Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Early Years Of Kappa Alpha Psi: 1911-1914


Only months after its birth, the members of Kappa Alpha Psi organized its First Grand Chapter, which convened on May 19-21, 1911. During this time, the fraternity held its first social event, elected officers, and conducted business related to establishing a national organization.

One thing that I find interesting is that the members were cognizant of the fraternity's influence over other men and their decision to attend college. Initially, the draw was to Indiana University, but this influence over younger generations to consider education remains even today.

In the Fall of 1911, only seven of the ten founding members returned to school. However, that didn't stop the fraternity from continuing its growth. During the 1911-1912 academic year, the membership formally pledged four new students at the Alpha Chapter.

In 1912, the fraternity's leadership continued to develop the organization by reworking the Constitution and completing the initiation ceremony. Along side those changes, the members crafted the Coat-of-Arms, motto, badge, and emblems.

On February 8, 1913, Kappa Alpha Psi chartered the Beta Chapter at the University of Illinois and the Gamma Chapter at the University of Iowa on March 7, 1914.

As one interested in business, I find the fraternity's growth fascinating. Members faced financial, housing, and even racial challenges that only strengthened their friendship.

Established by ten African-American men, the organization does not bar membership by reason of race, religion, or national origin. Instead, its members sought to find men with high Christian ideals and the purpose of achievement.

By 1914, Kappa Alpha Psi had initiated men of achievement who would become lawyers, civil engineers, doctors, and educators.

It was a noble beginning.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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