Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc.

National Honorary Members

The following are Gamma Phi Delta women of high distinction,
who have won recognition on a National and/or International level:


Mrs. Minnie Gaston, Civic Leader, Birmingham, AL (1923-2009), Deceased

Minnie was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Corps and attended school on a GI Bill. She then came to Blythe in 1970 where she taught for many years for the Palo Verde Unified School District at both Ruth Brown Elementary and Felix J. Appleby Elementary School. Minnie was also a member of the International Mission Board for the First Southern Baptist Church and during that time was a missionary in Suriname, South America and taught school while she was there.  


Mrs. Martha Hines, San Francisco, CA


Mrs. Billie Mason, Instructor, Dayton, OH



Dr. Olivia P. Stokes, New York, NY (1916-2002)

Dr. Olivia P. Stokes was the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in religious education. As a trailblazer for future generations, she worked to eliminate negative stereotypes of persons of African descent and women of all races. Grounded in her faith and sense of liberation for all who are oppressed, Stokes became actively involved in the struggle for justice and human dignity in the United States and abroad. An ordained Baptist minister, educator, author, ecumenical leader, and administrator, her primary interests included leadership training and development, education in the African American church, black women and children, African culture, and the educational implications of black liberation theology in the African American church.

Mrs. Senfronia Thompson

Mrs. Senfronia Thompson, Houston, TX

Senfronia Thompson (born January 1, 1939) is a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing the 141st District since 1972. Thompson is the former Dean of Women Legislators in Texas. She has been elected to 20 terms in office. Thompson also advises the United Negro College Fund in Texas. Thompson was born in Booth, Texas and raised in Houston. She holds multiple advanced college degrees. A Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master's degree in education from Texas Southern University; a Juries Doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; and a post-law degree,  Master of Law in International Law from the University of Houston.

Thompson has two adult children, one grandson, one granddaughter and one great-granddaughter. She represents HD 141, which covers northeast Houston and the Humble area. In 1983, Texas Monthly magazine classified Thompson, along with Kae T. Patrick of San Antonio and Erwin Barton of Pasadena, inconsequential of legislators in that particular session.    Thompson is the dean of women legislators, having served longer in the legislature than any other African-American woman in Texas history. A Houston attorney, Thompson is serving her twentieth term in the Texas House of Representatives. [1] Wikipedia


Mrs. Lucille A. Watts, Attorney At Law, Detroit, MI


Ms. Esther Gordy, Detroit, MI (1920-2011)

Esther Gordy Edwards (born April 25, 1920) is a former staff member and associate of her younger brother Berry Gordy's fabled Motown label during the 1960s. Edwards created the Motown Museum, Hitsville U.S.A., by preserving the label's Detroit studio. She is the president of Motown Museum. She is best known for her roles as the founder of Motown Museum and former Motown Record Corporation executive for nearly three decades. She held a number of leadership positions within Motown, eventually serving as Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Director of Motown International Operations, where she was vital in exposing cultures internationally to the Motown Sound. It was her spirit and fierce protectiveness of young and up-and-coming artists that earned her the unconditional love and respect of the artists of Motown. Whether it was helping Stevie Wonder enroll in the Michigan School for the Blind or managing and guiding the careers of other legendary recording artists like Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross & The Supremes, the Marvelettes, the Temptations and others, her steady hand in shaping the personal and professional fortunes of Motown Records' young stars was a significant part of the company's long-term business and artistic success. Her career in the music industry was followed by an illustrious second career as an entrepreneur, business leader and influential member of several Detroit and nationally recognized institutions.


Dr. Dorothy I. Height, President National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Washington D.C. (1912-2010)

Dorothy Irene Height (March 24, 1912 – April 20, 2010) was an American administrator, educator, and social activist. She was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.[1] Dorothy Height, a leading figure of the civil rights movement whose crusade for racial justice spanned more than six decades, died Tuesday. She was 98. Height died at Howard University Hospital in Washington, the hospital said. A one-time caseworker for the city's Welfare Department, Height led the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years. Her influence was pervasive. Height marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and urged President Dwight Eisenhower to desegregate schools. President Obama called her "the godmother of the civil rights movement" and a hero to Americans.


Dominique Dawes, Olympic Gymnast, Silver Springs, MD

First African American on U.S. National gymnastics team, 1988, and on U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, 1992. First African American to win individual Olympic medal in gymnastics, 1996.Gold Medalist, team competition; Bronze Medalist, floor exercises, Atlanta Olympics, 1996. Silver Medalist, team competition, World Championship, 1994. Bronze Medalist, team competition, Barcelona Olympics, 1992.


Dr. Eunice Dudley, President of Dudley Hair Products, North Carolina

Dr. Dudley is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Dudley Products, Inc., the multi-million dollar hair care and cosmetics company headquartered in Kernersville, North Carolina. She currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for the company and is Managing Executive for the Dudley Cosmetology School System.


Mrs. Carrye Burley Brown, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [deceased]


Ms. A’lelia Bundles, former ABC Network Executive and great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker

Harvard A.B., 1974 Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, M.S., 1976
A'Lelia Bundles is an author and currently at work on her third book, Joy Goddess: A'Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, a biography of her great-grandmother. Her biography, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Best Biography. For 30 years, Ms. Bundles was a network television news executive and producer. During that time she was director of talent development for ABC News in Washington, D.C. and New York, deputy bureau chief of ABC News in Washington, D.C. and a producer with ABC News and NBC News.


Honorable Julia Carson, U.S. Congresswoman

Representative, 1997–2007, Democrat from Indiana
Overcoming poverty and racism, Julia Carson served nearly two decades in the Indiana legislature and in an Indianapolis administrative office before winning election to the U.S. House in 1996. Representative Carson, the first African American and woman to represent the Indiana state capital, focused on issues that affected working-class Americans, many with which she was personally familiar. “The only thing some people learn from oppression and hatred is revenge. Others learn compassion and empathy,” said former Representative Andy Jacobs, Carson’s political mentor. “From the physical pain of material poverty and the mindlessly cruel persecution of nitwit racism, Julia Carson made her choice of hard work, compassion, and a pleasing sense of humor.”


Mrs. Marva Smith Battle-Bey, Executive Director Vermont Slauson EDC [deceased]

Ms. Battle-Bey has been the Executive Director of VSEDC for the past thirty years, spearheading the organization to accomplish over $60 million in economic development projects within the Vermont Slauson community. As a nationally recognized authority on economic development, Ms. Battle-Bey has also attained academic recognition from the University of Southern California, where she is a Ph.D. candidate and serves on the Advisory Council for the School of Policy, Planning and Development. Active in a variety of organizations, Ms. Battle-Bey is a member and/or serves on the Board of the National Congress for Community Economic Development, Association of Women Business Entrepreneurs, the Southern California Business Development Center, a multi-bank CDC representing 30 lenders and a loan fund of $35 million; the California Economic Development Lending Initiative (CEDLI), and the California Organized Investment Network (COIN), which was co-founded by VSEDC. Ms. Battle-Bey possesses a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Urban Planning and Regional Planning, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. Marva Smith Battle-Bey is recognized as a pioneer and innovator in the realm of economic development. She is a nationally authority in this planning specialty field and has been instrumental in founding several organizations dedicated to empowering and providing economic development in the South Central Los Angeles community. She is founder of the Coalition of Neighborhood Developers; founder of the Black Women’s Network; founding member of the Friends of the Commission of the Status of Women for the City of Los Angeles; and President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She holds numerous leadership positions and memberships in economic development organizations. On top of all of her professional activities, she is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern California and serves as a lecturer in the School of Policy, Planning and Development.


The Right Honorable Michelle Jean

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean,C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. Sworn in on September 27, 2005, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, 27th governor general since Confederation in 1867, carries out the duties of head of State. As Governor General of Canada, she wants her position to be a place where dialogue prevails and where the words of citizens are heard. During her mandate, the Governor General has been awarded honorary degrees from the following universities: University of Ottawa (2006); University of Foreigners of Perugia in Italy (2006); McGill University (2006); York University (2007); University of Manitoba (2007); University of Alberta (2008); Université de Moncton (2009); Université Laval (2009); Royal Military College of Canada (2010); and Université de Montréal (2010). Recently, the Governor General was presented the 2009 United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Canada Award for her outstanding manner in advancing gender equality. In 2009, she received the Board of Governors Recognition Achievement Award from the National Quality Institute for her contribution to the quality of life of Canadians and humanity.

Mrs. Lauren Dungy

Former elementary school teacher, full-time mom and co-author with her husband

Mrs. Lauren Dungy is a former elementary school teacher and current Sunday school teacher who diligently utilize her professional skills to guide children and mothers to a greater understanding and application of biblical principles. Lauren is an active member of a number of family, faith, and community-based organizations including: All Pro Dad, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Mentors for Life, Family First, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Boys and Girls Club of America. She is also a motivational speaker and the founder and president of the Christian Sister’s Book Club. Since Lauren considers it a personal obligation to reach out to other mothers, she has joined iMOM as an ambassador to extend her message. The iMOM program focus is to equip mothers with information, ideas and encouragement to positively impact their children. Lauren Dungy was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and married to Tony Dungy, retired Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Lauren currently lives in Tampa, Florida and the mother of seven children. She relies on prayer, meditation, friends and motivational books to help her structure her family’s busy schedule. In addition to being a full-time mom, Lauren co-authored, with her husband’s three books: You Can Be A Friend, A Team Stays Together and Ruby’s New Home. Mrs. Dungy stated, “My favorite Bible story is about the Prodigal Son”. “The story illustrates love and forgiveness, two essential things I teach my children every day. We all must learn to love and forgive in order to live a harmonious existence.”

Mrs. Myrline Whitaker

Founded the Sister Soldier Project

Mrs. Myraline Morris Whitaker founded the Sister Soldier Project out of her desire to fulfill a specific need for our Sister Soldiers. Whitaker found that critical ethnic personal hair care products, products important to the quality of life for these women, were simply not available through normal channels during their tours of duty in the Middle East theatre of U.S. military operations. The Sister Soldier Project, a grass roots effort that has shipped well over 1,000 care packages totaling 5 tons of goods to Black female US troops--the Sister Soldiers--serving in the Middle East. Mrs. Whitaker also discovered that the Sister Soldiers were requesting, in their letters and emails home, specific such hair care brands--by name--more than any other category of products. She enlisted the aid of friends and local women's organizations, which led to group Packing Parties on both coasts, including numerous locations throughout Central and Southern California. Broadening her reach, to be able to dramatically increase the number of Sister Soldiers to whom she could send goods, Whitaker secured the generous cooperation and product donations from leading Black hair care manufacturers, such as SoftSheen-Carson, Luster Products Inc., Dr. Miracles and Organic Root Stimulator. This gave them away to show their gratitude for our military service men and women around the world who commit their lives to protecting our freedom." Mrs. Whitaker believes "the true satisfaction for anyone associated with the Sister Soldier Project is evident in the many thank you notes and cards we receive from the soldiers themselves. The Project provides them a much needed service and gives them a bit of the comforts of their normal lives back home, at the same time demonstrating that we here remember them and their safe returns are in our thoughts."

Dr. Jane E. Smith

Executive Director of the LEAD Project of Spelman College

Jane E. Smith is an accomplished educator and nonprofit executive. Since 2004, she has served as the executive director of the Spelman College Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LEADS), where she has convened a successful annual leadership conference. Prior to joining LEADS, Dr. Smith held national leadership positions at Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, INROADS Inc. and The Carter Center. Previously, she served as president and CEO of the National Council of Negro Women and CEO of Business and Professional Women/USA. Dr. Smith is a nationally recognized thought leader and speaker (Jane Smith Speaks!) who delivers keynote presentations on life-long learning, leadership development and civic engagement. She is currently working on two books, A Life in Four Quarters and A Call to Leadership. Dr. Smith’s career includes membership on numerous boards: Delta Air Lines Board of Curators; The American Institute for Public Service; “To The Contrary,” a nationally syndicated television program; The University of the District of Columbia; Higher Education Resource Services; and the United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She has served as a member of the National Judging Panel for the National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, and as a judge for Lifetime Television’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. Currently, she serves as general co-chair for the board of the Alliance for Digital Equality, and she is a board member of Public Leadership Education Network and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation. Dr. Smith was appointed by former President William Jefferson Clinton to the National Women’s Business Council and by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to the United Nations Beijing Plus Five Conference delegation. She is a member of the International and Georgia Women’s Forums and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is also a member of the National Park Service’s honorary committee for the 30th Anniversary of the official opening of the National Archives for Black Women’s History. Dr. Smith is a fellow of the American Council on Education and a 1980 graduate of Leadership Atlanta.

National Theme: 2016 – 2020

"Preparing Today to Lead Tomorrow, One Mission, One Sisterhood