The Delta Gamma Brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Gather at Shaw University 2018 Homecoming
Homecoming at an HBCU is always special. For many alumni there is not much that we do annually that can rival the sheer joy of a homecoming weekend. We celebrate much livelier than on any other vacation. We meet to see old friends, classmates, faculty members, staff and students. We catch up on what is going on with our fellow alumni whom you will only get to see once a year at Homecoming. We get to hang out on the yard once again. We revisit the memories of our college days. We indulge ourselves in everything. It is always a great time.
In 2018 the Delta Gamma Nupes did a major reboot of the branding and operation under the leadership of Brothers Eric Howard, Avery Upshur, Michael Robinson, Phillip Smith and Anthony Jackson. We endeavored to put on something very special - a weekend to remember for a lifetime. We were able to achieve a level of success that went well beyond our initial planning and our wildest expectations. It was spectacular by any standard.
The Delta Gamma Nupes have endeavored to host great homecomings events in the past. Brothers such as Joseph A, Lewter, Alexander Wynn, Eric Howard, Michael Robinson and others have gone deep into their own pockets to finance the homecoming tailgate cookouts and hospitality suites. The challenge was to coordinate a way to get as many brothers as possible to buy into a joint effort and do something big that Shaw University has never seen before. During Homecoming 2017, that question was asked during the passing of the Loving Cup, we committed ourselves to bringing our chapter back to the pinnacle it once was.
That ceremony was attended by over thirty members initiated into the Delta Gamma Chapter. We engaged ourselves in serious discussion about the many issues; particularly those issues that challenged the Delta Gamma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at Shaw University. During this discussion we confronted the issue of a chapter that was not as strong as it should be. Brothers expressed dismay for not only the chapter but for some each other.
For many years Delta Gamma has always been one of the strongest chapters in the Middle Eastern Province and we saw an opportunity to reclaim our status within the province. Through those same discussions we came to understand that Shaw University and for that matter many colleges made it difficult for fraternities and sororities to operate, fundraise and recruit new members. With those challenges, the undergraduate exchequer was always low and resulted in numerous generous loans through the Raleigh Alumni Chapter for Grand Chapter and Province expenses, sometimes left unpaid. The brothers discussed this issue and after some passionate remarks and some soul searching it was understood that in order for the Delta Gamma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at Shaw University to remain active and sustainable the Alumni Brothers needed to take a much more active role in supporting the chapter both financially and through mentoring. While many of who gathered on that evening were Life Members and active in Alumni Chapters, most were not. We all understood one thing, that the bond amongst the brothers initiated into the Delta Gamma Chapter was sustained at a much greater level of true brotherhood than it is with Kappa Alpha Psi globally. Indeed, most of our best and lifelong friends are Delta Gamma brothers. Some brothers present admittedly do not participate in anything all year long related to Kappa Alpha Psi until they arrive at Shaw University Homecoming. This is not remarkable as there is less than twenty percent of undergraduate initiated Kappas who sustain active financial membership beyond college.
Understanding this background, we decided to ask if brothers would participate in fundraising efforts for three purposes:
Sunshine and welfare for bereavement and support; Financial assistance for the undergraduate brothers with the costs to keep the chapter active;Creating on a Homecoming experience that was clearly reflective of the standards set since 1951 as the best group of men that Shaw University has ever produced.
With the parameters being established, we set about our tasks and established an exchequer to collect and disburse funds appropriately. We made use of social media in order to communicate with brothers quickly and regularly. We set up monthly conference call meetings to keep brothers aware of the status of the chapter and to answer questions that one might have. We set up an organizational structure similar to any undergrad chapter, with voted on leadership. We set high goals, including asking for the funding of the exchequer to potentially reach over six figures. Each brother was asked to contribute a set annual contribution which included possibly monthly payments. Brothers from all over the country began to buy in and gave generously to their one true love — Delta Gamma.
In February of 2018, Brother Herbert Lee ‘Humpty Dump’ Hilliard a 1955 Delta Gamma initiate joined Chapter Invisible. Less than one month later, Brother Israel ‘Benni’ Singleton, charter member of the Delta Gamma (Spring 1951); charter member of the Silver Springs, Maryland Alumni Chapter and National Board Member also joined the Chapter Invisible. Brothers responded with both generosity and with presence for the final farewell and through tributes to our departed Brothers.
By September of 2018, we had succeeded our fundraising goal and wheels were set in motion to host a great Homecoming, a Homecoming to be proud of. Through the works of our leadership team, we successfully planned for events for that Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. All who were in attendance walked away with a sense of pride and a renewed love for our great Chapter and Noble Clan.
That Friday we planned a combined effort to show support of Brother Colin Kaepernick and his fight for social equality and against police brutality. Over 25 brothers filled the ole student center with bright red #7 jersey’s in solidarity, a sight to be seen by the campus.
During our hospitality dinner, we honored Delta Gamma Nupes Brothers William Hooker, former Middle Eastern Province Polemarch and David Imonitie Fall ‘01, the highest individual awards for their undying support of the chapter. We had an abundance of brothers gather, possibly for the first time in the same place from the 50’s; 60’s; 70’s; 80’s; 90’s; early 2000’s and recent neophytes. Seven generations of Delta Gamma Kappa Men altogether in one place! Through our fundraising efforts we were able to provide a $1,000.00 check to Shaw university in support of scholarship for one of our undergraduate brothers.
On Saturday we put on an elaborate tailgate, including custom tailgate games, buffet of food, and a RV hoisting a flag with our Kappa letters 40 feet high in the air. Brothers were provided with custom Delta Gamma shirts and that were worn throughout the event. An aerial video was provided of the festivities which tells the story better than what can be said with words!
To compete the weekend Brothers gathered on campus read the Grand Chapter resolution delivered at the services of Brother Singleton to be maintained in the archives of the Delta Gamma Chapter. We bid farewell to all as we concluded homecoming with a gathering at the home of Brother Louis Torres and we pledged to meet again in 2019 with an even more elaborate schedule of events. The Delta Gamma Nupes are in full effect.
“We endeavored to put on something very special - a weekend to remember for a lifetime.”