror and former Nu Alpha President Enshane Hill-Nomoto, a 1996 graduate, said it is “reassuring” to see the chapter has sustained itself at AU, because she was the only Delta on campus when she was chapter president, when there was a threat that the chapter would no longer exist.
“It’s reassuring to see that the women here are carrying the torch for the women who laid that groundwork for them, because it’s always been an uphill battle,” Hill-Nomoto said.
At Saturday’s tree planting ceremony, the sisters took turns speaking and writing their memories of Adesioye on slips of paper that they affixed to the branches of the dogwood tree they had planted in her memory.
Adesioye was formerly vice president of AU Gospel Choir, which sang her favorite spiritual, “The Storm is Passing Over,” at the ceremony.
“I almost feel like she knew her time here was going to be short, so she did everything she could while she was here,” said Delta soror Simone Hardeman, a 2002 graduate.
Adesioye’s sisters alternately laughed and cried as they remembered their friend and fellow soror.
“Cynthia had a way of recognizing what was beautiful in everyone,” said 2006 graduate and Delta soror Jacqueline Stewart, before bursting into tears.