It is with great sadness that we, Wilberforce University, have learned of the recent passing of Ms. Bernice Irene Sumlin, 19th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. A pioneer in her own right, Ms. Sumlin leaves a rich legacy of leadership and mentorship, and to include the recognition of her philanthropy efforts, that will surpass generations to come.
On Sunday, November 12, 2017, a historical marker, issued by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was erected honoring Ms. Bernice Irene Sumlin, and was dedicated on the grounds of Wilberforce University. The dedication received an overwhelming attendance of 250 members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and guests including, Dr. Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, 24th International President, Dr. Eva L. Evans, 24th International President, Ms. Toni S. Kendrick, Great Lakes Great Lakes Director, Ms. Danette Reed, International Treasurer, Ms. Emma Lilly Henderson, 21st Great Lakes Regional Director, Ms. Phyllis E. Robinson, 22nd Great Lakes Regional Director, Ms. Rachel Ashburn Mallory, 24th Great Lakes Regional Director, Mrs. Charlene Truitt Nelson, 27th Great Lakes Regional Director, Mrs. Evelyn Sample-Oates, 31st North Atlantic Regional Director and the Mayor of Xenia, The Honorable Marsha Bayless.
Bernice Irene Sumlin, 19th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated., (1974-1978) was initiated into the Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., at Wilberforce University in 1946. After graduating with her B.S. degree in 1948, Sumlin transferred her Sorority membership to the Beta Eta Omega Chapter in Dayton, Ohio. During her career she served as a high school teacher, guidance counselor, community counselor and secondary principal before retiring.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the honorable Ms. Sumlin during this sad time.