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The History of

IOTA Chapter
Atlantic City, New Jersey

In 1927, Mrs. Ruth West Avant and Mrs. Lenora Scott Hopkins called together the following young teachers: Clarice Barnes, Zella Sturgis Barton, Anna Land Butler, Beatrice O. Childs, Edith Land Dempsey, Julia Goens, Arneita Hamilton Hamm, Mary Paige Jackson, Amaza Morris Lockett, Clara Lane Major, Grace Hamilton Mantley, Constance Deleon Milby, Gwendolyn Herbert Robinson and Nan Smith Wooding.  Their goal was to establish a chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., a professional education organization, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Through contact with Founders Gladys Merritt Ross, Gladys Cannon Nunery, and Julia Asbury Barnes of Jersey City, Iota Chapter was chartered on November 12, 1927, becoming the eighth chapter in the group that originated in 1923 in Jersey City. 
Throughout its existence, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Iota Chapter has been active in the Atlantic City area through its sponsorship of a variety of creative and aesthetic initiatives.  Since the chapter's organization, its projects have included the presentation of renowned artists, such as child prodigy, Phillipa Schuyler; excursions to Broadway theaters, and the sponsorship of the Debutante Cotillion.  Iota Chapter has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to deserving youth, enabling them to realize their dream of pursuing higher education.  The Debutante Cotillion, an educational and cultural program, is one phase of the National Sorority's Youth, Education and Service (YES) Program that benefits the Chapter's Scholarship Fund.  For the past 59 years, the Cotillion has trained young men and women in various social and scholastic skills, and Iota also counsels youth in the female Xinos and male Kudos High School Youth Guidance Groups.  A variety of programs have assisted many youths to receive a college education, while also training young people in the attributes that would enable them to become better citizens, who will make positive contributions to our society. 
Since 1927, Iota can boast of nine National Officers.  These Officers include National President Julia Goens, 1932-1934; National Corresponding Secretary Helen Hoxter, 1932-1933; National Financial Secretary Anna G. Smith, 1935-1937; Martha B. Hester, 1938-1940; Nan S. Wooding, 1940-1942; National Treasurer Eleanor Little, 1981-1985; Chief Editors of Krinon Dorothy King, 1938-1940; and Katherine McEachern, 1985-1989; Eastern Regional Directors Katherine McEachern, 1971-1975 and Dr. Juanita J. High,  1979-1983; National Director of Public Relations Katherine McEachern, 1975-1979 and Dr. Juanita J. High, 2007-2011; Eastern Region Member-at-Large Dr. Juanita J. High, 1975-1979.  Iota has had several Eastern Region Administrative Committee Chairs from 1999-2012: E.R.F.R.S, Inc.,  Dr. Juanita J. High; Krinon Staff, Rita Krall; Protocol, Lula Popa-Howard and Patricia Smith; Chief Marshal, Doris Jackson, and Technology, Sheila Williamson. Dr. High has also served as the National Conclave Coordinator and Presidents of the National Board of Trustees.  Dr. Juanita J. High received the Eastern Region Achievement Award in 1978 and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. National Achievement Award in 1979.
The Iota Chapter has hosted the Annual Eastern Regional Conference several times; in April 1964, 1988, and 2011.  The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc., a professional organization of teachers dedicated to the task of training the youth of America to cope satisfactorily and effectively with today's problems, firmly believes education to be a potent factor in maintaining and perpetuating democracy as the most ideal form of life.
To remain in this position, modern education must provide youth with abilities for:
  • developing an integrated personality
  • assuming a successful place in a group, and
  • adjusting to the ever-changing problems of their culture.
Through the day-to-day instruction in the classroom and multiple contacts in the community, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. seeks to inform all citizens of the ever-changing problems of our culture and to equip them with the necessary social skills to solve these problems according to true democratic processes.  In this endeavor, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. shall continue to take its rightful place among those who point the way in establishing, maintaining, and sustaining avenues of communication between and among all people.
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