Kappa Alpha Psi was founded on the campus of Indiana University on January 5, 1911. The Fraternity's fundamental purpose is achievement.
In the early 1900's, African-American students were actively dissuaded from attending college. Formidable obstacles were erected to prevent the few who were enrolled from assimilating into co-curricular campus life. This ostracism characterized Indiana University in 1911, thus causing Elder W. Diggs, Byron K. Armstrong, and eight other black students to form Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, which remains the only Greek letter organization with its 1st Chapter on the University's campus.
The founders of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. are pictured below and were: Elder Watson Diggs, most affectionately known as 'The Dreamer', Dr. Ezra D. Alexander, Dr. Byron Kenneth Armstrong, Atty. Henry Tourner Asher, Dr. Marcus Peter Blakemore, Paul Waymond Caine, George Wesley Edmonds, Dr. Guy Levis Grant, Edward Giles Irvin, and Sgt. John Milton Lee.
The founders endeavored to establish the fraternity with a strong foundation before embarking on plans of expansion. By the end of the first year, the ritual was completed, and a design for the coat of arms and motto had begun. These men sought a formula that would immediately raise the sights of black collegians and stimulate them to accomplishments higher than they might have imagined.
Fashioning achievement as it's purpose, Kappa Alpha Psi began uniting college men of culture, patriotism and honor in a bond of fraternity.
Ventura (CA) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Chartered April 30, 1977. In 1959 at Jackson State University George Sims was initiated into the Delta Delta Chapter. In the same month Brother Sims went to Tougaloo College, Gamma Rho Chapter, to aid in the initiation of Milton Harrion. Nine years later in 1968, in Oxnard; California while looking for a barber shop Brothers Harrion and Sims met once again. Brother Harrion was just recently released from the service. They discussed old times and spoke of other Kappa’s in the Ventura area. This meeting of the two Brothers inspired them and the dream to charter a local chapter was born.
The first meeting of Kappa brothers was at the home of Milton Harrion. The brothers in attendance were: Melvin Carrol, Gerad Smith, Frederick Burke, David Jones and George Sims. The brothers started meeting monthly at each of the brothers homes. Since their numbers were less than the requirement for forming a chapter, the formation of an association seemed prudent at the time. But checking the area thoroughly Brothers Leroy Brady, Al Brownlee Jr., Charles Lindsey and Herbert Smith were found to also live in the area and thus the Brothers from Ventura County, California now had the required number for chartering a chapter. In attendance at one of the earlier meetings was Province Polemarch Robert L. Harris. Brother Harris commented on what was being done correctly and made recommendations for other items that were needed to conform to protocols of the Province and National offices. With these ten brothers the application for a charter was made and was approved. Western Province Polemarch Robert L. Harris, conducted the installation ceremonies for the two new alumni chapters, Ventura and Long Beach, at the Los Angeles Chapter House.
The Ventura alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. became the first black Greek organization in Ventura county.The first officers were: Polemarch Milton Harrion, Vice Polemarch, Leroy Brady Keeper of Records, Fred Burke Keeper of Exchequer, Melvin Carrol Historian, and Gerard Smith.
Further search found more area brothers, Willie Davis, Mickey Townsend, Joseph Jimerson, (Brother Joseph Jimerson was an awardee of the Guy L. Grant award, the Highest Undergraduate award in the Fraternity). The first line of new initiates for the Ventura Chapter consisted of five Pledgees: Emile Lee, Wilbur Chandler, Robert Sanford, Jessie Washington and Gary Harbour. The initiation ceremony was held at the home of Brother Walter Jourdan (Now the home of Brother Gary Harbour). In attendance were: Brother Senior Province Vice Polemarch Ed Shelton and brother Kevin Harbour, the older brother of the initiate Gary Harbour.
The first fund raiser was a party/auction at the home of Dr. David Jones. There was a live band and a special guest pianist and popular blues singer Charles Brown. The auction was a success and unveiled the talents of brothers and the handicrafts of the brothers Silhouettes. This affair was the forerunner of later Auctions and the now very popular annual Black & White ball. Other Brothers with early associations with the Ventura chapter were: Major League, Mitch Washington, Mitch Forte, Otis Brantley and Dr. Eugene McGaugh. Over the past three decades the Ventura Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated continues to support the community in various ways and has provided numerous scholarships throughout the years to many local area High School graduates.