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About Iota Epsilon Omega

On January 31, 1971, 17 women from Bergen County, New Jersey gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Saddle Brook, New Jersey for their chartering ceremony, thus becoming the first graduate chapter of any black Greek-lettered organization in the county.  For more than 18 months prior to this date, these women met under the leadership of Gene-Ann Polk Horne, laying the foundation for this newly formed chapter, Iota Epsilon Omega. Mrs. Horne later became the first elected President.


The ceremony was conducted by Anne Mitchum who was the North Atlantic Regional Director during that time.  Mrs. Davis was assisted by Esther Pollard, a past North Atlantic Regional Director.  Over 60 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. women from around the region came to share good wishes for this long awaited event.


The 17 charter members continued to meet on a monthly basis in each other’s homes to set standards of procedures and by-laws that would govern the newly formed chapter.  From the beginning, scholarships have been a major focus of the chapter.  Over the years Iota Epsilon Omega has given over $300,000 in scholarships to deserving young men and women.


In addition to scholarships, the chapter has been a leader in community efforts such as sickle cell screening programs, preservation of slave burial grounds in the county, Africare and the African Village Program, contributions to Shelter-Our-Sisters, a shelter to support abused women, voter registration, and get out the vote campaigns and many programs promoting African-American history and African-American speakers.


The chapter is the sponsor of the undergraduate chapter Nu Kappa located at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck.

Charter Members

Mabel Beale
Alice L Benekin
* Beverly Cannon
* Ethel McGhee Davis
Jacqueline Gibbs
Elizabeth (Graham) Early
* Elaine Gunthorpe
* Olive Hazel
* Gene-Ann Polk Horne
Gloria Howard
* Wilma Jones
* Barbara Kay
Mildred Laster
* Virginia Lathen
* Louise Porter
 Barbara Wood
 Joanne Wynne
(*) denotes deceased
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