Alpha Kappa Alpha Mourns

Alpha Kappa Alpha members are mourning the loss of one of their own. Julia Brogdon Purnell, the Black sorority’s 16th International President, passed away on October 21 in Michigan. She served from 1962 until 1966.

She was elected during the sorority’s international convention in 1962 after she had proven her leadership ability as chapter Parliamentarian, Vice President and President. Her leadership gained international recognition when President John F. Kennedy invited her in 1964 to the “White House Conference of Three Hundred Women.” Her role was in furthering Civil Rights, which resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

“Julia Brogdon Purnell was the ultimate humanitarian,” says the Sorority’s International President Carolyn House Stewart in a statement. “She was an international treasure who will be sorely missed,” added Stewart.

Purnell’s achievements and commitment to service earned her numerous honors, awards and tributes.

AKA members will have the opportunity to honor Purnell’s life later this week. On Friday, November 1, she will lie in state at Gamma Eta Omega Sorority House (1605 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana) from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., according to a press release. Members will also honor Purnell during an Ivy Beyond the Wall ceremony on Saturday, November 2 at Southern University’s F.G. Clark Activity Center’s “mini dome” beginning at 9:30 a.m.  The memorial service will immediately follow this ceremony.