Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (2024)

Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (1)

Elder Watson Diggs

Founder Elder Watson Diggs was a quiet, polished, scholarly, and prolific writer. Initially referred to as ‘the Father of Kappa,’ he became affectionately known as ‘the Dreamer’ due to his profound vision to create the fraternity. He was born in Christian County, Kentucky, on December 23, 1883, and was the eldest son of three children.

He received a one-room school education in Louisville, Kentucky, where he helped teach the younger children. Following graduation from Indiana State Normal School in the spring of 1908, Diggs enrolled at Howard University in 1909. While a student there, he developed a friendship with Byron K. Armstrong.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (2)

Byron Kenneth Armstrong

Founder Byron Kenneth Armstrong was a scholar, imaginative and outspoken. He was affectionately known as “Boomski,” born in Westfield, Hamilton County, Indiana, on April 8, 1892, was one of five children and was the cousin of 2nd Grand Polemarch, Irven Armstrong.

Armstrong enrolled at Howard University in 1909, met Elder W. Diggs, and together, they transferred to Indiana University in the fall of 1910, where he studied philosophy, mathematics, and sociology. He graduated from Indiana University with an A.B. degree in the fall of 1913. Armstrong subsequently earned an M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1914 and was decreed a Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Michigan in 1940. He held teaching positions as a professor at universities in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, and Michigan and served as Dean in Maryland and Oklahoma.

Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (3)

Guy Levis Grant

Founder Guy Levis Grant was small in stature but was a giant in charitable endeavors and a preserver of history. He was born in New Albany, Indiana, on April 9, 1891, and was the third of thirteen children, five of whom became members of the fraternity. When his father died, he became head of the household and assumed responsibility for educating himself and his siblings.

Grant attended public schools in his hometown, graduated from Scribner High School in 1909, and entered Indiana University. While there, he majored in chemistry, graduating with an A.B. degree in 1915. In 1920, he received a D.D.S. degree from Indiana Dental School, then a part of Indiana University. He practiced dentistry in Indianapolis for over 50 years.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (4)

Marcus Peter Blakemore

Founder Marcus Peter Blakemore was a man of deep religious convictions and quiet confidence. He contributed significantly to education, his community, church, hospitals, and fraternity. Blakemore, affectionately known as “Blakie,” was born in Franklin, Indiana, on January 3, 1889, and was the eldest of four children.

Blakemore’s family moved to Anderson, Indiana, where he attended public schools and graduated high school in 1909. He entered Indiana University the following year. After leaving Indiana University in the spring term of 1912, he organized the Electric Engineering Company, which he operated until he enlisted with the U.S. Army in World War I. Blakemore served in the U.S. Army as the rank of Private with the 30th Company, 154th Depot Brigade. He was honorably discharged in August 1918 and married Azalea Hall the following month. They had one daughter, Elizabeth.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (5)

Ezra Dee Alexander

Founder Ezra Dee Alexander was an outgoing and dedicated worker. He was fondly known as “Dee,” was born in Bloomington, Indiana, on July 18, 1891, and was the second eldest of seven children.

Alexander graduated from Bloomington High School in 1910. He matriculated to Indiana University in the fall of 1910 and graduated from Indiana University in 1917 with an A.B. degree. Prior to graduation, he held positions as a teacher and principal at Indiana public schools. He received his M.D. from the Medical School of Indiana University in 1919. Alexander served an internship at Provident Hospital in Chicago in 1920. Alexander served in the Army Medical Corps during WWI and as a medical examiner during WWII. He practiced medicine in Indianapolis for nearly 50 years.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (6)

John Milton Lee

Founder John Milton Lee was a scholar, loyal, and tireless worker for the growth of the fraternity. Due to his idealist character was commonly referred to as ‘a dreamer’ during the fraternity’s early years. He was born in Danville, Indiana, on September 7, 1890, and was the third of four children.

He attended Danville public schools and enrolled at Indiana University in 1910. He completed three years of pre-medical work before leaving the university. In 1914, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania but withdrew for health reasons. In 1915, he became a student at Temple University but was compelled to leave due to a death in the family.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (7)

Henry Tourner Asher

Founder Henry Tourner Asher was an unassuming, dependable supporter of Negro youth, equal rights, higher education, and religious affairs and the son of a Baptist Minister. He was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 30, 1890, and was the eldest of seven children.

After his family moved to Bloomington, Indiana, he attended and graduated from Bloomington High School in 1910. He enrolled at Indiana University in 1910, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1914. He became an instructor at Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, Missouri, from 1914-1915. In 1915, he enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin and subsequently at the University of Illinois. However, he transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he earned his Master of Arts in 1917. He received the degree of LL.B. at the Detroit College of Law in 1928.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (8)

Edward Giles Irvin

Founder Edward Giles Irvin was a civic and religious leader, journalist, and entrepreneur. Hewas born August 13, 1893, in Spencer, Indiana, and was the seventh of nine children of an African Methodist Episcopal minister.

Following graduation from Kokomo Indiana High School in 1910, he enrolled at Indiana University the same year. At only 17 years of age, Irvin was the youngest of ten Black students who founded Kappa Alpha Psi®Fraternity. Irvin served on the fraternity’s Incorporation Committee. Irvin left the school following the spring term of 1911.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (9)

George Wesley Edmonds

Founder George Wesley Edmonds was witty and an enigma to most in the fraternity. He was born in Knight Township, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, on August 13, 1890, and was the eldest of two sons.

He attended Clark High School in nearby Evansville, Indiana, and enrolled at Indiana University in the fall of 1910. He joined nine other students in founding Kappa Alpha Nu Fraternity. Edmonds was listed as the Corresponding Secretary in the articles of incorporation of the Grand Chapter of Kappa Alpha Nu. He was one of the three freshmen, along with Asher and Blakemore, who were the first initiates of the Alpha of Kappa Alpha Nu.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (10)

Paul Waymond Caine

Founder Paul Waymond Caine was the consummate entrepreneur and chef before his time, always friendly and displaying a pleasant disposition. He was born in Greencastle, Indiana on May 17, 1890. He was long thought to be an only child but is now known to have a half-brother.

Caine attended Greencastle public schools and enrolled at Indiana University sometime between 1909 and 1910 as a business major. He was adept at cooking and honed those skills while working at DePauw University, where he worked as a cook in the sorority houses before enrolling at Indiana University. He was a fine caterer and was in demand by the White fraternities on campus and kept many of the Founding fraternity brothers from hunger.

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Founders - Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. (2024)


Who are the founders of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Incorporated? ›

The Alpha Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi® in 1913.

The charter members were Elder Watson Diggs, Byron K. Armstrong, John M. Lee, Henry T. Asher, Marcus P. Blakemore, Guy L.

Who are the 10 founding fathers of Kappa Alpha Psi? ›

Founders. The ten founders of Kappa Alpha Psi were Elder Watson Diggs, Ezra D. Alexander, Byron Kenneth Armstrong, Henry Tourner Asher, Marcus Peter Blakemore, Paul Waymond Caine, George Wesley Edmonds, Guy Levis Grant, Edward Giles Irvin, and John Milton Lee.

Why did Elder Watson Diggs leave Howard? ›

Diggs' decision to transfer from Howard to Indiana was likely the culmination of personal, as well as professional, pursuits. His high school sweetheart and future wife, Clara Bell Smith, was a teacher in Rising Sun, Indiana, which was less than 50 miles from Bloomington, Indiana.

Who was the youngest founder of Kappa Alpha Psi? ›

Edward Giles Irvin

At only 17 years of age, Irvin was the youngest of ten Black students who founded Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity. Irvin served on the fraternity's Incorporation Committee. Irvin left the school following the spring term of 1911.

Who are the founders of Alpha Kappa PSI? ›

Alpha Kappa Psi was conceived during the winter of 1903-1904 at New York University. The founding members Howard M. Jefferson, Frederic R. Leach, Nathan Lane, Jr.

What does nupe mean for kappas? ›

The original name (Kappa Alpha Nu) is the source of the nickname for members, "Nupes". The phrase Phi Nu Pi (ΦΝΠ) has a deeper meaning only known to its membership. The fraternity's badge is diamond shaped and features a raised black scross with the Greek letters ΚΑΨ.

What celebrity is a Kappa Alpha Psi? ›


Listed below are only some of our achieving members, these members include: Author Ashe, John Singleton, Ralph Abernathy, Kenny Lofton, Daniel "Chappie" James, Montell Jordan, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, and Johnnie L. Cochran.

Who is the dreamer of Kappa Alpha Psi? ›

Elder Watson Diggs (1883 - 1947) is known to the many brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity as The Dreamer. On January 5, 1911, he cofounded, along with nine other men, the first black fraternity at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., and one of the earliest black national social fraternities.

Who are the 4 founders of Kappa Alpha? ›

James Ward Wood, William Nelson Scott, Stanhope McClelland Scott, and William Archibald Wash began coalescing around the idea for their fraternity in spring of 1866—read about their background and success in college and thereafter.

Who pawned their watch for Kappa Alpha Psi? ›

Blakemore was a roommate of Byron K. Armstrong in the rooming house of Ms. Molly Spaulding. He was one of the two Founders who pawned his watch to help raise the Fraternity's incorporation fee.

Why did Kappa Alpha Psi change their name? ›

"It was felt that the new name was more in conformity and appearance with the best Greek practice." - Founder Byron K. Armstrong; Crossing the Jordan and Beyond. The image of the proclamation to officially change the name of the fraternity comes courtesy of the May 1915 Kappa Alpha Psi Journal, Vol.

How many founders does Kappas have? ›

The 10 founders of Kappa Alpha Psi.

Who was the last living founder of Kappa Alpha Psi? ›

The fraternity named the Edward Giles Irvin Award in his honor. It is bestowed upon the most outstanding Undergraduate Chapter. The Fraternity's last living Founder died on November 4, 1982, and was survived by his daughter, Dorothy Manyweather. He is buried at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

What was Kappa Alpha Psi's first name? ›

Chartered and incorporated originally under the laws of the State of Indiana as Kappa Alpha Nu on May 15, 1911, the name was changed to KAPPA ALPHA PSI on a resolution offered and adopted at the Grand Chapter in December 1914.

What does the Kappa Alpha Psi symbol mean? ›

Our Letters

The Greek letters, in specific order the letters Kappa, Alpha and Psi represent the name of the Fraternity and the fraternal bond it's members share.

Who are the 9 founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc? ›

The Nine Founders were: Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgemon (Lyle), Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe and Marie Woolfolk (Taylor).

Who is the founder of Kappa Alpha? ›

Among those first students were three of KA's four founders, James Ward Wood, William Nelson Scott, and William Archibald Walsh. Founder Stanhope McClelland Scott, brother of William Nelson Scott, entered the college's second postwar session in the spring semester of 1866.

Who are the founders of Phi Kappa PSI? ›

Founders Day - Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Founders Day is a time for Phi Psis around the world to join together to honor Founders William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore.


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