Mattelia Bennett Grays

Mattelia Bennett Grays, a longtime Houston educator and administrator and the 18th international president of Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc., died Nov. 2.

She was a former teacher, principal and district superintendent with HISD. In 1968 she became the youngest person ever elected AKA president and led the sorority from 1970 to 1974. Her accomplishments included leading the sorority’s effort to purchase the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and implementing leadership training and educational grants.

“The members of Alpha Kappa Alpha are grateful for her more than 70 years of consistent and active service in the sorority,” said AKA International President & CEO Danette Anthony Reed.

“We also are grateful for the passion and dedication she poured into her family, career and legacy. She soared to great heights of service and sisterhood, and as we reflect on her life, we are genuinely inspired and aspire to follow her example of service to all mankind.”

She was born in Houston and graduated as salutatorian from Booker T. Washington High School in 1948. She received a B.A. degree from Dillard University, an M.A. from the University of Michigan and doctorate in Educational Administration from Pacific University.

In addition to teaching in Houston public schools, she served as principal of Rogers Educational Enrichment Center and HISD District III superintendent.

She was a member of the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of AKA and served as chapter president and regional director of the South Central Region.