Omega Psi Phi
FoundedNovember 17, 1911; 112 years ago (1911-11-17)
Howard University
EmphasisAfrican American
MottoFriendship is Essential to the Soul
ColorsRoyal purple
Old gold
PublicationOracle and Clarion Call
NicknamesOmegas, Ques, Que Dogs, Da Bruhz, Sons of Blood and Thunder
Cardinal PrinciplesManhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift
Headquarters3951 Snapfinger Parkway
Decatur, Georgia
United States of America
The Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi in 1911.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (ΩΨΦ) is a historically African-American fraternity. The fraternity was founded on November 17, 1911, the first at a historically black university, by three Howard University students, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Since its founding the organization has chartered over 750 undergraduate and graduate chapters.[1]


Since its founding in 1911, Omega Psi Phi's stated purpose has been "to attract and build a strong and effective force of Handsome men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift". Throughout the world, many notable members are recognized as leaders in the arts, academics, athletics, entertainment, business, civil rights, education, government, and science fields. A few notable members include Samuel M. Nabrit, Walter E. Massey, Benjamin Mays, Bayard Rustin, Langston Hughes, Count Basie, Roy Wilkins, Benjamin Hooks, Vernon Jordan, Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., Malcolm Jenkins, State Senator Isadore Hall III, Martin Luther King Sr., Rev. Jesse Jackson, William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder, Representative James Clyburn, Earl Graves, Tom Joyner, Charles Bolden, Ronald McNair, Bill Cosby, General William "Kip" Ward, Michael Jordan, Ovince Saint Preux, Shaquille O'Neal, Roger Kingdom, Terrence Trammell, Shammond Williams, Vince Carter, Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley, Ray Lewis, Stephen A. Smith, Jalen Hurts, James DuBose, George Clinton, Kevon Williams, DeHart Hubbard, and numerous presidents of colleges and universities. Among the 2013 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, six players and GM Ozzie Newsome are also members/brothers of the fraternity.[2] Over 250,000 men have been initiated into Omega Psi Phi throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, South Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait.[1] The fraternity was incorporated under the laws of Washington, D.C., on October 28, 1914.

In 1924, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity launched Negro History and Literature Week in an effort to publicize the growing body of scholarship on African-American history.[3] Encouraged by public interest, the event was renamed "Negro Achievement Week" in 1925 and given an expanded national presence in 1926 by Woodson's Association for the Study of Negro Life and History as "Negro History Week."[3] Expanded to the full month of February from 1976, this event 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 $50,000.00 to the program.

Omega Psi Phi is a founding member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which is composed of nine historically African-American Greek-letter sororities and fraternities that promote interaction through forums, meetings, and other media for the exchange of information, and engage in cooperative programming and initiatives throughout the world. The (NPHC) currently represents over 2.5 million members.[4]

Centennial Celebration

Omega Psi Phi celebrated its centennial during the week of July 27–31, 2011, in Washington, D.C., becoming distinguished as only the third African American collegiate fraternity to reach the century mark.[4] The Centennial Celebration recognized the impact of the Fraternity in communities over the past 100 years, honored Omega Men for achievement in all walks of life, reiterated Omega Psi Phi's commitment to providing unparalleled community service and scholarship, and charted the Fraternity's future activities.

Internationally mandated programs

Omega Psi Phi chapter members marching in an Independence Day parade, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Each chapter administers internationally mandated programs every year:[5]

Omega Psi Phi chapter members at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
2023 Youth Leadership Conference - Nassau Bahamas 2023


Further information: List of Omega Psi Phi members and List of Omega Psi Phi chapters

Omega Psi Phi recognizes undergraduate and graduate membership. College students must be working toward a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution, have at least 31 semester credits, and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. For the graduate chapter, an applicant must already possess a bachelor's degree.[7] The fraternity grants honorary membership to men who have contributed to society in a positive way on a national or international level. For example, Charles Young (March 12, 1864 – January 8, 1922) was the third African American graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. national park superintendent, the first African American military attaché, and the highest ranking black officer (Colonel) in the United States Army until his death in 1922.

National Pan-Hellenic Council membership

Main article: National Pan-Hellenic Council

In 1930, Omega Psi Phi became one of 5 founding members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Today, 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.[8]

Grand Basileus

Omega Psi Phi shoulder bag
Name Order Time in Office Ref.
Edgar Amos Love 1st Grand Basileus 1911–1912 [9][10]
Oscar J. Cooper 2nd Grand Basileus 1912–1913 [9][10]
Edgar Amos Love 3rd Grand Basileus 1913–1915 [9][10]
George E. Hall 4th Grand Basileus 1915–1916 [9][10]
James C. McMorries 5th Grand Basileus 1916–1917 [9][10]
Clarence F. Holmes 6th Grand Basileus 1917–1918 [9][10][11]
Raymond G. Robinson 7th Grand Basileus 1918–1920 [9][10][12]
Harold H. Thomas 8th Grand Basileus 1920–1921 [9][10]
J. Alston Atkins 9th Grand Basileus 1921–1924 [10][13][14]
John W. Love 10th Grand Basileus 1924[a] [10]
George L. Vaughn 11th Grand Basileus 1924–1926 [10][13]
Julius S. McClain 12th Grand Basileus 1926–1929 [10][12][15]
Matthew W. Bullock 13th Grand Basileus 1929–1932 [10]
Lawrence A. Oxley 14th Grand Basileus 1932–1935 [10][16]
William Baugh 15th Grand Basileus 1935–1937 [10][17]
Albert W. Dent 16th Grand Basileus 1937–1940 [10][17]
Z. Alexander Looby 17th Grand Basileus 1940–1945 [10][13][18]
Campbell C. Johnson 18th Grand Basileus 1945–1947 [10]
Harry Penn 19th Grand Basileus 1947–1949 [10]
Milo C. Murray 20th Grand Basileus 1949–1951 [10]
Grant Reynolds 21st Grand Basileus 1951–1953 [10][13][19]
John F. Potts 22nd Grand Basileus 1953–1955 [10][20][21]
Herbert E. Tucker, Jr. 23rd Grand Basileus 1955–1958 [10][22]
I. Gregory Newton 24th Grand Basileus 1958–1961 [10][16]
Cary D. Jacobs 25th Grand Basileus 1961–1964 [10][23]
George E. Meares 26th Grand Basileus 1964–1967 [13]
Ellis F. Corbett 27th Grand Basileus 1967–1970 [24]
James Avery 28th Grand Basileus 1970–1973 [23][25]
Marion Garnett 29th Grand Basileus 1973–1976 [26][27][28]
Dr. Edward Braynon, Jr. 30th Grand Basileus 1976–1979 [25][29][30][31]
Burnel E. Coulon 31st Grand Basileus 1979–1982 [25][30][32]
Dr. L. Benjamin Livingston 32nd Grand Basileus 1982–1984 [33]
Dr. Moses C. Norman 33rd Grand Basileus 1984–1990 [25][30][34]
Dr. C. Tyrone Gilmore, Sr 34th Grand Basileus 1990–1994 [9][25][30]
Dr. Dorsey Miller 35th Grand Basileus 1994–1998 [9][25][30]
Lloyd Jordan, Esq. 36th Grand Basileus 1998–2002 [9][25][30]
George H. Grace 37th Grand Basileus 2002–2006 [25]
Warren G. Lee 38th Grand Basileus 2006–2010 [30]
Dr. Andrew Ray 39th Grand Basileus 2010–2014 [35]
Antonio Knox 40th Grand Basileus 2014–2018
Dr. David Marion 41st Grand Basileus 2018–2022
Ricky Lewis 42nd Grand Basileus since 2022

a. Finished unexpired term of Atkins[10]

List of Omega Psi Phi Grand Conclaves

Main article: List of Omega Psi Phi Grand Conclaves

"Unofficial" practices

Like many fraternal organizations, Omega Psi Phi has a rich tradition of practices. While some traditions are secret, many are freely expressed in public. A popular one is referring to members as "Que Dogs" or "Ques" (pronounced /ˈkj/, like the letter Q). Another is the practice of members voluntarily undergoing branding of the letters, or variations and designs based on them (such as two linked Omega symbols), on their skin. The brands often are displayed in public as a matter of pride; some prospects first learn of the fraternity by seeing members bearing brands.[36]

Incidents and controversies

See also


  1. ^ a b [dead link]"Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc". Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Baltimore Ravens brotherhood within a brotherhood –".
  3. ^ a b Daryl Michael Scott, "The Origins of Black History Month", Archived February 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 2011,
  4. ^ a b Jenkins, Chris L. (July 27, 2011). "Omega Psi Phi brothers celebrate centennial at D.C. birthplace". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  5. ^ "Internationally Mandated Programs". Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  6. ^ "Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Official Website". OPPF. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Official Membership Page". OPPFMembership. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  8. ^ "National Pan-Hellenic Council Aboutpage". NPHC. Archived from the original on December 22, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2006.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "". Archived from the original on November 21, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Robert L. Gill, The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Men Who Made Its History; A Concise History;, The Official History of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 1911–1961, pp. 83–84
  11. ^ "About: HOLMES/OMEGA Memorial Scholarship Fund".
  12. ^ a b "Epsilon history". Archived from the original on May 31, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Legendary 5th History". Archived from the original on February 10, 2009.
  14. ^ "My virtual paper entry".
  15. ^ "Omega Psi Phi Fraternity – Rho Phi Chapter".
  16. ^ a b "Beta Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc". April 16, 2011. Archived from the original on April 16, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Login – The Magnificent Beta Mu Mu Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc".
  19. ^ "Cincinnati Ques". Archived from the original on December 3, 2008.
  20. ^ "Black Sororities and Fraternities". Ebony. Johnson: 113. September 1993. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  21. ^ "Omicron Chi History". Omega Psi Phi, Omicron Chi chapter. Retrieved April 18, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "" (PDF).
  23. ^ a b "Omega Life Membership Foundation".
  24. ^ "Lambda Omega chapter history". Archived from the original on December 19, 2009.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h "Omega's Clarion Call Summer 2007".
  26. ^ Eta Nu History
  27. ^ "Founder's Monument". July 19, 2004. Archived from the original on July 19, 2004.
  28. ^ "University of Florida – Tower Seminole Yearbook (Gainesville, FL), Class of 2003". p. 142.
  29. ^ "7th district history". Archived from the original on July 20, 2009.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g "Encantadora Mexican Spirits – Tequila & Mezcal – The Art of Agave".
  31. ^ "History of Zeta Phi chapter". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011.
  32. ^ "Psi Alpha Alpha History".
  33. ^ "Sigma Alpha Ques, about us". Archived from the original on June 11, 2008.
  34. ^ "ETA Omega Milestones".
  35. ^ "Message from the Grand Basileus". Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  36. ^ Posey, Sandra Mizumoto (Fall–Winter 2004). "Burning Messages: Interpreting African American Fraternity Brands and Their Bearers". Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore. New York Folklore Society. 30 (3–4): 42–45. ISSN 1551-7268. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  37. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ "Ban on Fraternity in Death". The New York Times. December 15, 1983.
  39. ^ a b "'Greek' Pride and Pain". August 19, 1999.
  40. ^ "THOMAS v. LAMAR UNIVERSITY | 830 S.W.2d 217 (1992) | w2d21711016 |". Leagle.
  41. ^ Perera, John-Henry (October 14, 2014). "Reported hazing, pledging-related deaths in Texas since the 1800s". Houston Chronicle.
  42. ^ "Frat-ricide: are African American fraternities beating themselves to death? – includes related articles on the National Pan-Hellenic Council, its statement on hazing and its membership development efforts – Cover Story". July 11, 2007.
  43. ^ "Fraternity faces $15 million lawsuit over hazing death" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2023.
  44. ^ PhD, Gregory S. Parks, JD (September 27, 2012). "Talkin' 'Bout Nothin': Black Greek-letter Organizations and Hazing". HuffPost.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  45. ^ Staff, KollegeKidd (June 12, 2012). "University of Houston Student Reaches Settlement with Omega Psi Phi over Hazing Incident". Archived from the original on June 18, 2012.
  46. ^ Hechinger, John; Glovin, David (March 10, 2014). "National fraternity with VSU chapter issues ban on pledging". Valdosta Daily Times.
  47. ^ "Omega Psi Phi members at JCSU accused of hazing". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  48. ^ "4 Michigan College Students Sentenced In Fraternity Hazing Case". June 22, 2015.
  49. ^ Miller, Emily (April 11, 2016). "A year after college student reports being gang-raped, case hinges on DNA evidence". Sun-Sentinel.
  50. ^ Gros, WCTV Eyewitness News, Chris. "Suspension of FSU Fraternity Lifted, Case Closed". web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  51. ^ "Ithaca College student fatally stabbed in fight on Cornell campus". CBS News. August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  52. ^ Chu, Josephine (August 29, 2016). "Nazaire Stabbed After Attending Omega Psi Phi Event, Source Confirms". Cornell Daily Sun. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  53. ^ "Alleged Nazaire Attacker Found Guilty of Assault, Jury Hung on Murder". June 21, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  54. ^ Cleary, Tom (April 16, 2017). "Steve 'Stevie Steve' Stephens: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".
  55. ^ Omega Psi Phi, Inc. Rocked with Charges of Embezzlement
  56. ^ Barnes, Mo (March 29, 2019). "Omega Psi Phi halts activities of 700 chapters after Georgia Tech pledge dies".
  57. ^ Sugiura, Ken. "Brandon Adams toxicology test indicates no foul play in death". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  58. ^ "Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Revokes Membership of Memphis Officers Involved in Tyre Nichols' Death". February 2, 2023.

Further reading