The Gamma Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated has served over eighty years on the Jacksonville Community. The chapter opened its 21st Biannual Silver Rose Debutante Coterie on June 2, 2022, during a Mother and Daughter Luncheon at Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel. Since then, these 19 young ladies hosted and participated in private parties, teas, workshops and service projects throughout the summer.
Hundreds of young women have participated in the Debutante Coterie established in 1981. Throughout its 80 year history in Jacksonville, Gamma Rho Omega has presented a variety of cultural contributions including ‘The Chocolate Nutcracker” as a signature fundraising event and the legendary Ebony Fashion Fair.
From 1958 to 2009 the sorority sponsored the iconic fashion show which was introduced to the chapter by Mrs. Estelle McKissick. “This Chocolate Nutcracker” is a multicultural production patented by LaVerne Reed Productions and has experienced national success in other major cities including Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. In addition, the chapter awards scholarships to female students attending Jacksonville’s college and universities with established AKA Chapters. They include: Edward Waters College (Nu Iota); Jacksonville University (Omicron Delta); and The University of North Florida (Mu Theta).
No stranger to serving the community, highlights include breaking racial barriers by presenting operatic legend Marian Anderson before an integrated audience in 1952 to the more ambitious purchase of its first sorority house in 1965. The current sorority house, located at 1011 west 8th Street in Jacksonville, was purchased in 1976 and currently has no mortgage liability. The building is on the National Historic register.
The Gamma Rho Omega, Incorporated was chartered in Jacksonville, Florida on June 23, 1942 by ten college-educated, enterprise, dedicated and civic minded young women who were Alpha Kappa Alpha members on various college campuses. Presently, the over 400 members of the chapter represent an impressive cross-section of professionals who excel in every field of endeavor including politics, education, business, theology and the arts.
The coterie will be presented at the 21st Biannual Silver Rose Debutante Ball on Friday, December 30th, at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel. (Gregory Williams Photography)