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Linda M. White

The 26th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (2002 – 2006) Linda White was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a dining car waiter and a homemaker. White worked for several years as a Social Security administrator while remaining active in the AKA Sorority. Under White’s leadership the Sorority established the Ivy Reading AKAdemy and initiated the Centennial Traveling exhibit.

Raised in Chicago, White graduated from Parker High School in 1959 before matriculating to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Clark, White became active with the AKA Sorority and received her B.A. degree in 1963. She later went to the University of Chicago where she completed her M.A. degree in 1969. After earning a certificate in systems from Stanford University, White moved to Washington, D.C. in 1971 to work as a management analyst in the Department of Health and Human Services. She served in that capacity for two years before returning to Chicago, where she worked for the Social Security Administration. There, White rose to the rank of area director, managing the Chicago East District Office and overseeing twenty-nine Social Security offices in the region.

Upon her retirement in 2002, White began working full-time for the AKA Sorority. Then in July 2002, she became the Sorority’s International President. During her administration, White’s plan was to push the use of technology, particularly the Internet, to facilitate communication both within and beyond the organization. Additionally, she has earmarked education, the family, health, economics and the arts as program targets.

Active for more than forty years at the local and national levels of the AKA Sorority, White has contributed more than twenty years of service to the organization's educational foundation and serves as national president of the committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and a life member of the NAACP. For more than fifty years, White has been a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church, where she is a former president of the Administrative Board and past chairperson of the Council on Ministries and Pastor/Parish Relations.

White lives in Chicago, Illinois.

White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 30, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2003.250

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/8/2003 |and| 5/30/2008

10/8/2003

5/30/2008

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Betsy Ross Elementary School

Paul Robeson High School

Clark Atlanta University

University of Chicago

Stanford University

First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

WHI04

State

Ohio

Favorite Quote

You Can't Relive The Past. The Only Thing You Can Do Is Learn From It And Move Forward.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/21/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Macaroni, Cheese, Prime Rib Steak

Death Date

2/26/2010

Short Description

Association chief executive and federal government administrator Linda M. White (1942 - 2010 ) was a former national president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Employment

Department of Health & Human Services

Social Security Administration

Favorite Color

Aqua Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda M. White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linda M. White lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about her parents, including the origins of her father's name

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about her mother Mary Fennell White's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about her mother Mary Fennell White's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linda M. White describes her mother's work and personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linda M. White describes her mother's work and personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linda M. White talks about her father's work and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes the boundaries of her neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linda M. White describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linda M. White describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linda M. White describes her teachers at Betsy Ross Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linda M. White describes her experience at Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about activities she was involved in at Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linda M. White talks about deciding to attend Clark College in the early 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linda M. White describes her experiences at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia during the early 1960s, including participating in sit-ins and marches

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes the consequences of sit-ins for herself and participating students in Atlanta, Georgia during the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linda M. White talks about her choice of major at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha at Clark College in the 1960s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha at Clark College in the 1960s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about the history and purpose of the Alpha Kappa Alpha organization, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about the history and purpose of the Alpha Kappa Alpha organization, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linda M. White compares Alpha Kappa Alpha to the Delta Sigma Theta sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linda M. White talks generally about black Greek letter organizations, including their importance for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linda M. White talks about her transition from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia to the University of Chicago for graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes her professors and academic experience at the University of Chicago in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linda M. White speaks to work being done by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linda M. White describes her life as a graduate student at the University of Chicago and working as a medical transcriber

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about her career at Social Security Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about the reach of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, both in the United States and abroad

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linda M. White describes the most rewarding aspect of being president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linda M. White describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Linda M. White reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Linda M. White considers what she would have done differently

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Linda M. White reflects upon how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Linda M. White describes being a part of a political forum with Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Linda M. White narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linda M. White narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linda M. White narrates her photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda M. White's interview, session two

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Linda M. White's talks about her first involvements in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and her relationship with Marjorie Holloman Parker

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about the various positions she held in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, including president

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Linda M. White describes her initial goals as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about the programs she put in place as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Linda M. White describes what she learned and the data from the implementation of the Ivy Ready AKAdemy program

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Linda M. White talks about the results of the membership survey she conducted as president for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Linda M. White explains the concept of sisterhood, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Linda M. White talks about executing her vision as president Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Linda M. White talks about the 2002 Alpha Kappa Alpha national conference where she was installed as president of the organization, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Linda M. White talks about the book 'Pearls of Service: the legacy of America's first black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about the lawsuit filed against Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 2002

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about the risk management group she formed as a result of the lawsuit Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority faced in 2002

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about hazing in Greek letter organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about the 2002 Alpha Kappa Alpha national conference where she was installed as president of the organization, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Linda M. White considers what can be learned from the past and the importance adapting to the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Linda M. White explains the concept of sisterhood, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Linda M. White expresses her concerns for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Linda M. White reflects upon her legacy as national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes the impact of technology on Alpha Kappa Alpha in the early 2000s

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Linda M. White recalls planning with the national board and program chairs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority during the first months of her presidency

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Linda M. White describes the organizational structure of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's funding and budget

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Linda M. White speaks about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Young Authors Program

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Linda M. White explains how the responsibilities of her job prepared her to be president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Linda M. White talks about the programs she put in place as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 2

DASession

2$1

DATape

6$4

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Linda M. White describes what she learned and the data from the implementation of the Ivy Ready AKAdemy program
Linda M. White describes her life as a graduate student at the University of Chicago and working as a medical transcriber
Transcript
What did you learn in that process about the black community, or about education or children in the process of implementing this, you know, significant program?$$It's very--working -- in a economically deprived community, it's very difficult. I mean the, the children are delightful. They, they really are very interested in learning. But they need a lot of support systems, and sometimes those support systems weren't immediately available. And, you know, we tried to provide as much as we could. But I would say to anyone that- it's not an easy task and school systems are--have been trying all kinds of things to improve the -- reading skills of minority children and children like I said, who are economically deprived. But you have to work at it because if -- they aren't unable to read at grade level early in the game, they just fall so much further behind in school and are really not prepared to be competitive in life as a, an adult or high school student, or to be able to go to college because they've never gotten the fundamentals.$$Now you--that--cause I cut you off at the point. You were giving quantifiable, you know--$$Yes. And -- that was one thing that I especially wanted. We had a number of programs that have dealt with reading, health, many programs that serviced mankind, and were good programs and I would never disparage them. But I wanted something quantifiable. I wanted something that could be measured to say you either did something or you didn't do something. But it was acceptable not to achieve what you started out if you learned something from it so that you could make some changes or some other people could make some changes. And I got quantifiable data. And, like I said, we worked with University of North Florida [Jacksonville, Florida]. And they produced that data for us, and--$$So talk about your data. How many people did you reach, you know--$$Overall I think we reached about forty-five thousand students in a program, in a demonstration site there may be were no more than twenty-some children. But the chapters carried on the program to the extent that they could without funding, without being a part of the actual demonstration. But many of them got people to work with them who could do statistical data, count the number of hours spent in their program. So they supplemented what we were able to do on a demonstration basis. And that reached a much larger number of people.$$Okay.$$$Did you stay with family members in the--$$Yeah, see I didn't live that far from the university [University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], so I commuted every day. And, and I worked in the University of Chicago Hospitals [Chicago, Illinois]. And I was a medical transcriber. So I went from every summer I worked in a different department. And then when I went to graduate school, I worked most of the time in the radiology department. And I worked for a Dr. Vermeulen [ph.], and he was the head of the urology department. And he was a wonderful person to work with. Very, very gruff. You would--it was so interesting because all of the interns and residents, I could see them, I worked in his office and you could see, and they would check to see if he was in the office 'cause he was--he looked sometimes like a mad scientist, you know. And he had this map of the Middle East on the wall and he might point out things to them and they might have to respond. But in any case, he tried to talk me into going to medical school. And I said--and I'm thinking medical school, you know, this man must be out of his mind. I mean I did not see my bent in--I mean although I had done well in math and biology that did not seem like the area that I was strongest in. And he tried for the longest, you know you should, you should go to medical school; you should enter here at the university. And I said, "Well thank you Dr. Vermulen, but no thank you." But I know I'm getting a little off the subject, but one of the things I did do while I was at the university, I typed a book, part of the manuscripts that were used to present the Nobel Peace Prize to I believe it was [Charles Brenton] Huggins at the University of Chicago in the medical school [Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois]. And I had an opportunity, all of these people from famous doctors and scientists from all over the world sent things to contribute to the book, and part of my task was to, you know type up the manuscript. So that was, that was sort of an interesting experience.