Fraternal History


Source

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. Our founders created this fraternity, focused on achievement in every field of human endeavor. From famous tennis player Arthur Ashe, to the first African American four star general, to Hall of Fame athletes Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is full of numerous achievers. And unlike other fraternities, Kappa Alpha Psi has absolutely no honrary members. Meaning members such as those listed above, as well as Marvin Sapp, Montell Jordan, Kenny Lofton, Penny Hardaway, and Bernard Harris achieved as members of the fraternity, and are not members of the fraternity because of their achievements. It is the beautiful realization of a vision shared commonly by the late Revered Founders Elder Watson Diggs; John Milton Lee; Byron K. Armstrong; Guy Levis Grant; Ezra D. Alexander; Henry T. Asher;Marcus P. Blakemore; Paul W. Caine; Edward G. Irvin and George W. Edmonds.

It was the vision of these 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 a fraternal tree whose fruit is available to, and now enjoyed by, college men everywhere, regardless of their color, religion or national origin. It is a fact of which KAPPA ALPHA PSI is justly proud that the Constitution has never contained any clause which either excluded or suggested the exclusion of a man from membership merely because of his color, creed, or national origin. The Constitution of KAPPA ALPHA PSI is predicated upon, and dedicated to, the principles of achievement through 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 offered and adopted at the Grand Chapter in December 1914. This change became effective April 15, 1915, on a proclamation by the then Grand Polemarch, Elder Watson Diggs. Thus, the name acquired a distinctive Greek letter symbol and KAPPA ALPHA PSI thereby became a Greek letter Fraternity in every sense of the designation. Now, everytime you see KAΨ you know its the brand of this noble fraternity. Sported on apparel, automobiles, and other sources, these letters mark distinguished men of achievement.

From its inception, and for the next six years, Brother Diggs served as the Grand Polemarch of KAPPA ALPHA PSI Fraternity. Through his leadership and indefatigable application, augmented by the efforts of B.K. Armstrong, and John M. Lee, who comprised the remainder of the original Grand Board of Directors, the infant Fraternity was guided through the most perilous years of its life. Accordingly, much of the credit for the organization’s survival through this period is shared by these three men.

From its inception, every endeavor was directed toward establishing the Fraternity upon a strong foundation before embarking on plans of expansion. By the end of the first year, working together, Diggs and Armstrong had completed the ritual and had commenced work on the coat of arms. Work on the latter was completed during the following summer by Diggs, Armstrong and Lee while they were pursuing employment at a hotel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This hard work and dedication is followed by all Kappa men to this day. This drive is what makes brothers into National Champions, Hall of Famers, Oscar and Grammy Nominees, as well as CEOs and Presidents of successful companies.

In selecting a suitable motto, Diggs, Armstrong and Lee solicited the aid of a Professor of Greek Art at Indiana Technical College at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Having adopted a motto which mutually suited them, they carried a sketch of the coat of arms to a commercial engraver in Fort Wayne, from which he made the first metal plate.

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