On July 12, 1943, under the leadership of Regional Director, Soror Minerva Johnson and National President, Soror Elsie Austin, life was breathed into the Alpha Tau Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The late Sorors Rosamond Alston and Helen W. Sheffield were the architects of Delta in Orangeburg for the graduate and undergraduate chapters.
Charter members of Alpha Tau Sigma were: Rosamond Alston*, Cassandra Maxwell Birnie*, Helen W. Sheffield*, Mamie E. Thompson*, and Clemmie E. Webber. Soror Helen W. Sheffield served as Alpha Tau Sigma's first President.
The first group of sorors and initiates to join in the new chapter were:
During the 23rd National Convention in New York City, August 14-20, 1954, delegates recommended and voted in the affirmative that hereafter a graduate chapter shall be designated as an alumnae chapter and identified according to the community in which it is located. In keeping with the policy of Grand Chapter to designate non-campus based chapters by county, city or area of chapter location, the name was changed from Alpha Tau Sigma to Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter.
Since 1943, the Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter has increased from five charter members to over 200 members in 2009. Many chapter members have been recognized as leaders in community activism, athletics, business, education and scholarship, media and literature as well as in government. Members have excelled in these roles at the local, state, and national levels.
Over the years, the chapter has established programs to provide public service initiatives based upon our sorority's Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: (1) Economic Development, (2) Educational Development, (3) International Awareness and Involvement, (4) Physical and Mental Health, and (5) Political Awareness and Involvement. Through its local and national programs, the chapter continue to fulfill our Founders' dreams of achieving excellence, providing scholarships and rendering public service to the community.
Major projects of the chapter have included: political awareness, voter registration, tutorial services, health and wellness, development of our youth, community empowerment and financial fortitude. The chapter sponsors many activities that benefit the community such as Ebony Fashion Fair, May Week, Betty Shabazz Delta Academy/GEMS, Monsieur Ebonaire Beautillion and Pageant, and the Healthy Lifestyle Weight Loss Challenge. Some of the organizations receiving chapter support are the United Negro College Fund, NAACP, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, CASA Family Systems and Habitat for Humanity.
Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter has been recognized for its' "committment to serve" by many community organizations. Several awards, certificates, plaques and trophies have been received throughout the years. Members were thrilled to receive a $500 award shared with Sumter Alumnae Chapter, a Lawry Certificate of Excellence from Lawry Foods.