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Lillian Lincoln Lambert
Soror Lambert receives the first Centennial Journey Trailblazer Award from Mary Breaux Wright, International Grand Basileus, at Boule 2014.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated introduced the Zeta Centennial Journey Trailblazer Award at Boulé 2014. This recognition is only presented at the national level to members who have achieved significant accomplishments that exhibit scholarship, service, sisterhood and Finer Womanhood, the principles of the Sorority.

Soror Lillian Lincoln Lambert became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Alpha Chapter, 1964) at Howard University, from which she received a degree in Business Administration. In 1969, she became the first African American woman to receive a MBA from Harvard University.

She has described her Harvard Business School experience as one that took every ounce of her strength daily. At the time, she was just 1 of 35 women and 1 of 9 African American students in a student body of approximately 1,600 students. There were no black or female faculty members. Moreover, women were not allowed to live on Harvard’s Business School campus and she walked to classes from the Radcliffe Graduate Student Dormitory. All this against the backdrop of the turbulent 60’s: the civil and women’s rights movements, Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, Vietnam War protests, and college sit-ins.

But, Soror Lambert persevered and blazed new paths. She often states that “her experiences taught her how to bounce back when faced with adversity, obstacles and isolation.” She went on to establish a business during those tumultuous times and when it was not customary for women to be entrepreneurs. Her company was established for 25 years and grew to exceed $20 million in sales with more than 1,200 employees.

Currently, Soror Lambert is a public speaker, author and coach. She uses her wide-ranging experiences to benefit others “in turning rocks of adversity into stepping-stones of achievement.” In 2010, her memoir, The Road to Someplace Better: From the Segregated South to Harvard Business School and Beyond, was published. She is also a featured author in Sister to Sister: A Guide for African American Girls, a must-have book for teenagers of color that covers topics on self-esteem, dating, etiquette, college preparation, personal image and relationships.

Soror Lambert has been inducted into The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history collection. This one of a kind archive, established in 1999, has set a goal of completing 5,000 interviews about the accomplishments of African Americans. In 2011, Soror Lambert was named a Women in Virginia History Honoree. She is also an inductee in the Enterprising Women Magazine Hall of Fame.