Richmond (VA) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Alpha Gamma chapter logo
The Virginia Union University Chapter, The Alpha Gamma (E) (1927)

On April 9, 1927, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. established the Virginia Union University Chapter, the Alpha Gamma (E) of Kappa Alpha Psi. It was the first chapter of the fraternity established in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Brother Jesse M. Tinsley, D.D.S. (Epsilon 1919) and Brother Booker T. Bradshaw, Sr. (Beta 1922) were credited with bringing Kappa to Virginia. It was Brother O.A. Wilson (Epsilon 1918), a coach at Virginia Union University, who first petitioned the fraternity for a chapter. Brother Reverend James Q. Jackson (Xi 1927), a stellar student, served as the first Polemarch. Brother Jackson was an editor of the school newspaper, and a journalist for the J.F. Jones Ministerial League. He would later become the national President of the Delta Sigma Chi Debating Fraternity. After graduating from Lincoln University, Brother Tinsley, a future Laurel Wreath awardee, attended dental school at Meharry Medical College, where he also graduated. He later established a successful dental practice in Richmond, VA.

Brother Oliver S. Gumbs M.D., the 23rd Grand Polemarch, was initiated at Alpha Gamma in 1936. Minice B. Brown (Xi 1927) was the first member of the chapter, by way of the Howard University Chapter, the Xi (E) of Kappa Alpha Psi. The first Alpha Gamma initiates were Brother Clarence A. Davis, Brother General J. Johnson and Brother B.F. Perry, crossing the burning sands on April 21, 1928.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Chapter, The Eta Xi (E) (1974)

In 1972, Robert L. Harrell transferred to the Virginia Commonwealth University from Hampton Institute. While at Hampton, the Beta Chi Chapter (E) of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. inducted Harrell into its Scrollers Club. Upon his arrival at the university, Harrell initiated a study to determine the festivities of establishing a chapter. He enlisted the aid of Dr. Timothy L. Langston (AΞ ‘55), a member of the Richmond (VA) Alumni Chapter (E), as the Dean of Student Services. Brother Langston understood the operations of undergraduates and was committed to their development. He previously serviced in an advisory role with the Alpha (NC), Alpha Delta (SC), Alpha Xi (S) and Alpha Upsilon (SC) Chapters.

On April 10, 1974, Brother Langston agreed to become the Dean of Pledges of a Scrollers Club, compromised of 12 university students. The Virginia Union University Chapter, the Alpha Gamma (E) and the Richmond (VA) Alumni (E) chapter supervised the pledge activities. Brother Cordell R. Cahill (AΦ ‘65), Brother Raymond E. Johnson, Sr. (AΓ ‘70) and Brother Clarence F. Nelson, Jr. (BX ‘69), all members of the Richmond (VA) Alumni Chapter (E), were actively involved in the pledge program. The Richmond (VA) Alumni Chapter (E) initiated its Scrollers and the university Scrollers in the fraternity at a joint ceremony, attended by the 13th Province Polemarch James A. Overton (AΓ ’32) and Executive Secretary Earl A. Morris (AΦ ’57).

The establishment of the Virginia Commonwealth University Chapter, the Eta Xi (E) of Kappa Alpha Psi on October 19, 1974, was a history-making event for the Eastern Province. This was the first chapter in the Virginia established at a state university not designated a historically black institution. It clearly demonstrated the appeal a Greek letter organization founded on sound principles with a focus upon Achievement can have at any institution.