Eta Chapter History
HISTORY OF ETA CHAPTER
“On December 1, 1919, I went to Atlanta, Georgia at my own expense to help Brother Harold Thomas set up Eta Chapter. The same was composed of professional men in Atlanta and selected students of Morehouse College, Atlanta and Clark Universities, and Gammon Theological Seminary.”
Bro. Raymond G. Robinson, 7th Grand Basileus
The Eta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 1, 1919. It was the seventh permanent chapter of the fraternity to be established. Eta Chapter was set up upon the initiative of Bro. Harold H. Thomas of Beta Chapter, and Bros. Horace A. Hodges, Harvey Smith, Lawrence R. Harper, and Clinton E. Warner of the Camp Howard Chapter, all of whom were Atlanta residents. These brothers were aided in their endeavors by Bro. Raymond G. Robinson, the Fraternity’s seventh Grand Basileus. Eta Chapter received its charter on December 27, 1919. Eta Chapter was the first chapter of any Black Greek-letter organization to be founded and chartered in the State of Georgia.
Brothers from the institutions that made up Eta Chapter eventually established their own chapters; Omicron at Gammon Theological Seminary (1921); Psi at Morehouse (1921); Tau at Atlanta University (1922); and Beta Psi at Clark University (1923), leaving Eta for graduates. Under the leadership of Grand Basileus J. Alston Atkins (1922-1923), the Fraternity developed a new naming scheme for undergraduate and graduate chapters which aligned single letter chapters with undergrads at a university versus just a geographical location.
Eta Chapter holds a unique genealogy. First established in Atlanta on December 1, 1919 as a chapter for graduate members, the chapter was chartered on December 27, 1919. Then in 1922, Eta Chapter was reassigned as both an undergraduate and graduate chapter at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That charter was received in March 1923. At the 1948 Conclave in Columbus, Ohio, Eta Chapter was approved to represent brothers attending the then Alcorn A & M College in Lorman, MS.
The chapter was introduced by Halbert E. Dockins (Chapter Advisor) and Thomas E. Bell. On September 26, 1949, the Seventh District Representative J. T. Brooks submitted the application for Undergraduate Chapter Charter. Shortly after, the chapter charter dated November 18, 1949 was received by Bro. Halbert E. Dockins from Bro. H. Carl Moultrie (National Executive Secretary) and thus begun a new day for the “Mother Pearl of the 7th District” – The Mighty Eta Chapter.
Since its charter at Alcorn, Eta Chapter has initiated almost 500 members through 75 total lines of initiates. Eta members have served as officers at some of the Fraternity’s highest leadership positions. Eta Chapter produced a Second Vice Grand Basileus (Bro. Austin Tatum/Spring 16), an Assistant National Executive Director of the Fraternity (Bro. Richard “Dick” Smith/Spring 54), a District Representative (Bro. James Cistrunk/Spring 84), two Second Vice District Representatives (Bros. Austin Tatum/Spring 16 and Daquan Smith/Spring 19), two State Representatives (Bros. Randy Richard/Fall 75 and Alvin Jackson/Spring 83), and three Second Vice State Representatives (Bros. Darryl Taylor/Spring 14, Austin Tatum/Spring 16, and James Herrington II/Spring 18).
Eta as a chapter and our individual members have also been recognized by the Fraternity for its academic excellence. Numerous brothers have been recognized as national, district, and state scholars resulting in the brothers being awarded scholarships by the Fraternity. On numerous occasions, Eta Chapter has also been recognized as District Chapter of the Year for their academic excellence and social action initiatives in the local community.
Eta Chapter has always and will continue to maintain a high level of excellence as a chapter. We are committed to “Preserving Eta’s past…. honoring Eta’s present…and embracing Eta’s future”. The Men of the Mighty Eta Chapter are further committed to ensuring that their lives consistently display that “Friendship is Essential to the Soul” and our cardinal principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift are upheld to the highest standard.