Byron Kenneth Armstrong
|Byron Kenneth Armstrong|
Westfield, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||June 28, 1980|
|Occupation||Founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated; Teacher, Professor, University Dean|
Byron Kenneth Armstrong (1890 – June 28, 1980) was a founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He served as the fraternity's first Grand Strategus and Grand Historian, and received the Laurel Wreath, the highest recognition of achievement bestowed by Kappa Alpha Psi.
Armstrong was born in Westfield, Indiana in 1890. He attended Howard University in 1909, where he met Elder Watson Diggs. Armstrong, at the end of the Spring term of 1910, visited his cousin, Irven Armstrong, at Indiana University. Armstrong was impressed with Indiana University, and, soon after, he and Diggs left Howard to enroll in Indiana University in 1910. There, Armstrong studied philosophy, mathematics, and sociology.
Founding of Kappa Alpha Psi
Armstrong and Diggs were distressed by the status of African-Americans at the predominantly white Indiana University campus. The two men convened with other African-American men at the university with the purpose of developing a fraternity which served in their common interest. On January 5, 1911, the men officially established the fraternity which would be known as Kappa Alpha Psi. Once founded, Armstrong became the fraternity's first Strategus (sergeant-at-arms).
While at Indiana University, Armstrong played a leading role in developing the fraternity of Kappa Alpha Psi. He was responsible for developing the Kappa Alpha Psi insignia and emblems, after taking courses in ancient Greek culture. He also was responsible for suggesting the idea of the Laurel Wreath award, the highest recognition of achievement given by the fraternity.
Armstrong received a master's degree from Columbia University in 1913. He served as the Dean of Education for Langston University from 1921–1927 and 1931-1935. While in Langston, Armstrong helped start the Langston Alumni Chapter, the Tulsa Alumni Chapter, and the Alpha Pi chapter (at Langston University) of Kappa Alpha Psi. In 1935, he received the Laurel Wreath, the highest recognition of achievement in Kappa Alpha Psi. In 1940, Armstrong earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan. He taught in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and served as visiting professor at Maryland State College (now the University of Maryland Eastern Shore). Armstrong also served as personnel director for Chrysler until 1962.
- "Founder: Byron K. Armstrong". Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Official Website. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
- Bryson, Ralph J. (2003). The Story of Kappa Alpha Psi: A History of the Beginning and Development of A College Greek Letter Organization 1911-1999. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.