THZ Members Only Login

Quick Facts


Date/Place Founded
January 16, 1920
Howard University
Washington, D.C.


Scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love, Finer Womanhood


Sorority Colors
Royal Blue & White


White Dove


White Rose

The Founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. 

Our Beloved "Five Pearls"  



Zeta Phi Beta Sorority would be remiss not to pay homage to the first women who believed in the need for a new and different type of Greek-lettered organization and acted upon that need. To these women, Zeta was more than an organization-it was a movement, a belief system that reflected, at its core, the desire to provide true Service, to embrace Scholarship, to set a standard for Sisterly Love and to define the noble concept of Finer Womanhood. This belief has sustained and encouraged Zetas around the world to hold fast to the ideals initiated and developed by its earliest members.

The Founders of Zeta were strong, principled coeds who possessed a great deal of modesty, strength of character and pride in academic achievement. They are indeed a worthy foundation upon which to base our illustrious Sorority.


Founder Arizona Cleaver

Arizona Leedonia Cleaver (Stemons) was the first President of Alpha Chapter and the first Grand President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Inspired by Charles Robert Taylor and A. Langston Taylor, fraternity brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, she encouraged the first group of young women to join her in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Born in Pike County, Missouri, Arizona Leedonia Cleaver was educated in the public schools of Hannibal, Missouri. Her graduate and post graduate studies were pursued at Howard University and at the Pennsylvania School of Social Work. Her first professional employment resulted in teaching at the same Hannibal high school from which she graduated.

A staunch church worker, she was in charge of the Sunday school training class of St. Simon the Cyrenian Church in Philadelphia. Founder Arizona Cleaver Stemmons was a Life Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and held membership with Beta Delta Zeta chapter in Pennsylvania. She was responsible for chartering numerous undergraduate and graduate chapters throughout the United States.

Founder Arizona Cleaver Stemmons' triumphant life ended in March 1980, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

[ Top ]

Founder Pearl Neal

Pearl Anna Neal was one of the co-founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and a Life Member. Pearl Neal was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She exhibited early a degree of excellence in music and attended the Lincoln Academy in King's Mountain, North Carolina. Upon completion of her studies at the Academy, she entered Howard University where she earned a Degree in Music. She earned her Master's Degree in Music from Columbia University, New York, in 1938, thus becoming the first black woman in the state to earn this degree.

Founder Pearl Neal began her career in the field of Education in Americus, Georgia, teaching briefly in Crockett, Texas. She completed her career in Winston-Salem Schools in 1966. She was extremely active in church and community activities. Founder Pearl Neal's triumphant life ended in January 1978, in Charlotte, North Carolina.


[ Top ]

Founder Fannie Pettie

Fannie Pettie (Watts) was one of the co-founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was a Life Member and held membership with Delta Alpha Zeta chapter in Brooklyn, New York. She is credited with organizing Omicron Beta chapter in Brooklyn.

Fannie Pettie was born in Perry, Georgia, and her parents were attorney Foster B. Pettie and Fannie Rollins Pettie. She attended the public schools in Savannah, Georgia, and continued her formal training at Georgia State College. Later she graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. Post-graduate studies in social work and in housing were pursued at New York University. Founder Fannie Pettie Watts' triumphant life ended in 1995.


[ Top ]

Founder Myrtle Tyler

Myrtle Tyler (Faithful) was the second Grand President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., blood sister to Viola Tyler, and a Life Member. Myrtle Tyler, like her sister (Viola Tyler), was born in Flushing, Ohio. Upon receiving her high school diploma, she matriculated at Howard University. An Ohio teacher of mathematics and English for some years, she always had an active interest in community affairs.

She taught for several years in the Annapolis High School in Maryland. She gave up teaching when she married Ross Faithful and raised two daughters, both of whom are Zetas. She was a former resident of Towson, Maryland. Founder Myrtle Tyler Faithful was an active Life Member of Alpha Zeta chapter in Baltimore, Maryland. Founder Myrtle Tyler Faithful's triumphant life ended on April 21, 1993, in Baltimore, Maryland.


[ Top ]

Founder Viola Tyler

Viola Tyler (Goings) was one of the co-founders of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and a Life Member. Flushing, Ohio, was the birthplace of Viola Tyler, who, at the end of her high school career, became a co-ed at Howard University.

After graduating from Howard University with a teaching degree, she taught in Smithville, North Carolina, and later accepted the position of Assistant Principal at the Cambridge High School in Cambridge, Maryland. She married Fred Goings and later moved to Springfield, Ohio, pursuing her career as a teacher.

However, being a career woman did not interfere with the love and nurture bestowed upon her two sons and two daughters and active participation in community affairs. Words of reflections: "There is a Zeta in a girl regardless of race, creed, or color, who has high standards of principles, a good scholarly average, and an active interest in all things..."

Founder Viola Tyler Goings' triumphant life ended in March 1983, in Springfield, Ohio.


[ Top ]


© 2011 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. - Tau Eta Zeta Chapter

P.O. Box 33564, Baltimore MD 21218