Delta Tau Omega Chapter, in partnership with the Pearls of Excellence Foundation, Inc., awards college scholarships annually to Lansing area high school seniors. Several of the scholarships are in honor of trailblazing women in Lansing, Michigan. Click 2023 Scholarship Handout to view and download the scholarship descriptions and criteria. The 2023 Scholarship Deadline is April 17, 2023

Marguerite K. Gooden Scholarship
Soror Gooden Website PhotoThis scholarship was developed to recognize the tireless work of Marguerite K. Gooden as a dedicated educator in the Lansing Public Schools for over 30 years. Mrs. Gooden received her B.S. in Sociology from Prairie View State University and M.A. in History from Michigan State University. Upon earning her graduate degree, Mrs. Gooden taught at Walter French Junior High School and J. W. Sexton High School. She served the Lansing School District from September 1, 1956 to June 15, 1984. Mrs. Gooden loved teaching mathematics and science and always desired to see more students pursue these disciplines in college.

In addition to being an educator, Mrs. Gooden served the greater Lansing community in numerous ways. She was a charter member of Delta Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in Lansing, Michigan on December 1947. She worked diligently to implement the Sorority’s national program initiatives in the Lansing community. During her tenure with Alpha Kappa Alpha, she held various leadership positions. One of her favorite chapter programs was the Graduating Senior Salute and Scholarship Luncheon. Mrs. Gooden was passionate about youth. Even after retirement, she returned to Sexton High School to ensure that the graduating African American seniors were represented and present at the luncheon. Her passion and loyalty to educating youth in the Lansing area are the catalysts behind the Marguerite Gooden Scholarship.

Clara Betty Anderson Scholarship
This scholarship was established in honor of Mrs. Clara Betty Anderson’s work and dedication to the field of nursing and healthcare. Mrs. Anderson received her Master’s degree in Nursing Education from the University of Chicago and Master’s degree in Special Education from Michigan State University. Her nursing career in the Lansing area began at St. Lawrence Hospital as an Assistant Director of Nursing Education. She worked as an In-Service Director and Staff Nurse at Sparrow Hospital until her retirement in 1983. Mrs. Anderson joined the Lansing School District in 1960 as a teacher for hospitalized children. She taught home-bound children and math to 7th through 9th graders and worked as a part-time school nurse until her retirement in 1984. She was a Life member of the NAACP, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Michigan Education Association, and charter member of Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority.

Mrs. Anderson served as secretary of the Lansing Sickle Cell Foundation, a member of the Mayor’s Black Advisory Board, the Greater Lansing Urban League, the Ingham County Lung Association, the March of Dimes, the Board of Directors of the Pashami Dancers, and a member of the Postal Customer Advisory Council, as well as the American Red Cross. She was an involved community member who worked tirelessly to advance the issues of preventive health care in the greater Lansing area. She received several recognitions for her community work, such as the Greater Lansing Human Relations Award, the American Red Cross Award for community service, and the Onyx NIJA Award presented by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

HBCU Scholarship
Delta Tau Omega Chapter is dedicated to highlighting HBCUs and their contribution to the sorority and society. Through education, engagement and advocacy, HBCUs will be showcased as critical venue for moving students to and through college.

HBCUs are a source of accomplishment and great pride for the African American community as well as the entire nation. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” [Source: US Department of Education]

HBCUs offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. These institutions train young people who go on to serve domestically and internationally in the professions as entrepreneurs and in the public and private sectors. Delta Tau Omega Chapter is proud to offer an HBCU Scholarship that will support a Lansing area high school student who has applied and been admitted to an Historically Black College or University.

Kennedy/Groves Keepers of the Dream Scholarship
Mrs. Dorothy A. Kennedy was born on August 4, 1908 in Staunton, VA. Her early years were spent in Washington, PA, where she attended elementary and high school. She graduated from Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC, with a Liberal Arts degree in 1930. Returning back home she enrolled at California Teachers College to pursue a Secondary Education degree. During her stay at home she was very active in her church, St. Paul AME Church. To further her education she received assistance from her pastor, Rev. McLinn, who aided her in receiving a scholarship to Wilberforce University in 1941. There, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Administration in 1942. After several offers she took a position as a Girl’s Program Worker with the Lincoln Community Center in Lansing, MI.

Mrs. Lady Margaret Groves was born in Saginaw, MI on July 8, 1921. She started her college education at Bay City Junior College and completed her undergraduate studies at Western Michigan College of Education (now Western Michigan University). She completed post graduate studies at Michigan State University. Mrs. Groves embarked on her teaching career in Saginaw, MI in 1941. Upon emerging opportunities, she moved to Lansing, MI and worked for the Lansing School District for 40 years in many capacities: elementary teacher, helping teacher, personnel consultant, and elementary principal. She always maintained memberships in local, state and national educational organizations. During her retirement, she often returned to the schools to donate time to tutor students after school.

Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Groves, along with 11 other accomplished women, chartered Delta Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. on December 17, 1947. They both held influential and leadership positions in the chapter. Mrs. Kennedy remained active until her passing in 2013; and Mrs. Groves continued her active participation in the sorority and chapter until her passing in 2021.

In 2013, Delta Tau Omega Chapter endowed the Dorothy A. Kennedy/L. Margaret Groves Keepers of the Dream Scholarship through the Educational Advancement Foundation, a 501(c)3 entity of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Olivia Letts Commitment to the Dream Scholarship
Dr. Olivia Letts was the first African American hired by the Lansing School District and has continued to be a pillar in the community since her arrival in 1951. Dr. Letts graduated from Chicago Teachers College (now Chicago State University) where she earned her Bachelor degree in Education. She later went on to Loyola University and then to Michigan State University where she received three advanced degrees – M. A. in Education, Ed.S. in Educational Administration and a Ph.D. in Curriculum.

After being told that Lansing schools did not want to employ African-American teachers, Dr. Letts recruited friends and local citizens to approach the Board of Education on her behalf, and convinced them to approve the appointment. Dr. Letts committed her career to providing quality service to others through her leadership and support in various community organizations. She founded a retiree group, and was a long-standing member on the boards of the Capital Region Community Foundation and the Lansing Community College Foundation. She continued to be active with Highfields and Delta Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Additionally, she was a 2016 inductee in the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Through her contributions to education in Lansing and being the first African American to teach in the district, Dr. Letts dedicated her life to increasing access to teach for future teachers of color. While Principal in the district, she positioned herself to pave the way to launch city-wide efforts to end segregation in Lansing Public Schools. Dr. Letts was a leader and a steady example of strength, courage, and grace in the face of racial inequality. In 2018, Delta Tau Omega Chapter endowed the Dr. Olivia Letts Commitment to the Dream Scholarship through the Educational Advancement Foundation, a 501(c)3 entity of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

General Chapter Scholarship
In addition to the above named scholarships, Delta Tau Omega Chapter awards at least one or two general scholarships each year. These scholarships are not tied to specific college major/academic interest or institutional type (i.e. HBCU).