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Chapter History

A Des Moines city chapter was chartered on November 22, 1932, as the Beta Gamma Chapter.


Charter members were: Lucille Baker, Anna Mae Manuel, Gwendolyn Wilson Fowler, Wilda B. Hester, Marie Johnson, Azalia Mitchell, and Ruth Marie Brown.


At the time, the chapter included graduate and undergraduate members. During the Great Depression and war years that followed, Sorors were engaged in active support of military men and women who were located at the Fort Des Moines. Later the chapter sponsored a life membership in the NAACP. During the turbulent ’60s and ’70s members supported a free breakfast program provided by the local Black Panthers.


In 1971, Beta Gamma made a formal request to the national office to separate graduate and undergraduate members. This move allowed undergraduates to have a chapter chartered as Eta Tau associated with Drake University (and now includes Iowa State University). At that time, Beta Gamma was given a new name and re-chartered as Iota Zeta Omega.


The chapter continues its active engagement with community programs emphasizing education. More than 400 young men and women have received scholarships through the Annual Scholarship Cotillion.

Iota Zeta Omega is located in the state of Iowa, which is part of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Mid-Western Region. 


For more information about the Mid-Western Region, visit

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