For nearly sixty years, the ladies of the Eta Mu Omega Chapter (South Bend) of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority Incorporated, has hosted the Scholarship Cotillion to benefit local African-American female scholars in pursuit of higher education. Initially, beginning with 12 young women dressed in white gowns, pearls, and corsages, debutantes engaged in a notable occasion of pomp and circumstance. Many of the women – including the first African-American woman appointed as principal of the South Bend Community School Corporation, Alma Nesbitt Powell – went on to make history while building successful academic and professional careers.
Decades later, dressed in pure white gowns, pearls, white satin gloves, and corsages, the legacy continues. After months of etiquette sessions, college and career exploration, and rehearsals, 25 debutantes and their escorts were unveiled to the community. After a beautifully orchestrated processional, debutantes performed a minuet with their escorts and a heart-warming waltz with their fathers prior to the announcements of awards and scholarships. The President of the Eta Mu Omega Chapter (South Bend) of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Iris Outlaw beamed with joy, pride, and hope. “This is a historical event. The ladies and young men in the room will go on to change outcomes for their families, communities, and the world. We are celebrating greatness in advance.”
Of the 50 Cotillion participants, 26 participants (debutantes and escorts) are Scholars of ND TRiO.
Congratulations to the 2017 AKA Scholarship Cotillion Debutantes and Escorts!
For more photos, visit Monica Brazier Photography.