It has been a week of remembrance for women around the world mourning the passing of the National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, Hartford native Cheryl A. Hickmon. She passed away last Thursday following an illness.
For the members of the 109-year-old organization, to know Hickmon was to love and admire her. The sorority’s Connecticut state coordinator, Veronica DeLandro, spent two decades looking up to her “Big Sister” in the organization.
“Cheryl was truly a dedicated Delta. Whether she was in Hawaii or Germany or Connecticut or down south -- every time she went somewhere, every room she stepped in she made a connection with people,” DeLandro said.
This daughter of Connecticut’s capital city spent 39 years as a Delta, first initiated at South Carolina State University. Those who knew her say she rose to be the sisterhood’s 27th national president by being the embodiment of its core values of sisterhood, scholarship, service and social action.
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National first vice president, Elsie Cooke-Holmes, who will now go on to lead the sorority, was Hickmon’s dear friend and remembers her Soror as a brilliantly intelligent, magical force.
“You can never find a truer friend. We're a sisterhood. So she found her group of sisters. And the members of the sorority found, I would say the best sister that they can possibly find,” Cooke-Holmes said.
Outside of the sorority, Hickmon helped make the dreams of starting a family reality for so many through her work supervising the in vitro fertilization labs for andrology and endocrinology at Montefiore’s Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Health. She also loved music and adventure and co-founded the Thrill Seekers Ski Club.
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Hartford Alumnae Chapter president, Dr. LaKisha Grant-Washington, says she looked to Hickmon’s wisdom since being initiated in 1999.
“She was the embodiment of what a member in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated should aspire to. She poured into us, she mentored us, and she taught us,” Grant-Washington said.
News of Hickmon’s passing brought a global outpouring of condolences coming from entertainers, members of Congress, the Biden administration, and more.
She was a woman who made an impact on just about everyone she touched. That force, and so many memories will help her sisters continue to carry her torch.
“Her legacy will be really wanting to make sure that we go to higher heights, wanting to make sure that we continue and got to our higher heights of impacting the world,” said Cooke-Holmes.