About Rho Tau Zeta Chapter

The Sorority’s RHO TAU ZETA CHAPTER was birthed out of a Sunday evening phone call. It was February 2000. During her tenure as New Jersey State Director, Carrie Knotts-Jackson, and Atlantic Regional Director, Valerie Hollingsworth, thoughtfully considered the need for Zeta to engage its expansion patterns northward in the region and the state. That phone call from Hollingsworth to Lauren Francies Nance of Paterson led to the mobilization of that expansion and the creation of a Zeta chapter to be based in the third largest city in the state. It was the first chapter established north of Newark since 1953 and charged to serve local residents and grow Zeta in Passaic, Bergen and Morris counties.


As plans for the new chapter developed, fellow Paterson resident, Sonja Capers, joined Nance and Sorors Sherry Fulmore (Murray), LaDonna B. Carr, Battina Al Razi, and Marcia (Taylor) Smith, to charter Rho Tau Zeta Chapter. On April 14, 2000, the charter was granted at the New Jersey State Leadership Conference and ceremoniously presented again at the 2000 Grand Boule’ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight Zeta chapter charters were issued in the Atlantic Region that year.

At a monthly business meeting in late 2000, LaDonna B. Carr created the perfect moniker to describe our Chapter. As individuals who were highly regarded difference makers in the Sorority and in our communities, LaDonna collectively nick-named us: The RENOWNED Rho Tau Zeta Chapter. Since that time, we have never tired in our efforts to uphold what it means to be renowned.

Though the years, Rho Tau Zeta’s trailblazing ways continued. Two undergraduate chapter charters were pursued and granted to bring Zeta to the campuses of William Paterson University in Wayne and Ramapo College in Ramapo. Respectively, Theta Sigma was chartered on December 22, 2004, and Kappa Upsilon received its charter April 27, 2013. As the sponsoring graduate chapter for these collegiate groups, Rho Tau Zeta is committed to help motivate the success of each of our undergraduates – scholastically, in their careers, and as a woman of Zeta.

Since its inception, the Chapter has grown numerically and in our reach throughout the counties we serve. We have been home to a dynamic, multi-faceted roster of women who are business owners, corporate executives, nurses, educators, social workers, telecommunications technicians, marketing and business college administrators, logistics and project managers, development consultants, insurance and human resources professionals, meeting planners, members of the armed forces and government entities, ministers, realtors, psychologists, financial analysts, and more.

Rho Tau Zeta upholds the Sorority’s highest ideals of Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood by engaging our local community through our national initiatives. Annually we raise funds for the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society, host Sunday of Hope for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, provide food, clothing and shelter for those in need, grant educational scholarships for college-bound women and much more.

2020 marks 20 years of uninterrupted and diligent service to our community. We will continue to honor the vision birthed out of that Sunday evening phone call to impact our community and Zeta for decades to come.