FORT LAUDERDALE – The city of Fort Lauderdale honored Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity on Jan. 4 as the national organization celebrated its 100th anniversary. The celebration coincided with the city’s observance of its own centennial milestone.
Fraternity members turned out in full force, wearing their trademark red jackets, to accept the proclamation that paid tribute to their distinguished founders and to the charter members of the Fort Lauderdale Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
They included Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bobby DuBose and charter member Beauregard Cummings, who is also a member of the city's Centennial Committee.
They, along with Chapter Polemarch Anthony Henderson, spoke about what it must have been like in 1911 at Indiana University for the 10 men who founded the fraternity on Jan. 5, 1911.
The founders were Ezra Dee Alexander, Byron Kenneth Armstrong, Henry Tourner Asher, Marcus Peter Blakemore, Paul Waymond Caine, Watson Diggs, George Wesley Edmonds, Guy Levis Grant, Edward Giles Irvin and John Milton Lee.
As the Fort Lauderdale proclamation said, “Their vision was to create a fraternity that would fashion achievement as its purpose, raise the sights of black collegians and unite college men of culture, patriotism and honor in a bond of fraternity.”
The fraternity, which is open to all regardless of race, creed or national origin, has more than 150,000 members in 700 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state and overseas.
The Fort Lauderdale Alumni Chapter was chartered on Feb. 24, 1954, by 12 men, with Dr. Calvin Shirley as polemarch or chapter leader. Besides Cummings, the others were Dr. James L. Bass, James L. Dallas, George Davis, William H. Johnson, Henry Lamor, Cornelius Rolle, Luscious Sanctious, Frank Scruggs, Bertram Sears, Dr. Calvin Shirley and Samuel Sworn.
Congressman Alcee Hastings. D-Miramar, a member of the chapter, is among 70 persons who have received the Laurel Wreath, the highest and most prestigious award given by the fraternity.
Kappa Alpha Psi began its centennial celebrations on Jan. 4 in Bloomington, Ind., home of Indiana University, which will include the 80th Grand Chapter Homecoming in July and throughout the year.
The Fort Lauderdale proclamation, signed by Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler, congratulated the fraternity “for 100 years of training for leadership.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE. HONORED BROTHERS: Members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity pose for a photo after receiving a proclamation from the City of Fort Lauderdale marking the group’s 100th anniversary.