Dr. Thelma V. Cook

The Gateway Chapter has been in partnership with Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) since January of 2014. Through continued campus involvement in support of their Violence Against Women on Campus Initiative, HSSU approached the chapter to help them establish a leadership opportunity for women. HSSU had been actively participating in a Black Male Initiative spearheaded by their president. The young ladies on campus requested an opportunity for targeted development for themselves. One of the chapter’s charter members, Dr. Thelma V. Cook, was a board member at HSSU for several years and instrumental in the hiring of the 19 th president of HSSU. The opportunity to honor her commitment and connection to not only HSSU, but also her chapter, while developing programming for their female students aligned with the chapter’s continued transition to transformational programming with one focus and one shared budget aligned to the national priorities seemed like an important commitment for the chapter to undertake. In the fall of 2017 The Thelma V. Cook Leadership Institute was started in alignment with the academic calendar. Together, the Gateway Chapter embarked in leadership development with HSSU female students through bi-monthly sessions devoted to leadership principles tied to facet goals aligned with national priorities. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020 programming shifted to a virtual platform.