National Heritage

Our Legacy

 “…I believe that no (other) organization could have been founded upon principles that were so near and dear to all of our hearts.”

Founder Myrtle Tyler

Our illustrious organization was founded on the campus of  Howard University in Washington D.C. on January 16, 1920.  Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was established upon the principles of Service to our community, Scholarship through educational endeavors, Sisterhood, and the unique concept of Finer Womanhood. Today the organization holds strong to those founding principles with unrelenting dedication and zeal that has continued to thrive for 90 years as this new decade approaches us.        

Zeta began as an idea conceived by five coeds, Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal. These five women, also known as our Five Pearls, dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for black women and 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.

Zeta Phi Beta’s history includes a number of firsts that has enabled it to  to stand out amongst other historically black sororities. The sorority was the first to charter a chapter in Africa in 1948, the first to develop adult and youth auxiliary groups, the first to operate business in a headquarters with a paid staff, and the first to be constitutionally bound to a brother fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

As a community conscious organization, the sorority has formed many community-based partnerships over the years. It’s national and local programs  (commonly referred to  as  Zeta’s Signature Programs) include endowment of its National Educational Foundation that provides financial assistance to worthy students in pursuit of higher education , ZHOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel) community outreach services program and the Stork’s Nest program, which is designed to promote prenatal care participation and healthy behaviors during the pregnancy. Zeta also  supports multiple affiliate organizations including March of Dimes, National Marrow Donor Program, and the American Cancer Society to name a few. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given untotaled hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change, exemplifying that service to the community is its greatest legacy.

It is easy to see that Zeta’s light shines bright in the lives of many, and through the dedication of it’s members never tiring in their efforts it will continue to shine bright as the morning sun,For more information on the sorority and it’s signature programs visit the national website at

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