- 100 Years
- In Every Field
- Awards and Awardees
- BAC Polemarchs
- Virtual Exhibit
- Elbert Strothers
- George F. David III
- Howard L. Tutman Jr.
- James Fleming
- Melvin Jackson
- William Clem, II
- Charles Tildon
Ten years after the organization and incorporation of Kappa Alpha Psi (born Kappa Alpha Nu), the Baltimore (MD) Alumni Chapter was chartered on September 9th, 1921. It was the brainchild of George L. Newman, a Lincoln University (PA) Alumnus and an initiate of the Lincoln University Chapter, the Epsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi. Robert L. Jackson, M.D. (Kappa), pharmacists Newman and N. Monroe Scott (Xi) petitioned the Grand Chapter to organize and initiate new members. (read more)
Charter Member John Henry Alston was born on August 24, 1895 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. His parents, Joseph and Carrie Alston, moved to Baltimore and in 1910 resided on Calhoun Street. His family moved to back to North Carolina where he completed his secondary education at Henderson Normal Institute. Brother Alston moved backed to Baltimore to work to save money for college.
He enrolled in Lincoln University where he was a Charter Member of the Epsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi and served as its first Keeper of Records. In fact, the June 1921 edition of the Kappa Alpha Psi Journal acknowledges his untiring efforts to establish the Epsilon. After earning his A.B. in Psychology he served in World War I after completing Officer’s Training at Howard University. He taught at Paine College, Walden University (where Charter member Jackson matriculated), Morehouse College, and Alabama A&M University.
Brother Alston won a fellowship and attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts where he earned his M.A. in Psychology. Brother Alston is considered a pioneer of Black Psychology. In fact he is credited as the first African American to publish a research article ( “Psychophysics of the Spatial Condition of the Fusion of Warmth and Cold in Heat”) in an exclusively psychological journal, The American Journal of Psychology.
Interestingly, the Baltimore Alumni Chapter History attributes to Charter Member Deaver P. Young the chartering of the Alpha Epsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi, the Johnson C. Smith Chapter. The catalog for 1926 and 1928 do not list Brother Young as faculty but lists Brother Alston as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Psychology during the time the Chapter was chartered. Further, the June 1921 edition of the Journal lists Brother Alston as a driving force in the establishment of the Pi of Kappa Alpha Psi, the Morehouse College Chapter.
In 1937, Brother Alston entered the ministry and ultimately was the Presiding Elder of the Greenville District, Sherman District, and the Ft. Worth District of the C.M.E Church. Brother Alston was a sublime Prince of the Royal Secret of the 32 and last degree, Most Worshipful St. John Grand Lodge (PHA). In 1979, the Association of Black Psychologists recognized Brother Alston for being among the first African-American psychologists in the county. Brother Alston passed to the Chapter Invisible in 1981.
They were joined by educators Deaver P. Young (Omicron), John H. Alston (Epsilon and Pi) and pharmacist J. H. Lassiter (Lambda). The other charter members were initiated in August 1921 in a fraternal hall in the 1200 block of Myrtle Avenue. They were pharmacist William S. Harris, banker John Johnson, Attorney Lewis S. Flagg, Jr. and John H. Tompkins, M.D. Thus, the Baltimore Alumni Chapter charter members are:
- John H. Alston – Educator
- Lewis S. Flagg, Jr. – Attorney
- William S. Harris – Pharmacist
- Robert L. Jackson – Physician
- John Johnson – Banker
- John H. Lassiter – Pharmacist
- George L. Newman – Pharmacist
- N. Monroe Scott – Pharmacist
- John H. Tompkins – Physician
- Deaver P. Young – Educator
The chapter has a history of aiding in the development of youth. Guide Right is the national program adopted by the Grand Chapter in 1922. The objective of the Baltimore Alumni Chapter’s program is to provide inner-city youth with an organized program of alternative choices designed to uplift them morally, socially, ethically and spiritually. Seven autonomous programs are provided in Baltimore City. Each program is designed to provide youth with positive role models through various activities. The past director of the program, William L.Clemm, II, received the Bert V. Wadkins Award, emblematic of the Best Guide Right Director in the Fraternity at the Grand Chapter Meeting in Charlotte, NC in 2003.
The Baltimore Alumni Chapter contributes to local charities annually. Although the chapter’s eleemosynary programs were successful, it was felt that improvement could have been made. To this end, the KAPPA ALPHA PSI FOUNDATION OF METROPOLITAN BALTIMORE, INC. was created. The mission of the Foundation is to subsidize programs that benefit youth and young adults trying to improve the quality of their lives. Such programs promote the academic, cultural, economic, and social well-being of these members of the metropolitan Baltimore Community. The Foundation enables those who are not Kappas to contribute to the program.
Within the Fraternity, we have furnished many regional (Province) and national (Grand Chapter) officers. A Past International Grand Polemarch (President) is Howard L. Tutman, Jr. The late Dr. G. James Fleming, former Chairman of the Board of Regents of Morgan State University, received the Fraternity’s highest award, the Laurel Wreath. George L. Russell, Jr. Esq. received the Laurel Wreath in 2007.
The late I.W.E. Taylor, Charles G. Tildon, Jr., George F. David, III and Melvin L. Jackson, M.D. were awarded the 2nd highest honor, the Elder Watson Diggs Award. Richard T. Edwards, Enyinna Anthony, and Marvin D. Carr have received the Guy L. Grant Award as undergraduates. The late George F. David, III and Dr. Elbert W. Strothers have received the William L. Crump History Award.
The chapter’s premiere social event is the Night in Kappa Vegas, held the first Friday night in March. Our Annual Black and White Ball is restricted to chapter members and their significant others.