MSU sorority encourages academics through endowed scholarship

Contact: Addie Mayfield

STARKVILLE, Miss.— Alumni members of the Lambda Eta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha  Sorority Inc. are establishing an endowed scholarship to support undergraduate students at Mississippi State University. An annual scholarship also is being created to provide immediate support as the endowment grows to maturity.

Founded in 1908, AKA sorority is one of nine organizations composing the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc., which represents historically black Greek-letter organizations. MSU currently is home to eight of nine NPHC associations.

AKA’s presence on the MSU campus initially began in 1975 through the establishment of the Roses Club. In 1977, the club’s journey to form a sorority culminated with the chartering of the then 13-member AKA Lambda Eta chapter, which today boasts 50 active members and nearly 500 alumni.

Last year, during a celebration of the 41-year-old chapter’s 40th anniversary at MSU, alumni members discussed the creation of an endowed scholarship to continue their service commitment.

“One of the major tenets of Alpha Kappa Alpha is to be of service to others,” said Linda Tuggles Coats, MSU College of Education professor and former Lambda Eta adviser. “We wanted to provide a worthwhile service to Mississippi State that would have a lifelong impact.”

The Alpha Kappa Alpha-Graduates of Lambda Eta Annual and Endowed Scholarships will assist full-time MSU students. Preference will be given to undergraduate African-American females with a minimum earned grade-point average of 3.0.

Candidates for the awards also will be required to submit a personal essay on why higher education is important. While the scholarships will be awarded on a year-to-year basis, recipients may be eligible for consideration in any other year.

To grow support for the endowment, members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha-Graduates of Lambda Eta scholarship committee will promote the awards during MSU’s upcoming Black Alumni Weekend. These members include chair Coats of Starkville; Valeska Lemon Buie of Des Moines, Iowa; Levada Polk Lee of Greenville; Angela Maxwell of Cordova, Tennessee; Carmen April Washington of Nashville, Tennessee; Leevel Yarbrough of Louisville; and Camille Scales Young of Madison.

“By joining in the efforts of Black Alumni Weekend, we hope to encourage new and continued alumni involvement with Mississippi State University,” said Young, who serves on the Black Alumni Weekend planning committee. “Lambda Eta was an integral part of our matriculation at MSU, and it is our honor to support current and future students in their academic endeavors.”

For more information on contributing to the Alpha Kappa Alpha-Graduates of Lambda Eta scholarships, contact Georgia Carter, director of annual giving for the MSU Foundation, at 662-325-2466 or

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