History: Founders

Founder: Honorable Doctor Oscar James Cooper
May 20, 1888 – Feb 24, 1972

Was born in Washington, DC. Upon finishing the elementary schools of Washington, in 1909 Cooper entered Howard University, where he obtained his baccalaureate degree in 1913 and his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1917. Some of the academic subjects proved little interest for him because his all-absorbing interest in college was Biology. His aptness and proficiency along this line drew him to Professor Just, who was teaching Biology at Howard. So accomplished was Brother Cooper in this subject that he was made a laboratory assistant in Biology.

Brother Cooper thus was the link, between our other Founders, all Juniors, in the fall of 1911, and Professor Just, the eminent, young (only 5 years Cooper’s senior), Associate Professor, who advised the three young pioneers… Cooper, Coleman, and Love. Early on, Brother Cooper showed that he believed in both work and pleasure. He liked to work and work hard to achieve great ends, but he also liked to socialize.

Accordingly, in the founding of Omega, Brother Cooper worked unsparingly along with the other Founders many a night until late in the morning. Upon completing his medical studies, Brother Cooper settled in Philadelphia and worked untiringly and persistently until he built up one of the most lucrative practices to be found among the physicians of Philadelphia, practicing medicine for 50 years. His contributions and awards in the field of medicine were many.

He maintained an excellent general library and an excellent medical library. It was a real inspiration to tour these libraries and through his office. Brother Cooper was ever discovering new techniques in his field and efficiently applying them. He went on like his friends to serve Omega until his dying day in 1972.

Ω Chapter: Founder Cooper is interred at Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Ambler, PA.

Founder: Honorable Professor Frank Coleman
Jul 11, 1890 – Feb 24, 1967

An undergraduate and best friend of Oscar J. Cooper and Edgar A. Love was born in Washington, DC. He matriculated through Washington, DC segregated school system and graduated from M Street High School. He entered Howard University in 1909 and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard in 1913. His undergraduate record at Howard was so outstanding that he was appointed a professor and later head of the Physics Department of Howard.

Bro. Coleman went on to pursue further study and received a Master of Science degree from the University of Chicago and took advanced courses at the University of Pennsylvania, completing all the requirements for his Doctorate except the completion of his thesis. When America entered the World War, he joined the army, became the first lieutenant, and served honorably overseas as one of the few black Army officers in World War I. Aside from carrying on his regular work, Brother Coleman was a member of the Boys Committee of the YMCA, a Mason, an American Legionnaire, and a Congregationalist.

Founder Coleman dated, and later married, Mary Edna Brown, one of the Founders of Delta Sigma Theta, creating the beginning of the bond between the Ques and the Deltas. Sealing the early tradition of Brotherly-Sisterly love, Grace Coleman, sister of Omega Founder Frank Coleman was elected Delta president in 1914. In 1929, Anna Johnson Julian, wife of Percy L. Julian (Γ’19) and internationally famous chemist, became the fourth National president of Delta Sigma Theta.

Because of these early strong and significant relationships at Howard, the Deltas chose the purple and gold African violet as their official flower, to further signify their special bond with the Omegas. Traditionally, at the Founders’ Howard University Alpha Chapters, the Ques and the Deltas were brothers and sisters in Greek life. This spread throughout the nation as Delta & Que Chapters were founded on various college campuses. Over the years, Delta & Que Chapters as well as individual Deltas and Ques have retained this brother-sister affinity.

Ω Chapter: Founder Coleman is interred at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Suitland, MD.

Founder: Honorable Bishop Edgar Amos Love
Sept 10, 1891 – May 1, 1974

Was born in Harrisburg, Virginia, the son of Rev. Julius C. Love and Mrs. Susie C. Love. He received his early training in the public schools of Virginia and Maryland. In 1909, he graduated from the Academy of Morgan College and entered Howard University. In 1913, he graduated Cum Laude from Howard with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1916 after three years of additional hard work, he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Howard University. To further his training, he entered Boston University, where he received the Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1918. Later he spent two sessions of graduate work at the University of Chicago. Because of his distinguished work in religion as a teacher, pastor and inspired civic worker for the advancement of all humanity, Morgan College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in June 1935. Brother Love pastored for fifteen months in Fairmount, Maryland, four years in Washington, D.C., three years in Annapolis, Maryland, three years in Wheeling, West Virginia, and two years in Baltimore Maryland, directing the great John Wesley M.C. Church. As a pastor, Rev. Love, inspiring and efficient, made the Church, wherever he was, function as a community center for the people of the neighborhood, as well as a temple of worship.

When the call of the United States came for our youth to do service in France, our Founder promptly entered the Officers Training Camp at Des Moines, Iowa, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant. He was assigned as Chaplain to the 368 Infantry, with which unit he saw service in the Vosges Mountains and the Argonne Forest, spending eight days in the great offensive, where he was gassed. While in the army he supervised over 3,000 men. Aside from administering to the spiritual needs of the soldiers, he also taught in the army school. He helped to organize a school for illiterates in the 809th Pioneer Infantry, which was developed into a regular school system. The school included in its curriculum subjects ranging from reading and writing to motor mechanics and philosophy. Fourteen teachers were drafted from the ranks and constituted the faculty.

In 1919, Bishop Love became a Professor of History and the Bible at Morgan College after being honorably discharged from the United States Army. At the same time, he served as Director of Athletics. In addition, he served as Principal of the Academy. Bishop Love was community-minded; believing that religion is life in God and should be the guiding force in all affairs, he always found time from his religious duties to be active in civic matters. For instance, he was a delegate from the state of Maryland to the First American Legion Convention that was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Because of his high attainments, he was appointed by Governor Ritchie of Maryland as a Member of the Maryland Interracial Commission. He was the first Grand Basileus of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and served in that capacity for three terms. And not coincidently, Brother Love and Delta Sigma Theta Founder Edith Young dated as students at Howard and remained close friends throughout their lifetime. As a driving force and Founder of our great Fraternity, as a Soldier, an Educator, and a Minister, Bishop Love had an unusual career and has endeared himself into the hearts of many thousands.

Ω Chapter: Founder Love is Interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.

Founder: Honorable Professor Ernest Everett Just
Aug 14, 1883 – Oct 14, 1941

Was born in Charleston, SC. His grandfather, Charles Just was a prominent and successful member of Charleston’s free black community before the Civil War. His father, Charles Frazier Just, died of alcoholism when Just was four years old. His mother, Mary Matthews Just, went to work in the phosphate mines on James Island and also founded a town, “Maryville.” At 16, Just received a teaching degree from South Carolina College and Mary Just sent him to Kimball Academy in Meriden, NH. The school burned down and his mother died while Just was away. After her funeral, he never returned to South Carolina again.

Just first became enthralled with biology at Dartmouth University. In 1907, he graduated magna cum laude, winning virtually every prize there was to win, as well as honors in sociology, history, botany, and zoology; he was the only black man in his graduating class of 287. When Just graduated from Dartmouth, he was immediately offered a job as an English teacher at Howard University. Two years later, he accepted an appointment as an instructor in biology and eventually devoted all his time to teaching biology. In 1912, he established and became the head of Howard’s Department of Zoology. While at Howard, Professor Just was approached by Oscar J. Cooper, Frank Coleman, and Edgar A. Love, about starting a fraternity on Howard’s campus. Fearful of the political threat a secret organization of young blacks might pose to Howard’s white administration, the university’s faculty and administration opposed the whole idea. Professor Just worked at mediating the controversy. And on December 15, 1911, the Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi was organized at Howard University. Just would later become the first “Elected Active” (honorary) member of the Fraternity on February 28, 1912, through Alpha Chapter. Because of the difficulty black scientists at that time had obtaining appointments, Just’s first inquiries into the possibility of conducting basic research were not initially encouraged.

Eventually, Frank Lillie, Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, noticed his determination and brought him to the MBL to study and act as a lab assistant. Just became fascinated with problems of fertilization and development. In 1912, he published his first paper in the Biological Bulletin.

In 1915, the NAACP awarded Just the first Spingarn Medal. After many delays and obstacles, he obtained his Ph.D., in 1916, summa cum laude, from the University of Chicago. Though he experienced a fairly warm reception at the MBL, he found his opportunities in the US quite limited; there was no way to obtain an appointment at a “white” university, and few traditionally “black” universities had, resources or inclination to support pure research in the sciences. He had better success in Europe, where he worked in Italy, France, and Germany. He published over 50 papers between 1912 and 1937. His ideas about embryonic development and fertilization were radical, innovative, and (for his time) unusually philosophical. In 1939, he published his magnum opus, The Biology of the Cell Surface a beautifully written and oddly accessible treatise on cell development and fertilization which also extrapolated his ideas into the realms of evolution, medicine, philosophy, and even religion. His complex scientific life was mirrored by an equally complex personal life. He was married to Ethel High-warden in 1912, and they had three children; Margaret, Mary, and High-warden. Ethel was refined, sophisticated, well-educated, and extremely intelligent, but their marriage was difficult. He was often preoccupied with work worries when at home in Washington, D.C., and, though a black scientist might be accepted at Woods Hole, Ethel and the children were decidedly unwelcome. While in Europe, he had two affairs with German women, and these affairs (a black man with a white woman) as much as the radical nature of his science, shocked the American scientific world. He found it more difficult to find funding for his research as he began to think more independently. He chafed at his duties at Howard and longed for a life of pure research. He was able to work in Europe for a short time, but at the advent of World War II, had to flee with his new wife, Hedwig Schnetzler. He returned with her and their daughter, Elizabeth, to the States. Once back in the US, though quite ill, he continued to try and find support. Dr. Just died of pancreatic cancer in NJ in 1941, at the age of 53.

Ω Chapter: Founder Just is interred at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Suitland, MD.

History of Omega

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college.

On the evening of November 17, 1911, Omega Psi Phi was founded inside the Science Building (later renamed Thirkield Hall) at Howard University located in Washington, D.C. The founders were three undergraduates — Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, 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, Edgar A. Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman were selected to be the Grand Keeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grand Keeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven undergraduate men were selected to become the charter members. Alpha chapter was organized with fourteen charter members on December 15, 1911. Brothers Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper, and Frank Coleman were elected the chapter’s first Basileus, Keeper of Records, and Keeper of Seals, respectively. Brother Cooper became the fraternity’s second Grand Basileus in 1912 and authorized the investigation of establishing a second chapter on the campus of Lincoln University located in Pennsylvania. Brother 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. Omega Psi Phi’s leadership refused to accept limited recognition. As a result, the fraternity operated without official sanction, until the university withdrew its opposition in 1914, the same year the Beta chapter was chartered at Lincoln University.

Omega Psi Phi was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on October 28, 1914. Brother George E. Hall, the fourth Grand Basileus, authorized the establishment of the Gamma chapter in Boston. Brother Clarence F. Holmes served as Omega’s sixth Grand Basileus. Under his leadership, the fraternity’s first official hymn, “Omega Men Draw Nigh,” was written by Otto Bohannon. Omega played a vital role when the United States entered World War I in 1917 by having several brothers in the first class of black soldiers graduate from Camp Fort Des Moines, a military training facility located in Iowa. Several Omegas, including Campbell C. Johnson, John Purnell, and founders Frank Coleman and Edgar A. Love are among its graduates. A year later in 1918, retired Colonel Charles Young, rode 500 miles on horseback, from Wilberforce, Ohio, to the nation’s capital, to show he was always fit for duty.

Stanley Douglas served as editor of the first Oracle which was published in the spring of 1919. In 1919, Raymond G. Robinson, the seventh Grand Basileus, established the Delta chapter on the campus of Meharry Medical School which is located in Nashville, Tennessee. Stanley Douglas served as Editor of the Oracle, first published in the spring of 1919. When Robinson left office in 1920 there were ten chapters in operation. Harold H. Thomas, the eighth Grand Basileus, was elected at the Nashville Grand Conclave in 1920. During this Conclave, Carter G. Woodson inspired the establishment of National Achievement Week to promote the study of Negro life and history. The Atlanta Grand Conclave in 1921 brought an end to the fraternity’s first decade.

Omega built a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift.

Xi Nu Nu History

History of Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter
West Valley Quez
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

On November 17th, 1911, at Howard University three undergraduate students Brother Edgar Amos Love, Brother Oscar James Cooper, Brother Frank Coleman, and their undergraduate adviser Brother (Dr.) Ernest Everett Just established Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The Founders of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. had a vision for the growth of the Fraternity. The vision was to expand the brand of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. across the United States and later internationally. Thus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. expanded westward to the Pacific Coast, and in 1941 the 17th Grand Basileus Z. Alexander Looby approved the creation of the 12th District in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Thus, upholding the vision of the Founders of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 14 Brothers in the West Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, met on Thursday July 15th, 2021. The meeting was to discuss how to best serve West Valley communities in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. The 14 Brothers who decided to meet were Brother Terry Williams, Brother Bryant Jones, Brother Mark Washington, Brother Barry Kimmons, Brother Allison Reed, Brother Demond Bradford II, Brother Jermaine Sampson, Brother Courtney Boss, Brother Gustavus Lawler, Brother Fulwood Blackburn, Brother Charles Williams, Brother Reginald Harrell, Brother Arnold McCrary, Kevin Scott and Brother Derrick Golden. These 15 Brothers later became the Charter members of Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

During the meeting, these 14 Brothers recognized that Maricopa County, AZ is 9,224 square miles and the 4th largest County in the United States. The population in Maricopa County, AZ is 4.6 million residents with a black population of 558,000 residents. The Graduate Chapter, Phi Iota was the only Graduate Chapter in Phoenix, AZ for over 77 years. Phi Iota Graduate Chapter due to the massive growth in the Phoenix metropolitan area, focused all its resources to the East Valley, Central Phoenix, and South Phoenix communities. Thus, the West Valley of Phoenix, AZ was being underserved because of the lack of resources, and the brand of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. needed to be established. In addition, Brothers who lived in the West Valley of Phoenix, AZ had to drive 52 miles one way and 104 miles roundtrip to all Phi Iota Graduate Chapter meetings, and community service events.

This caused numerous West Valley Brothers to become either non-financial, non-participants, or unreclaimable due to the distance of travel. Brothers were also concerned because there was no footprint to promote the brand of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in the West Valley of Phoenix, AZ. Thus, the Brothers decided it was time the brand of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. be established in the West Valley. Thereafter, the 14 Brothers conducted a second meeting the following week. During the second meeting, the 14 Brothers voted to submit a Chapter Charter application. The Brothers began completing the Charter application and written justification for starting a second Graduate Chapter to present to the 34th 12th District Representative Brother Kwame Dow for approval. After completing the Charter application and the justification for starting a second Graduate Chapter, Brother Barry Kimmons approached Brother Dow. Brother Kimmons and Brother Dow had a brief conversation about starting a second Graduate Chapter, while attending the Annual Brother Charles C. Peevy History Workshop on Saturday August 28th, 2021. Brother Dow asked a series of questions, and informed Brother Kimmons to submit the Charter application for his review.

Brother Dow after reviewing the justification for starting a second Graduate Chapter, conducted a Zoom Video conference with 6 of the 14 tentative Charter members. The 6 Brothers were Brother Williams, Brother Jones, Brother Kimmons, Brother Boss, Brother Reed, and Brother McCary. The meeting was also attended by the 12th District 1st Vice-District Representative Brother Andrew Davis, and the Mountain West Area Representative Brother (Dr.) Andre Denson. The purpose of the meeting was to further examine the reasons for starting a second Graduate Chapter, the plan for the growth of the proposed new Chapter, the cities that the brand would be established, and what infrastructure would support the new Chapter. After the meeting, Brother Dow informed Brother Davis to set up a meeting with the Phi Iota Graduate Chapter leadership, and representatives for the proposed West Valley Phoenix, AZ Graduate Chapter.

The Brothers in attendance representing the Phi Iota Graduate Chapter leadership were Basileus Brother Larry Lopes, Vice-Basileus Brother Jeffrey Birthright, and Keeper of Peace Brother Stacey Ellis. The meeting was to discuss the views of the Phi Iota Graduate Chapter leadership and their support for a second Graduate Chapter in the West Valley of Phoenix, AZ. The Phi Iota Graduate Chapter leadership at the meeting, agreed to support a second Graduate Chapter in Phoenix, AZ. Next, Brother Dow conducted an evaluation process. The process lasted a month and a half. Brother Dow evaluation entailed reviewing a strategic and sustainability plan, speaking to the West Valley Brothers a third time about their Charter application and further conversations with the leadership of Phi Iota Graduate Chapter.

After Brother Dow evaluation, he approved the Charter application and justification. Brother Dow in his written approval, detailed the process he conducted before making the decision to approve the Charter application. Brother Dow at the end of his written approval stated, “the 14 Brothers assembled are capable of running and sustaining a Chapter in the West Valley of the metropolitan Phoenix, AZ area”. Brother Dow submitted the Charter application and justification to the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Supreme Council for approval on October 5th, 2021. The Supreme Council then met on Wednesday December 15th, 2021 to vote on the Charter application.

After reviewing the Charter justification, the Supreme Council voted to approve the Charter application submitted by the 14 Brothers from the West Valley in Phoenix, AZ. The Graduate Chapter was hence given the Greek Letters, Xi Nu Nu. In addition, a second Graduate Chapter was approved on this day, and given the Greek letters of Omicron Nu Nu located in Austin, TX. History was shared on this day because Alpha Chapter “Mother Pearl” of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was Chartered on December 15th, 1911. Also, these two Chapters were the only Charters approved by the Supreme Council in 2021.

On January 6th, 2022 Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter conducted their first official meeting. The Chapter Officers were Basileus-Brother Terry Williams, Vice-Basileus Brother Brian Jones, Assistant Vice-Basileus Brother Mark Washington, Keeper of Records And Seal-Brother Barry Kimmons, Assistant Keeper of Records And Seal-Brother Allison Reed, Keeper of Finance-Brother Demond Bradford II, Assistant Keeper of Finance-Brother Charles Williams, Chaplain-Brother Jermaine Sampson, Parliamentary-Brother Courtney Boss, and Keeper of Peace-Brother Gustavus Lawlar. The main purpose of the meeting was to establish the road ahead for Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter. The road ahead consisted of creating a 501(c)3, collaborating with Phi Iota Graduate Chapter on 3 of the 10 Fraternity mandated programs each year, community service projects, all mandated Fraternity programs, building relationships with the Devine 9, conducting joint community projects with each Devine 9 organization, and the planning for the Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter Charter ceremony. In addition, the Chapter created their tag calling themselves the “Iconic Xi Nu Nu” Chapter.

On March 5th, 2022, Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter held it’s Charter ceremony. In attendance was the 12th District 1st Vice District Representative Brother Andrew Davis, members of Phi Iota Graduate Chapter, members of the Undergraduate Chapter Alpha Theta; Arizona State University, members of the Graduate Chapter Delta Alpha Alpha; Tucson, AZ, members from each Devine 9 organization, spouses, family, and friends. The Chapter Charter was presented to the Xi Nu Nu Chapter Basileus Brother Terry Williams by the 12th District 1st Vice District Representative Brother Andrew Davis. Brother Davis made the presentation on behalf of the 12th District Representative Brother Kwame Dow who could not attend do to another engagement. Brother Dow presented his remarks via YouTube to the Brothers of Xi Nu Nu Chapter and their guests.

Since it’s Chartering, Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter as of 2023 doubled its membership of Brothers for FY 2021-2022 and FY 2022-2023. This included 12 Brothers reclaimed by Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter. The Chapter also retained all of its members, and being financial on all 3 levels. Also, Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter presently has 37 members for FY 2022-2023. Furthermore, Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter conducted over 13 community services projects during FY2021-2022 and 6 as of January 2023 for FY 2022-2023. Some of the projects were walking in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Social Action March, participation in the Stop The Sex Trafficking Walk, meeting with the leadership at Estrella Community College to support student success, packing boxes at the Saint Mary’s Food Bank, clothes drives, voter registration, blood drives, partnering with local high schools to build student relationships for community service, shoe drives for low income individuals, and the homeless. In addition, attended an Aids Awareness conference, conducted a monthly park clean-up project, and hosted a Thanksgiving turkey with sides event at a local church. The Xi Nu Nu Graduate Chapter, of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. motto “Lifting As We Climb” and tag the “Iconic Xi Nu Nu” Chapter aligns with the brand of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the visions of its Founders.

12th District

A brief history of the 12th District of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated

In 1911, the Founders of this beloved Fraternity had a vision of not only starting a Fraternity, but of expanding it across this vast country, from a small Black college in Washington, DC, to the shores of California. In 1923, Lambda Chapter, affectionately referred to as “the pearl of the west coast”, was organized at the University of Southern California. Lambda is the only single letter chapter on the west coast. In 1925, Epsilon Psi was chartered at the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1941, under the guidance of Grand Basileus Z. Alexander Looby, the 12th District was created, comprised of California and the rest of the Pacific Coast. The initial District Organizational Meeting was held in Oakland, CA with a gathering of forty (40) or so brothers.

The 12th District has seen many decades and has been there with the four Cardinal Principals of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift. The 12th District has been a beacon of light and aspiration for not only African Americans, but all people of color, with Omega Men leading the way on many levels.

The 12th District continued to grow through the years. Three chapters were chartered in the 50’s; Eight chapters in the 60’s; Fourteen chapters in the 70’s; and fifteen in the 80’s.

Today, the Massive Twelfth District encompasses ten (10) states, four (4) time zones, and one thousand financial members. Geographically, the 12th District covers the largest contiguous landmass of any District under the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. umbrella, occupying approximately 1.6 million square miles.

In recent years, the 12th District has enjoyed a rich history. Brother Dr. L. Benjamin Livingston, Pi Rho Chapter (San Bernardino, CA), was elected as Omega Psi Phi’s 1st Vice Grand Basileus in 1979. Subsequently, in 1982, Brother Livingston was elected 32nd Grand Basileus. He is the only Grand Basileus elected from the District.

In 1986, the twentieth 12th District Representative, Brother Dr. Jewett L. Walker, Lambda Omicron, Los Angeles, CA, oversaw the chartering of the District’s 45th Chapter, Xi Gamma Gamma, a Marine Corp influenced chapter in Oceanside, CA.

In 1987, Brother Dr. Joseph Marshall, a member of Pi Chi Chapter (San Francisco, CA) founded the nationally recognized Omega Boys Club.

The 1990′s proved to be a truly banner decade for the 12th District. 1991 saw Denestine Lyle, representing Tau Tau Chapter (Compton, CA) win the International Citizen of the Year award. At the 1992 Atlanta Conclave, the 12th District was awarded the following International awards: Citizen of the Year award, given to Dr. Geraldine Welles, representing Zeta Rho Chapter (Los Angeles, CA); Undergraduate Chapter of the Year – Alpha Mu Chapter (Stanford University); Superior Service Award – Brother Marcus Bedford, Tau Tau Chapter; and, Undergraduate of the Year – Brother Sedrick Spencer, now the thirtieth, and sitting, 12th District Representative.

In 1992, the twenty-second 12th District Representative, Brother Raymond Gibson of Phi Beta Beta Chapter (Inglewood, CA) led the charge as the Fraternity chartered the second chapter in the great state of Alaska, Rho Iota Iota Chapter in Fairbanks.

In 1994, Brother Dr. Joseph Marshall, Pi Chi Chapter, was awarded $250,000 for the prestigious McArthur Genius Award for his work with the Omega Boys Club. Also, Brother Calvin Goode of Phi Iota Chapter (Phoenix, AZ) had the honor of having a downtown federal building named after him.

In 1995, Tuskegee Airman Brother Lincoln Ragsdale of Phi Iota Chapter was posthumously honored with the Phoenix Sky Harbor executive air terminal named after him. Also that year, the 12th District hosted the first ever Pre-Conclave “Kick Off” in Los Angeles, CA

In 1996, the four original Chapters of the 12th District – Alpha Epsilon (University of Arizona) and graduate chapters Sigma Iota (Oakland, CA), Phi Iota (Phoenix, AZ), and Lambda Omicron (Los Angeles, CA) celebrated their 50th Anniversaries.

1996 saw the 12th District host the 69th Grand Conclave in Los Angeles, CA, with Brother Tony Collins, Zeta Rho Chapter, serving as Grand Marshal. It was eighteen years ago when the twenty-fourth 12th District Representative, Brother Ricky L. Lewis and Brothers of Tau Tau Chapter (Compton, CA), started the annual Youth Leadership Conference. In 2011, the conference had a record number of youths (more than 500), and their parents, attend, with the Brothers of Omega Psi Phi participating as presenters and mentors, including a special appearance by Brother Steve Harvey.

In 1998, the 12th District made Omega history by re-electing the twenty-third 12th District Representative Bro. Carl A. Blunt of Phi Iota Chapter, Phoenix, AZ, as the twenty-fifth 12th District Representative. The District supported Brother Blunt’s successful election as Grand Keeper of Finance in 2002 and 2004, as well as 1st Vice Grand Basileus in 2006 and 2008.

In 2000, the Travis Williams Center was named for Brother Travis Williams of Phi Iota Chapter (Phoenix, AZ). Additionally, in 2010, American Legion Post 65 was named after him posthumously.

In 2003, Lambda Chapter, at University Southern California, celebrated its’ 80th year.

At the 2006 Little Rock Conclave, the 12th District was awarded the following International awards: 2004 International Superior Service to Brother Charles C. Peevy, twenty-ninth 12th District Representative; Tau Tau Chapter was recognized with back-to-back Graduate Social Action Chapter of the Year awards for 2004 and 2005.

In 2007, under the tutelage of Brother Charles C. Peevy, the Fraternity chartered the 12th Districts’ 51st chapter, Beta Mu Mu (Clark County, NV); Zeta Tau Chapter (Pasadena, CA) celebrated its’ 50th year, recognizing three of its chartering members – Brothers Oscar Harris, Arttus Waters and Dr. J.B. Singleton

In 2008, Brother Philmore Graham, the twelfth 12th District Representative, Theta Pi Chapter (Vallejo, CA) celebrated the 40 year anniversary of the original Continental Omega Boys & Girls Club.

In 2009, Brother Charles C. Peevy, spearheaded the culmination of the establishment of the Ernest E. Just Youth and Community Services Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization. Its primary function is to assist chapters in their mentorship activities.

In 2009, Brother Thomas McPhatter, the thirteenth 12th District Representative, of Phi Omicron Chapter, (San Diego, CA) joined Omega Chapter. As a Montford Point Marine, he saw action on Iwo Jima, and provided the pipe that was used as a staff to raise the flag of the USA; Phi Omicron also celebrated its’ 60th anniversary.

In 2009, Brother Sedrick Spencer, our thirtieth 12th District Representative, guided host chapters Beta Mu Mu & Kappa Xi of Las Vegas, NV, to the most financially successful Leadership Conference in Omega Psi Phi history.

In 2010, Zeta Upsilon Chapter (Seattle, WA) celebrated its 60th year.

In 2011, Tau Tau Chapter celebrated its 50th year, while Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Iota, Phi Iota, and Lambda Omicron Chapters celebrated their 65th year.


Internal Growth

In 1922, J. Alston Atkins, the 9th Grand Basileus, appointed the first district representatives. Today, eleven such officers are elected annually at district meetings.

Also in 1922, the office of Vice Grand Basileus was created. The Grand Keeper of Records became the Grand Keeper of the Records and Seal. In 1923, Lambda Chapter affectionately referred to as “the pearl of the west coast,” was organized at the University of Southern California. Omega Psi Phi becomes the first black Greek organization to span its membership across the United States – from the Atlantic (Iota in Atlantic City) to the Pacific (Lambda in Los Angeles). The Sigma chapter was organized at McGill University, located in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) on December 15, 1923. Brother Walter R. Dunston, the former Basileus of Phi chapter, set up the fraternity’s first international chapter with the assistance of Brother George W. Brown. In 1926, the memorial for Brother Colonel Charles Young is held at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial Service is established to memorialize Brother Young’s birthday. The first Omega Bulletin was published in 1928 and Campbell C. Johnson was the editor. In 1930, Omega Psi Phi became one of five founding members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council with 13th Grand Basileus Matthew W. Bullock elected as its first permanent chairman.

“Omega Dear,” was adopted as the official hymn in 1931. Charles R. Drew, professor of surgery, and Mercer Cook, professor of languages, both members of the Howard faculty, were the composers. Cook wrote the music and first stanza; Drew wrote the last two stanzas. By mid-1930, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Federal Council of Negro Affairs or “Black Cabinet,” which was an informal group of African-American public policy advisors who were organized to help the country emerge out of the depression. Omega men: Robert C. Weaver, Lawrence Oxley, Roscoe Brown, Frank Horne, William Hastie, J. Arthur Weiseger, Ted Poston, Campbell C. Johnson, and William Trent were among those who served on the cabinet. Each of the founders graduated and went on to have distinguished careers in their chosen fields: Edgar Love became a bishop in the Methodist church; Oscar Cooper practiced medicine in Philadelphia for over 50 years; Frank Coleman became the chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University and Ernest E. Just became a world-renowned biologist and the 1st recipient of the prestigious NAACP Spingarn Medal.