The Minnesota Zetas

zphib founders


Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded January 16, 1920 on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C.  In an effort to be different, five women who believed in the need for a new and different type of Greek-lettered organization acted upon that need. To these women, Zeta was more than an organization-it was a movement, a belief system that reflected, at its core, the desire to provide true Service, to embrace Scholarship, to set a standard for Sisterly Love and to define the noble concept of Finer Womanhood. This belief has sustained and encouraged Zetas around the world to hold fast to the ideals initiated and developed by its earliest members. The 5 Founders are lovingly known as Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Pearl Anna Neal, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, and Fannie Pettie Watts.

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. We seek to continue the road they paved through our efforts of upholding their founding principles.


The History of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in Minnesota begins with Iota Zeta Zeta chapter.

Having a Zeta chapter in Minnesota became a reality on November 17, 1979. Great Lakes Regional Director, Soror Josephine Crowell (1974-1980) traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to charter Iota Zeta Zeta chapter. The charter members are Sorors Gladys Anderson, Mary Charles, Fannie Harrell, Effie McKerson, Anita Spencer, Bettye Spencer, Linda Spencer and Nancy Williams.

A reception was held in celebration of the new chapter at The University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN. Soror Josephine Crowell was the keynote speaker for the occasion and Mrs. Nancy Latimer presented a Proclamation from mayor George Latimer, mayor of St. Paul, MN. The second chapter to follow Iota Zeta Zeta was the Sigma Beta Zeta chapter.

Kappa Pi chapter, the first and only undergraduate chapter in the state of Minnesota, was initially chartered in the early 1990’s and was officially rechartered as a Citywide chapter (Minneapolis/St. Paul) on March 31, 1997.

Sigma Beta Zeta chapter was chartered at Boule 2000 in Philadelphia, PA. SBZ was chartered on July 12, 2000 during Dr. Barbara West Carpenter administration. The charter members are Sorors Catherine Butcher, Chestine Clay, Fannie Harrell, Bernadette Harrell, Willa Mae Garnett and Barbara Winbush. At the Minnesota/Wisconsin State Leadership Conference, SBZ was introduced to all chapters present at the conference.

SBZ received numerous congratulatory cards and phone calls. Iota Zeta Zeta chapter was the first to send a card of congratulations to the new chapter.