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VOL. 1, NO. 2 - APRIL 16, 1999
"FIND THE GOOD AND PRAISE IT!"
George Lyle and Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, Frat and Soror, Husband and Wife
by Skip Mason
George and these eighteen other men were initiated into the fraternity in Dec. 20 1907 certainly much to the delight of Ethel. This solidified her move to forge ahead with the sorority idea. The obvious fact is that Hedgeman was keenly aware of George's participation in the new fraternity. AKA Founder Margaret Flagg said" Because of Lyle and his connection with Alpha Phi Alpha, Ethel conceived the idea of the sorority." Not only was she aware of this new movement in brotherhood and sisterhood, she was inspired. According to the Marjorie Parker in the book "In the Eye of the Beholder," Hedgeman had returned to Howard inspired to organize a sorority. With her insight and vision Hedgeman approached her friend Lucy Slowe with the idea of establishing a similar group for women. Hedgeman and her nine friends engaged in research of the sorority idea, ascertained interest from other female students in the Liberal Arts College and submitted a proposal and constitution the Howard University Board of Trustees for the privilege to establish a sorority, the first in the school's history. They met on January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was born. The establishment had also come with tremendous support from two teachers at Howard, namely Ethel Robinson and Elizabeth Cook. In the meantime, George and his new brothers experienced the growing pains of laying the foundation for the chapter and fostering the fraternity's idea. Ironically, the fall of the 1908 found both Ethel and George as presidents of the chapters during their Senior year. George hosted Alpha's first convention on the campus of Howard in December of 1908 and a social was held with the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Both Lyle and Hedgeman graduated in the Class of 1909. George went to New York and then Philadelphia for additional studies after his graduation. Ethel traveled to Eufala, Oklahoma where she taught music. She also taught in Centralia, Illinois in 1911. On June 21, 1911, they were married and later gave birth to one son, George, Jr. The Lyle's were very active in Philadelphia society and were members of the Mount Pisgah A. M. E.Church. Ethel chartered the Mu Chapter in 1911 and Omega Omega Chapter in 1926 in Philadelphia and George Lyle was very active Rho Chapter, also in Philadelphia. Their son GeorgeJr., the father of two daughters. Ethel Hedgeman Lyle died in 1950 and George's exact date death is not known but his wife preceded him.
FROM THE JEWEL'S LIPS:
The undergraduate should be allowed a still greater participation in the management of the fraternity as its relates to them... All programs as to fraternity activities in local communities should be as far as possible through the direction of undergraduate brothers."
-Jewel George Biddle Kelley, 1948
Have comments, questions or need information on how to order the book Talented Tenth: Biographies of the Founders and 30 General Presidents, email me at email@example.com.
Next Column: Monday, April 19:
The Poetic Jewel: Charles Henry Chapman (in celebration of April as National Poetry Month)
Skip's quote of the day: "You are responsible for the effort, God is responsible for the results."
DISCLAIMER: This page is not affiliated with the National Organization. I am not the Historian of the fraternity, just a brother who is and has always been thirsty for more knowledge on this organization. The information provided has been thoroughly researched and documented and is brought to you with all the fraternal love and spirit I possess. Sources are available upon request.