TSU Alumna Anna Pearl Barrett’s bequest to the Houston Alumnae Chapter matched by Texas Southern University
ABOVE: The Anna Pearl Barrett Houston Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Memorial Endowed Scholarship became the institution’s largest endowment.
More Texas Southern University students will experience the enrichment of studying abroad because of TSU Alumna Anna Pearl Barrett and the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
The sorority presented the university with $150,500 from Barrett’s bequest to the chapter, which was matched by Texas Southern University’s Foundation to create one of the institution’s largest endowments: the Anna Pearl Barrett Houston Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
The $301,000 investment will financially assist students who desire to study in other countries and fulfills one of the goals of International Awareness and Involvement, part of the sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust.
The Anna Pearl Barrett Memorial Endowed Scholarship was celebrated with a reception hosted this month at TSU and attended by more than 200 Deltas as well as Barrett’s relatives, Mayor Sylvester Turner, TSU Acting President Ken Huewitt, TSU Vice President of University Advancement Melinda Spaulding, TSU Foundation Trustee Judith Craven, M.D., and a representative from the Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
“Our beloved soror, Anna Pearl Barrett, gave back,” Houston Alumnae Chapter President Jona Sargent said at the event before expressing gratitude to the Barrett family. “In grateful remembrance to our beloved soror, we say: Thank you.”
Barrett, who died in 2014, was the first TSU exchange student to study in Spain. She joined Delta Sigma Theta as a member of TSU’s Delta Gamma chapter. She also graduated from the University of Madrid and Middlebury College. A career educator, she taught Spanish in the Houston Independent School District and worked as a Bilingual Education Consultant. She traveled extensively in retirement.
Texas Southern University’s first study abroad group journeyed to Tanzania in 2001. Today, more than 100 TSU students travel abroad every year, according to Gregory Maddox, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School and Director of International Programs. A gift targeted to international travel at a historically Black university has urgency and significance. According to the Institute of International Education, undergraduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities participate in study abroad programs at lower rates than students from institutions throughout the United States.
“The Houston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has a strong, decades-long history of providing college scholarships to hundreds of deserving students,” said Sargent. “The Anna Pearl Barrett Memorial Endowment Scholarship allows our organization to extend its impact by providing financial aid to enrich the collegiate experience through cultural awareness and international travel.”
The Houston Alumnae Chapter (HAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was chartered in 1927 as the first Houston-area chapter of the not-for-profit, public service sisterhood. With a financial membership of more than 500 college-educated women, HAC continues its 93-year legacy of community service, educational scholarships, and social advocacy in Houston.