"Sisterhood is a bond we share..."
2021 Soror of the Year: Murial Jones
Get to Know our 2021 Soror of the Year, Murial Jones
Where did you attend college?
I attended Northeastern Illinois University, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Education (emphasis in elementary education and special education K-12). Additionally, I received my first Master of Education in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois, Chicago-Circle Campus. The last degree received, was a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University.
When were you initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.?
I was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated through Epsilon Lambda Omega Chapter in Cairo, Illinois - November 17, 1990.
Why did you join Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority?
My desire to join Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was truly out of a commitment to serve my community and comradery. My family does not have the college legacy or Greek affiliation that would have encouraged me to want to be an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. In fact, during my formative years, I was not surrounded by nor knew women who belonged to any Greek organization. However, when I moved to Southern Illinois as an adult, the group of educators I met and associated with were Alpha Kappa Alpha women. Their grace and style could not be matched. In this exceedingly small community, these women were well known, established and respected. I considered being invited to join and work along-side these women an honor. I joined because of women I met who were kind, funny, caring, intelligent and committed to their community. At the time, I was not aware of the accomplishments or works associated with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. I soon discovered that the character and integrity these women demonstrated were behaviors that exemplify Alpha Kappa Alpha women. The decision to join this great sisterhood is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
When did you join the Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter?
I transferred my membership from Epsilon Lambda Omega, with my mentor and sponsor Soror Naomi McPherson, during the fall of 1991.
What offices have you held in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.?
I have held most elected positions in the local chapter: President for four terms (8 years), Vice-President for 2 terms (4 years), Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Secretary and Corresponding Secretary.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.?
What I enjoy most about being a member matches why I joined…to connect with like- minded women who work together to impact our community.
What does being sisterly mean to you?
Being sisterly means to be supportive, kind and respectful, even if/when one might not feel like it.
Why is being of service to all mankind important to you?
Many people may have heard me say, to whom much is given much is required. I am forever grateful for the many blessings that I have and continue to receive. I take none of it for granted. With that said, it is my moral obligation to support my fellow man, woman and child as I can. Yes, giving financially is one way that I support my community, but it is also important that I give of my time and talents. “Being of service to all mankind” encompasses all of that. Through the structure and programs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, I can “get in where I fit in,” and serve my community in ways that are impactful. As I age and responsibilities change, I am not able to do as much as I want or would like to do, but that is the great thing about this sisterhood. Sorority goals and targets allow for participation in varied, multiple and creative ways.
Did you receive awards and honors in college and/or your profession? What were they?
- Graduated Cum Laude from Northeastern Illinois University (1978), University of Illinois (Chicago Campus) (1985) and Eastern Illinois University (1999)
- Booker T. Washington Achievement Award from NCAAM (2011)
- Pearls of Wisdom from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (2019)
What did the awards mean to you?
Well, the college honors were a result of my level of study. Truthfully, I wish I had been a little more studious and graduated Magna or even Summa Cum Laude. Awards are nice to affirm the work that we do in our profession and community. The few recognitions that I have received are appreciated, but the lack of public recognition did not nor will it change my level of wanting to serve. I do what I do because I think it is the right thing(s) to do, not for public recognition.
What community organizations do you belong to and why?
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – To support a local organization designed to aid people of color.
- NAACP / ACT-SO – As a former school administrator and educator, it allows me to continue to interact and contribute to the development of area youth.
- National Council of Negro Women – It is another avenue to support local women and children
- Champaign Unit 4: Community Schools Parent Advisory Council – Since retiring, to continue working with the local school district to enhance parent involvement, aimed towards improved student outcomes.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Listening to music, reading and playing “June’s Journey” on Facebook.
What motto/scripture do you live by?
Psalm 91:1-3: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” (KJV)
I have always believed that the Lord is my Shephard and in HIM I will trust. Anyone who has spent any time on this earth knows that life comes with many challenges and concerns. BUT, when we put our faith in God Almighty, believing that we are in his protective arms, we can rest assured that everything will be alright. In the moment, it may not seem that way. But oh, the knowledge of knowing that HE is my refuge gets me through the moment, and the difficult situations - every time!! I know that in his time, he will deliver me from whatever presents itself.