An African American fraternal organization founded on Friday, November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by three undergraduate students and their faculty advisor. The undergraduate founders of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. were Howard University juniors Bishop Edgar Amos Love, Dr. Oscar James Cooper and Professor Frank Coleman. The faculty advisor was Dr. Ernest Everett Just. The fraternity operated without official sanction until the university withdrew its opposition in 1914. Omega Psi Phi was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on October 28, 1914. The fraternity is the first black national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college.
From its inception, the fraternity has worked to build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift, and capable of giving expression to the hopes and aspirations of an unfree people in the land of the free. In 1927, at the urging of fraternity member Bro. Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity made National Negro Achievement Week an annual observance and it continues today as Black History Month.
In 1930, Omega Psi Phi became one of the founding members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). 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 and provides an annual gift of $50,000 to the UNCF.
Omega Psi Phi offers college, graduate, and honorary membership to potential aspirants. College students must be matriculating towards a bachelor's degree at a four year institution, have 36 semester credits and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. An initiant into the graduate chapter must already possess a bachelor's degree. The fraternity grants honorary membership to men who have contributed to society in a positive way on a national or international level.
Today, Omega Psi Phi has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands,Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. There are many notable Omega Men recognized as leaders in the arts,the sciences, academics,athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, state, district, national and international level. Some of these men include Executive Directors of the NAACP Roy Wilkins and Benjamin Hooks, former President of the National Urban League, Vernon Jordan, and President & CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson. Not to mention comedians and actors William "Bill" Cosby, Steve Harvey and Rickey Smiley. Their impressive members also include world renowned poet Langston Hughes and several athletes including six time NBA champion Michael J. Jordan, three time NBA champion Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal, New Jersey Nets superstar Vince Carter, Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Steve McNair, MLB's "Homerun King" Henry "Hank" Aaron, World Series Champion David Justice. Also, two former governors William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder (Virginia) and numerous presidents of historically black colleges and universities grace the roster of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Did you know that Ronald E. McNair, the African-American astronaut that died in the Challenger explosion, was a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.?