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The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on this day in 1911 on the campus of Howard University. It is the first Black fraternity founded at a Historically Black College or University.

Junior students Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, Frank Coleman, and Faculty Adviser Dr. Ernest Everett Just founded the fraternity to uphold its Cardinal Principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift. Love was named Omega’s first National President with Cooper and Coleman named as Grand Keeper of Records and Grand Keeper of Seals, respectively.

Howard University didn’t recognize the fraternity right away, but it was officially incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1914. The standards for admission to the fraternity are notoriously rigid as students must be working towards graduation and maintain better than a 2.5 grade average. For graduate chapter members, the individual must already have obtained their bachelor’s degree. There is also honorary membership given to those who contributed positively to society.

Famous “Ques” include our own Tom Joyner, Langston Hughes, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Michael Jordan, Stephan A. Smith, and Rep. James Clyburn, among several other notable Omega Men.

A hallmark of Omega Psi Phi is its internationally mandated programs that are administered annually by the chapters. These programs include the Charles R. Drew Scholarship Program, Achievement Week, social action programs, talent hunt programs and other related actions.

The Omegas’ “Grand Basileus” or president is Antonio Knox, who has served in the position since 2014.

(Photo: Omega Psi Phi)

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