Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Launches Our Time Has Come Endowment Effort

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority group photo
If all goes according to plan, alumni of the Theta Tau chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Inc. will be making a major announcement at Coming Back Together in 2024: the establishment of a scholarship endowment through the Our Time Has Come (OTHC) Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship effort was launched in February 2023 and within a month the organization had raised $61,000 through the support of 16 sisters. “We’re thankful for the generosity of those who have given and are confident we can reach our $100,000 goal by September 2024,” says Khira Fryar ’14, G’16. “The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Theta Tau Chapter Endowed Scholarship will be a permanent scholarship for talented underrepresented students at SU, leaving a legacy for generations.”

“The cost of college is increasingly rising, and at a private institution like Syracuse, becoming prohibitive,” adds Margo Lettsome ’96. “Having as many resources as possible to support underrepresented students at Syracuse is important.”

The scholarship is also a reflection of the members’ love for their organization. “It’s a testimony to our sisterhood and friendships that continue to this day,” she says.

It’s also a natural extension of the organization’s focus on service.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. was founded in 1922 at Butler University by seven young Black educators. The organization was incorporated as a national collegiate sorority seven years later and has both undergraduate and noncollegiate “graduate” chapters throughout the country and abroad. The organization’s commitment to service is expressed in its slogan, “Greater Service, Greater Progress,” which includes a focus on promoting the greater good through education.

The Theta Tau chapter was chartered at Syracuse University in 1981 by Kim Smith ’82, Deborah Allred ’82, Pat Thomas ’82, Audrey Jones ’83, Tracey Mann ’83, Tonya Nelson ’83, Lynn Brice ’82 and Pat Rowan ’84. Community service has always been a core value. “The thing that really drew me to Sigma Gamma Rho was its commitment to the community,” says Lettsome. “The chapter’s involvements transcended the University.”

That service work includes the Cradle Care program, which supports pregnant women at a transitional living shelter to help them have healthy pregnancies and provide what they need for their babies, and Sleeping for the Homeless, which raises awareness of the homeless problem in Syracuse while also collecting goods such as blankets, pillows, clothing and canned goods for organizations such as the Salvation Army and Vera House.

“Many Greek organizations focus on campus events, while our signature has been getting out and making an impact in the greater community,” says Fryar.

Both Fryar and Lettsome have continued their service through graduate chapters, Fryar in Syracuse and Lettsome in New York City.

Lettsome says the scholarship endowment is intended to “leave a legacy for the chapter at the university where we were formed” while supporting underrepresented students at Syracuse.

“All of our members believe strongly in the value of education, and I encourage each to support this effort at whatever level they can,” she says.