Florida Cave Alexander Thelma Livingston Fay Solomon
Lillie Belle Blackshear Willie Lee Lucas Mozelle Bruton
All sorors listed above are members of the Omega Omega chapter.
Sorors Gwendolyn Leapheart, Ali Thorpe and Luella White are not listed as charter members, but were very active and instrumental in the process.
On February 9, 1946, the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, now known as Jacksonville Alumnae Chapter, was officially chartered. The local chapter is a diverse group of professional women who have combined their knowledge and skills to launch a series of public service programs that have been maintained and expanded for 66 years. The chapter was also honored to have one of Delta’s Founders, Winona Cargile Alexander, as a member for many years.
Notable chapter endeavors include the long-running talent showcase Jabberwock (1947-72); starting the city’s first Head Start; building a Habijax Home (1995); HIV/AIDS Awareness Festival (2002-06); established three collegiate chapters at Edward Waters College, University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.
“Fond greetings to all you dear Deltas,
I love you.”
Winona Cargile Alexander, one of the original twenty-two founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was born June 21, 1893 in Columbus, Georgia. She was the second oldest of four daughters born to Reverend Charles and Fannie Cargile. Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Winona accepted Christ at an early age and fervently embraced the tenets of Christian faith.
She graduated salutatorian of her class in 1910 from Ballard Normal High School in Macon, Georgia and enrolled at Howard University in the fall of the year. While at Howard she was involved and an officer with several activities and clubs: Class Vice President, YWCA Cabinet, Alpha Phi Literary Society, Classical Club secretary, Secretary/Treasurer of Social Science Club, German Club, and NIKH Board (Yearbook Staff). A historic day occurred at Howard University on January 13, 1913, when Winona Cargile along with twenty-one of her female classmates established Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She served as the sorority’s first Custodian of Alpha Chapter.
Alexander graduated cum laude from Howard and taught school in Missouri for one year before becoming the first person of color to enroll at New York School of Philanthropy, now known as the Columbia University School of Social Work. Upon completion of the program, she accepted a position in Jacksonville, Florida as a Social Worker for Colored Indigents with the Duval County Welfare Board.
In 1917, she married Edward Alexander, a Jacksonville attorney. To this union, six children were born. She became active with Laura Street Presbyterian Church and was later ordained an Elder. She held membership with now Woodlawn Presbyterian Church for over 65 years.
Her involvement and participation with Alpha Iota Sigma, now known as Jacksonville Alumnae was truly a wonderful blessing. Her beautiful smile, charming spirit and sparkling personality was welcome warmth to all. She remained a dedicated and active member until health issues slowed her pace.
Founder Winona Cargile Alexander died on October 16, 1984 at ninety-one years of age. Her son, James S. Alexander, of Silver Springs, Maryland, and other relatives and friends, survived her. Her life was truly a testament of her faith, values and belief.
Winona Cargile Alexander