VEGAS WATCH: Founding Document
The members of Kappa Alpha Psi know a thing or two about remembering history, and Capucine Holmes finds how out they keep their legacy alive.
BY CAPUCINE HOLMES
It was history in the making for Kappa Alpha Psi, as members of the fraternity marked Founders Day Weekend with celebrations and community service to honored their organization’s legacy.
On January 5, 1911, at Indiana University Bloomington, a group of men — Elder Watson Diggs, John Milton Lee, Byron Kenneth Armstrong, Guy Levis Grant, Ezra Dee Alexander, Henry Tourner Asher, Marcus Peter Blakemore, Paul Waymond Caine, Edward Giles Irvin and George Wesley Edmonds — shared a vision to form Kappa Alpha Psi on ideals of brotherhood, unity, leadership, and community outreach. Popularly known as “Kappas,” the men of Kappa Alpha Psi have formed chapters in every U.S. state, as well as international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Virgin Islands, Nigeria and South Africa — for a total of more than 720 chapters around the world.
Kappa Alpha Psi’s motto is “achievement in every field of human endeavor” — a creed instilled into members during their acceptance into the fraternity, which is known worldwide for step show techniques that feature canes and and trademark color scheme of crimson, red, and cream. Las Vegas is home to two chapters, the Las Vegas Alumni and Theta Sigma. During this spectacular weekend, the men held a Brotherhood ceremony to show community recognition at Three Square.
The local Kappa men are strong in civic involvement, through such positions as Nevada Senator Aaron Ford and Assemblyman Jason Frierson who are making history now as the first two African-American majority leaders in the Nevada legislature; Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, the first African-American to lead the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; and Gentry Richardson, Lou Collins, Teddy Parker, Byron Goynes, Brian Maddox, Ricky Gourrier, Stan Allen and many more who are making a difference in the world.
Las Vegas history fueled the organization’s desire to do great things in the community while being an example for others. To help create a conduit of knowledge and resources for others.
The Las Vegas Alumni Chapter was established in February 1964 by Kermit R. Booker, Sr., Joseph William Haynes, Herschel L. Williams, Herbert Freeman, and David Hoggard, Jr. The Las Vegas Alumni Chapter received its charter from the Western Province Polemarch Charles Sudduth on on July 11, 1964. The charter members were Kermit R. Booker, Sr.; David Hoggard, Jr.; Herschel L. Williams, Herbert Freeman, William H. Smith, Jr., Harry Robinson, Thomas Bailey, Roger Von Puhl, Joseph William Haynes and Kermit R. Booker.
The essence of the Kappa men continues to resonate in today’s society, through their community involvement, mentoring, and work to connect young people to higher education.