I was the Founder and First Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The sorority bestowed upon me the title of Grand Basileus Emerita. I was the driving force behind the organizational effort of the sorority. My professional occupation was in Social Work. I served as the Grand Basileus from 1920-1921.
I was co-founder and Second Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. My professional occupation was in education. I was one of the incorporators of the Sorority. I served as Grand Basileus from 1921-1922.
I was the Third Grand Basileus, and I was instrumental in incorporating the organization in Washington D.C. in 1923. My administrative term was from 1922 to 1923. I was past National President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (1940-1941) and editor of the first Pan-Hellenic Journal. My professional occupations were social worker, Assistant Dean of Women at Howard University, and instructor at Wilberforce University. I studied abroad at Oxford University in England.
I was the Fourth Grand Basileus and was a member of the Alpha Zeta Chapter and a Life Member. My administrative term was from 1923 to 1925. My professional occupation was in education. I retired as a public-school teacher in Baltimore, Maryland.
I was the Fifth Grand Basileus and a Delta Alpha Zeta Chapter charter member. My administrative term was from 1925 to 1926. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in 1924 and a medical degree in 1927 from Howard University. My professional occupation was a physician in the Baltimore, Maryland and Brooklyn, New York areas.
I was the Sixth Grand Basileus and was elected to four one-year terms from 1926-1930. I established the national structure of officers and directors. I was the wife of a physician who was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
I was the Seventh Grand Basileus and was elected for three terms, 1930-1933. My administration was marked by the important decentralization of administrative responsibility - the grouping of chapters into geographical regions and appointments of Regional Directors. My professional occupation was a law enforcement officer.
I was the Eighth Grand Basileus. I was elected for four one-year terms from 1933 to 1937. During my administration, the honorary membership category was created. I directed the organization's program toward social concerns; published the Chapter Chatters and the pictorial Blue Book that focused on the development of the Coatesville Project in Pennsylvania, which emphasized the creative aspects of leisure and expanded regional boundaries. My professional occupation was attorney-at-law. I was the first Black woman admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. I bequeathed "Birch Haven" to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
I was the Ninth Grand Basileus and was elevated to the office of Grand Basileus upon the death of Violette Anderson in 1937. I was elected to the office the next term and served from 1937 to 1939. During my time in office, I further expanded the internal structure by creating the State Deputy or Associate Regional Director office, now known as State Directors. My professional occupation was an educator in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I was the Tenth Grand Basileus and was elected and served for three months, 1939-1940. Under My administration, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1939, and the Board of Trustees was created. My professional occupation was as an educator. I was a former Assistant Superintendent of Public Schools in Washington, D.C.
I was the Twelfth Grand Basileus and was elected to four terms from 1943 to 1948. During my administration, the following were initiated: the Housing Project of 1943, the Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency project, and the "Woman of the Year" project. During my term, the Amicae Auxiliary was created. I coordinated an internal reorganization of the sorority and renewed the publication of the ARCHON. I was the first Executive Secretary following a term as Grand Basileus. My professional occupation was as an educator in the City of Houston. I was the first Zeta member of the American Council of Human Rights. I was a Life Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
I was the Thirteenth Grand Basileus and served from 1948 to 1954. During my administration, the following were accomplished: re-zoned all regions for expansion; incorporated the "workshop" sessions at regional and national conferences; formalized the National Scholarship grants through the Office of Education Services under the office of the Second Anti-Basileus; revised sorority textbooks; initiated plans for the purchase of the National Headquarters; became the first sorority to establish a chapter in Africa (Monrovia); and formalized the ARCHON. The melody of the official sorority song was adopted during my administration. A graduate of Shaw University, I was a former professor of English at Hampton Institute. The university's first "Chair" was given in my honor at Hampton.
I was the Fourteenth Grand Basileus and was the longest serving Grand Basileus (1954-1965). During my administration, I strengthened the internal structure through purchasing the National Headquarters building, improved communications to chapters, and was the first Director of Workshops before election. I was a Life Member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Educational Foundation. My professional occupations included the former Education Chief in New York and visiting professor at Columbia University, Wayne University, and Princeton University. I was the President of the New Jersey Board of Higher Education and was an ordained minister.
I was the Fifteenth Grand Basileus and served from 1965 to 1970. I served as Director of the Southeastern Region and was National Second Anti-Basileus, National First Anti-Basileus, and a Life Member. I was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Educational Foundation and was the Past National President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. I initiated the "Ten Point Program" and restructured Bottle programs. My professional occupations included educator, social worker, consultant, Chief of Social Services in Jacksonville, Florida, Assistant Professor, and Chairman of the Department of Social Work at Florida State University.
I was the Sixteenth Grand Basileus and served from 1970 to 1974. I was Director of Workshops in 1957 and 1959 and represented the American Council on Human Rights. I was a National Grammateus, National First Anti-Basileus, a Life Member, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Educational Foundation, and a member of the National Executive Board of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Under this administration, I established the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Program - Stork's Nest, instituted the Basilei Leadership Workshops, and introduced the "Night of Performing Arts" as part of the Boulé program. I was a Professor of Education at Southern University and former Chairperson of the Department of Elementary Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
I was the Seventeenth Grand Basileus and was elected and served from 1974-to 1980. I served as the National Third Anti-Basileus; Chairman of the National Undergraduate Council; and Life Member. Under this administration, the first national constitution and budget hearings were held, and the "Bill of Rights" for Probates and Pledgees was created. I was the first administrator to actively seek corporate and foundation funding for programs. I was the first to offer Honorary Memberships to nationally renowned film stars and recording artists. During my term, the Stork's Nest Program was expanded, National Headquarters was refurbished, and the first Archonettes handbook was published. I was the first administrator to hold a regional conference on the continent of Africa.
I was the Eighteenth Grand Basileus and served from 1980 to 1986. I served as National First Anti-Basileus, National Phylacter, and New York State Director. I initiated a "Five Point" Plan, revised the Constitution and Bylaws, and published the procedural manual during my administration. I was instrumental in chartering chapters in Alaska and Germany, established the position of Zeta-Sigma Liaison, and initiated extensive repairs and renovation programs for the Sorority's national properties. I am a Golden Life Member. My professional accomplishments included serving as the first African-American female Superintendent of Schools for the Princeton, Ewing, and Irvington, New Jersey (K-12) school districts, thus becoming one of the first six African-American women in the nation to hold a chief school administrator's position. I was awarded my Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Hunter College in New York City. My doctorate is in Educational Administration and was earned at New York University. I am married to Dr. Gilbert Francis, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
I was the Nineteenth Grand Basileus and was elected and served from 1986 to 1992. I was Southeastern Regional Director for six years and was National Director of the Stork's Nest. I was a Life Member. Under this administration, Project Z.I.P. (Zetas Investing in People) was launched. I was the National Coordinator of the Black Women's Political Awareness Forum, a major collaborative program of the four major black sororities. I was a member of the Council of Presidents Greek Summit II. During my term, the National Headquarters was reorganized and refurbished. Project Zeta was developed, the Zeta Leadership Training Academy was organized, the Zeta Child Care Development Centers were expanded, the "How To" manual for Child Care Centers was developed, the ARCHON publication was reestablished, and the "How To" manual for Collegiate chapters was developed. During my administration, the Zeta Public Relations Manual was produced, the Stork's Nest Foundation was instituted, the Membership Selection/Intake Process was developed, the Handbook and Ritual were revised, and the Zeta Affinity Credit Card Program was established.
I was the Twentieth Grand Basileus and served from 1992 to 1996. I served in National positions as Undergraduate Member-at-Large, Third Anti-Basileus, Director of Budget and Finance, Tamias, and Chair of the National Executive Board. During my "World Class Service" administration, accomplishments included: the establishment of the Male Network and Pearlettes as official affiliates, Model chapter recognition with chapter financial awards, "Longevity Awards" for Sorors, the Zeta Legacy Club was established, a chapter was chartered in Seoul, South Korea, and actress Ja Net DuBois was inducted as an Honorary Member. Over 50 youth were sent to the United States Space Camp because of the "Challenger Kids" program. As Grand during the sorority's 75th Anniversary, I held a Founders' Day dinner and midnight rededication, a 75th Anniversary Celebration for each region, and an official poem and proclamation were written in honor of our celebration. A 75th Anniversary Memorial Monument was built and displayed on the Howard University campus.
I was the Twenty-first International Grand Basileus and served from 1996 to 2002. I am a Golden Life Member and served as the National Director of Illiteracy Eradication, the Zeta Leadership Academy Executive Director, and a four-year term as National First Anti-Basileus, where I implemented the New Membership Initiation Program. The national website was developed, and online registration and financial transactions began. I implemented the "Seven-Point Plan" with programs on community volunteerism, drug and substance abuse prevention, health and wellness, economic development, governmental affairs, and effective chapter management. The sorority became the only Greek-lettered organization to partner with National Science Foundation, the NSF, with the Human Genome Project. In 1998, I was responsible for the sorority being awarded Non-Governmental, or NGO, Status by becoming a member of the United Nations. Additional recognition areas include publishing the Zeta history book, Torchbearers of a Legacy - A History of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. 1920-1997, and reactivating chapters in the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Alaska, Korea, and Germany.
I was the Twenty-second International Grand Basileus from 2002 to 2008. I served as Boulé Chief of Protocol, Chair of the Southeastern Regional Board, Southeastern Regional Conference Marshal, South Carolina State Director, and Basileus of the Kappa Eta Zeta Chapter. Before becoming Grand Basileus, I served as Chair of the National Executive Board, where I monitored an internal financial review which led to greater fiscal accountability at the national level. As National First Anti-Basileus, I implemented a National Basilei Leadership and Undergraduate Conference on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. I served as Chair of the National Membership Committee. I was Chair of the National Capital Campaign - an International Sorority initiative to raise more than $1 million for improvements to Zeta's National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The hallmark of my tenure was an international initiative I implemented known as Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel). The program affected more than one million people nationwide and abroad. I was responsible for an innovative program initiative called the Zeta Organizational Leadership Program, or (ZOL), which empowers women in all aspects of their lives and certifies Zeta women to qualify for national and international leadership roles within the sorority and community.
I was the Twenty-third International Grand Basileus and served from 2008 to 2012. I served as Chair of the National Executive Board, National Graduate Member-at-Large, Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee, National Director of Honorary Members, Pacific Regional Secretary, and Southern California Corresponding Secretary. I began the Zeta Doves program, which recognizes and pays honor to our most beloved Sorors with 50 or more years of service to Zeta. The Z-HOPE Health Center at the Afua Kobi Ampen Girls High School in Trabuom, Ghana, was completed and formally dedicated on July 8, 2011. It serves over 2,000 students with much-needed medical services. I introduced the first Zeta National Choir and created a national step team. The ARCHON was revised under my administration into an award-worthy publication.
Twenty-fourth International Grand Basileus, served from 2012 to 2018. She is a Diamond Life Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and served two (2) consecutive terms as National First Anti-Basileus before being elected International Grand Basileus at the 2012 Boulé in Chicago. Besides being elected International Grand Basileus, other positions held within the sorority include Regional Director of the Southern Region for six (6) years, Chair of the Regional Directors for six (6) years, National Coordinator of State Directors, Louisiana State Director for four (4) years, Chair of the National Personnel Committee, charter member of the Zeta Organizational Leadership Program, also known as (ZOL), and member of the national committee for the revision of Zeta's National Handbook. During my tenure as National Director of Protocol and National Observances, I served as the chief researcher and transcriber during the publication of Zeta's first history book entitled, Torchbearers of a Legacy. I commissioned the ELDERCARE (the National Elder Care and Elder Abuse Initiative), the signature program of my administration, which raised awareness and action regarding the care and welfare of seniors in this country. I increased the rigor and re-establishment of the Zeta Organizational Leadership Program (ZOL), the leadership certification component of the sorority. I also instituted national retreats and training for undergraduates, youth, and Amicae. The national website was developed, and on-line registration and financial transactions began. I implemented the "Seven-Point Plan" with programs on community volunteerism, drug and substance abuse prevention, health and wellness, economic development, governmental affairs, and effective chapter management. The sorority became the only Greek-lettered organization to partner with National Science Foundation, the NSF, with the Human Genome Project. In 1998, I was responsible for the sorority being awarded Non-Governmental, or NGO, Status by becoming a member of the United Nations. Additional recognition areas include publishing the Zeta history book, Torchbearers of a Legacy - A History of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. 1920-1997, and reactivating chapters in the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Alaska, Korea, and Germany.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Valerie Hollingsworth Baker was elected as the 25th international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in July 2018. Prior to taking office, she held numerous elected and appointed positions in her home chapter, Delta Mu Zeta; served as Atlantic regional director; served as chairman of the National Executive Board for two terms and International First Vice President.
Scholarship is a principle that Hollingsworth Baker holds in high regard, having graduated from York Institute as the class valedictorian at the age of 14 and being accepted into 10 of the nation’s top universities. At the age of 18, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, where she majored in industrial organizational psychology with a minor in theater and drama.
As international president, Hollingsworth Baker and the Centennial Chair were responsible for the organization’s week-long historic Centennial celebration, which took place Jan. 12-18, 2020. She also instituted the Arizona Cleaver Stemons Founder Emeritus $100,000 scholarship, which was awarded to a female high school graduate. Some of her other notable accomplishments include:
Increased global expansion with chapter charters in the British Virgin Islands, and in Liberia and Ghana in West Africa.
Purchased the sorority’s second property in Washington, D.C.
Led a major rebrand marketing campaign in 12 major cities across the country, involving highly publicized billboard signs on major highways and digital signage in key subway stations and in the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on January 16, 2020, to herald Zeta’s 100-year anniversary.
Procured strategic partnerships with Geico, Dell, Google, New Balance Athletics Wear/Jairus Group, St. John Knits International, Inc., Goldman Sachs, Micha’s Voice, and NCNW (Good Health Wins).