Sarah H. Meriwether Nutter
Born Sarah Meriwether
January 1, 1888
Died April 10, 1950 (aged 62)
Charleston, West Virginia
Known for founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha
Spouse(s) T. Gillis Nutter
Parent(s) James H. Meriwether
Mary L. Robinson
Sarah H. Meriwether (or "Meriweather") Nutter (January 1, 1888 – May 10, 1950) was a sophomore among the original twenty founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the first sorority founded by African-American women. As an educator, she worked in the profession considered most critical to the advancement of African-American citizens.
Nutter was active in creating new chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha, to extend the support the sorority could give to African-American women at college and in community life. She was also active in the NAACP in Charleston, West Virginia.
1 Early life
2 Founding of Alpha Kappa Alpha
3 Career and later life
Born in 1888 in Washington, D.C., Sarah was the daughter of James H. Meriwether (1847-?) and Mary L. Robinson (1849-?). Her siblings included: Robert H. Meriwether (1880-?); Agnes L. Meriwether (1883-?); Mary E. Meriwether (1886-?); and Edith E. Meriwether (1891-?). She attended public schools and graduated from M Street High School (later renamed Dunbar High School), one of the academic high schools, in 1906.
Founding of Alpha Kappa Alpha
Sarah Meriwether was accepted into Howard University in 1906, the top historically black college in the nation. She was among 1/3 of 1% of African Americans and 5% of whites of eligible age who attended any college at that time.
An honor student, Meriwether majored in English and history. In 1909 Meriwether, together with six other sophomores, was invited to be one of the founders in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Career and later life
After graduation, Sarah Meriwether did additional study at Miner Teacher's College. By 1915 she worked as an English teacher at Baltimore's Teacher Training School.
Later Meriwether taught at both Howard University and Washington, D.C.'s Dunbar High School, an academic high school that attracted outstanding teachers. Because the District was run as part of the Federal government, African-American teachers in the public schools were paid on the same scale as whites. The Dunbar High School was the academic high school for African Americans and had very high standards.
In December 1920, Meriwether moved to Charleston, West Virginia, where she met and married T. Gillis Nutter, an attorney and member of the West Virginia Legislature. In Charleston, Sarah Nutter was on the Education and Program Committees of the NAACP, organized the Kanawha County's College Alumni Club, and was a member of Charleston's Book Lovers Club. She was the first African American to join the Virginia Society for Crippled Children.
Nutter arranged for donation to Howard University of the table where Gen. Oliver O. Howard signed the charter that created the college. She established Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters, such as Nu Chapter at West Virginia State University in 1922. Nutter was one of the charter member of Beta Beta Omega in Charleston. Nutter died on May 10, 1950.