AfriGeneas Schools, Organizations, Churches and Institutions Forum
Dorothy Penman Harrison 11th DST Pres.
11th National President, Dorothy Penman Harrison
WASHINGTON—Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. across the globe
Soror Harrison, an educator and former first lady of Langston University, was born December 8, 1907 in Portsmouth, Ohio to Annabelle Layne and Victor Logan Penman. She graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1924 and went on to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. where she studied history. In 1926, after the passing of both of her parents, Soror Harrison returned to Ohio and worked as a teacher.
Soror Harrison was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 1932 through the Epsilon Chapter at The Ohio State University. She served as the Sorority’s national treasurer from 1952-1956 and as National President from 1956-1958. During her tenure as National President, Soror Harrison was a quiet and detail oriented leader, focused on administrative procedures and organizational development.
One of the highlights of her administration was the burning of the mortgage on Delta Sigma Theta’s first national headquarters building in 1957. During this time the nation was faced with issues such as the role of women in the national labor force, mental health, integration and the expansion of civil rights. Under her leadership, Delta Sigma Theta hosted events such as a conference for counselors of schools in interracial situations, the Ninth Grade Clinics and mental health workshops.
“Soror Harrison was a quiet yet effective leader who deeply impacted the programs of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority during the critical years of the Civil Rights Movement” said Soror Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, National President of Delta Sigma Theta. “She was a role model, mentor, sister and friend who will be greatly missed.”
*Release from the office of Delta Sigma Theta
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. sends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and sorors of Soror Dorothy Penman Harrison. Soror Harrison leaves behind a beautiful legacy as an educator, advocate, and a woman of service.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 4 2011 at Sixth Grace
Presbyterian Church, 600 E. 35th St., Chicago, IL.