Today, Theresa B. Leeke, my mother and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (SGRho) soror, is celebrating her 64th Sigmaversary.
THAT’S RIGHT! It’s time to celebrate the Cultured Pearl!
Join me in celebrating my mom’s 64 years of “Greater Service, Greater Progress” … 64 years of being in a sorority of “Greater Women, Greater World.”
When my mom joined Alpha Chapter at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1959, she made a lifelong commitment sisterhood, scholarship, and service.
The SGRho sorors who nurtured, taught, and mentored her as a young woman inspired and shaped her as a person, a leader, and an educator.
They showed her how to plant Sigma seeds of sisterhood, scholarship, and service in sorors who came after her.
As a young wife and mother of three children with one on the way, she planted Sigma seeds in the women who became charter members of Gamma Psi Sigma, a tri-city chapter for Saginaw, Flint, and Bay City, Michigan (now based in Saginaw) that she helped start in 1967.
During my lifetime, I have witnessed firsthand my mom’s ability to serve and lead with humility. I have watched her show up in her life as an educator, a musician, a mother of four, and a wife to an entrepreneur as well as work in her local chapter, Phi Sigma.
She has served as a Phi Sigma Chapter member; undergraduate advisor to Epsilon Lambda Chapter at Bowie State University and Alpha Phi Chapter at Howard University; chartering undergraduate advisor to Eta Beta Chapter at the University of Maryland, College Park; committee chairwoman; and Basileus (president serving three times).
Throughout her 64 years of service, she has remained passionate and dedicated to membership development and training, community service in the Washington, DC area, and regional and national activities.
My mother has willingly spent her energy and time as a SGRho life member and Cultured Pearl mentoring and investing in Sigma women (including me). She does it out of a deep love for her Sigma Sorors. She does it because she wants us to thrive in our unique SGRho way. She gives back because so many gave to her.
I am grateful to have my mom as a mother. She has loved me like no other and continues to teach me what it means to be a fulfilled, creative, and healthy Black woman and SGRho soror.
My favorite SGRho memories with her include the day she pinned me during my Beta Tau Chapter induction ceremony in 1983; traveling with her to my first Boule as a soror in 1984; watching her get pinned as a Cultured Pearl in 2010; witnessing her receive Butler University’s special recognition of her service as a Cultured Pearl and an educator during the Centennial Founders’ Day weekend in 2022 (see first photo at the top of the post); and attending the Centennial Boule with her and my dad in Indianapolis in 2022 (photo above).
LISTEN TO MY MOM SHARE HER SGRHO WISDOM