On January 5, 1911, 10 young men who were students at Indiana University located in Bloomington, Indiana gave birth to a dream. Elder Watson Diggs, Dr. Byron Kenneth Armstrong, John Milton Lee, Atty. Henry T. Asher, Dr. Marcus Peter Blakemore, Dr. Guy Levis Grant, Paul Waymond Caine, Dr. Ezra Dee Alexander, George W. Edmunds and Edward G. Irvin founded the Kappa Alpha Nu Fraternity which origins grew out of the desire of Midwest students to organize themselves into a group which rested upon a democratic foundation. Kappa Alpha Nu Fraternity did not “warm over” the principles or practices of other Greek letter organizations. This Fraternity would seek to raise the sights of African-American youths and stimulate them to realize accomplishments higher than might otherwise be realized or even imagined. On May 15, 1911 Articles of Incorporation were filed in the office of the Secretary of State of Indiana for the incorporation of the Grand Chapter of Kappa Alpha Nu Fraternity at which point it became the first undergraduate college fraternity to be incorporated by African-Americans as a national body.
From those humble beginnings, the spirit of Kappa Alpha Nu Fraternity spread to other institutions affording students the opportunity to experience the Brotherhood that this growing fraternity established. On April 15, 1915 under Proclamation from Grand Polemarch Elder Watson Diggs the name of the fraternity was changed to Kappa Alpha Psi. Kappa Alpha Psi continued to grow spreading throughout the Mid West. The first alumni chapter was formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1919 and the undergraduate chapters were spread from Nebraska to Pennsylvania and from Illinois to Tennessee. The first chapter in the Deep South was Pi Chapter, chartered in 1919 at Morehouse College located in Atlanta, Georgia. By 1925, Kappa Alpha Psi was no longer a regional organization composed of a few youths, but a national fraternity of members who embraced the concept of achievement in many cities throughout the nation.
Kappa Alpha Psi has grown from the 10 young men who formed the Alpha Chapter located at Indiana University to over 150,000 men who compose nearly 700 undergraduate and graduate chapters stretching throughout the United States, the Grand Bahamas, Germany, England, Japan and Korea.The fundamental purpose of Kappa Alpha Psi is honorable achievement in every field of human endeavor. The fraternity membership includes: Award Winning Writer Lerone Bennett, Actor/Comedian Cedric The Entertainer, the late Attorney Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Founder/CEO of BET Robert Johnson, the late Attorney Donald L. Hollowell, Musician Montell Jordan, NBA Hall of Fame Member Bill Russell as well as many other noted and accomplished politicians, musicians, athletes, entertainers, businessmen, scientists and educators.
Kappa Alpha Psi is also dedicated to community service. Guide Right is the National Social Outreach Program of Kappa Alpha Psi which began in 1922. Today, National Guide-Right Programs provide programming, role models, mentors and financial assistance for at risk youth in communities throughout the country.
For 100 years, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated has united college men of culture, patriotism, and honor in a bond fraternity.