Joya T. Hayes 26th South Central Regional Director Ms. Hayes is a cum laude graduate of Huston-Tillotson University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, and a graduate of Texas State University, where she received her Master's degree in Public Administration. Ms. Hayes has 20 years of experience in human resources, training and organizational development, community-based programming, policy & procedure development, and executive-level planning. Currently, Ms. Hayes is the Director of the Human Resources Department, and Director of Civil Service for the City of Austin, Texas. Ms. Hayes has served Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for over 25 years, as a Life Member, she has humbly aided at the Chapter, Regional, and International levels. In recognition of her service and leadership in the Sorority, Ms. Hayes has been presented with five individual-level awards.
Dr. Connie R. Yerwood Conner Charter President of the Beta Psi Omega Chapter 4th South Central Regional Director Beta Psi Omega Chartering President 1st African American Physician at Texas Public Health Service The Chartering President of the Beta Psi Omega chapter, Connie Yerwood Conner was also the 4th South Central Regional Director (1941-1946). She was an honors graduate of both Samuel Huston College and Meharry Medical College. She completed post-graduate training in Public Health at The University of Michigan. In 1936, she became the first African American doctor to work for the Texas Public Health Service, now the Department of State Health Services. She received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Samuel Huston College for Public Health. Despite facing discrimination both as an African-American and as a female, she rose to become the Chief of the Bureau of Personal Health Services in Texas.
Dr. Mary Elizabeth Branch 11th President of Tillotson College 1st Female President of Tillotson College Beta Psi Omega Charter Member
Mary Elizabeth Branch graduated from The University of Chicago. She obtained a Bachelors and Masters degree in English. She also received honorary degrees from Virginia State College and Howard University. She is the only female president in the history of Tillotson College. She was the only African –American president of a four-year accredited college during her time. She became president of a troubling institution with declining enrollments and poor administration. During her fourteen year tenure as president she improved facilities and was credited for receiving an “A” rating granted to Tillotson College by the rating agency of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. She enhanced the college's relationships with community and other educational institutions in Austin, including Samuel Huston College. She was instrumental in the merger with Samuel Huston College. The two institutions joined after her tenure as president. In 1935, Lyndon B. Johnson appointed her to the National Youth Administration Negro Advisory Board for Texas. In 1944, Branch helped to establish the United Negro College Fund.
Olive Durden Brown 6th South Central Regional Director Olive Durden Brown served as the 6th South Central Regional Director (1947 – 1951). A graduate of Hampton Institute in Virginia, she was employed by the St. Louis, Missouri public school system as the first African-American professional librarian in the system. She was the Head Librarian at the school now known as Huston-Tillotson University for thirty-three years. Ms. Brown began her education at Anderson High School and continued at Tillotson College. She is a graduate of Wiley College and Hampton Institute. She also completed graduate work in English at Northwestern University and University of Minnesota.
Onie B. Conley Community Advocate Lifetime Member Onie B. Conley was educated in the public schools of Austin, attending Old Anderson High School where she graduated valedictorian. After graduating from Samuel Huston College with a B.A. Degree, she began teaching in the Austin Independent School District. In a career that spanned 43 years, Conley was absent from work only one day. As a participant in the Blackshear Neighborhood Group, she served as the liaison between the neighborhood and the City Council. Her East Austin advocacy efforts resulted in the 10,000 square foot Carver Library and the use of the old library for a Carver Museum. That experience provided the groundwork for securing the senior center that today bears her name, the Conley-Guerrero Senior Center.
Wilhelmina Fitzgerald Delco Texas State Representative 1974 - 1995 Wilhelmina Delco is a Power Broker and Policy Maker. She influenced change throughout Texas. Her activities changed the educational landscape of Texas which benefitted countless youth, including college students, as a result of her efforts in the Texas Legislature. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Fisk University in 1950. In 1968, she secured the votes to make her the first African-American to serve on the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees. After six years on the Board, she placed a bid for the Texas House of Representatives and won. Delco served 10 terms with the Texas Legislature. She served on twenty committees, many whose aim was to improve education and employment. She was the first African American elected official at-large in Travis County. During her term, she was appointed Speaker Pro Tempore in 1991. She was the first woman and second African American to hold the second highest position in the Texas House of Representatives. She was inducted in the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards and ten honorary degrees have been bestowed upon her. Delco has three buildings named in her honor including an education building at Prairie View A&M University, an elementary school in Pflugerville, TX, and a recreational facility in Austin, TX.
Azie Taylor Morton 36th United States Treasurer
Azie Taylor Morton served as Treasurer of the United States during the Carter administration (September 12, 1977 to January 20, 1981). She remains the only African American to hold that office. Morton was born in Dale, Texas and graduated from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin. Before becoming Treasurer, she served on the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee for President John F. Kennedy. She was also an election observer for the presidential elections in Haiti, Senegal, and the Dominican Republic; a member of the American Delegation to Rome, Italy for the Enthronement of Pope John Paul II; chair of a People to People Mission to the Soviet Union and China; and a representative to the first African/African American Conference held in Africa.
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