Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The founders were three Howard University undergraduates, - Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, Dr. 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.
Gamma Theta History
During the spring of 1967, a group of African American men became interested in bringing historically black Greek organizations to the Western Kentucky University. A meeting was set up with the Dean of Students to discuss the possibility. We were opposed by the Dean of Students but later were granted some concessions. Some of the students involved in the effort were interested in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity while others were interested in Kappa Kappa Alpha Psi. Since the sentiments for Omega and Kappa were about equal they agreed to call this club the Kappa Que Club.
Don Offutt and Larry Ashby were two of the young men that helped
organize the Kappa Que Club. Don, a freshman at Kentucky State University, chose to pledge Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and was initiated in the Lampados Club. He later transferred to Western Kentucky University before completing the process but remained determined to become an Omega. Larry Ashby was also interested in becoming an Omega so he and Don contacted the graduate chapter of "Psi Tau" in Lexington, Kentucky. Both Larry Ashby and Don Offutt were initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity through Psi Tau. They returned to Western's campus in the spring of 1968 to organize an interest group of men who were strictly interested in becoming members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
After one year, we now had a group that was ready to take the next step in bringing Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to Western's campus. We had two members of the fraternity on campus and we had the backing of the graduate chapter in Lexington. Brother H. Carl Moultrie, the National Executive Secretary of the fraternity at that time (later becoming a judge in the superior court of Washington D.C. in 1972) was asked to come to Western to meet with the Dean to help us move forward. When he finished meeting with the Dean of Students, we got the OK to proceed with the initiation of pledges on campus. On May 28, 1968, brothers from Psi Tau Graduate Chapter initiated fourteen young men into the
Lampados Club of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. When we returned to Western for the fall of 1968, only twelve of the fourteen young men who had been made "Lamps" returned to school, because of which, the line name "Tenacious Twelve" was chosen.
The chapter was therefore founded on December 14, 1968 upon the initiation of the "Tenacious Twelve" in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The next line "Devastating 13" was started immediately after returning to school in January of 1969. The actual chapter was granted on July 3, 1969 and the chapter name "Gamma Theta" was appointed. The dedication of the chapter was held in the fall of 1969.
By Steve "Headknocker" Coleman