The Atlantic Region was formed in 1944 when the northern states of the Eastern Region were separated from the southern states. The region, comprised of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Africa and Germany has the distinction of being home to three of the Founders of Zeta Phi Beta. They are Arizona Cleaver Stemons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Myrtle Tyler Faithful of Towson, Maryland; and Fannie Pettie Watts of Brooklyn, New York.
The Atlantic Region has the honor of being home to Zeta Phi Beta’s first graduate chapter – Alpha Zeta, and the second undergraduate chapter – Gamma Chapter both of which are located in Baltimore, Maryland. The chapter at Morgan State University was named Gamma Chapter, which is same name as its Sigma Brothers on the campus.
Also included in the Atlantic Region are chapters located in Africa and Germany. Zeta Phi Beta was the first Greek-lettered organization to establish chapters in Africa in 1948 during the administration of International President Lullelia Harrison. Since that time, donations of supplies have been sent from American sorors to the African continent. Recently, chapters in the United States have supported Africa by establishing water wells as part of Zeta’s Z-HOPE (Zeta’s Helping Other People Excel) Program.
Mu Theta Zeta Chapter in Darmstadt, West Germany continues to thrive through the work of sorors stationed in Germany due to military service. The chapter continues to provide scholarships and implement programs such as blankets for babies that support the community. In 2014, the Atlantic Region increased Zeta’s outreach by chartering chapters in Greater London, England and in Belgium. And in 2016, our first international Amicae Auxiliary was chartered in Brussels, Belgium
The region is especially proud of the eight progressive women who lived in the Atlantic Region who have served in the capacity of International President of Zeta. Arizona Cleaver Stemons (1920-21), Myrtle Tyler Faithful (1921-22), Joanna Ransom (1922-23), Nellie Buchanan (1923-25), S. Evelyn Lewis (1925-26), Deborah Partridge Cannon Wolfe (1953-65), Janice G. Kissner (1974-80), and Dr. Edith V. Francis (1980-86) served at the highest level of the national organization with honor.
The dynamic women who have served in the roles of Regional Director through the years have each left an indelible imprint on the region. Their contributions range from implementing sound business practices, holding joint regional conferences with the Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, purchasing the home of Founder Arizona Cleaver Stemons (now owned by Beta Delta Zeta Chapter, Philadelphia, PA), and creating a scholarship in her name.