Kappa Alpha Psi (ΚΑΨ) is a collegiate Greek-letter fraternity with a predominantly African-American membership. Since the fraternity’s founding on January 5, 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington, the fraternity has never limited membership based on color, creed or national origin. The fraternity has over 150,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the United States, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, Japan, United States Virgin Islands, Nigeria, and South Africa.
The president of the national fraternity is known as the Grand Polemarch, who assigns a Province Polemarch for each of the twelve provinces (districts/regions) of the nation. The fraternity has many notable members recognized as leaders in the arts, athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, national and international level. The Kappa Alpha Psi Journal is the official magazine of the fraternity since 1914. The Journal is published four times a year in February, April, October and December. Frank M. Summers was the magazine’s first editor and later on became the Fourteenth Grand Polemarch. The former editor of the magazine was Jonathan Hicks. The current editor of the magazine is Earl T. Tildon.
Kappa Alpha Psi sponsors programs providing community service, social welfare and academic scholarship through the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation and is a supporter of the United Negro College Fund and Habitat for Humanity. Kappa Alpha Psi is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). The fraternity is the first predominantly African American Greek-letter society founded west of the Appalachian Mountains still in existence, and is known for its “cane stepping” in NPHC organized step shows. Kappa Alpha Psi celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 5, 2011, and is one of only four predominantly African American collegiate fraternities to do so.
History — Founding
The fraternity was founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911 by ten African-American college students. The decision upon the name Kappa Alpha Nu may have been to honor the Alpha Kappa Nu club which began in 1903 on the Indiana University campus, but there were too few registrants to assure continuing organization. The name was changed to Kappa Alpha Psi shortly after the creation of the organization.
The motto of the Fraternity is, “Achievement in every field of human endeavor”. During this time there were very few African-American students at the majority white campus at Bloomington, Indiana and they were a small minority due to the era of the Jim Crow laws. Many African-American students rarely saw each other on campus and were discouraged or prohibited from attending student functions and extracurricular activities by white college administrators and fellow students. African-American students were denied membership on athletic teams with the exception of track and field. The racial prejudice and discrimination encountered by the founders strengthened their bond of friendship and growing interest in starting a social group.
By 1913, the fraternity expanded with the second undergraduate chapter opened at the University of Illinois—Beta chapter; then the University of Iowa—Gamma chapter. After this, Kappa Alpha Psi chartered undergraduate chapters on Black college campuses at Wilberforce University—Delta Chapter, and Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)—Epsilon Chapter. In 1920, Xi Chapter was chartered at Howard University. In 1921, the fraternity installed the Omicron chapter at Columbia University, its first at an Ivy League university. The fraternity’s first chapter in the South was established in 1921 at Morehouse College— Pi Chapter. Kappa Alpha Psi expanded through the Midwest, South, and West at both white and black colleges.
Some believe the Greek letters Kappa Alpha Nu were chosen as a tribute to Alpha Kappa Nu, but the name became an ethnic slur among racist factions. Founder Elder Watson Diggs, while observing a young initiate compete in a track meet, overheard fans referring to the member as a “kappa alpha nig”, and a campaign to rename the fraternity ensued. The resolution to rename the group was adopted in December 1914, and the fraternity states, “the name acquired a distinctive Greek letter symbol and KAPPA ALPHA PSI thereby became a Greek letter Fraternity in every sense of the designation.” Kappa Alpha Psi has been the official name since April 15, 1915.
In 1947, at the Los Angeles Conclave, the National Silhouettes of Kappa Alpha Psi were established as an auxiliary group, which membership comprises wives or widows of fraternity members. In 1980, the Silhouettes were officially recognized and granted a seat on the Board of Directors of the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation. Silhouettes provide support and assistance for the activities of Kappa Alpha Psi at the Grand Chapter, Province and Local levels.
— Read More History on Kappa Alpha Psi on Wikipedia
Kappa Alpha Psi (ΚΑΨ)
- Founded On: January 5th, 1911 – Indiana University
- Type: Social Fraternity
- Colors: Crimson and Cream
- Flower: Red Carnation
- Nicknames: Kappas-Nupes
- Chapters: 721 Chapters
- Website: www.kappaalphapsi1911.com
- Motto: Επίτευγμα σε κάθε τομέα της ανθρώπινης δραστηριότητας — “Achievement In Every Field Of Human Endeavor”