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Sorority alumni celebrate charter member with parade

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OXFORD — A local sorority alumnae chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this month with a parade to honor its last surviving charter member.

The Oxford-Henderson alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held a parade May 9 to celebrate its anniversary and to recognize the contributions of founding member Ellain McGhee Brooks.

As Brooks stood in her yard, chapter members in over 30 cars, adorned with balloons and signs, travelled down the highway and circled Brooks’ driveway. When Brooks saw all the cars led by a deputy sheriff, she said “What is this, a funeral?”

“I have never heard of anything like this,” she later said.

The chapter had planned a gala to celebrate the anniversary, but that was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chapter was established May 10, 1945, under the Greek letter name Gamma Beta Sigma with eight charter members in the Oxford and Henderson area, with the town of Oxford as the nucleus.

In 1958, the Greek letter name was changed to Oxford-Henderson Alumnae Chapter of Delta SIgma Theta Sorority, Inc. The chapter service area encompasses the counties of Granville, Vance, Franklin and Warren in North Carolina and Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

During the chapter’s last virtual meeting on Saturday, Brooks said that she was still filled with emotions.

“I can’t believe you all pulled this off because I usually know everything and all I have done is lived a long time,” Brooks told the chapter. “My living room looks like a museum with all the flowers and posters. I am so impressed and thank you all so much.”