Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

Byron Hargrove


The purpose of this study was to provide empirical research on Black Greek sorority membership as a vehicle to positive student outcomes and, specifically, the facilitation of leadership enhancement of its members. Despite over 100 years of service, commitment to academic achievement and community uplifting the impact of historically Black fraternities and sororities, Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) remain an understudied research area. Specifically, there exists little empirical research exploring the membership experiences of women belonging to a historically Black sorority. This phenomenological study explored the ways in which a one chapter, Pi Delta Chapter of BGLO Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. assisted its members in enhancing leadership skills during and after college. This study utilized a purposeful sample technique to identify and select 12 women who became members of the sorority through the Pi Delta Chapter at Stony Brook University during their undergraduate years. Through structured, open-ended interviews with 12 alumnae participants, five major themes emerged: (a) the importance of sisterhood, (b) networking benefits specifically available to members, (c) mentorship with fellow members, (d) involvement in the sorority and other cocurricular activities, and (e) leadership in the sorority and also in other cocurricular activities. Membership in historically Black sororities has thus far proven to provide positive impacts and positive college experiences for its members. It is recommended that colleges and universities continue to explore ways they can enroll and retain minority women.

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