HISTORY OF ETA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC.
During Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.’s Centennial Celebration in Washington, DC more than 50 alumni brothers of Eta Chapter gathered on the campus of Howard University’s Frederick Douglas Hall on Friday, July 27, 2011 to meet and discuss the state of Eta Chapter. The meeting and events were spearheaded and organized by Bros. Jerry Foster (Fall 77), Willie McCoy (Spring 89), Raymond Bell (Spring 89), Dr. Desean Coleman (Fall 94), Deverick Walton (Spring 95), and Edwin Norwood (Spring 03).
The meeting resulted in alumni brothers concluding that we must organize for the purposes of: (1) establishing an alumni association, (2) offering assistance and mentorship to our undergraduate brothers at Eta Chapter, and (3) reconnecting as alumni brothers of Eta Chapter. Bro. Tony Hodge (Fall 81) agreed to develop and present a strategic plan for Homecoming 2011. Bros. Ronie Griffin and Dennis Davis (Fall 84) volunteered to assist Bro. Hodge in the endeavor. Other alumni brothers who joined the steering committee and consistently lent their assistance and support throughout the initial process were Bros. Alvin Jackson (Spring 83), Willie Davis (Spring 83), Willie McCoy (Spring 89), Dr. Desean Coleman (Fall 94), Deverick Walton (Spring 95), Edwin Norwood (Spring 03), and Dr. Jason Walker (Spring 03).
Following the Centennial meeting the committee met via teleconference on a weekly basis. The strategic plan was developed, presented to the body, and approved at the first annual meeting on October 21, 2011. The key take-aways from the initial annual meeting was the approval of: (1) the organization’s name “Eta Alumni Association (EAA)”; (2) the organizational purpose and mission “To uplift the community through philanthropic, social action, and mentoring initiatives for our undergraduate brothers, Alcorn State University, and adults, families, and youth in the local communities.”; and (3) the organizational motto “EAA…Empowering, Inspiring, Encouraging, & Uplifting”
On March 17, 2012, EAA was incorporated. On July 20, 2012, EAA By-Laws were approved by the Steering Committee. On September 29, 2012 during the second annual meeting the body elected the first working board of directors and approved EAA’s By-Laws. The officers were President (Bro. Ronie Griffin/Fall 84); Vice President (Bro. Dennis Davis/Fall 84); Treasurer (Bro. Alvin Jackson/Spring 83); Assistant Treasurer (Bro. Deverick Walton/Spring 95); Secretary (Bro. Willie Davis/Spring 83); and Assistant Secretary (Bro. Willie McCoy/Spring 89). This board served from 2012 through 2016.
On November 18, 2016, EAA’s second board of directors were elected. The elected officers were President (Bro. Dennis Davis/Fall 84); Vice President (Bro. Deverick Walton/Spring 95); Treasurer (Bro. Ronie Griffin/Fall 84); Assistant Treasurer (Bro. Willie McCoy/Spring 89); Secretary (Bro. Cyrus Russ/Fall 94); and Assistant Secretary (Vacant). Bros. Alvin Jackson (Spring 83); Willie Davis (Spring 83); and Dr. Jason Walker (Spring 03) served as at large members of the board.
On March 24, 2017, EAA was granted 501c3 status as a non-profit organization. On October 11, 2019, Eta Chapter in collaboration with EAA held their Centennial Celebration. Almost 150 Eta Chapter undergraduate and alumni brothers registered for this event and almost another 100 visiting brothers were in attendance for this event. The Centennial Celebration highlights consisted of a Day of Services, a Prayer Breakfast, a $20,000 donation to Alcorn State University, and a Black-Tie Gala Banquet where Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Grand Basileus, Dr. David Marion served as the Keynote Speaker.
In January 2021, EAA’s third board of directors were elected. The elected officers were President (Bro. Willie Jones/Fall 76); Vice President (Vacant); Treasurer (Bro. Willie McCoy/Spring 89); Assistant Treasurer (Bro. Dr. Jason Walker/Spring 03); Secretary (Bro. Cyrus Russ/Fall 94); and Assistant Secretary (Bro. DeMichael Queen/Spring 14). Bros. Alvin Jackson (Spring 83); Willie Davis (Spring 83); Ronie Griffin (Fall 84); and Deverick Walton (Spring 95) were elected At-Large Members. EAA expanded its board to include decade coordinators. The elected decade coordinators were Bros. James Stubbs (Fall 70) – 1970s Coordinator; Dennis Davis (Fall 84) -1980s Coordinator; Shannon Lott (Fall 94) -1990s Coordinator; Desmond Hammett (Fall 06) — 2000s Coordinator; and Rahmon Brown (Spring 11) – 2010s Coordinator.
Since EAA’s inception, tens of thousands of dollars have been donated for scholarships and educational assistance to high school students and undergraduate members of EAA. We have also spent thousands of man hours mentoring and teaching leadership and life skill lessons to undergraduate members of EAA, as well as, youth in the local community. EAA has engaged in numerous social action and philanthropic initiatives on the campus of Alcorn State University. EAA has adopted the Alcorn State University’s Early Childhood Learning Center and made annual toy and book donations to the center. EAA has also established an endowment with ASU Foundation. The endowment is earmarked for scholarships, ASU Early Childhood Learning Center, and assisting other departments on the campus of Alcorn State University. Through this endowment, EAA has made contributions totaling almost $30,000 to Alcorn State University. EAA is currently developing a strategic plan to grow the endowment to position the organization to make a substantive contribution in excess of $100,000 within the next three years. EAA has also engaged in family assistance and crisis intervention for needy families. EAA has been and will continue to be committed to Encouraging, Inspiring, Empowering, and Uplifting mankind.