Artifact: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Tail Jacket
Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi
The Gamma Chapter of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was chartered on December 13, 1916 in Boston, MA as a citywide Intermediate Chapter within the First District (New England Region). Its membership comprises college-educated men from various educational institutions throughout the city of Boston, including, but are not limited to: MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Emerson College, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, and UMass-Boston. Members have been influential at the national level as well as the local Boston metropolitan level. Notable among them is the late NASA astronaut Ronald E. McNair PhD '77.
History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on Friday, November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by three students; Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. At that time, they were Howard University juniors. The first faculty advisor of the fraternity was Dr. Ernest Everett Just (subject of Black Apollo of Science, a biography by MIT history professor Kenneth R. Manning). Early on, he was accorded the status of founder by the three undergraduates.
Each of the founders had distinguished careers in their chosen fields. Edgar Love became a bishop in the United Methodist Church; Oscar Cooper, was a prominent physician who practiced in Philadelphia over 50 years; Frank Coleman was the chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University for many years; and Ernest E. Just was a world-renowned biologist.Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated is the first black national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college. From its inception, the fraternity has worked to build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, Uplift, and capable of giving expression to the hopes and aspirations of an unfree people in the land of the free. 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, provides an annual gift of $50,000 to the UNCF, and is a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member.
Today, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. 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, and President and CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson. In addition, Jerold Herbert Parrott, Owner and President of Parrott Engineering, two former governors (William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder (Virginia)) and numerous presidents of historically black colleges and universities grace the roster of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.