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Black Greek Lettered Organization History
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc
Since its founding on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African American and people of color around the world.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of brotherhood among African descendants in this country. The visionary known as the “Jewels” of the fraternity, are Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy.
The fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced prejudice, both educationally and socially, at Cornell. The Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha’s principles of scholarship, good character, and the uplifting of humanity.
Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were developed at other colleges and universities; many of them historically black institutions, soon after founding at Cornell. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political and social injustices by African-Americans.
Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African American community’s fight for civil rights through leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, JR. , Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Grey, Paul Robeson, and many others.
2313 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-5234
The Gamma Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was founded February 7, 1948 on the college campus what was then known as, Delaware State College(DSC).
12 charter members were sponsored by Dr Luna I. Mishoe, President of DSC at the time and also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
The Gamma Sigma chapter is located in the Eastern Region of Alpha Phi Alpha where in recent years, have been awarded Regional Chapter of the Year while also becoming known as one of the premiere chapters known for national and regional step show teams. The brothers are also committed to community organizing and service from New York to Maryland annually.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc
In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority became America’s first Greek Letter Organization Established by Black college omen. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri. She viewed the Sorority as an instrument for enriching as an instrument for enriching the social and intellectual aspects of college life by providing mental stimulation through interaction with friends and associates. Through the years, however, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the channel through which selected college-trained women improved the socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world.
In a world in which materialism is pervasive, and technology and competition have decreased the need for collaboration and cooperation, it is critical to have an association that cuts across racial, international, physical, and social barriers to help individuals and communities develop and maintain constructive relationships with others. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is that vital organization.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this affiliation as a means of self-fulfillment through volunteer service. Alpha Kappa Alpha cultivates and encourages high scholastic and ethical standards; promotes unity and friendship among college women; alleviates problems concerning girls and women in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
Candidacy for membership into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is open to women of high ethical and scholastic standard who are pursuing or have completed courses leading to a degree in an accredited college or university. Our official headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois.
5656 South Stony Island Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
FAX: (773) 285-8251
Charted in April 1955, as the first undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in the state of Delaware, Delta Lambda chapter is located on the campus of Delaware State (College) University (DSU). At the time of its chartering, Lillian R. Sockum was the President of Epsilon Iota Omega chapter, the supervising chapter for Delta Lambda chapter, Marjorie H. Parker was the North Atlantic Regional Director and Dr. Jerome Holland was the President of DSU.
The charter members of Delta Lambda are as follows: Alice Maull Carter, Claudette Bishop Evans, Doris Swiggert Glenn, Reverend Jean Allen Wilson, Anita Watson Hammond, Elvira Wilson Harris, Bertha Turner Morris (deceased), Mary Maloy Scott, Marva Bond Smith, and Nora Harmon Steele
In an effort to maintain progressive interest in college life, the Delta Lambda chapter creates entertaining, educational and community service oriented programs for the students of DSU and the Dover community.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc
Kappa Alpha Psi, a college fraternity, now comprised of functioning Undergraduate and Alumni Chapters on Major Campuses and in cities throughout the country, is the crystallization of a dream. It is the beautiful realization of a vision shared commonly by the late Revered Founders Elder Watson Diggs, “The Dreamer”; John Milton Lee; Byron K. Armstrong; Guy Levis Grant; Ezra D Alexander; Henry T. Asher; Marcus P Blakemore; Paul W. Caine; Edward Irvin and George W. Edmonds.
It was the vision of the astute men that enabled them in the school year 1910-11, more specifically the night of January 5, 1911, on the campus of Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, to sow the seed of fraternal free whose fruit is available to and now enjoyed by, college men everywhere, regardless of their color, religion origin. The Constitution of KAPPA ALPHA PSI is predicated upon and dedicates to, the principles of achievement though a truly democratic Fraternity.
Chartered and incorporated originally under the laws of the State of Indiana as Kappa Alpha Nu on May 15, 1911, the name was changed to KAPPA ALPHA PSI on a resolution adopted as the Grand Chapter in December 1914. This change became effective Greek Letter Symbol and KAPPA ALPHA PSI thereby became a Greek letter Fraternity in every sense of the designation.
2322 N Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19132-4590
Fax: (215) 228-7181
In the beginning, under the direction of Brothers Idel W.E. Taylor, Dean of Men and Hardy Pierce, (Lambda Chapter) Kappa men of Delaware State College organized the first fraternity on May 29, 1946. At the time, ten men were admitted to Kappadom. Fortunately, these men were not lacking in ability and initiative. They absorbed the traditions of the fraternity and steadily consolidated and built the young Lambda Extension Chapter. With Brothers; Edward L. Schenck, (Polemarch), William W. Bayne (Vice Polemarch), William R. Stephens, Carlton L. Harris, Benny J. George, Howard D. Gregg, Jr., Gilbert H. Jackson, Julius R. Boaz, John W. Henson and Joseph Boone paving the way, Kappa grew steady in power and numbers. These brothers being desirous in establishing an undergraduate chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity at State College, Dover, Delaware respectfully petitioned the Grand Board of Directors of Kappa Alpha Psi on October 23, 1946 for permission and authority to establish an undergraduate chapter.
On March 8, 1947 Kappa Alpha Psi chartered Beta Sigma, the 64th Chapter and, the first undergraduate chapter under the newly establish Northeast Province. On this historical date nineteen new brothers were made. They were Brothers; Clifton T. Browne, Carl J. Collick, William C. Days, Allen T. Hill, Maxwell Honemond, Walter H. Johnson, Denver B. Parker, William N. Pinkett, Donald D. Spence, Mitchell L. Thomas, Charles H. Bessellieu, Wilfred C. Bullard, Maynard D. Harwick, Nehemiah A. Kelson, Richard A. Maull, Wilmer H. Mills, William L. Shockley, Shivers S. Spriggs and Wellington Waters.
On December 12, 1947, the young chapter established and initiated the first Beta Sigma Scroller Club. These brothers were William M. Hearne, William Holliday, Rudean Lumpkin, Harrison Short, Martin Evans, Monroe Barrick, Fredrick Holliday, Oscar Neal, Monroe McConnell, Douglas Gibson, Oscar Thomas, Ernest Bundy, Raymond Woodard, John W. Brown, Jr., Charles Badson, Emory Boggus and Grant Stevens. As a result of this historical line, good and proud Kappa men were made into Beta Sigma in the late 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
On May 17, 1975, three strong Beta Sigma Brothers J. Reggie Kimble, Polemarch, Steven A. DeShields and Ronald E. Buckman, along with the oversight of Wilmington Alumni Chapter initiated nine young colligate men at the University of Delaware. The young men were Brothers; Donald Johnson, Ronald Reid, Randy S. Johnson, Joseph Bryant, Jr., Michael Williams, Edwin M. Warren, James R. Barbour, James ‘Rikki’ Jenkins and Nathan W. Beasley. These nine men created the Beta Sigma Colony Chapter at the University of Delaware, which will forever bond the two schools in Kappa glory. Over the years this colony chapter grew in numbers and petitioned the Grand Board of Directors of Kappa Alpha Psi for their own unique chapter letters. Because these men were focused and the petition was supported by Beta Sigma and Wilmington Alumni Chapters, the Nu Xi Chapter was chartered on January 14, 1989. The members of the Nu Xi Charter Line were Brothers; Antoine Allen, Mark Stovall, Timothy Jacobs, Darrin Ferrell and Frederick Bryant.
During the late 70’s and 80’s Beta Sigma continued to grow mightily however, in the 90’s tragedy beset Beta Sigma Chapter that resulted in the withdrawal of the Chapter’s Charter in 1995 and suspension of Kappa activities on Delaware State University’s campus.
In the later 1990’s young men at Delaware State University continue to ask the question When will the suspension be lifted, when will I have the opportunity to become a Kappa? As it is written in the archives of Kappa history, in early 1998 members of Dover Alumni petitioned the Grand Board of Directors for a Kappa presence at Delaware State University. Permission was granted for a Wesley College extension chapter and the use of Xi Mu Chapter letters. These brothers grew mighty and gained the respect of Dover Alumni Chapter. The Xi Mu Chapter’s membership on Delaware State University’s campus surged to over 20 members in the spring of 1998 and later grew to over 60 members by May of 2006, answering the high demand for the organization on the Dover campus. The members actively produced student leaders including multiple Student Government Association Presidents. In 2006, the Province Polemarch (Regional President) Micheal Brewington, encouraged Xi Mu and Dover Alumni to petition the Grand Board of Directors for a newly name chapter at Delaware State University. The petition focused on creating and developing a new chapter that would add to the rich history of Kappa Alpha Psi at DSU by contributing a series of programs and activities that would excite and educate students about college life in an ever changing society.
On March 25, 2007, the fraternity granted Delaware State University its own Charter and unique letters of Pi Eta. The Chapter Charted Members include Brothers; Abraham Mclear, Colandus Francis, Camron Franklin, Kevin Spence, Jamar Fulton, Elijah Hicks, Malik Walker, James Campbell, Willie Singleton, Cyril Totimeh, Coi Evans, Keith Ellerbe, Thomas Dunn III, Nick love-Nixon, Blaine Pierce, Brandon Webb and Vashon Winton. These brothers were assisted by Brothers; Emmanuel Lalande and Jameel Thrash.
The fundamental Purpose of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated is Achievement.
“WE IMPLEMENT PHI NU PI.”
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc
On Friday evening, November 17, 1911, three Howard University undergraduate students, with the assistance of their faculty adviser, gave birth to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. This event occurred in the office of biology Professor Ernest E. Just, the faculty adviser, in the Science Hall (now known as Thirkield Hall). The three liberal arts students were Edgar A Love, Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman, From the initials of the Greek phase meaning “friendship is essential to the soul” the name Omega Psi Phi was derived. The phrase selected as the motto. Manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift were adopted as a cardinal principle. A decision was made regarding the design for the pin and emblem, and thus enabled the first meeting of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
The next meeting was conducted on November 23, 1911. Edgar Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected Grandkeeper of the Records (National Security) and Grandkeeper of seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected as character members.
Alpha Chapter was organized with fourteen members on December 15, 1911. Love Cooper and Coleman were elected the chapter’s Basileus, Keeper of records, and keeper of seals, respectively. On March 8, 1912, the previously submitted fraternity constitution was rejected by the Howard University faculty Council. The Faculty Council proposed to accept the fraternity as a local but not a national organization. The fraternity refused acceptance as a strictly local organization.
Oscar Cooper became the fraternity’s second Grand Basileus in 1912. Cooper authorized the investigation of a proposed Second Chapter at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. Edgar Love was elected ass the third Grand Basileus in 1912 and served until 1915. In 1914, Howard University withdrew opposition, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on October 28, 1914. Beta Chapter at Lincoln University was chartered in February 1914. George E Hall, the fourth Grand Basileus, Had been initiated at Alpha Chapter in 1914. Grand Basileus Hall authorized the established during the administration of the fifth Grand Basileus, James C. McMorries. During the administration of the sixth Grand Basileus, Clarence F. Holmes, the fraternity’s first official hymn, “Omega Men Draw Nigh”, was written by Otto Bohannan. Raymond G. Robinson, the seventh Grand Basileus, established Delta Chapter in Nashville, Tennessee in 1919. Robinson left office in 1920 with a total of ten chapters in operation. Stanley Douglas served as Editor of the first Oracle published in spring of 1919. Harold K. Thomas, the eighth Grand Basileus, was elected at the 1920 Nashville Grand Conclave. It was at this Conclave that Carter G. Woodson Inspired the establishment of National Achievement week to promote the study of Negro Life and History. The 1921 Atlanta Grand Conclave brought to an end the first decade of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Omega World Center
3951 Snapfinger Parkway
Decatur, GA 30035
Early in 1946, James C. Hardcastle, Wayman Scott and W. Richard Wynder became pledgees of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
The Formal initiation of three Neophytes was held on the third weekend of October 1946 in Philadelphia, PA. Through the office of the National Executive Secretary, Brother H. Carl Moultrie, the three new members were assigned to the Graduate Chapter located in the Third District of the Fraternity.
Brother James C. Hardcastle, Brother Wayman Scott and Brother W. Richard Wynder became the Founders of the Psi Iota Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc
The establishment of a chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on the campus of the Delaware State College was the result of endeavors of the late Brother William H. A. Booker, an English Professor at the college. Along with the encouragement and assistance of then President of Delaware State College, Dr. Howard Gregg (Beta Chapter), Psi Epsilon became a reality.
On December 17, 1946 in Delaware Hall on the campus of Delaware State College Psi Epsilon was organized with fourteen charter members. Henry "Clay" Aldridge, John E. Cottman, James Curtis, William M. Freeman, Clifton Harman, James Harris, Nathaniel Johnson, Felmon D. Motley, Malachi A. Raisin, Hampton M. Turner, Jarriet w. Warner, Taylor S. Wheeler, Harry B. Williams and Morris Wilson.
Under the leadership of Brother Richard C. Walker, who served as chair of his Psychology Department and Advisor to the newly formed Psi Epsilon chapter, numerous projects and annual activities were established such as scholarship programs, talent hunt, mentoring projects, fundraisers, etc.
Through the years over 400 members has passed through the ranks of Psi Epsilon Chapter at Delaware State. These members have gone on to become educators, ministers, attorneys, politicians, civil servants, executives, researchers, and social scientists, thus upholding the four cardinal principles of the fraternity: MANHOOD, SCHOLARSHIP, PERSERVERANCE and UPLIFT.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Twenty-two women at Howard University founded Delta Sigma Theta Sorority on January 13, 1913. These students wanted use their collective strength to promote excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The first public act performed by the Delta Founders involved their participation in the women’s suffrage March in Washington D.C. March 1913. Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated in 1930.
Their ideals of scholarship were incorporated as a national organization. The record of incorporated is filled in the Congressional Library in Washington D.C. Today these are over 250,000 members in 950 chapters, 47 states, Haiti, Liberia, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Germany, England, the Republic of Panama, Japan, the Bahamas and the Republic of Korea
1707 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Fax: (202) 986-2513
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.
The founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community. The believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits rather than his family background or affluence…without regard of race, nationality, skin tone, or texture of hair. They wished and wanted their fraternity to exist as pat of even a grater brother hood which would be devoted to the “inclusive we” rather that the “exclusive we”.
From its inception, the Founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves ad their immediate families, the founders of Phi Beta Sigma held a deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrors in the fraternity’s motto, “Culture For Service and Service For Humanity”.
Today, eighty-seven years later, Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders. No longer a single entry, the fraternity has now established the Phi Beta Sigma Educational Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Housing Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma-Federal Credit Union, and the Phi Beta Sigma Charitable Outreach Foundation. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., founded in 1920 with the assistance of Phi Beta Sigma, is the sister organization. No other fraternity and sorority is constitutionally bound as Sigma and Zeta. We both enjoy and foster a mutually supportive relationship.
145 Kennedy Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Gamma Upsilon chapter was chartered April 17th 1962 at Delaware State College. The Gamma Upsilon Chapter was chartered by 5 men who exemplified the ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service. And since its charter many decades ago, Gamma Upsilon has proved it’s rightfully apart of the "People's Fraternity" who sought "Culture for Service, Service for Humanity". Gamma Upsilon has an impeccable record with Delaware State University and its surrounding communities by giving educational and social programs and utilizing partnerships with the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, and the Annual Sleep Out for the Homeless.
Zeta Phi Beta Fraternity, Inc
The year was 1920. It was the start of the decade, shortly after World War One and a time of great prosperity for the country. Women were called Dames, dolls, or the cat’s meow. At the beginning of the decade women still wore long skins but the “Roaring 20s” brought a new look of short skirts and smartly coiffed shorter hair. Racial tensions were high and quotas set for immigrants coming into America. The Klan was very active during this period. The Harlem Renaissance was acknowledged as the first important movement of black artists and writers in the US. On January 16, 1920, the Volstead Act Became effective, heralding the start of Prohibition of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. The worst and longest economic recession to ever hit the United States would define the end of the decade-the Great Depression.
It was within this environment that Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was founded.
Zeta Phi Beta was founded on the simple belief that sorority elitism and socializing should not overshadow the real mission for progressive organizations- to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty, and health concerns of the day. Founded January 16, 1920, Zeta began as an idea conceived by five coeds at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Arizona Cleaver, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, Fannie Pettie and Pearl Neal. These five women, also known as our Five Pearls, dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for black women and sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of scholarship, Service, Sisterly Love and Finer Woman hood. It as the ideal of the founders that the sorority would reach college women in all parts of the country who were sorority minded and died to follow the founding principles of the organization. Founder Viola Tyler was oft quoted to say “[ in the ideal collegiate] there is a zeta in a girl regardless the race, creed, or color, who has high standards and principles, a good scholarly average and a active interest in all things that she undertakes to accomplish.”
Since its inception, the Sorority has chronicled a number of firsts. Zeta Phi Beta was the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (1948), to form adult and youth auxiliary groups, to centralize its operations. Zeta chapters and auxiliary groups have given uncountable hours of voluntary service to educate the public, assist youth, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.
A nonprofit organization, Zeta Phi Beta is incorporated in Washington, D.C. and in the state of Illinois. The Dues and gifts of its members support the sorority.
Over the years since the sorority’s inception, Zeta Phi Beta has charted hundreds of chapters and initiated thousands of women around the world. Zeta has continued to thrive and flourish while adapting to the ever-changing needs of a new century. Despite the great Depression, discrimination and segregation and a host of other challenges, Zeta has continued to hold true to its ideal and purpose, for, as stated by one of the sorority’s founding members: “…I believe that no [other] organization could have been founded upon principles that were so near and dear to all our hearts” ) Founder Myrtle Tyler)
1734 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Fax: 232 – 4593
On September 30, 1961, the Upsilon chapter was chartered here on the campus of Delaware State College. Sedalia Gaines, Doris R. Newby, Geneva Vaughn, Joyce George, Jay Waters, Cynthia Moody, and Jeanette Plamer were women who had high standards and principles, and a good scholarly average. In spring of 2008, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated received honors of “Sorority of the year” and also advisor of the year. We are a non-profit organization which is used for educational and charitable purposes.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s aim is to enhance the quality of the life within the community. Public Service, leadership development and education of youth are the hallmark of the organization’s programs and activities. Sigma Gamma Rho addresses concerns that impact society educationally, civically, and economically.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on November 12, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven school teachers: Mary Lou Allison Little, Dorothy Hanely Whiteside, Vivian White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Dulin Redford, Bessie M. Downey Martin and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha Chapter at Butler University.
Soaring To Greater Heights of Attainment Around the World, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., as a leading national service organization, has met the challenges of the day and continues to grow through Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.
The first three years were devoted to organizing. The first call for a national boule (convention) was held in Indianapolis, December 27 – 29, 1925. The second was held in Louisville, Kentucky at which time Fannie O’Bannon became the grand basileus.
In keeping with the ideals of Sigma Gamma Rho, the sorority has supported the following organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Council of Negro Women, National Pan Hellenic Council, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Urban League. March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, National Mental Health Association, United Negro College Fund, Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Black Women’s Agenda and American Association of University Women.
With over 400 chapters in the United States, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Germany, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is committed to improve the quality of life for its members and the society it serves.
8800 South Stony Island Avenue
Chicago, Il 60617 – 2809
(773) 873 – 9000
Fax: 731 – 9642
The Zeta Delta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated was founded on March 30, 1974 on the campus of Delaware State College, which is now known as Delaware State University. Six lovely ladies chartered this extravagant chapter: Carlene Jackson, Mary Piper Omega Rho, B. Pat Roberts Olivia Morris, Lizzy Townsend Omega Rho, and Rosemarry Harris Williams. Some of the awards and honors we have received as a chapter and individually include: Third place organization of the year 2007, Miss Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contributions to NPHC, 2008; 2008 Directors Award, Outstanding Accomplishments and Contributions to Greek community and Delaware State University Campus, and Sorority of the year 2009.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc
On September 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (Now Morgan State University), 12 students founded what is now the nation’s fifth largest, predominately African-American social service fraternity: The Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated.
The founders of Iota Phi Theta were: Albert Hicks, Lonnie Spruill, Jr., Charles Briscoe, Frank Coakley, John Slade, Barron Willis, Webster Lewis, Charles Brown, Louis Hudnell, Charles Gregory, Elias Dorsey, Jr., and Michael Williams.
This group of men was unique for several reasons. First of all, many were long-time friends. Spruill, Coakley, Dorsey, and Gregory had known one another since grade school, and Spurill and Coakley’s friendship extended to when the two were pre-schoolers.
Even more uniquely, many of these men were what are now referred to as “ Non-Traditional Students” and were 3-5 years older than the average college student. Gregory, Willis, and Brown were all service veterans, and Brown, Hicks, and Briscoe were married with small children. Of this group of 12, several were also working full – time jobs and were full-time students.
Based upon their ages, heightened responsibilities, and increased level of maturity, this group had a slightly different perspective than the norm for the college students. It was this perspective from they established the Fraternity’s purpose, “The development and perpetuation of Scholarship, Leadership, Citizen, Fidelity, and Brotherhood among Men.” Additionally, they conceived the Fraternity’s motto, “Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One!”
The Fraternity functioned as a local entity until the first interest groups were established in 1967 at Hampton Institute (Beta Chapter) and Delaware State College (Gamma Chapter). Further expansion took place in 1968 with chapters being formed at Norfolk State College (Delta Chapter) and Jersey City State College (Epsilon Chapter). The Fraternity was officially and legally incorporated on November 1, 1968 as a National Fraternity under the laws of the State of Maryland.
The final steps toward moving the Fraternity from a regional to a more national scope were taken with the creation of Upsilon Chapter (Southern Illinois University) in 1974. It was also during this period that the Fraternity’s first 4 Graduate chapters were formed: Alpha Omega (Baltimore, MD, 1965), Beta Omega (Washington, DC, 1970), Gamma Omega (Hampton, VA, 1973), and Delta Omega (Boston, MA, 1973).
These chapters created the framework for the growth and development of the organization n the Northeast, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest Regions of the country. The next regional expansion occurred in 1983 with the establishment of the Alpha Ch (San Francisco State University) and Xi Omega (San Francisco Alumni) chapters in California.
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The Gamma Chapter was founded at here at Delaware State College now known as Delaware State University in the year 1967. This chapter is very historic and continues to bring tradition to the Fraternity and make quality men. Iota Phi Theta® Fraternity, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is “Building A Tradition and Not Rest Upon One”. A brotherhood of more than 30,000 predominately Black college educated men, the Fraternity currently has over 250 chapters located throughout the world. The major programs of the Fraternity are based upon the organization's principles: