Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kappa Alpha Psi Celebrates Silver Anniversary With A Rededication To Objectives

Elder Watson Diggs, Founder
By January 5, 1936, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. would celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary. Founding members and brothers alike shared their varied perspectives on the Fraternity's progress.

Founder Elder Watson Diggs wrote:
Although proud of having made some progress, I cannot escape a feeling of disappointment at the meager objectives our organization has thus far achieved. Perhaps it is difficult for me to see clearly and judge accurately. At any rate, I venture to hope that the next twenty-five years will (provide us) with clearer understanding of the purposes of (Greek letter organizations), and fuller realization of (those purposes). 
Founder Ezra D. Alexander said:
Kappa Alpha Psi has been a great inspiration to me...As a student during the first years of its existence, I can readily realize the important part it played in urging me forward to obtain a higher education that in turn molded my character and made of me a better citizen. 
In an address titled, "New Gods for Olympus; Shall Kappa Meet the Challenge?" Dr. Horace Mann Bond, Dean at Dillard University, described the environment during the Fraternity's founding. With nine million blacks in the United States, less than three thousand were enrolled at institutions of higher learning. It took a courageous individual to make it through a college career because of all the challenges faced. Additionally, an undergraduate degree in 1911 was used to better the living situation of the people, not the individual.

By the 1930's, there were more than 35,000 blacks enrolled in colleges/universities. As a result, a divide between the educated and uneducated became apparent. Criticisms toward the educated included arrogance and "snobbishness." Dr. Bond continued with his address and focused on the rededication to the organization's objectives. More specifically, Bond emphasized the importance of college fraternities in aiding the resolution of problems affecting the people. Education should help bridge the various classes of people, not divide them.

By the twenty-fifth year, the Fraternity successfully established four national programs: Guide Right, Housing, Scholarship, and Research. Looking toward the future, the organization kept these programs at the forefront of its effort.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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