Founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington,DC 1908, Alpha Kappa AlphaSorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-trained women. To trace its history is to tell a story of changing patterns of human relations in America in the 20th century. Led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, the nine Howard University students who came together to form Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority were scholastic leaders of their classes. Each had a special gift or talent that further enhanced the potential of this dynamic group.The small group of women who organized the Sorority was concious of a priviledged position as college-trained women of color, just one generation removed from slavery. They were resolute that their collected experiences should be as meaningful and productive as possible. Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded to apply that determination. As the Sorority grew, it kept in balance two important themes: the importance of the individual and the strength of an organization of women of ability and courage. As the world became more complex, there was a need for associations which cut across racial, geographical, political,physical and social barriers.