Societas Docta National, Incorporated
Since its inception, Societas Docta National, Incorporated (which means a “Society of Doctors” in Latin) has supported the purpose of bringing together, motivating, and inspiring women to pursue and achieve the terminal degree in their chosen field of professional endeavor. This organization acknowledges and enhances the relationship among distinguished women, recognizes the accomplishments of women who may have been by-passed because of their gender, race or ethnicity; shares and supports research efforts and findings; and provides an international network for African American women.
Societas Docta National, Incorporated was founded in Atlanta, Georgia to inspire and support African American women to achieve educational and professional excellence. Our members are committed to networking and mentoring with individuals, groups, and organizations to enhance and improve the quality of education for minorities & especially women of African descent to encouraging them to pursue and obtain doctoral degrees in various professions. All members of Societas Docta National, Incorporated hold doctoral degrees.
Goal of Societas Docta National, Incorporated
The goal of Societas Docta National, Incorporated is to encourage African American women to pursue advanced degrees in various disciplines, especially those fields where there is a keen shortage of advanced degree holders. We work to mentor African American women enrolled in doctoral programs, providing them with physical, emotional and spiritual support, as well as scholarship assistance.
History of Societas Docta National, Incorporated
Societas Docta National, Incorporated was initiated in early 1987 when Dr. Abigail Jordan and Dr. Ada Puryear Burnette saw the need for an organization of African American women with terminal degrees to motivate others to obtain theirs. The pre-planning phase included adding Dr. Anna Pearl Atkinson to the team, as the founders, thus they became known as the “A” team. Dr. Atkinson prepared the constitution and arranged the first organizing meeting. Dr. Ada Puryear Burnette conceptualized and prepared many documents on the major thrusts for the organization and wrote the motto. Dr. Abbie Jordan worked with a Priest and drew the name and insignia, obtained an Atlanta mailing address, and developed the incorporation papers.
During this period, everything was done cooperatively and collaboratively through numerous telephone calls, correspondence and meetings in Atlanta. Dr. Anna Pearl Atkinson, Dr. Ada Puryear Burnette, and Dr. Abbie Jordan were the inaugurating President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Societas Docta National, Incorporated held its first membership meeting in Atlanta, Georgia November 13-14, 1987 at the Ramada Inn Hotel, Capital Avenue, S.W. thirty –eight members attended and embraced the ideas of Societas Docta, National Incorporated. Officers elected were: Dr. Anna Pearl Atkinson, President; Dr. Audreye Johnson, 1st Vice President; Dr. Catherine Dorsey-Gaines, 2nd Vice President; Dr. Ada Puryear Burnette, Recording Secretary; Dr. Barbara G. Stinson, Corresponding Secretary; and Dr. Anna B. Cole, Treasurer.
Societas Docta has grown from its 1987 conception to a viable organization today, which has maintained a committed and dedicated cadre of officers and members. During the period of 1987 to 1991, the membership grew more than 100% to 75 members. The membership is continuing to expand through emphasis on chapters, districts and members-at-large.
Members have given freely of their time, talents and financial resources to make Societas Docta, National, Incorporated an energetic and productive organization. The major foci continue to be mentoring, networking, scholarships and recognitions with the mission to motivate, inspire and mentor African American females to complete and obtain terminal degrees in all career fields. The Heritage College, research forums, scholarships and the Nefertiti Banquet are among the integral parts of the annual conferences held at various locations. Communication, organizational business, other responsibilities and research have been enlarged through emails, teleconference meetings, postal correspondence, a newsletter, visits, chapter formations, web page and a journal. Societas Docta National, Incorporated has members who are contributing to and making significant contributions in all spectrums of society. Members are recipients of hundreds of awards and are in positions of responsibility in society.
Founders of Societas Docta National, Incorporated
The “Three A’s” (left to right)
Dr. Abigail Jordan
Dr. Anna Pearl Atkinson
Dr. Ada Burnette