International Grand Basileus   Deborah Catchings-Smith
Greetings Sorors, Philos and Rhoers!  
As we enter the fall season, we know that a tremendous amount of opportunities exist to give back to those within our sisterhood and families across the world. Hurricane Dorian has caused tremendous devastation in the Bahamas on the Islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. Several Sorors, Rhoers and their families have been impacted. We are continuing to monitor this dire situation with the support of Southeastern Region Syntaktes Jakimva Martin.
We encourage you to donate to the Sigma Gamma Rho National Disaster Relief
Fund. Your donation will assist the organization in responding to the needs of our Sigma family members. Please
click here  to assist Sorors and Affiliates affected by Hurricane Dorian.   Community service and sisterhood are major focal points for Sigma Gamma Rho. Now is the time to put our motto, "Greater Service, Greater Progress," into action. On behalf of the International Board of Directors, we thank you in advance for your generosity in supporting our Sigma family. If you have any questions, please contact the International Corporate Headquarters at (888) 747-1922.
Phillips 66 National Championships & Swim 1922 Clinic
On August 3, 2019, we were invited to attend the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. We also hosted a Swim
Clinic for Sorors in the Western Region. Additionally, this event enabled the sisterhood to engage in existing partnership discussions as well as connecting with potential new partners.
Special thanks to Western Region Syntaktes Kennessa Marshall, UCC Michelle Aldridge, Western Region Board of Directors, and Sigma family who participated in the Swim Clinic. It was great to share our amazing drowning prevention movement that is helping to save lives of people across the nation. I also got the opportunity to represent the sisterhood on USA Swimming's on-air Deck Pass Live show.  
Photos L to R: Sorors at Stanford University Participating in the Swim 1922 Clinic. On the set of USA Swimming Deck Pass Live. 
Alice Allison Dunnigan Statue Comes Home to Russellville, KY
On August 1-2, 2019, we traveled to Russellville, Kentucky to attend the momentous celebration and arrival of Soror Alice Allison Dunnigan's statue. It has been nearly a year since the statue was unveiled in a special ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Since the statue's initial unveiling, it has traveled to the Truman Presidential Library, Kentucky State University, and the University of Kentucky before finally coming to Russellville to be permanently installed on the grounds of the Seek Museum. The events were part of the city's 8th of August Emancipation celebration. The life-size bronze statue was created by Kentucky artist/sculptor Amanda Matthews.
Alice Allison Dunnigan was a trailblazer born in 1906 to a Kentucky sharecropper. At age 13 she began writing for the Owensboro Enterprise, a first job that fueled her passion for journalism and reporting. Dunnigan was the first African American woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House and Congress. She received more than 50 journalism awards for her work.
We were honored to join the Dunnigan family, the Seek Museum, and the citizens of Russellville to recognize the monumental achievements of our Soror. Dunnigan accomplished many firsts as a journalist, civic and civil rights leader, and educator. This statue is a reminder of her historical significance and cultural relevance as an African American woman during her time. I was humbled to present a $7,000 donation to the Alice Allison Dunnigan Scholarship Fund on behalf of our sisterhood representing the vision of our Seven Illustrious Founders. 
Photo L to R: Dunnigan Family Presented with $7,000. Sorors attending the celebration honoring Soror Alice Allison Dunnigan. Sculptor Amanda Matthews  
Reception for Kappa Alpha Psi 34th Grand Polemarch Reuben Shelton III, Esq.
On behalf of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. Council of Presidents and the Sisterhood of Sigma Gamma Rho, I had the honor of welcoming the newly installed 34th Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Reuben Shelton III, Esq. It is remarkable to have two NPHC National Presidents serving concurrently who both reside in Metropolitan St. Louis! Special appreciation to our amazing Sorors who made sure we were well represented at this historic occasion.
Photos L to R: Reuben Shelton III, Esq., 34th Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. St. Metropolitan Sorors attending the Grand Polemarch Reception. 
Upcoming National Events and Webinar
Sigma Gamma Rho / USA Swimming Swim 1922 Clinic Featuring Olympian Cullen Jones
September 12, 2019 @ 2:00 PM ET, Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, 3401 4th St. DE Washington, DC 20032
Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference / Sigma Gamma
Rho Reception
September 13, 2019 @ 6:00 PM ET
Conrad Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
58th Biennial Boule Webinar: "Honoring the Firsts, Building Our Future"
September 16, 2019 @ 9:00 PM ET
National Voter Registration Day
September 24, 2019
Register people to vote by visiting
Please use the hashtags #RhockTheVote and #SGRhoVote
International Chartering
September 28, 2019, United Arab Emirates

International First Grand
Anti-Basileus  Rasheeda S. Liberty
As we move quickly into the new year, we are seeing a marked increase in reactivating members. The historical trend in reactivating members is a benefit to our sisterhood that has produced many lessons and best practices. As we welcome our sorors home, I wanted to provide some quick tips to chapters and members to ensure that we not only reclaim, but that we retain them as well.
  • Provide a welcome letter from the chapter basileus and/or membership chair explaining the standard operations of the chapter (i.e. officers, reporting structures, chapter meeting logistics, websites, social media pages, key dates for the sorority year)
  • Share ordering instructions for items that they may need to assimilate easier (i.e. sorority handbook, paraphernalia, official sorority jewelry, history book)
  • Host "Sigma 101" sessions before or after the standard meetings to review our rituals, protocol, office structure, sorority web portals, etc.
  • Ensure that reactivating members are immediately added to your chapter mailing lists, text groups, electronic distribution and social media pages.
  • Recognize newly reactivated members with an official announcement to the chapter, a small gift from the chapter, or a special outing or event.
To reactivate is often a sacrifice and a significant change for a soror. Understanding this, it is imperative that we ensure that our newly reactivated members are engaged early at the local level, provided the tools and resources to be successfully onboarded, and feel connected to remain a member in good standing. We are looking forward to another record-breaking reclamation year.
We had several talented Sorors who responded to the National Nomination
International Grand Tamiochus 
Vanessa K. Tyson
Committee's call regarding the International Grand Tamiochus position. We thank all Sorors who expressed an interest in serving. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Soror Vanessa K. Tyson to serve as the Interim International Grand Tamiochus! She will complete the unexpired term of Soror Leslie Clark.
Soror Tyson previously served as International Grand Tamiochus for 6 years (2012-2018) and we are fortunate to have her back in this role. Soror Tyson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She currently works at Roche Diabetes Care, Inc. in Indianapolis, IN, where she has been a Financial Business Analyst since 2016.
The focus of the interim role will be to assist the organization with its financial management, 2020 Boule and 2022 Centennial preparation, and all other duties per our Article XI, Section 1103 of our governing documents. Given Soror Tyson's credentials, we have no doubt that she will successfully meet these obligations. Please join us in extending Soror Tyson, a very warm welcome back to International Leadership!
National Rhoer Coordinator  Shyreeta L. Peacox   
Rhoers Are Raising Funds to Support St. Jude
We are proud to join St. Jude in their fight to provide care and research for children battling childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Every Rhoer is charged with raising $39
in donations. Please note, Rhoer Clubs need to create their own pages under the National Sigma Gamma Rho page to be properly counted.  
Congratulations to our top 2018 clubs for 2018 Delta Sigma Rhoer($257)  and Kappa Nu Sigma Rhoers ($160) click the link to go to the  the national page
Rhoer Advisors Plan for Success 
We are all looking forward to great things this year. For us to reach our goals, we must plan for success. Make sure that you remain connected to your Regional Rhoer Coordinator so that you are informed of all initiatives and deadlines.
Honorary Membership ChairDeena Weems Thornton
The Honorary Membership Committee is diligently working to recruit and engage Honorary Members. The committee needs your help to identify women of excellence and influence across a wide variety of fields to assist in the advancement of our goals and initiatives.  
Specifically, we are looking for recommendations from members for influential women in the following categories:
  • Arts/Entertainment 
  • Sports/Athletics
  • Media
  • Science/Medical
  • Education
  • Politics/Government/Social Action
  • Corporate/Business Leadership
Sorors are encouraged to submit candidates to the Honorary Membership Chair, Deena Weems Thornton at for consideration. 
Your 2020 International Boule Planning Team is excited to send this update to our Sisterhood! Our theme, "Honoring Our Firsts, Building Our Future" is an accurate depiction of what to expect. We are ready. Atlanta is ready. Are you ready? Get Ready!
In addition to the business we will handle in our board meetings and plenary sessions, we have an exciting line-up of activities for every extension of our membership. We have dedicated an entire day of relevant professional development and educational opportunities.   All leadership and development training along with T.O.R.C.H. certifications will occur on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 .
The Boule offerings include leadership and development training, entertainment, special guests, celebrations, ceremonies, sisterhood bonding and much more! Space will be limited so register early! This is a Boule you don't want to miss. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!
September 2019