Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is a historically African American fraternity. Since the fraternity’s founding on January 5, 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington, the fraternity has never restricted membership on the basis of color, creed or national origin though membership traditionally is dominated by those of African heritage. The fraternity has over 160,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the United States, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Japan, United States Virgin Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, and The Bahamas.
The president of the national fraternity is known as the Grand Polemarch, who assigns a Province Polemarch for each of the twelve provinces (regions) of the nation. The fraternity has many notable members recognized as leaders in the arts, athletics, business, Civil Rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, national and international level. The Kappa Alpha Psi Journal has been the official magazine of the fraternity since 1914. The Journal is published four times a year in February, April, October and December. Frank M. Summers was the magazine’s first editor and later became the Fourteenth Grand Polemarch. The former editor of the magazine was Jonathan Hicks. The current editor of the magazine is Earl T. Tildon.
Motto: “Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor”
Founded: January 5, 1911, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA
Colors: Crimson; Cream
Member number: 150,000+ members
The fraternity was founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911, by ten African-American college students. The decision upon the name Kappa Alpha Nu may have been to honor the Alpha Kappa Nu club which began in 1903 on the Indiana University campus but had too few registrants to effect continued operation. The organization known today as Kappa Alpha Psi was nationally incorporated under the name of Kappa Alpha Nu on May 15, 1911. The name of the organization was changed to its current name in 1915, shortly after its creation. The fraternity is unique among NPHC affiliated organizations in that it has two names: Kappa Alpha Psi (ΚΑΨ) and Phi Nu Pi (ΦΝΠ). This second name is the source of the nickname for members, “Nupes”.
The Kappa “Kane”
In the 1950s, as black Greek-letter organizations began the tradition of step shows, the fraternity began using the “Kappa Kane” in what it termed “cane stepping”. The kappa canes were longer in the 1950s than in later decades. In the early 1960s, the cane was decorated with the fraternity colors. In the 1970s the cane was shortened so brothers could “twirl” and tap the cane in the choreography with high dexterity
Guide Right is a program for the educational and occupational guidance of youth, primarily inspirational and informational in character. Its reach extends to high schools and colleges alike. In the latter, giving due attention to the needs of undergraduate Brothers.
The Kappa League is a series of activities designed to help young high school male students develop their leadership talents. The activities provide both challenging and rewarding experiences to enhance their lives. The goal of the League is to help the students achieve worthy goals for themselves and to make meaningful contributions to their communities.
Student of the Year Competition
The Student of the Year Competition is a contest that encompasses six areas deemed critical to a successful life – scholarship, talent, community involvement, poise and appearance, career preparation, and model chapter operation. Each Province sponsors a pageant during its council. In the year of a Grand Chapter Meeting, the Province winners compete at the Grand Chapter Meeting.
Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation
The “Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation” established in 1981, is the philanthropic arm of the fraternity and assists both alumni and undergraduate chapters in support of scholarships, after-school programs, and national projects such as Habitat for Humanity.
The NPHC is composed of nine international black Greek-letter sororities and fraternities and promotes interaction through forums, meetings, and other mediums for the exchange of information, and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.
The NIC serves to advocate the needs of its member fraternities through enrichment of the fraternity experience, advancement and growth of the fraternity community, and enhancement of the educational mission of the host institutions.
In 1921, the Fraternity was divided into districts as a result of proposed legislation by George F. David II, the third Grand Polemarch. David was first Grand Polemarch who had not been nurtured by the Alpha chapter under the influence of the Founders, proposed dividing the Fraternity into supervisory districts. The idea originated with his father who was a Presiding Elder of the A.M.E. Church. Grand Polemarch David II, implemented the division of the Fraternity into three districts.
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