Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. as the sister organization to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Five women chose not to embrace the tenets of established black sororities, and chartered Zeta Phi Beta Sorority to encourage the highest standards of scholarship through scientific, literary, cultural and educational programs; promote service projects on college campuses and in the community; foster sisterhood; and exemplify the ideal of Finer Womanhood. A private nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is incorporated in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Illinois.

Since its inception, the sorority has chronicled a number of “firsts” among established black sororities. In addition to being the only organization constitutionally bound to a fraternity, the sorority was the first to charter international chapters, in West Africa and Germany; to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, the Amicae, Archonettes, Amicettes and Pearlettes; and to organize its internal affairs within a central, national office administered by a paid staff.

Zeta Phi Beta’s purpose is to foster the ideals of service, charity, scholarship, civic and cultural endeavors, sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood. These ideals are reflected in the sorority’s national programs for which its members and auxiliary groups provide un-totaled hours of voluntary service to staff community outreach programs, fund scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.

Zeta First

Violette AndersonFirst African-American woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court
Elizabeth KoontzFirst African-American President of the National Education Association, former Director of the Women’s Bureau
Yvonne MillerVirginia State Senator
Willie WhitingCircuit Court Judge of Cook County, Chicago, IL
Edythe WhiteFirst women to serve on the Jackson, AL City Council
Thelma DugginPolitical Activist
Dr. Elaine JohnsonADAHMA Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Lucy PerezMedical Director, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Deborah P. Wolfe MemberU.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, Former US Education Chief, 
Chairperson of the New Jersey Board of Higher Education
Algenita Scott DavisPast National President, National Bar Association
Dionne WarwickInternational recording artist
Towanda BraxtonRecording artist
Esther RolleActress
Ja’Net DuBoisActress/Singer/Artist
Grace BrumbryInternational Opera Singer
Sarah VaughnInternational Jazz Singer
Zora Neale HurstonAnthologist,  Modern writer, and Folklorist
Dr. Alyce GullanteeFirst Black Psychiatrist to receive an Emmy
Clara McLaughlinPresident and CEO, East Texas Television – First African-American woman to own and operate a television station
Sheryl UnderwoodComedienne
Myrtice TaylorFirst African-American superintendent for curriculum and instruction – Atlanta Public Schools
Jylla FosterFormer International Grand Basileus and Branch Manager for IBM
Versia LindsayFirst woman to graduate from the School of Sciences, Atlanta University
Freddye HendersonOwner of the nation’s first African-American travel agency
Minnie RippertonSinger
Anita Turpeau AndersonFirst Woman on the debate team, Howard University
Julia CarsonRepresentative, Indiana
Lullelia HarrisonFirst Executive Secretary of any of the greek letter organizations
Sheila WilliamsFirst Black Woman News and Public Affairs Director for two radio stations simultaneously
Noteworthy members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated