The Founders of Zeta were strong, principled coeds who possessed a great deal of modesty, strength of character and pride in academic achievement. They are indeed a worthy foundation upon which to base our illustrious Sorority.
Arizona Cleaver (Stemons): Arizona Cleaver was the first president of Alpha chapter and the first national president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She completed her graduate and post-graduate studies in the field of social work and was responsible for chartering numerous undergraduate and graduate chapters throughout the United States.
Myrtle Tyler (Faithful): Myrtle Tyler was the second national president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and blood sister to Viola Tyler. A high school mathematics and English teacher, Founder Tyler was an active member of Alpha Zeta chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.
Viola Tyler (Goings): Viola Tyler graduated from Howard University with a teaching degree and a major in math. She taught school in Ohio for many years and was always very active in community affairs.
Fannie Pettie (Watts): Fannie Pettie graduated from Howard with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and taught junior and senior high schools in Savannah, Georgia. She was credited with organizing two additional Zeta chapters and had active membership in Delta Alpha Zeta chapter.
Pearl A. Neal: After graduating from Howard University’s Conservatory of Music, Founder Neal continued her studies at the Julliard School of Music. In 1938, she was the first black woman in New York to earn a master’s degree in music from Columbia University. An extremely accomplished musician, Founder Neal taught music in North Carolina public schools and served as a director of seniors majoring in music at Teachers College in Winston Salem, NC.
It is indeed interesting to note further that there were two men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Charles R. Taylor and A. Langston Taylor, who assisted the "Five Pearls" in organizing the sisterhood. In fact, the interest manifested by the Taylors and the enthusiasm, energy, and ability exhibited by Arizona Cleaver provided the cornerstone for the building of the Sorority.
©2019 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Omega Iota Zeta Chapter.