Charter Member: Local celebrates 50 years in sorority

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2016

proud member: Christine Irvin Doby displays the star given to her during the 50th anniversary celebration.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

proud member: Christine Irvin Doby displays the star given to her during the 50th anniversary celebration.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

On March 19, 1966 Picayune educator and Alcorn University alumni, Christine Irvin Doby helped establish the Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
On March 12, Doby gathered with her sisters to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary, where Doby and the other charter members were honored.
Doby attended Alcorn from 1948 to 1952 and that’s where she discovered the fellowship of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a faith based Greek sorority.
According to Delta’s mission statement, the sorority is an organization of college-educated women committed to constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the black community. Since it’s founding in 1913, more than 200,000 women have joined. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate chapters.
“I wanted to join Delta because they showed me the most love,” Doby said. “I joined in my second year of college. I love the fellowship.”
After Doby graduated in 1952, she moved to Picayune and began her career teaching home economics at the George Washington Carver School.
“As a member of Delta, our goal was to make sure we passed on the very best we had to our students, including a solid foundation on Christ and that continued even after we weren’t teaching,” Doby said. “When students come back and hug you and thank you, it’s hard to hold back tears. I know God is at work.”
Doby said one of her greatest joys in life occurred when the schools integrated.
“A white lady came to me and said ‘we are going to make this work and offered her help,” Doby said. “She was a true Christian. All the glory goes to the parents and children of Picayune. I want to thank the parents and people of Picayune for allowing the excellent experience of teaching their children.”
At 85, Doby is still an active participant at Pilgrim Bound Baptist Church where she teaches the senior class II Sunday school class. She also sings in the senior and mass choir and participates in the senior mission.
Doby said she is blessed and takes delight in seeing others working together to help each other.
During the program held on March 12 at the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi, Doby and the other charter members, were honored with a wrist corsage, MGCAC 50 year pin, and a commemorative champagne flute.
Guests also enjoyed a slideshow depicting charter members, Doby said.
Unbeknownst to Doby, a few of her students attended the event to surprise their former teacher.
“It was one of the most enjoyable events not only for chartered members, but for everyone in attendance,” Doby said. “Spread the good news and help somebody.”

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