Phi Beta Sigma celebrates 105th anniversary
by Hiram Velez, Staff Writer
The University of West Florida’s Phi Beta Sigma celebrated Founder’s Day on Wednesday, commemorating the fraternity’s 105th anniversary. The chapter was chartered at the campus of the University of West Florida on April 8, 2007.
Phi Beta Sigma member Chris King said Founder’s Day is a day to honor the legacy and tradition of a prestigious fraternity.
“Every year we bring in our Founder’s Day on campus with brothers until around (midnight),” King said. “And we have a celebration near the University Commons during the day.”
King added that the fraternity’s diversity helps the organization connect with various groups on campus.
“Diversity is an important part of us as well,” King said. “We have different types of people in our fraternity that have access to different crowds we can reach and impact around campus.”
Phi Beta Sigma is a Greek fraternity that is a part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Founded on Jan. 9, 1914, three young African-American male students started this prestigious fraternity with nine other Howard students who later became charter members.
These students who later became founders of this Divine Nine fraternity include A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse and Charles I. Brown. These young men were in search of starting a Greek letter organization that would portray the qualities of brotherhood, scholarship and service.
Instead of starting an organization that was separate from the community, they looked to be viewed as a part of the general community. These actions were in hopes of acquiring skills that would be beneficial to the general population rather than exclusively for themselves or immediate families.
This was embedded in the fraternity’s motto: “Culture for service and service for humanity”.
These values are outlined in Phi Beta Sigma’s will, including to “create an environment that respects the dignity and worth of each brother” and to “ensure that the fraternity programs are focused and committed to serving humanity.”