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BEVERLY ANN HARRIS GRAY, ED.D.
President, Detroit Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
By Donald James
Connecting, uplifting and inspiring are just three simple words. However, under the leadership Dr. Beverly Ann Harris Gray, president of the Detroit Alumnae Chapter (DAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., these three words are representative of a powerful theme that continues to propel DAC to excellence. Serving as the chapter's 38th president since June, 2011, Gray has provided productive leadership to DAC, one of Delta's largest chapters with approximately 750 members. She has also been proactive in implementing the Delta's Five-Point Programmatic Thrust, a platform of missions that all Delta chapters are charged to carry out. The Five-Points are Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.
Gray speaks with excitement about several community services projects that DAC carries out, such as Delta Manor, a 100-unit apartment building for seniors on Detroit's eastside. DAC has owned and operated Delta Manor for almost 25 years. "We are really proud of Delta Manor," says Gray. "We are proud to get the opportunity to interact and provide so many services to the senior residents... that is what being a Delta is about: sisterhood and providing community services."
DAC, according to Gray, is also looking forward to the fall of 2013 when it plans to open a charter school called Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy. While her term as president will have expired when the school opens, Gray says that she will continue to be involved in the educational endeavors of the school.
Gray's advice in educational matters will be well received, because prior to her leadership role with DAC she had invested more than three-decades of her life to Detroit Public Schools (DPS). Now retired, she served in such capacities as deputy superintendent, associate superintendent - human resources, executive director - division of learning and educational accountability. Perhaps her most memorable experience with DPS was service rendered as the principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School for eight years. She began her career with DPS as a biology and chemistry teacher. Other educational experiences have included serving as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University's College of Education.
In preparation for a professional career in education, Gray earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Eastern Michigan University (EMU), where she pledged Delta. After graduation, she earned a series of advanced degrees from Wayne State University: a M.Ed. in science education, an Ed.S. in general administration supervision, and an Ed.D. in general administration and supervision.
After a remarkable 37-year-career in education, Gray retired in 2008...but is busier than ever as DAC's president. She is readying the local chapter for participation in the Delta's 100-year national anniversary celebration on January 13, 2013 in Washington, D.C., where the sorority was founded. In commemoration of the storied milestone of the country's largest African-American sorority, the Greek organization will be represented in the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2013. In addition, Gray said an Olympic-style torch will be carried through 22 cities across America, representing Delta's 22 founders. "We are blessed that Detroit was selected as one of the cities that the torch will come through," says Gray. "The torch will come through Detroit on April 6, 2013...and we are just ecstatic."
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