The late Soror Catherine Johnson, a graduate of Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) in Trenton, New Jersey and Soror Evelyn Hines Ellerbe, a graduate of Morgan State University of Baltimore, Maryland were charter members of Gamma Nu Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in Camden, New Jersey. They were members of Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Church in Princeton were they became close friends. They were active members of Gamma Nu Zeta and traveled regularly to meetings and activities in Camden, NJ.
Soror Alexzina Brown was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the early chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in the State of New Jersey. Sorors Ellerbe and Johnson decided to organize a chapter in the Princeton/Trenton area. They were inspired and encouraged to do so by Soror Brown and Sigma Brother John Johnson, the husband of Soror Johnson.
Epsilon Xi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. received its charter on May 27, 1954 from Soror Evelyn Hunt, the Atlantic Regional Director at that time. The five charter members were Sorors Catherine Johnson, Evelyn Ellerbe, Hazel Sayles, Julia Ransome, and Hazel Lands.
The chapter became well known in the Garden State and attracted more and more members. The chapter presented programs in local churches, but soon outgrew them and had to move to restaurants and large auditoriums. Many students were able to further their education due to the encouragement and financial support from Epsilon Xi Zeta Chapter.
Epsilon Xi Zeta Chapter organized and sponsored three undergraduate chapters. The city chapter, Chi Alpha was chartered in 1954 at Rider University (formerly Rider College) in Lawrenceville, NJ. Omicron Epsilon at the College of New Jersey was chartered in 1974. Upsilon Rho at Princeton University was chartered in 2002.
The chapter reached out to outstanding women in the community and formed the Princeton Trenton Zeta Amicae Auxiliary. The chapter also formed the Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes youth groups.