The local chapter was organized on December 17, 1927 as “Rho”, an undergraduate chapter. The charter members were: Sorors Irma Bowser Thompson, Blanch Davis Jones, Essie Gordon Ferebee, Geraldine Reid Elliott, Hilda Selden Johnson and Marguritee Mosely Dark. The Rho Chapter was re-organized as a graduate chapter on November 30, 1944. The chapter name was then changed to Beta Theta Zeta.
Since its beginning, Beta Theta Zeta members have provided sponsorship to two collegiate chapters: Zeta Gamma (Norfolk State University) chartered on December 1, 1962 and Rho Nu (Old Dominion University) chartered on November 15, 1987. The chapter has also sponsored four auxiliaries: the Norfolk Amicae (1957), the Norfolk Zeta Archonettes (1995), the Norfolk Zeta Amicettes (1996/2005) and the Norfolk Zeta Pearlettes (2005/2015).
Chapter members consist of women from various career fields including education, health care, legal and military. Our very own Triumphant Soror, the Honorable Yvonne Miller, was a member of the Virginia State Senate.
The Chapter is proud of having sorors who have served at the National, Regional, and State levels. Sorors Velma Coppage Bunche, Edna Powell, Algeania Freeman, Stevalynn Adams and Melissa Barnes have all served as State Directors for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Soror Bunche served as a National Secretary (1937), National First Vice-President (1952-1955) and Eastern Regional Director (1948-1952). Soror Melissa Barnes served as the past 15th Eastern Regional Director (2002-2008). Soror Misti Goodson has served as the Eastern Regional Secretary (2013-2015); and Soror Katherine Pereras served as the Regional Assistant Secretary (2019-2020). Soror Michelle McIntosh is currently serving as the State Secretary (2013-2017, 2017-present).
The Beta Theta Zeta Chapter continues to propel the legacy upon which this sisterhood was founded through its regular coordination of, participation in and support of community programs.
The Beta Theta Zeta Mission: To honor our Sorority’s principles of Scholarship, Community Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood through our Z-HOPE initiatives, volunteerism and mentorship to ensure our continued visibility and longevity in the city of Norfolk.