The ladies were beautiful and the gentlemen were dashing as members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Nu Sigma (Philadelphia Alumni) Chapter, celebrated its 90thanniversary at the President’s Ball and Gala. The black-tie formal took place at the Philadelphia Downtown Sheraton on Saturday evening. The event was attended by 350 members and guests.
Officers of the chapter include the president, the Rev. Christopher Brown, and vice president, Terrance Sistrunk. National officers in attendance included President Jimmy Hammock; first vice president Jonathan Mason Sr., Eastern regional director Leonard Lockhart; social action director Darryl T. Williams and director of collegiate affairs Ray Smith.
The Rev. Alyn E. Waller, fraternity member and pastor of Enon Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia, was the evening’s dynamic keynote speaker. He led a charge to the attendees to reach back to their communities, using the Biblical story of Esther as inspiration.
Hugh L. Douglas, also a member of the fraternity, former member of the Philadelphia Eagles and an ESPN analyst, was the evening’s master of ceremonies.
The gala theme was “It Takes Legends to Make Stars.” Eight senior members of the chapter were honored. Included in this group are the late Floyd Alston and the late Henry Moore. Their wives, Marilyn Alston and Mary Ion Moore, were present to accept awards on behalf of their beloved and distinguished partners in life.
Other highlights of the affair included a wonderful hospitality suite, a silent auction, dancing past midnight and exceptional centerpieces designed by Shawn Alexandra Graham of Soiree.
Another especially nice touch was the acknowledgement the presence of members of other fraternities and sororities. Members stood and received a warm round of applause.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The founders, A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse and Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek-letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service.
The founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community. They believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits, rather than his family background or affluence…without regard to race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. They desired for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the “inclusive we” rather than the “exclusive we”.
From its inception, the founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. This deep conviction was mirrored in the Fraternity’s motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”.
Phi Beta Sigma’s Nu Sigma (Philadelphia Alumni) Chapter was established in 1922 by the brothers of Epsilon Chapter, a citywide undergraduate chapter chartered at Temple University. Both undergraduate and graduate brothers held membership in Epsilon Chapter until Nu Sigma, a graduate chapter, was chartered. All Sigmas in the city met together under the leadership of Epsilon Chapter until there were enough members to independentlysustain a graduate chapter.
Nu Sigma Chapter has continued from the beginning to carry the banner of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity in the city of Brotherly Love, hosting national conclaves in 1941 and 1961, and regional conferences in 1954, 1967, 1977 and 2002. Over the years, the chapter has carried out the national programs of education, aocial action and bigger and better business through a variety of programs.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and Nu Sigma Chapter look forward to July 2013, when its biennial conclave will be hosted in Philadelphia
Congratulations to the gala committee members for a job well done; Nolan Fontaine (chair), Derek Bowmer, Brandon Brown, Roger Graham, Brad Leak, Howard Lucas, Daniel Tann and Curtis Word.
Have a fantastic week “Out & About,” everyone!