|Omega Psi Phi|
|Founded||November 17, 1911
|Motto||Friendship is Essential to the Soul|
|Nickname||Omegas, Sons of Blood and Thunder, Omega Men, Da Bruhz, Ques, Que Dogs|
|Headquarters||3951 Snapfinger Parkway
Decatur, Georgia, United States of America
|Homepage||Omega Psi Phi Fraternity website|
Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) is an international fraternity with over 700 undergraduate and graduate chapters. The fraternity was founded on November 17, 1911 by three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Omega Psi Phi is the first predominantly African-American fraternity to be founded at ahistorically black university.
Since its founding in 1911, Omega Psi Phi’s stated purpose has been to attract and build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship,perseverance, and uplift. Throughout the world, many notable members are recognized as leaders in the arts, academics, athletics, entertainment, business, civil rights, education, government, and science fields. A few notable members includeRoy Wilkins, Benjamin Hooks, Vernon Jordan, Dr. Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., Rev. Jesse Jackson, William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder, Representative James Clyburn, Earl Graves, Bill Cosby, Tom Joyner, Charles Bolden, General William “Kip” Ward, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Shammond Williams,Vince Carter, Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley, Lieutenant Colonel Maury Williams,Ray Lewis, Stephen A. Smith, and numerous presidents of colleges and universities. Over 250,000 men have been initiated into Omega Psi Phi throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas,Virgin Islands, South Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. On the 2013 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, six players and GM Ozzie Newsome are members.
Omega Psi Phi Founders
In 1924, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity launched Negro History and Literature Week in an effort to publicize the growing body of scholarship on African-American history. Encouraged by public interest, the event was renamed “Negro Achievement Week” in 1925 and given an expanded national presence in 1926 by Woodson’s Association for the Study of Negro Life as “Negro History Week.” Expanded to the full month of February from 1976, this event continues today as Black History Month.
Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education. Omega Psi Phi has been a patron of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1955, providing an annual gift of $350,000 to the program.
Omega Psi Phi is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which is composed of nine predominately African-American Greek-letter sororities and fraternities that promote interaction through forums, meetings, and other media for the exchange of information, and engage in cooperative programming and initiatives throughout the world. The (NPHC) currently represents over 2.5 million members.
The Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi in 1911.
Omega Psi Phi celebrated its centennial during the week of July 27–31, 2011 in Washington D.C., becoming distinguished as only the third African-American collegiate fraternity to reach the century mark. The Centennial Celebration recognized the impact of the Fraternity in communities over the past 100 years, honored Omega Men for achievement in all walks of life, reiterated Omega Psi Phi’s commitment to providing unparalleled community service and scholarship, and charted the Fraternity’s future activities.
Internationally Mandated Programs
Each Chapter administers Internationally Mandated Programs every year:
Achievement Week – A week in November that seeks to recognize individuals who have made notable contributions to society. During the Achievement Week, a High School Essay Contest is held and the winner usually receives a scholarship award.
Scholarship – The Charles R. Drew Scholarship Program is to encourage academic progress among the organizations undergraduate members. A portion of the fraternity’s budget is designated for the Charles R. Drew Scholarship Commission, which awards scholarships to members and non-members.
Social Action Programs – All chapters are required to participate in programs that uplift their society. Many participate in activities like: voter registration, illiteracy programs, mentoring programs, fundraisers, and charitable organizations such as American Diabetes Association, United Way, and the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation.
Talent Hunt Program – Each chapter is required to hold a yearly talent contest, to encourage young people to expose themselves to the Performing Arts. Individuals who win these talent contests receive an award, such as a scholarship.
Memorial Service – March 12 is Omega Psi Phi Memorial Day. Every chapter of the Fraternity performs a ritualistic memorial service to remember members who have died.
Reclamation and Retention – This program is an effort to encourage inactive members to become fully active and participate in the fraternity’s programs.
College Endowment Funds – The fraternity donates thousands of dollars to Historically Black Colleges and Universities each year.
Health Initiatives – Chapters are required to coordinate programs that will encourage good health practices. Programs that members involve themselves in include HIV/AIDS awareness, blood drives, prostate cancer awareness, and sickle cell anemia awareness programs.
Voter Registration, Education and Motivation – Coordination activities that promote voter registration and mobilization.
NAACP – A Life Membership at Large in the NAACP is required by all chapters and districts.
Omega Psi Phi recognizes undergraduate and graduate membership. College students must be working toward a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution, have at least 36 semester credits, and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. For the graduate chapter, an applicant must already possess a bachelor’s degree. The fraternity grants honorary membership to men who have contributed to society in a positive way on a national or international level. For example, Charles Young (March 12, 1864 – January 2, 1922) was the third African American graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. national park superintendent, the first African American military attaché, and the highest ranking black officer (Colonel) in the United States Army until his death in 1922.
National Pan-Hellenic Council membership
In 1930, Omega Psi Phi became one of 5 founding members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Today, the NPHC is composed of nine international black Greek-letter sororities and fraternities and 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.
|Name||Order||Time in Office|
|Edgar Amos Love||1st Grand Basileus||1911–1912|
|Oscar J. Cooper||2nd Grand Basileus||1912–1913|
|Edgar Amos Love||3rd Grand Basileus||1913–1915|
|George E. Hall||4th Grand Basileus||1915–1916|
|James C. McMorries||5th Grand Basileus||1916–1917|
|Clarence F. Holmes||6th Grand Basileus||1917–1918|
|Raymond G. Robinson||7th Grand Basileus||1918–1920|
|Harold H. Thomas||8th Grand Basileus||1920–1921|
|J. Alston Atkins||9th Grand Basileus||1921–1924|
|John W. Love||10th Grand Basileus||1924[a]|
|George E. Vaughn||11th Grand Basileus||1924–1926|
|Julius S. McClain||12th Grand Basileus||1926–1929|
|Matthew W. Bullock||13th Grand Basileus||1929–1932|
|Lawrence A. Oxley||14th Grand Basileus||1932–1935|
|William Baugh||15th Grand Basileus||1935–1937|
|Albert W. Dent||16th Grand Basileus||1937–1940|
|Z. Alexander Looby||17th Grand Basileus||1940–1945|
|Campbell C. Johnson||18th Grand Basileus||1945–1947|
|Harry T. Penn||19th Grand Basileus||1947–1949|
|Milo C. Murray||20th Grand Basileus||1949–1951|
|Grant Reynolds||21st Grand Basileus||1951–1953|
|John F. Potts||22nd Grand Basileus||1953–1955|
|Herbert E. Tucker, Jr.||23rd Grand Basileus||1955–1958|
|I. Gregory Newton||24th Grand Basileus||1958–1961|
|Cary D. Jacobs||25th Grand Basileus||1961–1964|
|George E. Meares||26th Grand Basileus||1964–1967|
|Ellis F. Corbett||27th Grand Basileus||1967–1970|
|James Avery||28th Grand Basileus||1970–1973|
|Marion Garnett||29th Grand Basileus||1973–1976|
|Dr. Edward Braynon, Jr.||30th Grand Basileus||1976–1979|
|Burnel E. Coulon||31st Grand Basileus||1979−1982|
|Dr. L. Benjamin Livingston||32nd Grand Basileus||1982–1984|
|Dr. Moses C. Norman||33rd Grand Basileus||1984–1990|
|Dr. C. Tyrone Gilmore, Sr||34th Grand Basileus||1990–1994|
|Dr. Dorsey Miller||35th Grand Basileus||1994–1998|
|Lloyd Jordan, Esq.||36th Grand Basileus||1998–2002|
|George H. Grace||37th Grand Basileus||2002–2006|
|Warren G. Lee||38th Grand Basileus||2006–2010|
|Dr. Andrew Ray||39th Grand Basileus||2010–Current|
a. Finished unexpired term of Atkins
Like many fraternal organizations, Omega Psi Phi has a rich tradition of terminology and practices that are officially unsanctioned by their national leadership. While some traditions are naturally secret such as the true identity of the “Black Bandit”, many are freely expressed in public. A popular one is referring to members as “Que Dogs” or “Ques” for short. Another is the practice of members voluntarily undergoing branding of the letters, or variations and designs based on them (such as two linked Omega symbols), on their skin. The brands often are displayed in public as a matter of pride; some new members first learn of the fraternity by seeing members bearing brands.