Gamma Theta Omega Chapter was the first graduate chapter to be chartered in Florida. It was chartered by Regional Director Portia Trenholm on December 21, 1940. The Chapter was composed of residents of Tampa, Clearwater, and Bradenton. The nine charter members were: Edith Bennett, Blanche Curtis, Vivian Henry, Bernice Miller, Estelle Miles, Margaret Blake Roach, Elfa Ruffin, Dorothy Thompson, and Elouise Walker.
The first initiation of new members of Gamma Theta Omega Chapter was held on November 22, 1941. Miriam Anderson, Vivian Griffin, and Willie B. Esturas were the first new members.From its inception, the chapter became very actively involved in community service projects. Under the leadership of Margaret Blake Roach, Gamma Theta Omega was the first to start the Sickle Cell Anemia project locally. Support was given to the Mississippi Health Project. Other traditional community support which continued through the years included the Tampa Urban League, the NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women, and the United Negro College Fund.
During the early 1960's, Gamma Theta Omega began awarding scholarships to outstanding high school students. In 1967, the chapter sponsored the first Miss Teenage Tampa Pageant with Lucille N. Franklin as chairman. Gwendolyn White was the first winner. The pageant continues to be a major scholarship event in the Tampa Bay Community.
The decade of the 1970's witnessed a dramatic increase in community service projects. Assistance which had been provided for a number of years to migrant families in the Ruskin and Wimauma areas was extended to the Thonotosassa area. Christmas, through our Senior Dinner and toy give-away projects became routine for Gamma Theta Omega. Other programs such as PIMEG (Program to Increase Minority Engineering Graduates) and Saturday's Children, a program dedicated to introducing children to the fine arts, which later became incorporated, was launched under the leadership of several members.
The Zeta Upsilon Chapter was chartered in December 1971 at the University of South Florida. The undergraduate chapter has been guided and counseled by Gamma Theta Omega since its chartering. In conjunction with WTVT Television Station, the Tampa Housing Authority and Chevron Oil, in 1977, Gamma Theta Omega hosted its first Health Fair, serving Central Park Village, West Tampa Homes and College Hill. Gamma Theta Omega also sponsored a Progress Village Little League Softball Team in 1978. The 1978 South Atlantic Regional Conference with over 1,000 delegates from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina was held in Tampa. Gamma Theta Omega served as host chapter. Also in 1978, Gamma Theta Omega reached a new landmark - a membership 100 strong; with continuous growth each year.
In the early 1980's Nancy Rolfe, Carrie Johnson and Richie Martin were honored for 50 years of service in the sorority. In March 1980, the chapter made history by purchasing the first sorority home in the Tampa Bay area among the NPHC Greek Organizations. Eight years later the mortgage burning ceremony for the AKA house was held. Since the chapter acquired the property, the sorority has opened the doors of the AKA house to hundreds of groups, non-profit organizations, clubs, and families for various activities. The AKA house is noted for its affordability, convenience, central location, accommodations, and cordial atmosphere. Initiatives that currently underwrite funding for improvements of the house are the Capital Asset Program (CAP), and the Walk of Fame.
In 1990 Gamma Theta Omega celebrated its 50th Anniversary with the theme, “Reflections: 50 Years of Service”. The chapter was honored to have Mary Shy Scott, the 23rd International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., as the guest speaker. Mary Shy Scott worshipped with and inspired chapter members through her message. In 2000, the city of Tampa donated a 1,200 square foot residential building to Gamma Theta Omega Incorporated. This building has been renovated and is an additional facility for hosting community programs and events. In 2003, Sigma Nu Chapter was chartered at the University of Tampa with 12 charter members. The undergraduate chapter is being guided and counseled by mentors within Gamma Theta Omega. Gamma Theta Omega is also the home chapter of Carolyn House Stewart, Esq., the 28th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Gamma Theta Omega's primary focus is “service.” Chapter members are proud of the chronicles of history that show evidence of successful community initiatives and scholarship programs implemented throughout the years.