Alpha Sigma Alpha was founded on November 15, 1901, at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders had been asked to join some of the other sororities on campus, but they wanted to stay together. The five, Virginia Lee Boyd (Noell), Juliette Jefferson Hundley (Gilliam), Calva Hamlet Watson (Wootton), Louise Burks Cox (Carper) and Mary Williamson Hundley, started their own sorority, and they called it Alpha Sigma Alpha.
(Sarah) Ida Shaw Martin, who as a collegian at Boston University was a founder of Delta Delta Delta, played an integral role in Alpha Sigma Alpha’s early history. Martin had written the Sorority Handbook, first published in 1907. She was an expert on women’s fraternities/sororities.
Alpha Sigma Alpha sought Martin’s help in 1913. While 13 chapters had been installed, only the Alpha chapter was viable. Martin encouraged the organization to consider extension to the Pi Alpha Tau organization at Miami University. In May 1913, the Pi Alpha Taus became an Alpha Sigma Alpha chapter. Alpha Sigma Alpha realized Martin’s knowledge and assistance could help the group grow. She was elected its National President. Although she never presided at a convention, she was guiding the proceedings from behind the scene. Martin led Alpha Sigma Alpha until 1930, when Wilma Wilson Sharp was elected National President.
Wilma Wilson was a charter member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter at Central Missouri State University when it was installed on April 4, 1919. She became National Registrar three years later. In 1930, she was elected National President. She served until 1936 when she became National Finance Chairman and two year after that, National Education Director. In 1941, she again became National President and served until 1952. In 1947, when Alpha Sigma Alpha entered the process of becoming a full fledged member of the National Panhellenic Conference, she was its first NPC Delegate; she spent a decade in that chair. As a testament to her decades of service, she was named National President Emerita. She wrote The Alpha Sigma Alpha Creed.
The Wilma Wilson Sharp Award recognizes an alumna member of Alpha Sigma Alpha “who has distinguished herself through service to her community, her profession and has shown significant leadership qualities, loyalty and continued service to Alpha Sigma Alpha.”
The Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation’s Wilma Wilson Sharp Society recognizes donors who have included the Foundation as a beneficiary of their “wills, life insurance policies, retirement plans or testamentary trust and annuities.”