Omega Psi Phi: Difference between revisions

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*Dr. Oscar James Cooper, MD
*Dr. Oscar James Cooper, MD
*Professor Frank ColemaN
*Professor Frank ColemaN
== Internationally Mandated Programs ==
== Internationally Mandated Programs ==

Revision as of 15:10, 21 October 2009

Omega Psi Phi
Founded November 17, 1911; 105 years ago (1911-11-17)
Howard University
Type Social
Scope International
Motto Friendship is Essential to the Soul
Colors      Royal Purple
     Old Gold
Symbol Lamp
Publication Oracle
Chapters 750+
Nickname Omegas, Ques, Sons of Blood and Thunder, Omega Men, Da Bruhz, Q Psi Phi
Headquarters 3951 Snapfinger Parkway
Decatur, Georgia (U.S. state)
United States of America
Homepage Omega Psi Phi Fraternity website

Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) is an international fraternity and is the first African-American national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by three undergraduate students and one faculty advisor. The founders were Howard University juniors Edgar Amos Love, Oscar John Cooper and Frank Coleman. The first faculty advisor of the fraternity was Dr. Ernest Everett Just, who early on was accorded the status of founder by the three undergraduates. Each of the founders had distinguished careers in their chosen fields: Bishop Edgar Amos Love became Bishop of the United Methodist Church; Dr. Oscar John Cooper became a prominent physician who practiced in Philadelphia for over 50 years; Professor Frank Coleman became the Chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University for many years; Dr. Ernest E. Just became a world-renowned biologist.

The next meeting was conducted on November 23, 1911 in Thirkield Hall. Edgar Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected Grandkeeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grandkeeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected as charter members.

From its inception, the fraternity has worked to build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. In 1927, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity made National Negro Achievement Week an annual observance, and it continues today as Black History Month.

Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education. Omega Psi Phi has been a patron of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1955, providing an annual gift of $50,000 to the program. Omega Psi Phi is also a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member.


Ernest Everett Just, Founder of Omega Psi Phi.

Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was the first national African-American fraternity to be founded at a historically black college when it was established on November 17 1911 at Howard University. Howard University would not initially recognize the fraternity as a national organization and Omega Psi Phi's leadership refused local recognition.[citation needed] The fraternity operated without official sanction until the university withdrew its opposition in 1914, the same year that Beta chapter was founded at Lincoln University.[citation needed] Omega Psi Phi was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in October 1914.[1] By 1920 the fraternity had 10 chapters, and in 1930 Omega Psi Phi became one of 5 founding members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). The NPHC expanded when Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma joined in 1931, Sigma Gamma Rho in 1937, and Iota Phi Theta in 1996.[2]


  • Dr. Ernest Everett Just
  • Bishop Edgar Amos Love
  • Dr. Oscar James Cooper, MD
  • Professor Frank ColemaN


Internationally Mandated Programs

The Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi in 1912.

Each Chapter has a list of Internationally Mandated Programs that they have to administer each year which are:[3]

Achievement Week - This week is observed every November and seeks to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to society. During this Achievement Week a High School Essay Contest is held and the winner usually receives a scholarship award.

Scholarship - The goal of the Scholarship Program is to encourage academic progress among the undergraduate members. A portion of the fraternity's budget is designated for the Charles R. Drew Scholarship Commission, which awards scholarships to members and non-members.

Social Action Programs - All chapters are required to participate in programs that uplift society. Many participate in activities which include voter registration, illiteracy programs, mentoring programs, fundraisers, and charitable organizations such as American Diabetes Association, United Way, and the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation.

Talent Hunt Program - Each year, each chapter is required to hold a talent contest. This program encourages young people to expose themselves to the Performing Arts. Individuals who win these talent contests receive an award, such as a scholarship.

Memorial Service - March 12 is Omega Psi Phi Memorial Day. During the month of March every chapter of the Fraternity performs a ritualistic memorial service to remember members who have died.

Reclamation and Retention - This program is an effort to encourage inactive members to become fully active and participate in the fraternity's programs.

College Endowment Funds - The fraternity donates thousands of dollars to Historically Black Colleges and Universities each year.

Health Initiatives - Chapters are required to coordinate programs that will encourage good health practices. Programs that members involve themselves in include HIV/AIDS awareness, blood drives, prostate cancer awareness, and sickle cell anemia awareness programs.

Voter Registration, Education and Motivation - Coordination activities that promote voter registration and mobilization.

NAACP - A Life Membership at Large in the NAACP is required by all chapters and districts.[4]


Jesse Jackson Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., July 1983.

Today, Omega Psi Phi has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. There are many notable Omega Men recognized as leaders in the arts, the sciences, academics, athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, national and international level[1] . Some of these men include Executive Directors of the NAACP Roy Wilkins and Benjamin Hooks, former President of the National Urban League, Vernon Jordan, Dr.Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., the first Black to serve in the US Astronaut Program, First black graduate of Columbus State University and C.E.O of Decatur Capital Management Ralph J. Bryant, and President & CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson. Also, two former governors William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder (Virginia) and numerous presidents of colleges and universities as well. NBA Basketball players Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Vince Carter are also members of this fraternity.Earl Graves, who is a graduate from Morgan State University which is the Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, is the owner and editor and chief of the magazine. Steve Harvey who is a well-known comedian,actor and radio host is also a member of Omega Psi Phi as well as actor and comedian Rickey Smiley who is also a member of this fraternity. Omega Psi Phi will be celebrating it's hundred years history in November 2011 in Washington D.C.. Omega Psi Phi offers undergraduate and graduate membership to potential aspirants. College students must be working toward a bachelor's degree at a four year institution, 36 semester credits, [1] and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. An initiant into the graduate chapter must already possess a bachelor's degree. The fraternity grants honorary membership to men who have contributed to society in a positive way on a national or international level.[5] For example, Charles Young (March 12, 1864 - January 8, 1922) was the third African American graduate of West Point, first black U.S. national park superintendent, first African American military attaché, and highest ranking black officer (Lt. Colonel) in the United States Army until his death in 1922.

National Pan-Hellenic Council membership

The fraternity is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The NPHC is composed of nine international black Greek-letter sororities and fraternities and promotes interaction through forums, meetings, and other mediums for the exchange of information, and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.[6]


Grand Basilei

Name Order Time in Office Ref.
Edgar Amos Love 1st Grand Basileus 1911-1912 [7][8]
Oscar J. Cooper 2nd Grand Basileus 1912-1913 [7][8]
Edgar Amos Love 3rd Grand Basileus 1913-1915 [7][8]
George E. Hall 4th Grand Basileus 1915-1916 [7][8]
James C. McMorries 5th Grand Basileus 1916-1917 [7][8]
Clarence F. Holmes 6th Grand Basileus 1917-1918 [7][8][9]
Raymond G. Robinson 7th Grand Basileus 1918-1920 [7][8][10]
Harold K. Thomas 8th Grand Basileus 1920-1921 [7][8]
J. Alston Atkins 9th Grand Basileus 1921-1924 [8][11][12]
John W. Love 10th Grand Basileus 1924[a] [8]
George E. Vaughn 11th Grand Basileus 1924-1926 [8][11]
Julius S. McClain 12th Grand Basileus 1926-1929 [8][10][13]
Matthew W. Bullock 13th Grand Basileus 1929-1932 [8]
Lawrence A. Oxley 14th Grand Basileus 1932-1935 [8][14]
William Baugh 15th Grand Basileus 1935-1937 [8][15]
Albert W. Dent 16th Grand Basileus 1937-1940 [8][15]
Z. Alexander Looby 17th Grand Basileus 1940-1945 [8][11][16]
Campbell C. Johnson 18th Grand Basileus 1945-1947 [8]
Harry T. Penn 19th Grand Basileus 1947-1949 [8]
Milo C. Murray 20th Grand Basileus 1949-1951 [8]
Grant Reynolds 21st Grand Basileus 1951-1953 [8][11][17]
John F. Potts 22nd Grand Basileus 1953-1955 [8][18][19]
Herbert E. Tucker, Jr. 23rd Grand Basileus 1955-1958 [8][20]
I. Gregory Newton 24th Grand Basileus 1958-1961 [8][14]
Cary D. Jacobs 25th Grand Basileus 1961-1964 [8][21]
George E. Meares 26th Grand Basileus 1964-1967 [11]
Ellis F. Corbett 27th Grand Basileus 1967-1970 [22]
James Avery 28th Grand Basileus 1970-1973 [21]
Marion Garnett 29th Grand Basileus 1973-1976 [23][24][25]
Dr. Edward Braynon, Jr. 30th Grand Basileus 1976- [26][27]
Burnel E. Coulon 31st Grand Basileus -1980- [27][28]
L. Benjamin Livingston 32nd Grand Basileus 1982-1984 [29]
Dr. Moses C. Norman 33rd Grand Basileus 1984-1990 [27][30]
C. Tyrone Gilmore, Sr 34th Grand Basileus 1990-1994 [7][27]
Dr. Dorsey Miller 35th Grand Basileus 1994-1998 [7][27]
Lloyd Jordan ESQ. 36th Grand Basileus 1998-2002 [7][27]
George H. Grace 37th Grand Basileus 2002-2006
Warren G. Lee 38th Grand Basileus 2006-Current [27]

a. Finished unexpired term of Atkins[8]

List of Omega Psi Phi Grand Conclaves


  1. ^ a b "Omega History". Omega Psi Phi. Retrieved 2006-09-30.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "OPPFHistory" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ "About NPHC". National Pan-Hellenic Council. Retrieved 2006-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Internationally Mandated Programs". Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  4. ^ "Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Official Website". OPPF. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  5. ^ "Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Official Membership Page". OPPFMembership. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  6. ^ "National Pan-Hellenic Council Aboutpage". NPHC. Retrieved 2006-08-15. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Omega History
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the men who made its history; a concise history; the official history of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, inc., 1911-1961, by Robert L. Gill. pp 83-84
  9. ^ About Charles F. Holmes
  10. ^ a b Epsilon history
  11. ^ a b c d e Legendary 5th History
  12. ^ My virtual paper entry
  13. ^ Rho Phi chapter history
  14. ^ a b Accomplishments of Beta Phi Brothers
  15. ^ a b 9th District History
  16. ^ Omega Psi Phi - John H. Williams Historical Museum
  17. ^ Cincinnati Ques
  18. ^ "Black Sororities and Fraternities". Ebony. Johnson: 113. 1993. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  19. ^ "Omicron Chi History". Omega Psi Phi, Omicron Chi chapter. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  20. ^ Omega Bulletin Spring 2007
  21. ^ a b Omega Life Membership
  22. ^ Lambda Omega chapter history
  23. ^ Eta Nu History
  24. ^ Alpha Omega Chapter History
  25. ^ University of Florida Yearbook 2003 Omega Psi Phi
  26. ^ 7th district history
  27. ^ a b c d e f g 74th Grand Conclave Report
  28. ^ Psi Alpha Alpha History
  29. ^ Sigma Alpha Ques, about us
  30. ^ Eta Omega milestones

External links