In 1973, at the request of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s Executive Board, Soror Issie Shelton Jenkins, Esq. developed documents to establish the National Educational Foundation, as the scholarship arm for *Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. its principal donor. Under the direction of Dr. Janice Kissner, International President and Soror Ione Gibson, Chairman of the Zeta National Executive Board, the Trust Agreement was approved and executed by the Executive Board of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority on August 23, 1975.
Accepting the Trust as the first Trustees (Board of Managers) were:
Dr. Deborah P. Wolfe
Soror Isabel Herson
Dr. Lullelia W. Harrison
Dr. Mildred Bradham
Soror Evelyn D. Brown
Soror Frances Hawthorne
Attorney Issie Shelton Jenkins
Dr. S. Evelyn Lewis
Soror Arthalia Lott
The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Educational Foundation was created to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. The principle activities and purpose of the Trust was to award scholarship grants to worthy students for the pursuit of higher education; to conduct community education programs which would aid in the educational and vocational improvement of individual and community living standards; to engage in activities which would aid in the educational development of all women; and to engage in activities that would aid in the educational development related to the purposes of the Foundation. One of the Foundation’s primary objectives is financial support to needy students for higher education through its scholarships. Scholarships are rewarded annually, for both undergraduate and graduate study, and are processed through the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee.
In 1996, the Dorothy Perrault-Omicron Nu Zeta Chapter Perpetual Scholarship Endowment Fund was initiated and created by Soror Perrault for the Foundation in the amount of $57,000; which exceeded the $50,000 goal. The interest for the fund supports scholarship operations of the Foundation and local scholarships awarded by Omicron Nu Zeta Chapter. The creation of the Soror Mildred Spicer West memorial scholarship was established with provisions from Past International President Dr. Barbara West Carpenter, her daughter, and continues to grow to endowment status. Named endowment status begins at $40,000. In 2006 Past International President Barbara C. Moore established a One Million Dollar Endowment Fund for the Foundation. In 2008 she recommended and the Zeta National Executive Board adopted the Endowment Fund as a perpetual entity.
Since 1975, the Foundation has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships and fellowships for higher education to both Zetas and Non-Zetas. The Foundation has processed hundreds of other scholarships, as a part of its Chapter Designated Scholarship program, established in 1980. Under the program, local scholarships and fellowships are awarded by chapters throughout the country. The Foundation’s scholarship program is funded by support of its principal donor, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. through chapter tax and life member fees, by contributions and gifts from members and chapters, by Board of Managers’ contributions and fundraising, memorial scholarships, as well as fundraising at the Regional and State levels. Endowments have been established for the Foundation at the National level, Chapter level, and by the Board of Managers.