Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. by five coeds, Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal. These women dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for Black women and sought to establish a new organization founded on the ideas of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood.
Since its inception, Zeta Phi Beta has chronicled a number of firsts. The Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization to have an executive office; charter a chapter in Africa (1948); to form adult and youth auxiliary groups; and to be constitutionally bound to a brother organization, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. Zeta's national, regional and local programs include endowment of its National Educational Foundation; the Stork’s Nest Program - a partnership with the March of Dimes, Elder Care Initiative, Z-HOPE (Zeta Helping Other People Exel), and support of multiple affiliate organizations.
Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given countless hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change. As the sorority moves toward its centennial, it retains its original zest for excellence. It espouses the highest academic ideals and that has resulted in its members serving in groundbreaking roles in all fields of endeavor. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. is poised for perpetual service to mankind into her second century and beyond.