Fraternity History

Fraternity History

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college.Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The founders were three Howard University undergraduates, -- Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, Dr. 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 in Thirkield Hall, Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected to be the Grand Keeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grand Keeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected to be the charter members and Alpha Chapter was organized with fourteen charter members on December 15, 1911.

Cooper became the fraternity’s second Grand Basileus in 1912 and authorized the investigation of a proposed second chapter at Lincoln University, Penn.

Love was elected as the third Grand Basileus in 1912 and served until 1915. In 1912, Howard University officials did not initially recognize the fraternity as a national organization and Omega Psi Phi’s leadership refused to only accept local recognition. As a result, the fraternity operated without official sanction, until the university withdrew its opposition in 1914, the same year that the Beta Chapter was chartered at Lincoln University.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on October 28, 1914.

For more Omega history please visit our National Website

OUR NATIONAL FOUNDERS

"To you, our Founding Brothers - Just, Cooper, Coleman, and Love; You have passed away to heaven and to look down from above, We shall call to our dear memories the great works you have done We, the Ques, are marching on!"

MANHOOD | SCHOLARSHIP | PERSEVERANCE | UPLIFT

 

Dr. Ernest E. Just (1883-1941)

Ernest E. Just was born in Charleston, South Carolina.
Graduated from the Industrial School of the State College, Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, New Hampshire
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa)
Awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP, 1915
Doctor of Philosophy Degree, University of Chicago, 1916
Became the 19th honoree in the U.S. Postal Service's Black Heritage Stamp Series on February 1, 1996.

Professor Frank Coleman (1890-1967)

Frank Coleman was born in Washington, D.C.
Graduated from the M Street High School, Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Science Degree, Howard University, 1913
Master of Science Degree, University of Chicago
Advanced Training, University of Pennsylvania
Professor and head of the Physics Department, Howard University
U.S. Army Officer, World War I

Dr. Oscar J. Cooper (1888-1972)

Oscar J. Cooper was born in Washington, D.C.
Graduated from the M Street High School, Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Science Degree, Howard University, 1913 Doctor of Medicine Degree, Howard University, 1917
Practiced medicine in Philadelphia, PA for 50 years

Bishop Edgar A. Love (1891-1974)

Edgar A. Love was born in Harrrisonburg, Virginia
Graduated from the Academy of Morgan College
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Howard University, 1913
Bachelor of Divinity Degree, Howard University, 1916
Bachelor of Sacred Theology Degree, Boston University, 1918
Doctor of Divinity Degree (Honorary), Morgan College, 1935
U.S. Army Chaplain, World War I
Bishop, Methodist Church

Omega has a rich heritage to be protected, celebrated and enhanced!

 

The Second District Conference, was founded in Brooklyn, NY in 1947 shortly after being transferred from the First District which included Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.When formed, the District was composed of five states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When the newly formed District was transferred there were eleven Chapters and in 1973 there were forty-four Chapters (twelve undergraduate, three Intermediate, and twenty-nine Graduate Chapters).

During the period of 25 years since its transfer changing times and with the growth of Chapters, our distinguished Omega Men in the District assumed competence and proper in all the basic fields of endeavor. Many of the brothers grew in strength and wisdom and it produced growth in the various communities and the Second District became a stronger organization.

THE FIRST OFFICERS OF THE DISTRICT WERE: Brother Nathaniel Burrell, a Forty year Honoree was elected the first President of the District Conference. However, at the next District meeting in Syracuse, NY, this office was abolished because the District Parliamentarian ruled that this office did not exist constitutionally.

The late Brother Mifflin T. Gibbs of Mu Omega Chapter in Philadelphia, PA was elected the first District Representative.

For more history on the Second District please visit our Second District Website

THE NATIONAL PAN-HELLENIC COUNCIL

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated (NPHC) is currently composed of nine (9) International Greek letter Sororities and Fraternities: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. NPHC 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.

On May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC, the National Pan-Hellenic Council was formed as a permanent organization with the following charter members: Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities, and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternities joined the Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined in 1937 and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity completed the list of member organizations in 1997.

The stated purpose and mission of the organization in 1930 was “Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.” Early in 1937, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and bcame known as “The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated.”

For more information about the National Pan-Hellenic Council go to the NPHC Website

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Founded: January 15, 1908
Institution: Howard University
Local Chapter: Delta Nu Omega Chapter

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Founded: January 5, 1911
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Local Chapter: Rochester Alumni Chapter

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Founded: November 17, 1911

Institution: Howard University
Local Chapter: Theta Omicron Chapter

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Founded: January 13, 1913

Institution: Howard University
Local Chapter: Rochester Alumnae Chapter

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Founded: January 9, 1914
Institution: Howard University
Local Chapter: Theta Upsilon Sigma Chapter

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Founded: January 16, 1920
Institution: Howard University
Local Chapter: Theta Alpha Zeta Chapter &
Psi Omega Zeta Chapter

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Founded: November 12, 1922
Institution: Butler University
Local Chapter: Theta Omega Sigma Chapter

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
Founded: September 19, 1963
Institution: Morgan State University
Local Chapter: n/a