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Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college.
On the evening of November 17, 1911, Omega Psi Phi was founded inside the Science Building (later renamed Thirkield Hall) at Howard University located in Washington, D.C. The founders were three undergraduates — Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, Ernest Everett Just.
From the initials of the Greek phrase meaning, “friendship is essential to the soul“, the name Omega Psi Phi was derived. That phrase was selected as the motto.
Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift were adopted as Cardinal Principles.
On November 23, 1911, Edgar A. Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman were selected to be the Grand Keeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grand Keeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven undergraduate men were selected to become the charter members.
Alpha chapter was organized with fourteen charter members on December 15, 1911. Brothers Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman were elected the chapter’s first Basileus, Keeper of Records, and Keeper of Seals, respectively.
Brother Cooper became the fraternity’s second Grand Basileus in 1912 and authorized the investigation of establishing a second chapter on the campus of Lincoln University located in Pennsylvania.
HISTORY OF ALPHA PHI
When the Twelfth Conclave met in St. Louis in December, 1923, the roster consisted of forty-seven chapters. A further drive for new chapters was held to be unnecessary. Brother J. A. Atkins was re-elected for his third consecutive term, but was compelled by the press of private business to relinquish his office early in the year 1924. Brother J. W. Love, Vice Grand Basileus, succeeded to the executive office. Under the administration of Brother Love during the year 1924 the following chapters were added: Alpha Phi, Birmingham, Al.; Beta Phi, Durham, N.C.; Zeta Phi, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Chi Omega, Thomasville Ga. [Oracle 1929 page 10]
The roster of Alpha Phi Charter Members was as follows: Landy E. Harris, James Gammon Brown, Walter L. Brown, Dr. Henry Clay Bryant, Dr. Arthur McKimmon Brown, Dr. J. A. McPherson, George Brantley, William E. Clark, Fred Snelling, D D Crawford, Dr. W. R. Brown, and Oscar W. Adams. [Oracle 1925 page 28]
Bro. Robert Averhart
Bro. Demetrius Jackson
Bro. Shane Howard
Bro. Otis Luke
Bro. D'Trona Bolden
Bro. Charles Willis, Jr
Bro. Alonzo Benning
Bro. Emmett Turner
Bro. Harry Williams
Bro. Alan Davis
Bro. Damian Hines
Bro. Christopher Johnson
Bro. Troynell Nieves
Bro. Brian Sims