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Larzette Hale-Wilson

The 17th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. Larzette Golden Hale-Wilson was born in Idabel, Oklahoma, to Thomas and Mary Golden. Under Hale-Wilson’s leadership, the AKA Sorority underlined the accomplishments of contemporary African American women through the founding of its Heritage Series. She is also the first black female Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States to also hold a Ph.D. in accounting.

Hale-Wilson was initiated into the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Langston University in 1937. She went on to graduate summa cum laude with her B.S. degree in business administration and secondary education in 1937. Hale-Wilson then married her college sweetheart, Dr. Henry William Hale in 1940. After completing her undergraduate studies, Hale-Wilson worked as a secretary to the business manager at her alma mater. She later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her M.A. degree in accounting and finance in 1943. In 1951, Hale-Wilson passed the Certified Public Accountant Examination, and in 1955, she earned her Ph.D. in accounting. She established her own CPA office in Atlanta that same year .

In 1958, Hale-Wilson was elected to the office of International Treasurer at the Golden Anniversary Boulé and used her professional skills to initiate the AKA Sorority’s coordinated central accounting system. She went on to serve as the Basileus-Elect in 1964, and in 1966, she was elected as the 17th International President of the Sorority. In 1968, Hale-Wilson began the Heritage Series and produced more than five thousand copies of booklets on the accomplishments of contemporary African American women.

In 1971, Hale-Wilson and her family moved to Utah, and she was hired as a professor of accounting at Utah State University. She went on to write several articles in various business education journals including The Balance Sheet and the Journal of Business. In 1974, Hale-Wilson was appointed by the governor of Utah to the State’s Committee on Cultural Awareness and later she served as chair of the supervisory committee of the Utah State University Credit Union.

Larzette Hale-Wilson passed away on February 5, 2015.

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Langston University

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Alpha Kappa Alpha



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Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

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Salt Lake City



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Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)

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Accountant and association chief executive Larzette Hale-Wilson (1920 - 2015 ) was the first black female CPA in the United States to also hold a Ph. D. in accounting. As president of the AKA sorority, she initiated the sorority’s coordinated central accounting system and began the Heritage Series, which produced more than five thousand copies of booklets on the accomplishments of contemporary African American women.


Utah State University

University of Utah

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Timing Pairs

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larzette Hale-Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larzette Hale-Wilson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers the Industrial Institute for the Deaf, Blind and Orphans of the Colored Race

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls becoming First Lady of Langston University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larzette Hale-Wilson explains why she ran for Alpha Kappa Alpha supreme basileus

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls starting an Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter at Langston University

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers becoming the supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls her initiatives with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larzette Hale-Wilson talks about the problem of hazing in sororities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her proudest accomplishments with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls what she learned from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her vision of sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers friends from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larzette Hale-Wilson reflects upon her tenure as supreme basileus

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larzette Hale-Wilson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larzette Hale-Wilson shares advice for future Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. leaders

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls rewarding experiences as supreme basileus

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larzette Hale-Wilson talks about The HistoryMakers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes how she would like to be remembered







Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls her initiatives with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers friends from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Why do you think you were successful [as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. supreme basileus]?$$I had special expertise, I was a CPA [certified public accountant], I think that gave the sorors trust that we were handling the money right, because that's so important. I think that was the encouragement to think that I could make a difference and I did help us refine our accounting system, set up an investment fund so that we would have some savings to look forward to and I understand that that fund helped when we built the new building in Chicago [Illinois]. Two things, well, three things I did. I had a program for high school students, writing contest about black heritage and those who, papers who won, we had nine region, we'd have one from each region to win, toured the United States, very historical black places that--places where blacks had made real contributions. The other was, each, from each of the nine regions, this, the, the soro- the undergraduate soror who made the highest average, was given a free trip. After boule, we always went abroad and they would have that free trip and during the years, since then, I've had so many sorors say, "I won the trip to travel," (laughter) because that gave 'em a chance to travel abroad which they wouldn't have, some of them would not have otherwise.$$Okay, now how--$$And the third thing I did was to develop the heritage brochure [Negro Heritage Brochure] which was a little book, a booklet, that told the story of blacks who had achieved in various areas like black lawyers, black doctors, black nurses and that, it's just the size you could carry in your pocketbook but it, it was distributed to high schools over, over the country which I thought helped blacks be known by their own group.$$I remember that series. We had a--$$Oh, do you.$$--set of them at Wright State University [Dayton, Ohio], we used to use them for, like the Upward Bound program that we'd call Wright Start in those days. I remember that series. It had an illustration--$$That's wonderful.$$--on the cover, had black women in dentistry and law and different professions, yeah, I remember that.$$I think it helped encourage the undergrads too to see how people had achieved in various areas.$Who were some of the sisters that you really depended on when you were supreme basileus?$$Sumlin [HistoryMaker Bernice Irene Sumlin] was number one. She was chairman of my standards committee [National Standards Committee] and she and a soror from Clark College [Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia]. I had a committee of about seven sorors and they were, they were supportive and if we had problems, I would send the committee to solve it, rather than try to solve all of them by myself and the young lady who became after me, Mattelia Grays [HistoryMaker Mattelia B. Grays] from Houston [Texas], sometimes the incoming, the present basileus and the incoming basileus don't get along too good. Well, Mattelia and I have the record of being the best team and we've been friends ever since that. So, these seven ladies, and then I tried to pick at least one or two sorors from each region that I could relate to and they would alert me if we were having difficulties in any place and you could put out the fire before it became too dangerous.