Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. commissioned Chicago artist James King to create a sculpture of its Founders. "Fortitude" was dedicated on April 28, 1979. She stands 12' 6" with a 12' hand-to-hand arm span. Sculpted in Corten steel, the metal was designed to oxidize over time to produce the rich bronze tone representing the gradations of pigmentation of the Black woman. Fortitude symbolizes the attributes of strengths, courage, hope, wisdom, beauty and femininity as depicted by Delta's 22 Founders.
Fortitude Plaza is a gift to Howard University from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. It was established in commemoration of the Sorority's Centennial Anniversary and dedicated on July 11, 2013. Designed by four female architectural students under the direction of Dean Emeritus Harry G. Robinson III, the design affirms Fortitude's relationship to Founders Library and restores the original landscape plan conceptualized by Landscape Architect David Williston in 1932.