Omega Psi Phi Celebrates 80 Years in Charleston

Kurt Walker Basileus, Mu Alpha Chapter, Dr. Titus Reaves, Professor MUSC, Paula Traktman, Antonio F. Knox, 40th Grand Basileus Omega Psi Phi, Melvin M. Mitchell 41st Sixth District Representative

Staff Reports   The Mu Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. kicked off its 80th Anniversary celebration with two weeks of activities and events. Founded on August 6, 1938, the chapter has been a devoted community organization in the areas of service and providing scholarship opportunities and programs for local students.

On Monday August 6, members of the chapter met at The Trotters restaurant for a brotherhood lunch. Several members would participate in the weekend activities of the Charleston County School District’s First Day Festival, packing and distributing school supplies to local area students. On Tuesday, August 14, the chapter held a Rededication Ceremony for members of the organization at Mount Zion A.M.E. Church. The church plays an important role in the organization’s history as it was once a place of worship for Mary Just, mother of founding member Dr. Ernest Everett Just.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and Antonio Knox engage in discussion at City Hall during his visit to Charleston

On Friday, August 17, the Office of the Provost of the Medical University hosted members of the organization, including the 40th Grand Basileus Antonio F. Knox and 41st Sixth District Representative Melvin M. Mitchell as the fraternity formally launched the Dr. Ernest Everett Just Scholarship Endowment at MUSC’s Colcock Hall. The endowment was the birth child of members of the local chapter in efforts to honor their founding member and to promote diversity by increasing the African American student population at the school as well.

The International Office of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity under the then leadership of Knox sent $25,000 from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to support the cause of the local chapter. Mu Alpha would contribute $12,500 as well. Individual members also have made contributions pushing the total to near $42,000 to date.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. makes donation to the MUSC Foundation during its 80th anniversary foundation

“The Just Endowment will be a game changer for the landscape of MUSC in the years to come and grant access to those who would otherwise be financially,” stated Chapter Basileus Kurt Walker. The Dr. E.E. Just Gala was held at the Galliard Center on the evening of August 18 where Knox delivered the keynote address and the presentation of the $12,500 was made to Dr. Titus Reaves of MUSC. The kick-off concluded with members of the organization attending worship service at Royal Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, August 19.

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