WASHINGTON, D.C.—Z Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. announced that Valerie Hollingsworth Baker’s term as the 25th international president ended on Sunday, July 24, and lauded her for four years of outstanding leadership and service.
Hollingsworth Baker will be succeeded by Stacie NC Grant.
Creating scholarship opportunities was a principle that Hollingsworth Baker held in high regard during her tenure. Under her leadership, Baker institutied the sorority’s Founders Scholarship, a series of $100,000 – $125,000 scholarships honoring Zeta Phi Beta’s five founding members. The scholarship is awarded for five years to a female high school graduate student pursuing a college education. The Founders scholarship, provided to a single student, is the first of its kind to be awarded by a “Divine Nine” historically Black sorority or fraternity.
Skyler Evans, a high school senior from Baton Rouge, LA, was awarded the Founder Myrtle Tyler Faithful $125,000 scholarship during the sorority’s 2022 Grand Boule, which was held in Philadelphia. The sorority also provided more than $640,000 in donations to nonprofits during its gala awards dinner at the Grand Boule, where the work of local chapters across the sorority were celebrated.
“It has been my highest honor to serve as Zeta Phi Beta’s International President over the past four years,” said Hollingsworth Baker. “Over my four-year term, I have been able to give back to the larger community in remarkable ways and I leave behind a legacy committed to our organization’s founding principles of scholarship, service, sisterhood, and finer womanhood.”
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Hollingsworth Baker was elected as International President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in July 2018.
The former corporate leader’s focus on digital transformation enabled the 102-year-old international women’s service organization to fully function during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, she introduced the sorority’s first comprehensive online membership database, the first learning management database and a virtual new membership intake process. Additionally, she evolved the sorority’s longstanding Stork’s Nest program, a 50-year partnership with the March of Dimes, to include a mobile app.
Hollingsworth Baker procured partnerships with Geico, Dell, Google, New Balance Athletic Wear/Jairus Group, St. John Knits International, Inc., Goldman Sachs, Micah’s Voice, and the National Council of Negro Women’s Good Health Wins initiative. Many of these
relationships, including national vendor licensing firm Learfield/CLC, have set the organization up for continued success for years to come.
Under her leadership, five notable honorary members were inducted: Vivica A. Fox, Chaka Khan, Archbishop Mary L. Palmer, Retired Major General Linda L. Singh, and Dawnn Lewis. She also expanded the sorority’s global presence with chapter charters in the British Virgin Islands, and Liberia and Ghana in West Africa.
As the “centennial president,” Hollingsworth Baker brought awareness to the sorority’s 100-year celebration with a high visibility marketing campaign that included a step performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Today Show appearance, billboards in major cities across the U.S. including New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. During her tenure, the organization’s social media presence increased by 55 percent.
Prior to taking office, Hollingsworth Baker held numerous elected and appointed positions within the organization including international first vice president, Atlantic regional director, and chairperson of Zeta’s National Executive Board.
About Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded in 1920 on the campus of Howard University, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Zeta has initiated a diverse membership of more than 125,000 college-educated women with more than 850 chapters in North America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.