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Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) is an international fraternity and is the first African-American national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, by three undergraduate students and one faculty advisor, at Howard Universitymarker in Washington, D.C.marker. The founders were Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman and their faculty adviser Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Each of the founders graduated and went on to have distinguished careers in their chosen fields: Bishop Edgar Amos Love became Bishop of the United Methodist Church; Dr. Oscar James Cooper became a prominent physician, who practiced in Philadelphiamarker for over 50 years; Professor Frank Coleman became the Chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University for many years; Dr. Ernest E. Just became a world-renowned biologist.

On November 23, 1911 in Thirkield Hall, Edgar Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected to be the Grandkeeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grandkeeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected to be the charter members.

The fraternity has worked to build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. In 1927, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity made National Negro Achievement Week, an annual observance and it 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 $50,000 to the program. Omega Psi Phi is also a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member.


Ernest Everett Just, Founder of Omega Psi Phi.

Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was the first national African-American fraternity to be founded at a historically black college when it was established on November 17 1911 at Howard University. Howard University did not initially recognize the fraternity as a national organization and Omega Psi Phi's leadership refused to only accept local recognition for the organization. So, the fraternity operated without official sanction, until the university withdrew its opposition in 1914, the same year that the Beta chapter was founded at Lincoln Universitymarker. Omega Psi Phi was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in October 1914. By 1920, the fraternity had 10 chapters, and in 1930, Omega Psi Phi became one of 5 founding members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). The NPHC expanded when Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma joined in 1931, Sigma Gamma Rho in 1937, and Iota Phi Theta in 1996.

Internationally Mandated Programs

The Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi in 1912.
Each Chapter has a list of Internationally Mandated Programs that they have to administer each year which are:

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 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.


Today, Omega Psi Phi has over 700 chapters throughout the United Statesmarker, Bermudamarker, Bahamasmarker, Virgin Islands, Koreamarker, Japanmarker, Liberiamarker, Germanymarker, and Kuwaitmarker. There are many notable Omega Men recognized as leaders in the arts, the sciences, academics, athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, national and international level. Some of these men include Executive Directors of the NAACP Roy Wilkins and Benjamin Hooks, former President of the National Urban League, Vernon Jordan, Dr. Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., the first Black to serve in the US Astronaut Program, First black graduate of Columbus State University and C.E.O of Decatur Capital Management Ralph J. Bryant, and President & CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson. Also, two former governors William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder (Virginiamarker) and numerous presidents of colleges and universities as well. NBA Basketball players Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Vince Carter are also members of this fraternity. Earl Graves, who is a graduate from Morgan State University, which is the Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, is the owner and editor and chief of the magazine. Steve Harvey, who is a well-known comedian, actor and radio host is also a member, as well as actor and comedian Rickey Smiley.

Omega Psi Phi will be celebrating it's hundred years history in November 2011 in Washington D.C.. Omega Psi Phi has both undergraduate and graduate memberships open. College students must be working toward a bachelor's degree at a four year institution, have at least 36 semester credits, [75692] 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 8, 1922) was the third African American graduate of West Point, first black U.S. national park superintendent, first African American military attaché, and highest ranking black officer (Lt. Colonel) in the United States Army until his death in 1922.

National Pan-Hellenic Council membership

The fraternity is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. 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.


Grand Basilei

Name Order Time in Office Ref.
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 K. Thomas 8th Grand Basileus 1920-1921
J. Alston Atkins 9th Grand Basileus 1921-1924
John W. Love 10th Grand Basileus 1924
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-
Burnel E. Coulon 31st Grand Basileus -1980-
L. Benjamin Livingston 32nd Grand Basileus 1982-1984
Dr. Moses C. Norman 33rd Grand Basileus 1984-1990
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-Current
a. Finished unexpired term of Atkins

List of Omega Psi Phi Grand Conclaves


  1. Omega History
  2. The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the men who made its history; a concise history; the official history of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, inc., 1911-1961, by Robert L. Gill. pp 83-84
  3. About Charles F. Holmes
  4. Epsilon history
  5. Legendary 5th History
  6. My virtual paper entry
  7. Rho Phi chapter history
  8. Accomplishments of Beta Phi Brothers
  9. 9th District History
  10. Omega Psi Phi - John H. Williams Historical Museum
  11. Cincinnati Ques
  12. Omega Bulletin Spring 2007
  13. Omega Life Membership
  14. Lambda Omega chapter history
  15. Eta Nu History
  16. Alpha Omega Chapter History
  17. University of Florida Yearbook 2003 Omega Psi Phi
  18. 7th district history
  19. 74th Grand Conclave Report
  20. Psi Alpha Alpha History
  21. Sigma Alpha Ques, about us
  22. Eta Omega milestones

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