Our History

Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) is a fraternity and is the first African-American national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college. Omega PsiPhi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. The founders were three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Each of the founders graduated and went on to have distinguished careers in their chosen fields: Bishop Edgar Amos Love becameBishop of the United Methodist Church; Dr. Oscar James Cooper became a prominent physician, who practiced in Philadelphia for over 50 years; Professor Frank Coleman became the Chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University for many years; and Dr. Ernest E. Just became a world-renowned biologist.

On November 23, 1911 in Thirkield Hall, Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected to be the Grandkeeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grandkeeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected to be the charter members.

The fraternity has worked to build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift. 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, providing an annual gift of $50,000 to the program. Omega Psi Phi is a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member.

Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was the first national African-American fraternity to be founded at a historically black college when it was established on November 17, 1911, at Howard University. Howard University did not initially recognize the fraternity as a national organization and Omega Psi Phi’s leadership refused to only accept local recognition for the organization.[citation needed] So, the fraternity operated without official sanction, until the university withdrew its opposition in 1914, the same year that the Beta chapter was founded atLincoln University.[citation needed] Omega Psi Phi was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on October 28, 1914.[1] By 1920, the fraternity had 10 chapters.

We will celebrate our centennial during the week of July 27-31, 2011 in Washington D.C. Omega Psi Phi Centennial Celebration on Facebook