The Magazine of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
S P R I NG 2 0 1 3
Founders Hall: Brick Campaign
50th Anniversary Celebration
LIVING HISTORY: OUR CAUSE Founder Spruill
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S PRING 2013 The Magazine of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
Leadership Messages China Report
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Around the Shield
in this issue
16 6 Leadership messages Grand Polaris - 6 Executive Director - 22 Chairman, Board of Directors - 24 Chairman, National Iota Foundation - 25
9 ON BROTHERHOOD: NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
31 REACTIVATION 500 10 IOTA NEWS 33 AROUND THE SHIELD 17 FALLEN BROTHERS 18 FOUNDER’S CORNER
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26 50TH CELEBRATION
Join the Founders, buy a brick! (l-r) Charles Brown, Frank Coakley, John Slade, Albert Hicks, Lonnie Spruill
Submission REQUIREMENTS • All briefs, articles and pictures are submitted on a volunteer basis. All will be kept and become property of the fraternity for said publishing purposes. • Briefs and General notes should be no more than 300 words. Feature articles should be between 700 and 1200 words. • Please note on your submission if you are submitting to a particular section. Otherwise your article may appear in a different part of the magazine left to the discretion of the editor. • All submissions will be edited for quality, length and punctuation.
• If you are writing about a chapter event please include the chapter name and location (school). If you are writing about a Brother, his name and line information must be included. If you are writing about a sweetheart, her chapter affiliation must be included. • All photo submissions must include the individuals names that appear in the photo. A signed release for all in the photo is required as well. • All photo files should be labeled to correspond with its article/report. • Do not embed photos into word documents. Send as a separate, individual attachment (jpg or tif).
• File format for photos – JPG or TIF only. • File Size for photos – 1mb or larger, no smaller than 500kb for a medium size photo and no smaller than 300kb for a small photo. Cover photos must be at least 6MB at 300 dpi. • Photo Resolution is 300 DPI. Photos that don’t meet these requirements reproduce poorly and will not be used. • Logos/graphics must be submitted as Vector/EPS file format or high resolution (300 dpi) jpgs or tif files. Photography: Emmanuel A Gamor Creative Direction & Design: CircleSquarellc www.circlesquare.carbonmade.com
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Grand Polaris KARL PRICE Americans in the United States. The Chinese are always seeking unique ways to make money and ways to fuel its race against America to be the number one economy in the world. The Divine 9 Presidents were the first nine selected to go, although 4 out of the 9 were able to make the journey. The rest of the delegation consisted of Urban League Presidents from cities such as New Orleans, Denver, Atlanta, Cleveland, Jacksonville and the Carolinas to name a few.
Report On Visit To The Peoples Republic Of China As part Of The National Urban League African-American 2012 Leadership Delegation To China
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The African-American Delegation to China was an exploratory trip to the Peoples Republic of China. The trip is usually a trip that is staffed with local Presidents of the various urban leagues around the country. Last year the delegation was open to the Divine 9 Presidents. The purpose of the trip was to strengthen the understanding of the African-American community in the United States among the Chinese government, including the social, educational and economic power possessed, or perceived to be possessed by the African American community. With the United States electing Barack Obama, an African-American, as its President, the Chinese government has become increasingly intrigued about the power of African-
The trip will include meetings with a number of Chinese dignitaries and other leaders in Beijing and other cities in China. This report will diary the Grand Polaris’ trip and experience in China. The trip began with a meeting with the delegation in New York City and a meeting of all the other delegates. As for the Divine 9, we were very much represented. Herman “Skip” Mason, the immediate past General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was one of the Spokesmen for the delegation. Joining us was also Joann Loveless, the immediate Past Grand Basileus of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and Randy Bates, Esq., the Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. There was one member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority apart
of the delegation who is also an Iota Sweetheart from the Atlantic Coast Region. Two other Urban League Presidents are members of Kappa Alpha Psi, two are members of Omega Psi Phi and one is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. The delegation met in the Admiralâ€™s Club in the LaGuardia International Airport where we met with the National President of the National Urban League, Marc Morial. Thereafter we took a flight to The Oâ€™Hare International Airport for our 13 hour flight to Beijing.
Arrival in Beijing The arrival in Beijing was a challenging one. We left New York City at 4:30 p.m. EST on Saturday afternoon and arrived in Beijing at 11:48 pm on Sunday night Beijing time. We were exhausted. The flight was an extremely long one as I sat in coach (opting not for the Fraternity to bear the cost of $8,000+ for a first class cabin) in an isle seat. Although we were feed during the flight, the snacks purchased in New York and Chicago prior to departure were extremely helpful and tasteful as well as the chewing gum and peppermint. The Beijing airport was something right out of a trendy movie with
pictures the size of neons in Time Square. Extremely bright and colorful. This scene will later prove misleading as Beijing is not so trendy as other cities in China such as Shanghai and Hong Kong. Upon our arrival in Beijing, it was extremely cold. About as cold as it was in New York City but a different feel. The feeling was almost a brutal cold. When the wind blew, the temperature felt like 15-20 degrees below zero. From the airport, we boarded our luggage on a tour bus and headed to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Ritz-Carlton Hotel We arrived at the hotel after 1:00 a.m. in the morning Beijing time. I, and I think I speak for the rest of the crew, was very, very tired. Our bodies were working now on Beijing time with New York time bodies. We were scheduled to arrive in the lobby for our trip to the first venue of our meeting at 7:00 a.m.
Visit to Tiananmen Square After arriving in Beijing, one of our first excursions was our visit to Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen (continued on page 50)
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c e n ta u r
Founders Hall Brick Campaign Calling all Brothers, Sweethearts, Friends, and Family of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. When you purchase your brick, you support the philanthropic goals of both Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and the National Iota Foundation. Additionally, you help beautify the
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surrounding entrances of the National Headquarters at Founders Hall. Take the opportunity to record your line, chapter, fallen brothers, hearts or the 50th Celebration of our beloved Fraternity. Your brick will be created, shipped and laid for only $120.00. Your tax deductible purchase will help make the difference.
Be a Part of the IOTA LEGACY! To get an order form, email IotaAdmin@iotaphitheta.org or call the National Headquarters at 443-439-5691. Laying the pathway into the future.
Brother Shelley Stewart at Northeastern University with two recipients of the Skip Wright Scholarship – Angelica F. Jordan and Brother Gladymir Joseph.
Congratulations to our Brother, Judge Theodore N. Stephens II, 15th Grand Polaris, for winning the campaign for Essex County Surrogate Judge in New Jersey. In this office, he deals with family legal issues, such as trusts, estates, wills, adoptions, guardianship assignment and more. While Judge Stephens knows that “People are always anxious of the court results,” he says that he often sees happy occasions, like adoptions. Stephens, in year one of his five year term, is proud to have a dedicated and committed staff. In fact, the Surrogate Office has extended their operating hours to accommodate residents’ busy schedules; however, meetings are still by appointment only. For those Brothers in the New Jersey area who are interested in acquiring Brother Stephen’s services, the Surrogate Office is located in Room 206 at the Hall of Records on 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Newark.
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I O TA N E W S
St. Jude | San Jose
(l-r) Kenneth Craft, Joshua Morgan
(l-r) Back Row: Robert Clark, Evan Wade, Joshua Morgan; Middle Row: Kenneth Craft, Akili Pease, Carlos Webster; Front Row: Sweetheart Felita Clark
(l-r) Akili Pease, Evan Wade, Joshua Morgan, Xi Omega Sweethearts
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St. Jude | Chicago
(l-r) (Chicago) Alex Lawrence- Alpha Upsilon; Abdel Velaquez-Alpha Upsilon; Joel Tatum-Zeta Xi; Daniel Freeney-Eta Omega; Kenneth L. White-Alpha Sigma Omega;Brian Eskridge-Beta Sigma Omega; Sirlester Jefferson, Jr. and Neal Reeves-Eta Omega. Center - Diontâ€™e Jimerson
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I O TA N E W S
St. Jude | Atlanta
St. Jude | Pittsburgh
Eta Nu, Theta Alpha, Theta Epsilon and Beta Omicron Omega brothers at St. Jude Walk in Pittsburgh, November, 17, 2012 Left to right: Christophe McGhee, Warren King, myself (Johnnie Geathers), Jonathan Dorph, Geoffrey Posey, Anthony Grover, and Dewitt Hudson
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“Delta Sigma Theta years later” I O TA N E W S
Left to right: Mark Tillman, General President, Alpha Phi Alpha; Carolyn House-Stewart, Grand Basileus, Alpha Kappa Alpha; Andrew Ray, International Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi; Randy Bates Jr, Grand Polemarch, Kappa Alpha Psi; Daryl Anderson, Executive Director, Phi Beta Sigma; Mary Wright, International Grand Basileus, Zeta Phi Beta; Bonita Herring, International Grand Basileus, Sigma Gamma Rho; Karl Price, Grand Polaris, Iota Phi Theta; Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, National President, Delta Sigma Theta
Left to right: Anderson, PBS; Bates Jr, KAP; Price, IPT; Beverly Burkes, National PanHellenic Council Executive Director; Herring, SGR; House-Stewart, AKA; Butler-McIntyre, DST; Wright, ZPB; Ray, OPP; Tillman, APA
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NPHC Leadership | Chairman Jimmy Hammock in a discussion with Vice Chairman Karl Price
Above: Karl Price IPT, Bonita Herring SGR, Jimmy Hammock PBS Right: Andrew Ray OPP, Karl Price IPT, Mark Tillman APA, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre DST, Randy Bates KAP, Bonita Herring SGR
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The members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. pause to commemorate the life of our fallen Brothers. Rest In Peace...
BROTHER Christopher “Kountry” Butler 5BetaChi05 3/30/84-12/13/12 Bro. Butler served as Community Service Chair and Chapter Secretary before graduating in 2007 from Bethune Cookman University with a BA in International Management. He continued his work at Montclair State University (Gamma Iota) in New Jersey with community service projects and recently returned to Florida serving as Beta Chi’s (Bethune Cookman Univerity) chapter advisor.
Bro. Butler always maintained an active & involved fraternal membership & Brotherhood. Bro. Butler impacted many lives in The Brown & Gold Family, and will be greatly missed.
BROTHER Ronald G. Jones
BROTHER Devrick Smith
BROTHER Bruce Triplet
Chi Omega November 29, 2012
21UpsilonOmega2010 January 9, 2013
January 22, 2013 Omicrom 1974
Iota Phi Theta lost a true giant. Brother Ron Jones was a leader, a visionary, and a shining example of Iota at its finest. More than that, he was a true brother and a dear friend. While we will miss him, he asked that rather than mourn his loss, we should celebrate his life - and so we shall. On Saturday, December 15, 2012, family and friends gathered to pay tribute to Ron in the way he would most appreciate - with laughter, food, and music.
Charter Member of Gamma Gamma Omega Chapter – South Bay Alumni Assistant Regional Polaris of the Far West Region Brother, Mason, Leader, Friend
Former VA National Chapter President of the National Association of Health Services Executives
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Honors Our Founder LIVING HISTORY: OUR CAUSE Speaks to Iota Phi Theta’s Founder Spruill About Iota’s First Half Century First of all; I would like to thank the Brothers of Sigma for giving me the opportunity to look back over the past years of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. which was Founded September 19, 1963 at Morgan State College (now University) in Baltimore, Maryland. There are twelve Founders of Iota: Albert Hicks, Charles Briscoe*. Frank Coakley, Elias Dorsey*, John Slade, Webster Lewis*, Charles Brown, Charles Gregory, Baron Willis, Louis Hudnell, Micheal Williams(?) and Lonnie Spruill. Our primary reason for Founding Iota can best be described in Ted Kennedy’s paraphrasing of Bernard Shaw’s Quote at Robert Kennedy’s Funeral:
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“Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream of things that never were and say, why not?” Iota was founded during the Civil Rights struggle which continues today. Many of our Founders and First Centaur Line Brothers participated in this movement along with members of the Greek community and nonGreek students. Many of whom were arrested for their efforts. The Greek leadership on campus was outstanding; Robert M. Bell (Alpha Phi Alpha), Tyrone Baines (Omega Psi Phi) and many others whose names escape me. The above played a significant role in our choosing to eventually become a member of the National Pan- Hellenic Council (NPHC). Our vision for Iota was one of diversity. We felt as though some of the male Greek organizations on campus had certain images which drew students to them. Such as the assumption of academic superiority, large percentage of athletes, party enthusiast and/or lady magnets. These organizations had a minimum of fifty years of proven experience. Yet, we
felt as though we had the potential to compete through diversity. Our desire was not to have one image but to become recognized for all of the things mentioned above. We gained notoriety by winning the award for Best Float at the 1964 Homecoming Parade. The float was a mule driven wagon with Moms; Morgan’s seventyfive year old Canteen employee, and Founder Charles Briscoe dressed in slave attire. Our float was a pleasant surprise for the faculty, student body and guests. This provided Iota with some needed recognition. We studied the Founders of all the NPHC member organizations (The Elite Eight) to determine their reasons for founding their respective organizations. This is where we learned of the commitment, tolerance, fortitude and accountability required to be successful in this endeavor. We developed a plan that would cover the following: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How are we going to get there? What resources do we need? Who will be (continued on page 51)
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SPRING2012 2012 SPRING
A Conversation with Brother Wesley Jennings, Alpha64 Recently, a young Fraternity Brother from Eta Phi Chapter in Tennessee messaged me to inquire about the age-old question we have all received. “What made me want to be an Iota?” Faithfully, I replied to him the following: Jerome, my Frat - One Saturday in September of 1963, I was on the steps of Hurt Gymnasium on the campus of the then Morgan State College (now University) when the IPT discussions began. At the time, many of the eventual Founders were my friends, so it was not an abnormal or unusual gathering. As friends, we shared and discussed similar thoughts and values of that time as it related to the ‘status quo’ and on that day the talk included the existing fraternities, which none of us held any interest in. We would not subject ourselves to the observed processes one undertook to join these organizations. We were somewhat older and rather non-traditional students (some were married, others had kids, most lived off-campus and 20 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
many had jobs, cars, clothes, cash and their own style), all while carrying significant academic hours and individually popular within the community on and off-campus.
ternity’s first pledge line and helped to grow an idea born on the Hurt gymnasium steps following a football game in 1963.
What made me want to be an Iota?”
Were it not that I had to leave for work at my full time job that particular day, I likely would have been a Founder, as well. Admittedly, I had some doubt in my mind as to the resolve and seriousness of my buddies. I lacked the time to play around, so I took the stance that they should get it going, do what needed doing. These men did exactly that and, in 1964, I, with fourteen others, became the Centaurs of Iota Phi Theta Fra-
And, as is said, the rest is history!!!!! Parenthetically, I will say neither Founder or ‘Founding Centaur’ ever dared imagine OWr growth to be what it is nor that we would be looking back to OWr beginnings on the eve of OWr 50th year!!!!!
Founder JohnSlade Founder John Slade and wife, Deborah Slade
Daricho Dabney and friend
“Recently I spent two weeks in Atlanta visiting my son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. While there, I hosted a reception for Iota brothers at my son’s home. I am very proud of the brothers who attended, because each of them reflected the qualities I envisioned for Iota brothers when I participated in founding this organization 50 years ago. I’m looking forward to seeing them again and all the brothers at our Conclave and Anniversary Celebration in August 2013.”
Left to right: Dhata Harris, Commissioner Larry Johnson, George Nock, Founder Joseph Little, Derico Dabney, Clive Neish, Tony Jackson, Cecil Threat (kneeling, left), Founder Slade Brother (kneeling, right)
CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org | 21 Joe Little, vice chairman of the Board of Directors
executive director KEVIN BENNETT
50 years – a time to reflect on your life and the life of Iota.
Greetings to all that will review this magazine. I sincerely hope you are pleased with our concerted effort to provide a professional, news worthy, entertaining yet informative product that keeps you in “the know” as it relates to the world of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and it’s associations. We are committed to continuing the focus on empowering our crown jewel of communication we call the Centaur. Understand that as we grow and our focus changes, we need you to help keep Iota and the Centaur out front. How you can do this is simple – have someone document an event, special occasion, heroic effort, good deed, service initiative or simply the business of your chapter. Be sure to capture good quality pictures and
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to give those participants credit by naming who is or was involved. Once this is done properly, simply forward that story to email@example.com and it will be reviewed and included in the next available magazine. Additionally, we are looking for writers, editors, photographers, and graphic artists to support the magazine with your expertise on a monthly basis. For more information on volunteering or establishing an internship in this field, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want our magazine to continue to address the interests of our membership and readers. Your stories do just that. Help us promote you and the impact we have on our communities. Let us not keep it to ourselves. Recently, after a crossing ceremony I attended, a neophyte asked was it possible for a new brother to support Nationals. Needless to say, a huge smile appeared on my face as it gave me the opportunity to share with the young brother my thoughts on direct involvement with the National Office. There are a number of ongoing functions that could use the volunteer support of the Brotherhood. It is true that in some cases those tasks may be better performed by individuals who can physically come to the building, but not all require this. Many services
such as membership, national database, Iota merchandise (forthcoming), our communication department and others can all be supported by individuals away from the headquarters. We continue to look for individuals with various skill sets in the areas of finance, marketing, communications, administrative services, technology and more. The best way to help is let it be known that you are available and what your area of interest and professionalism is in. Forward that information directly to me and I assure you we will work hard to get you directly involved in supporting the work of the National Office. 50 years â€“ a time to reflect on your life and the life of Iota. When you begin to do just that, how can you not stop and thank God for all He has done. Take the historical events of the 60s, be it a sit in or march, our forefathers and mothers made sacrifices so we can see and be what we are today. They worked shifts no one else wanted, accepted wages less than others, just to provide for their families. They bought less for themselves, they saw less for themselves, so that we would have the finer things they could not, and go places they would only dream of. Some will not get there with usâ€Ś nor shall we forget their impact and contributions (Irvin Durant, Harold
Jennifer, Ronald Jones, and Justin Izlar, to name a few) as they touch all of our lives while on the journey, called Iota Phi Theta. 50 years of time to reflect and remember from whence you came. 555 Pledge Place where Big Brother No It All lives and he is gracious enough to teach me all he knows.
rise up and honor those who have traveled this way before us, especially while they are yet among the living. August 11th thru 18th, 2013. You must be there. Baltimore Hilton Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland. Help us make history. See first-hand the growth and love of I-Phi.
It just feels like it is my duty to represent those who must work, attend school, or simply are not in a position to be a part of the history while we
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHRISTOPHER S. O’BANNER, CHAIRMAN August 2013. I am looking forward to the fellowship later this year in Baltimore.
Let us charge everyone within the Brotherhood to step up and become better men
I want to give my heart-felt condolences to the family of Brother Ronald Jones. I was raised to respect my elders and listen to their counsel and Brother Jones was always respectful, kind, and professional when times were personally difficult. We listened to and critiqued each other’s vision when it came to Iota. Brother Jones, the “three-legged stool” just will not be the same without you. I am going to truly miss your guidance, leadership, and genuine Brotherhood We are within six months of the 50th Anniversary, where we will gather to celebrate the creation of our great Fraternity. For years, many of us have been planning to celebrate this awesome occasion with our Brown and Gold family in Baltimore, MD in
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I want to remind you all of our financial and ethical responsibility we owe this Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. We took an oath and we must uphold that proclamation to move our great Fraternity ever forward. Since becoming a Theta man, over 22 years ago, I have learned many things about planning, business, responsibility, family, and life in general. The most important lesson I apply everyday is that I am a part of something that is larger than I am and it is not the other way around. Service is for the many, not the few. Let us charge everyone within the Brotherhood to step up and become better men. We must volunteer our time and resources not only to Iota Phi Theta but to our local churches, social organizations, and neighborhoods. It is our job as men to help build and strengthen the communities we live in. I firmly believe that if we do this, our great Fraternity will be stronger, better, and larger. Let us build an organization that is a collection of strong, positive, inquisitive, and intelligent men. Remember, we all have a stake in the Brown & Gold.
NATIONAL IOTA FOUNDATION Benjamin Lewis III, CHAIRMAN
We desperately need the support and understanding of Brothers, Sweethearts, friends and family to help us become a stakeholder in the Baltimore Community.
The National Iota Foundation (NIF) has been in existence since the early 1990s and yet we struggle with its identity. Unlike the Fraternity, the NIF is a public charity which is expected to receive patronage from individual and corporate donations along with grants to fund charitable programs. Although we have supported various charitable initiatives over the years, a consistent grant supported program has been elusive. Our greatest accomplishment to date has been the purchase of, with the use of city funding, the building which serves as Headquarters to the Fraternity. This purchase occurred over ten years ago after the NIF was founded. Secondly, the NIF has revitalized the surrounding community by reactivating the
once dormant community association and establishing a community development corporation. The community which was once the backdrop for the HBO series, “The Wire,” has now flourished. It was expected that the NIF would partner in the growth of the neighborhood. However, due to capacity issues, we struggle to keep pace. We desperately need the support and understanding of Brothers, Sweethearts, friends and family to help us become a stakeholder in the Baltimore Community known as “Station North” – Baltimore’s Arts and Entertainment District. The Fraternity is in the midst of an exciting time. With expanding membership, local collegiate and community outreach, and individual preparations for the 50th Anniversary Celebration, many of our Brothers are stretched thin. But I encourage everyone who holds Iota true to their hearts to consider making a donation to the National Iota Foundation. All across the country, in our respective regions, Iota Men have been making a difference in their communities. Imagine what could be accomplished if we all bonded together! As the birth place of Iota Phi Theta, it is important to give back to the city that helped inspire this great Fraternity.
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LIVING OUR DREAMS | BUILDING OUR TRADITIONS | CELEBRATING OUR SUCCESS
Brothers Volunteering for the 50th Anniversary Celebration
It will take a massive amount of support from the brotherhood to make the entire week of the 50th run smoothly. There are still lots of ways brothers can get involved and help. We need your help! Contribute to the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Golden Anniversary Museum Project
The 50th Anniversary Celebration is only six months away and, in true Iota fashion, our Brothers are not content with simply sitting on the sidelines throughout the planning period and arriving on August 11, 2013 for the Conclave. More and more Brothers are stepping up to offer their support during the Fraternity’s Golden Anniversary. “I decided to volunteer because this is going to be a historical event and I want to be part of every moment of it,” said Allen Bush, who joined the Fraternity in 2010 as part of the Tau Chapter in Springfield, MA.
If you have collected any well-kept historic materials, please consider making a temporary donation to the Museum display for the 50th Anniversary. All items will be on temporary loan and will be safely displayed next to your name and contact information. Unless otherwise noted, all items will be returned at the close of the week long commemoration.
Kory Tensely, of the Delta Eta Chapter at Alabama State University, agrees with Bush about getting involved. “I want to give my all to the organization,” said Tensely. “To be a part of one of our biggest events will be a blessing that I don’t want to miss.”
This is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of Iota history! Let us not lose sight of our legendary accomplishments!
The 34th International Conclave, featuring the 50th Anniversary Celebra-
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tion will kick off its week-long schedule of events on Sunday, August 11 with the Gospel Concert at 4:00pm at Iota’s birthplace, Morgan State University, followed by the Founders Jazz Reception at 7:00p.m. at the Downtown Baltimore Hilton, outside the Key Ballroom in our host hotel. The reception will honor the Founders and Brothers who pledged from 1963-1970. Other activities included in the week are Pledge Class receptions, Founders Roast, a Block Party featuring Iota DJ’s and Iota Guest Entertainment, the Iota National Picnic, National Step Show and March on Morgan Rededication ceremony at Morgan State and much more. The complete schedule of events can be seen in the 50th Anniversary Program Guide on the Fraternity’s website. Kevin Bennett, the Fraternity’s Executive Director, says he continues to get emails and phone calls from Brothers looking to assist in some way during the 50th Celebration. “Our brothers are seeing that our 34th International National Conclave will not be just another conclave, it will truly be something special that our membership can be proud of,” said Bennett. “Because they recognize the need, those who have contacted me are offering to help in whatever way is needed.” Brother Bennett knows that it will take a massive amount of support from the brotherhood to make
the entire week of the 50th run smoothly. “There are still lots of ways brothers can get involved and help.” Kevin Jeffries, who crossed Zeta Chapter at North Carolina A&T University, said he was led to get involved because he wants to make the experience memorable for every brother and he emboldens other brothers to do the same. “I encourage other brothers to get involved because this is our Frat and our efforts determine the overall success of the organization,” said Jeffries. Even Rex Gatling, an undergraduate at Morgan State University’s Alpha Chapter, cannot do enough to stress the relevance of this occasion. “They (brothers) should be involved because this is our organization and it is our responsibility as members to give our best effort in making this celebration historic.” Bush, Gatling and Tensely are reassured that volunteering will not get in the way of them enjoying the experiences of the week. “I am looking forward to spending time with my Brothers and Sisters from all over and having a great time,” said Bush.
“I am looking forward to meeting with Brothers, learning more about Iota and just enjoying the great brotherhood we have,” said Tensely. For more information about getting involved with the 34th International Conclave featuring the 50th Anniversary Celebration, contact Brother Kevin Bennett, Executive Director, at 443-438-5691 or ExecDirector@iotaphitheta.org or Rozena Henderson at email@example.com. To learn more about all the week’s activities visit the 50th website at www.50th.iotaphitheta.org. To volunteer in some capacity at the weeks celebration, complete the volunteer form online at www.volunteer/.org
INAUGURAL GOLF TOURNAMENT During the 50th Anniversary Celebration
challenge, the longest putt contest, longest drive contest and closest to the pin match. Registration Opportunities Single Golfer $150 Foursome Team $500 Sponsorship Opportunities Star Sponsor $5,000 Brown Sponsor $3,000 Gold Sponsor $2,500 Goodie Bag Sponsor $2,500 Trophy Sponsor $2,000 Lunch Sponsor $1,500 Reception Sponsor $1,500 Breakfast Sponsor $1,000 Beverage Sponsor $1,000 Hole Sponsor $500
Monday, August 12, 2013 – 9:00am Shot Gun Start at the Woodlands Golf Resort
To register or become a sponsor, please contact the National Headquarters at (443)438-5691 or IotaAdmin@iotaphitheta.org
We would be honored to welcome you as a participant. The event will be hosted by the challenging Woodlands Golf Course, located in Baltimore County, Maryland. Showcase your expertise, compete in the hole in one
Questions? Comments? Brother Ira Murray firstname.lastname@example.org Brother Michael Brace email@example.com CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org | 27
Beta Chapter Charter Line Members Hampton Institute - 1967 James Anderson Harry Bryd Eric Chavis Claude Craig Gary David James Davis Robert Fontaine Robert Harvey David Hayden Willie Henry Ronald Holmes Theodore Hopson John Howlette Larry Lucas Thomas Mercer Daniel Morgan Michael Parker
Bertrand Robinson Henry Smith Gerson Stroud Charles Taitt Monroe Thornhill Algernon Tucker Donald Vaughn Arthur Wyatt Iota Court Renee Hines - Line Sweetheart Carol Watkins â€“ Sweetheart Evola Rivers - Sweetheart
Beta Chapter First Pledge Line 21 Blackjacks, Hampton Institute Induction Date: December 4, 1968 John Sisco Robert Wood
Michael Garth Melvin Hardy Edward Whiting Earnest Taylor Chester Stovall William White Fred Lee Tom Morse Richard Blackman Kenny Smith Gregory Hayes Melvin Watkins Kenneth Washington Johnny Mickens Spencer Christian
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LIVING OUR DREAMS | BUILDING OUR TRADITIONS | CELEBRATING OUR SUCCESS
LIVING OUR DREAMS | BUILDING OUR TRADITIONS | CELEBRATING OUR SUCCESS
The Fraternity welcomes the reactivation and reconnection of Brother Walter Mitchell, a member of the “Pied Pipers” of 1967. Brother Mitchell decided to reactivate with the Fraternity and become financial to support the upcoming 50th Celebration as well as Fraternity efforts beyond this August. “It has been a while since I have attended Fraternity activities for one reason or another. I have watched the Fraternity continue to grow and I decided that it was time to re-engage and begin to support again. It has been an honor to be a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and a “Pied Piper” as we were instrumental in the initial push to expand the Fraternity outside of Baltimore in 1967.” Mitchell is a retired Army colonel and a retiree from the Department of
The Army Civilian. He is currently serving as a member of the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training, Board of Directors, Baltimore MD. He is married with two adult sons and two grandchildren. He says that he and his wife are “currently enjoying our grandchildren while we can” and is an avid Redskins fan, with the added lighthearted adage to naysayers to “don’t hate.”
The Iota Brotherhood welcomes the reactivation and reconnection of Brother James M. Smith. He says that he always kept in close contact with his Fraternity Brothers, but his career as an educator occupied much of his time. “I began to notice that a number of my former students were becoming Iota men because of my mentoring and influence. I decided to reactivate
and become financial to support the legacy that I was a part of.” Brother Smith was a member of the “Ping Pong Line” of 1968, with the line name “Jimmy Mack”. He received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1969 and his Master of Science in Administration and Supervision in 1974 from Morgan State University. Smith was a teacher, principal, Assistant Superintendent for the Baltimore City School System. He is currently the CEO of JMS Education, Finance & Technology Consultants LLC. “I have witnessed the growth of Iota Phi Theta Inc. and I am proud to be an active Life Member. Like many of us, Brotherhood means so much to me.”
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The goal of the Campaign is to reactivate 500 inactive brothers, particularly pledge classes from 1964 to 1980, in time for
The 50th Anniversary Celebration in August 2013. Will you be part of the number?
What You Should Do to Reactivate: 1. Update or create a Membership profile by going to www.iotaphitheta.org or call to have one mailed to your home 2. Pay national dues to become financial for the 2013 year 3. Advise the National Office at IotaAdmin@iotaphitheta.org of any special skills or committees that you would like to be involved with locally or nationally (optional). What We Will Do For Reactivation: 1. Have reactivation tables set up at Regional Meetings to identify and reconnect with inactive brothers. 2. Utilize Brother-to-Brother marketing teams work with Regional and Chapter Polari to target inactive brothers at the local level. 3. Engage Iota Hearts to help reactivate Brothers and inactive Hearts. 4. Provide the website link to access the Fraternity Database for reactivation. What You Will Receive after Reactivation: 1. New Fraternity Membership Card. 2. Welcome letter from Grand Polaris, Karl Price. 3. Your name featured in Centaur Magazine. 4. Select brothers featured on Fraternity website. 5. Directory of Iota National Partnerships for discount purchases. 6. Invitation to the Reactivation Ceremony on Saturday, August 17, 2013, during the 50th Celebration on the campus of Morgan State University. Be a part of the historic occasion and program. For information, contact our 7th Grand Polaris, Brother John House, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (973)714-6823. Â
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AROUND THE SHIELD Gulf Coast Interim Regional Polaris Karl Roberts Education: BA in Criminal Justice, MA in Military History and a MA in Army Logistics Initiation Chapter: Alpha Omicron Omega Current Chapter: Alpha Psi Omega Family: Eunice Lee Roberts Affiliations: Army Quartermaster Assoc. Army NCO Assoc.; NAACP Chapter of Fayetteville, NC; Army Special Operations Assoc. Iota Brothers Motorcycle Club
Gulf Coast REGIONAL BOARD David Odige Interim Asst. Regional Polaris Daryle L. Swatzie Regional Treasurer Willis R. Walker, II Regional Chaplain Ruan Cox, Jr. Regional Historian Joseph L. Little Board of Directors Representative Ruan Cox Central Florida State Director Regional Events Coordinator Christopher Greggs Director of Membership Intake Jerry J. Johnson Regional Sweetheart Liaison SirArthur Edwards Alabama State Director Nelson McCoy Northern Florida State Director Wendell Dawkins Southern Florida State Director Antonio D. Gray Northern Georgia State Director Michael B. Robinson Southern Georgia State Director Dale A. Goss Mississippi State Director Ricky West, II South Carolina State Director
Projects in the Gulf Coast Region Welcome Home On January 12, 2013, approximately 200 Soldiers from the 3rd Sustainment Command celebrated their return from a nine month deployment in Afghanistan at a ceremony at the Natcher Physical Fitness Center on Fort Knox under the leadership of Brother Karl A. Roberts, Gulf Coast Regional Polaris. The redeployment ceremony highlighted the end of the Brother Roberts mission in Afghanistan and reunited the Soldiers with their loved ones. Brother Roberts was deployed with 3 other Iota Men: Brother Humes, Brother Fields and Brother Evans; together these men were tasked to provide logistical support
for units stationed across Afghanistan. While deployed his unit issued a variety of supplies including more than 1billion gallons of gasoline, 15 million pounds of ammunition and purchased more than 900 million rations. “We learned something new every day over there,” said Brother Roberts, noncommissioned officer in charge of logistical operations and with oversight of his region. “It is a completely different way of doing the Fraternity and military business.” Along with the United States, The Gulf Coast Region is happy and excited for the return of their Regional Polaris and the Brothers that are serving our country.
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AROUND THE SHIELD Far West Regional Polaris Sean Housen, Sr. Education: The University of Redlands, MA Business Management, University of Phoenix, BS Business Management Life Member: 2007 Initiation Chapter: Betu Nu, 1991
Current Chapter: Upsilon Omega Family: Two girls, 18yr and 17yr; One boy, 8yr Affiliations: Former Assistant Regional Polaris; Polaris for Upsilon Omega Chapter; Polaris for Gamma Phi Chapter Professional (SAP)
John Jones Assistant Regional Polaris Robert Clark Regional Secretary Vacant AZ State Director Vacant Washington State Director Daryl Henderson NV State Director Sasky Sengapon CA State Director Del Frazier Regional Treasurer Edward Clark Alumni Affairs Coordinator Caleb Oliver Regional Training
Regional Update On behalf of the Brothers of the Far West Region, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly and sincerely congratulate and thank the Angel City Owtlaws for holding it down and representing the “Charcoal Brown and Gilded Gold” with all that you have and all that you are. We applaud your professional attitude, personal sacrifice, and your fortitude to do it one more time, just for Iota! As simple as it may seem to some, going out there day after day, night after night practicing and performing routines time and time again – not many of us can do it. We see it done, we enjoy it, and quite frankly, we
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often wish that we were you while you are out there doing what you do to represent the greatest fraternity in the world. I love you, Brothers! We all love you, Brothers! We appreciate you and thank you for once again showing the West Coast who is truly the “boss,” – Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. As your Regional Polaris, I could give you the next year off…but you know that just is not going to happen! We, your Brothers in arms, are looking for you to win it a third straight time, thus cementing your names, the name of Angel City Owtlaws, the Far West Region, and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, (continued on page 54)
Southern Regional Polaris Marc Nichols
Education: Mississippi State University, M. Ed Counselor Education/Student Development, 1999; BBA, Business Administration, 1997 Life Member: 2008 Initiation Chapter: Zeta Mu, 2006 Current Chapter: Alpha Omega Omega
Affiliations: Christ Bethel Fellowship; Minister of Music; former Louisiana Association of Housing Officers, President; former Order of Omega, Assistant Regional Polaris; former Louisiana State Director
Brian Love Assistant Regional Polaris Torrie Richardson Texas State Director Timothy Bush Louisiana State Director Marquis O’Banner Sweetheart Liaison Brandon Oldham Oklahoma State Director Annias Tate Arkansas State Director Michael McCaulley Jr. Secretary/ Administrative Assistant. Joshua Banks Treasurer Marcus Gaut Intake Coordinator Geoffrey Boykin Community Service Coordinator Timothy Bush Marketing Coordinator Marquis O’Banner Alumni Affairs Coordinator Rodney Davis Training and Development Coordinator
Regional Update As I look back on the resent months in the Southern Region, I see the stirrings of greatness awakening! On Friday October 26, 2012, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of pride as I walked to my seat followed by a seemingly endless line of “Charcoal Brown and Gilded Gold!” I was not proud of who I was as Southern Regional Polaris, but I was proud over who we were, as the Southern Region! Without speaking a word, it was understood to all we were there to tell everyone “You may have never seen us but tonight you will know and remember us.” The Brothers of Epsilon Delta at Grambling State
University performed an exhibition show and were able to showcase Iota to all in attendance. I would like to publicly thank the Epsilon Delta Chapter for showing the campus of McNeese State University what true stepping looks like! I also give thanks to all who attended the regional meeting to put Iota back on the map in Southwest Louisiana. During the fall of 2012, the Southern Region hosted our Fall Regional meeting on the campus of McNeese State University. This was a very exciting time for the campus, as we brought in Iotas from the surrounding states to take over the Yard. The effect of having such a great turn out of Brothers and Sweethearts has (continued on page 56)
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AROUND THE SHIELD Ohio Valley Regional Polaris Leon Coleman III Education: Ohio State University Life Member: 2005 Initiation Chapter: Betu Mu, 1991 Current Chapter: Alpha Eta Omega Family: Married, Mrs. Nicole Coleman; Birthday, May 11; Wedding Anniversary, December 21; two children, Layla Renee (2years) and Nina Simone (2 months)
Affiliations: Former undergraduate chapter Polaris; former Michigan State Director; former ARP Ohio Valley Region; Kalamazoo Michigan Ministerial Alliance Member; Associate Minister at Galilee Baptist Church; Grand Rapids Michigan Seminary School master program; founder of Abundant Life Ministries; Former Polaris of Beta Mu Chapter, Ohio State
Randall McCrary Michigan State Director Gilberto Ansell Jr. Regional Treasurer Eugene Williams Northern Ohio State Director/ trainer Trey Harley Regional Administrator Karim Todd Assistant Regional Polaris Sean Upshaw Tennessee State Director Lamont Salomon Military Affairs/ Trainer Alvin Flowers Kentucky State Director Kymani Gadsden Board of Directors Kevin Newhouse Board of Directors
My Story of Job Corps Julius Bradley, a graduating senior at Kentucky State University, was recently honored by speaking to 400 students at the Whitney M. Young Job Corps, a place he says saved his life. To Bradley, it was “more than just speaking to the students, this was about giving back to the community that helped me out along the way through hardships.” He spoke on the subject of “character,” provided valuable points on positive and negative character, and encouraged students to determine which one they exhibited. He encouraged young ladies
to have high moral character and to never use their physical features for attention, but instead to be mindful of their value as women. He inspired them to think of strong women like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King; women who paved the way and were examples of class and dignity. He told the young men to leave their pride at the door because it would lead to them being hurt or killed, mentally. Bradley praised Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and hoped that the students would strive to be ‘the ultimate measure of a man.’ “This experi(continued on next page)
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to customers at a discounted price. The proceeds from the sales are reinvested in the local communities, towards the growth and development of homes and communities. The Ohio Valley Region of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. descended on Kentucky in hopes of restoring the hope and faith in the city of Louisville. We sought to get our hands dirty for the community. We visited the ReStore at 2777 South Floyd Street.
Brother Julius Bradley pictured with Job Corps members
ence is one I will never forget, and I wonder if I have found my calling as a motivational speaker. Despite the common belief that Job Corps is a place for bad students, I believe that if one person can graduate, regardless of the negative challenges they are associated with, then future student can do the same.â€?
Habitat for Humanity Community Service Habitat for Humanity Restore is a branch off of the main service initiative with locations that accept donations of previously used home goods. These goods range from building materials to kitchen, bath and other room items. Habitat for Humanity resells these donated items
Upon arrival, we were surrounded by couches, chairs, sinks, and a host of household appliances that were for sale. We were shown to the receiving area where we divided up into teams, and just like Iota fashion, we got right to work. Our task for the day consisted of stripping donated doors of hinges and doorknobs. This may sound easy but it is actually more tedious than we expected. We manually turned every door on its side and (continued on page 57)
The University of Michigan Eta Theta Chapter is proud to recognize Brother Emmanuel Quaye III (1HÎ˜10) for showcasing the star of scholarship to his highest potential. Emmanuel was accepted to Howard Universityâ€™s College of Medicine in February 2013, and is awaiting other decisions and interviews from colleges such as Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. As the Polaris of the Eta Theta chapter from 2010-2013, Emmanuel has succeeded in and outside of the classroom while on his journey to become a surgeon. On campus, Brother Quaye has been very active during his undergraduate career at U (continued on page of M. After joining the Fraternity as a freshman, he vowed to balance his social and 50) (continued on page 57)
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AROUND THE SHIELD
Ohio Valley The brothers of Alpha Mu Chapter with Jacques Anderson
A Heartfelt Opportunity: Central State’s Iota Phi Theta chapter sponsors student for Women’s Conference The men of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Mu chapter are sponsoring Central State University student Jacques Anderson for the upcoming Women’s Conference, March 16, 2013. The 2nd annual, one day event will take place on Central State’s main campus in Wilberforce, Ohio. Anderson, a sophomore at the university, was nominated to attend the conference backed by the members of the fraternity because of her long history of aiding the chapter. 38 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
“She was chosen because she not only supports the chapter, but she supports everyone individually,” said Jonathan Hairston, the chapter’s graduate advisor. “In her time of need we thought it would be a disservice not to support her in being the best woman she can be.” Coping from the recent death of her father, Kwann Blackburn, Anderson said she’s thankful for these men who’ve helped her time and time again. “I feel lucky…and I feel privileged for the Iota members and our strong bond,” said Anderson. “This event is something that can better me as a woman. I lost hope when my father
died, but I can build that back up now by having more confidence in myself.” The Women’s Conference features founder and CEO of Black Girls Rock Beverly Bond and hopes to engage women who have “successfully created change” by providing “an exceptional platform for women to affirm that positive images of women must be embedded so that women leaders become the norm not the exception.” The men of Iota proudly paid all expenses for Anderson in the course of the event. She was unanimously selected by the chapter. “Jackie has helped the fraternity by participating in community service and sometimes working at social events, and she has, without knowledge, become a positive spokeswoman for the brothers,” Hairston said. “She is a friend turned sister.” Article by: Tommy Meade
ership Institute and Recruitment Fair. Graduating seniors Riley and Flowers hope to bring significant skills, career strategies, and guidance back home. Nuri Flowers says “I was always smart, yet becoming a brother of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. Alpha Mu Chapter, really showed me what I was made of, now I get to show the world what Iota showed me!” Rashad Riley says “Being a tutor at Central State University and the current President of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. Alpha Mu Chapter, has taught me that I have no limits to what I can achieve”
dents. For the past decade, this fourday conference has given talented future leaders a unique professional development experience. A carefully selected group of students are brought together with some of the nation’s top executives for leadership training, career management, life skills, development and recruitment opportunities. One of the main components of the Leadership Institute is the Recruitment Fair, where students meet with over 60 companies and government agencies offering job and internship opportunities.
The conference offers workshops that provide “a combination of concrete tools and valuable advice to help advance one’s education and career,” according to the Thurgood Marshall Fund website. During the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to act together with experienced individuals in the corporate, education and government fields.
Alpha Mu Iotas Leading the Way: Thurgood Marshall hosts Leadership Conference
Students will also be able to showcase their expertise and talents in their field, learning more about companies and agencies that will be recruiting in the course of the leadership institute and vice-versa.
Two members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. are taking their talents to New York for the 12th Annual Lead-
The Leadership Institute & Recruitment Fair is the premier recruitment conference for public HBCU stuCENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org | 39
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AROUND THE SHIELD Eastern Regional Polaris Andre Manson Education: Virginia State University, Architectural Drafting 1992 Initiation Chapter: Eta, 1988 Current Chapter: Beta Gamma Omega Family: Married, Mrs. Felecia A. Manson; Birthday, July 5; Wedding Anniversary, January 6; Children, Carissa and Camille
Affiliations: Central Virginia Black Contractors Association, VA; former undergraduate chapter Polaris; former alumni chapter Polaris; former State Director for Virginia; former Assistant Regional Polaris
REGIONAL BOARD James D. Derseraux III Assistant Regional Polaris Darren Sanford Regional Board of Directors Representative Andreâ€™ McDowell Regional Manger Steve Okoba Regional Treasurer Keith Jordan Regional Secretary James L. Darrington, Jr Director of Development & Training Termon Minor & Chris Afram Regional Parliamentarians Steven Lee Regional Intake Coordinator Arthur Coleman Regional Security & Sargent at Arms Randal Walker Regional Web Master
Regional Update I am excited about our region and its many accomplishments and programs, and encourage you all to look for newsletters and notices of upcoming events and projects. As our Fraternity reaches closer to our Biannual Conclave and our 50th Celebration, I charge every brother in our region to put their best foot forward and extend the hand of Brotherhood to each other and other Brothers from everywhere in the world. On behalf of the Eastern Regional Staff and administration, I would like to welcome everyone to join us at the Spring Regional Conference in
Crystal City, VA, held on April 18th to 21st, 2013. It is predicted to be a great gathering of the minds, fellowship, training and fun. There are lots of surrounding events and attractions near the host hotel. Some include our Annual Regional Awards Banquet, where we will have a special dedication to the Justin Izlar Foundation. I ask each Brother and Heart to go to the Regional website and donate to this foundation. Below are some things that are going on in our Region. We have launched the ERoots project, which is a lineage project where brothers can go to our website and (continued on page 57)
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Atlantic Coast Regional Polaris Greg Sneed Education: Lebanon Valley College, BS Music Education, 2007 Initiation Chapter: Epsilon Chi, 2004 Current Chapter: Phi Omega Affiliations: Gosporium Music Group LLC; songwriter, producer, and performer
Atlantic Coast REGIONAL BOARD Patrick Pierre-Louis Asstistant Regional Polaris Shirley McClean-Jackson ACR Sweetheart President Val Jules Treasurer Kyle Little Recording Secretary Marquies Brown Corresponding Secretary Tobias Morgan Coordinator Intake/ Expansion Edgar Ferreras CT/RI State Director Chris Raines NJ State Director Louis Harris MA State Director Lamar Blake NY State Directors Sebastian Powell Ryan Scott PA State Directors Scott Seward Justin McClean Board of Directors Representative Dave White Training & Development Coordinator Donald Griffin Alumni Affairs Coordinator Gabe Green-Lemons Community Service Coordinator
Regional Update On behalf of the Atlantic Coast Region, it gives me great pleasure to send our love and blessings to Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and our sweethearts! We are excited about our success throughout 2013 as we move forward to our 50th Anniversary Celebration. Currently our region has 28 active chapters with growing numbers of individual members. We are proud to announce that we have another chapter established at Robert Morris University (Theta Delta). Our chapters and brothers have been eagerly pushing to accumulate votes as well as active programs to adver-
tise and promote Iota to everyone we encounter. State programs, such as the New York State Annual Black History Celebration, gathered many different organizations, Greek and otherwise, to promote the great contributions that African Americans have given to the development of our country while bringing more and more brothers and sweethearts back into the fold. We also have chapters such as Theta Alpha from Indiana University of Pennsylvania that achieved great milestones of having the highest overall GPA out of all of the fraternities and sororities on campus. (continued on next page)
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AROUND THE SHIELD Chapters in Rhode Island and Connecticut are currently working to integrate undergraduates with graduate members through joint programs and meetings. This has brought great results for members, as communities are improved and relationships have been built with these partnerships. The ACR has prided itself in graduating the largest number of brothers
Brother Shelley Stewart posing for the 40th Anniversary of the Omicron, NJ Chapter.
in the Fraternity for the past three years. This year we plan on continuing that tradition, anticipating over 30 more brothers to graduate during the 2012-2013 academic year. With our intakes being over 40, we are trying to exceed our members graduating versus our members that we initiate. Numerous brothers are going into the workforce eager and ready to
begin their professional lives mainly due to their membership in Iota!!! Our community service initiative with St. Judeâ€™s has been successful with us attending fundraising events and raising awareness around the region to support their endeavors. We stand on the brink of creating great partnerships with local organizations to gain a more hands-on approach at performing community service in churches, parks, and community centers through Big Brothers and Big Sisters. In addition, we have been working in schools, mentoring across the region participating in after school programs, Saturday activities, and classroom speaking sessions with students. We are also currently working to partner with The Prostate Net, an organization that sponsors a barber shop initiative raising awareness for prostate cancer. These key partnerships are sure to bring great service and results to communities region-wide! Finally, we are gearing up for our Spring Regional Meeting being held on April 26-28th, 2013, at the Hilton Woodbridge Hotel in Woodbridge, New Jersey. This regional weekend is going to be one of our best yet with programs and workshops focusing on job preparation, cancer prevention, and education. Brothers and sweethearts will walk away with a multitude (continued on next page)
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of resources to benefit themselves and their communities in their educational, health, and professional lives. We will top off the weekend with our annual awards banquet to honor brothers and sweethearts for their chapter and individual achievements throughout the year. In closing, the ACR continues to lead Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. through our motto “Achieving high expectations, Creating opportunities, and Rewarding results.” Our work speaks for itself and we look to continue to “Build a Tradition.” We congratulate the success of all brothers and hearts and look forward to seeing you in the near future!!!! Ow Ow!!!!
Pittsburgh Iotas in the African American Heritage Parade The Eta Nu & Beta Omicron Omega Iotas in Pittsburgh made their first appearance in the African American Heritage Parade. The African American Heritage Parade celebrated 25 years of hosting the parade following a festival to celebrate black culture. The parade was hosted by the African American Chamber of Commerce. Johnnie Geathers 1HAFa09
Group Pic on steps, top to bottom: Deron Barnes, Joesph Johnson, Chris Raines, Gabe Green-Lemons, Jason Furbert, Anthony Armstead, Chuck Pius, Harold Pridgen
Iota Phi Theta keeps the American Dream alive in Keansburg New Jersey Brotherhood, Leadership, Citizenship; three of the five founding pillars of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., were on display in Keansberg, New Jersey on August 25, 2012. The men of the Alpha Xi Omega chapter partnered with Habitat for Humanity, a Christian ministry, to build homes in the Keansburg community. Habitat for Humanity, “founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live,” brings volunteers together to build affordable houses, so that families living in substandard housing may grow in a stable home, with the long term goal
of building sustainable communities. Jason Furbert, chapter polaris, noted that it was not coincidental that the chapter jumped at the opportunity to partner with Habitat. “Citizenship is not only about being a part of the community; as an organization, we believe it is our duty to continually build strong communities for all members, especially for those less fortunate than us.” More than half of the chapter members came out on this muggy Saturday morning to lend a hand in the building efforts. Briefly after check-in, overviews of the safety rules were given and volunteers were introduced to the family for whom the house was being built. (continued on page next page)
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AROUND THE SHIELD Tools were handed out, volunteers were split up into their respective groups - the insulation-layering group and the attic floor-laying group -- and the work began. “Meeting the family who would soon move into this house really hit home for many of us,” said Joe Johnson, Philanthropy Chair for Alpha Xi Omega. “They were a family, a mom and a dad – both employed, two kids, decent jobs, but yet they were not able to buy a home… this could have been my family.” At the end of the day, half of the house was layered in insulation while nearly two thirds of the attic ceiling was laid. The future owners of the house stayed the entire day, supplying volunteers with water and anything else we needed. In addition, there were several returning volunteers, mostly ex-contractors and retirees who enjoy teaming with Habitat on a regular basis. An exhausted Furbert jubilantly asserted, “We partnered with Habitat for Humanity because it gave brothers an opportunity to directly impact and aid those in need in our local community. There is something about real hard work like this that is just so satisfying. I thank Bev of Habitat and team for coordinating with us to make it happen.”
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Due to the success of this partnership, Habitat for Humanity has invited Alpha Xi Omega to return in the fall for the completion of the house and beginning of a new one. It is the goal to work with Habitat of Humanity and to blossom a yearly partnership. This initiative is just one of the annual philanthropic activities -- Scholarship Raffle Fund, Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen -- of the Alpha Xi Omega graduate chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc.
Brother Salute Brother Ryan Scott (GE 06) was recently named as one of “Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Young People Under 40” by the New Pittsburgh Courier. The African American newspaper is one of the oldest in the country and will honor Scott as a young professional who is making a difference not only in Pittsburgh but nationwide. Scott is the Program Manager for the Black Male Leadership Development Institute (BMLDI), a program of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and Robert Morris University. His work providing resources and supplying advice and guidance to over 400 young
men in the region is something he is extremely passionate about. Ryan received his bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in business and a minor in History from West Virginia University. After receiving his degree, Ryan accepted a position as a management trainee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, one of the largest rental car fleets in the United States. There, Ryan trained, managed, and learned the business of rental. After four short months Ryan was promoted to Management Assistant and quickly took on more responsibility. After being promoted at Enterprise, Ryan decided to get back to a career that would give him self-fulfillment. He augmented his skill set by pursuing a Master’s degree in Education from Argosy University in Atlanta, GA. While pursuing his Master’s Degree, Ryan started a position through the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation named Amachi Pittsburgh. This position gave Ryan the opportunity to work with children and families who dealt with the pressures of parental incarceration. After many years working with Amachi, Ryan moved on to his current position at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.
Ryan was selected as a delegate for the annual One Young World Summit in 2012 and now serves as a United States ambassador. Ryan serves on the Board of Directors of the Cameroon Football Development Program, an initiative that uses the game of soccer as a vehicle to educate students on academics, youth development, HIV/ AIDS awareness, teenage pregnancy and more. In service to his community, Ryan is a mentor through the Ama chi Pittsburgh mentoring program, a member of the Allegheny East NAACP, a member of MAD DADS, and currently holds the position as the Western Pennsylvania State Director of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. where he has co-founded the Beta Omicron Omega, Eta Nu, Theta Alpha, and Theta Delta chapters. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania he is no stranger to the culture of the city and familiar of the needs of young men. He strives to make sure that he can help assist young people to reach their full potential in any capacity.
In the photo: Akeem Moore, Warren King, Israel Delgago, Anthony Grover, Hasan Abul-Aziz, Johnnie Geathers, Christophe McGhee, DJ Myers, Dewitt Hudson, Geoffrey Posey, and Dante Wallace
Eta Nu, Theta Alpha, Robert Morris, & Beta Omicron Omega Pittsburgh Iotas lead the World AIDS Day March, Creating an impact from CMU to Pitt. Pittsburgh RED is an organization that promotes AIDS awareness in Pittsburgh. This was their 4th year doing the World AIDS Day Rally on December 1, 2012. During the March, there were guest speakers and survivors giving their stories at Carnegie Mellon University. After the stories, there was a candlelight march from Carnegie Mellon University to University of Pittsburgh to stimulate community awareness of AIDS and teach people that the virus can be given to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or social class. After the march, the University of Pittsburgh held a World AIDS Day Fair providing information, refreshments, and free HIV testing. CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org | 45
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AROUND THE SHIELD Midwest Regional Polaris Kenneth L. White Education: Spertus College, Master of Science in Nonprofit Management, National-Louis University, Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences Life Member: 2005 Initiation Chapter: Eta Omega
Current Chapter: Alpha Sigma Omega – The Northwest Indiana Alumni Chapter Family: Married, Kathy Fudge-White, Wedding Anniversary – April 2; one daughter, Kayla. Affiliations: Ivanhoe United Methodist Church - Chairman Board of Trustees, Former Vice Polaris (Eta Omega: 1998-1999), Founder: Alpha Sigma Omega –The Northwest Indiana Alumni Chapter (2005) first Polaris serving two terms, Midwest Regional Election Representative (2008-2009), Midwest Regional Training & Development Coordinator (2008-2010), Assistant Regional Polaris (2009-2010) Midwest Regional Polaris (2010-present)
REGIONAL BOARD Okechukwu Ekunno Assistant Regional Polaris Kriston Burroughs Administrator Daryl Anderson Treasurer Cecil Bienvenu III Marketing Coordinator\ Vernon Evans Webmaster Damian L. Mitchell Intake Coordinator Sirlester Jefferson, Jr. Historian Michael Menafee Community Service Coordinator Donnell McCauley, Jr. Alumni Affairs Coordinator Brian Eskridge Membership Services Coordinator Carlos Garrido Recruitment Services Coordinator Allester Taylor Sweetheart Coordinator Carlton Davis Illinois/Wisconsin State Director Josef K. McNeal Missouri/Kansas State Director Jamison Meints Nebraska State Director Cedric A. Ware Minnesota State Director Remus Woods Indiana State Director
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Building in the Mid West The “Mighty” Midwest Region has been expanding the reach of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, thanks to State Directors Brother Cedric Ware (Minnesota/Wisconsin) and Brother Josef K. McNeal (Missouri/Kansas). Both Brothers were instrumental in chartering two chapters each in the span of one year. Cedric Ware was one of five Brothers who chartered Gamma Theta Omega -Twin Cities Alumni Chapter on May 25, 2012, as the first Iota
Chapter in Minnesota. Brother Ware has also been working with a group of men at Minnesota State University - Mankato since fall 2011. The intake candidates successfully created an Iota interest group which was approved as a Registered Student Organization on that campus. Minnesota State University will not only be the first Iota Collegiate Chapter in the state, but the Fraternity will be the first NPHC organization at the University.
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Brother Coaches His Way to National Championship
Brown 2nd from the left celebrating with winning trophy and teammates.
In only his second season as coach for running backs and special teams, Brother Henry Brown (1AM88) helped lead Marian University of Indianapolis to a thrilling overtime victory over Morning Side College (Iowa). The win marks Marian University’s first NAIA Championship and capped a record breaking season for his running back corps. Under the careful instruction, running back Tevin Lake set school rushing records and received First Team All-Conference and All-American distinctions. “Brother Brown now can add National Champion to his already impressive resume of accomplishments,” says Alpha
Alpha Omega Indianapolis Alumni Chapter Polaris Stephen Groce. “His character, leadership and dedication to success make him a treasure for our chapter and our city.” “My core values include discipline, demeanor, integrity and selflessness,” says Brother Brown. Three of Brother Brown’s players won NAIA Character and Scholar distinctions and lead a team that has grown to exemplify winning traditions and attitudes both on and off of the football field. According to Brown, “Excellence is a choice and a habit of life; and
when you make excellence a habit, quality results are sure to follow.” Before affiliating with Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter, Brother Brown infused his brand of excellence in his work as an Iota. Brother Brown pledged through Alpha Mu Chapter at Central State University in Spring 1988. He then went on to charter Beta Pi at University of Akron, Delta Mu Chapter (City-Wide, Hawaii), and Beta Nu Omega Fort Knox Alumni Chapter. Brother Brown’s progeny spawned chapters including Alpha Epsilon Omega, Alpha Rho Omega, Beta Nu Omega and Gamma Epsilon Omega. “Henry is the most productive brother I have ever pledged,” says Brown’s Dean Toby Miller (1AM87). “He has distinguished himself as an exceptional brother whose retention numbers are off the chart, as many of the brothers he has pledged continue to serve, pay dues and move the fraternal bar and therefore makes what he has accomplished at Marian University expected!” Brother Brown has served with distinction at every level of the fraternity and currently serves as the International Director of Military Affairs. When he is not coaching champions and serving as an Iota production machine, Brother Brown works as a (continued on next page)
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c e n ta u r
AROUND THE SHIELD
Mid West Experience is Everything As I was sitting on my couch three days before the Long Jump competition was scheduled to begin at the USA Olympic Trials I received a phone call from the secretary at the UNL track and field office, and little did I know this phone call would change my life forever. I had been selected for the USA under 23 NACAC Team, to compete in Irapuato, Guanajuato Mexico, and a place that I had never heard of before. With very little knowledge of the place, I accepted the offer and was on my way to Mexico on the 4th of July to jump for the USA. As I still waited for my acceptance to Olympic trials, I knew that if I didn’t make it I would still have another track meet to look forward too however, I still wanted London more! 48 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
Thursday came around, and I checked the USA list to see if I had been accepted for the trials and by my name it still said that my status was pending. This waiting process was frustrating, for I had been waiting for a week already to find out. Finally, 6:00pm rolls around and I see “Not accepted” by my name. I was devastated, my heart dropped and I felt like God had let me down. I felt like giving up but something in me wouldn’t let me. My spirit wouldn’t allow me to stop the work that God had been doing in my life for so long, so training was something that had to continue. The next day I ran into Vincent Marovak, a friend of mine and former teammate, who told me that he was working with Steve, a coach who was a former triple jumper here at the University of Nebraska Lincoln who is now a coach as well as Wisdom who is also a coach, out in Omaha, Nebraska which immediately sparked interest in my head. It had been weeks since I worked on the triple jump, since I was planning on going to the Olympic Trials for the long jump only, I needed a little brushing up. After working with these coaches, for a day I felt like I was ready to go. On the plane and on my way to Mexico, I had no idea what to expect but an experience was what I was ready for. From boarding planes
Brother Salute! The Fraternity would like to commend Brother Jonathan Hairston on his recent designation to Chairman of the Young Adult Committee for the NAACP Dayton Unit 3181. Hairston is the youngest man to be appointed to this position, after he re-activated the Central State University Unit 3803 in October of 2012. As advisor, he increased financial membership from three to thirty-five. Additionally, at age twenty seven, he is the Youngest Life Member of the CSU NAACP Unit 3808. Brother Hairston, 4AM05, is the current Vice Polaris of the Beta Omega Omega chapter. Indeed, he is leading by example and serving his community in multiple capacities.
2012 USA Team members
to un-boarding planes to boarding and un-boarding again became a tiring routine but I knew it would be worth it once we arrived. “Welcome to Guanajuato” said the flight attendant and in Mexico we had finally arrived. Heading to the hotel was exciting; to see billboards, signs, stores and words all in Spanish was an interesting sight. This was my chance to show off all the Spanish skills that I had learned while in the States and my excitement was exuberating. USA shirts flooded the lobby as we arrived to the hotel; it was very interesting to see. I had made the team before, two years ago but we
competed in Miramar, Florida so it really had nothing on this experience. To see athletes who are on teams such as Florida, LSU, ASU and PENN to now all be competing for the same team was a dream team. I went right to my room and started unpacking so I could get comfortable and get ready to eat because I was starving. Dinnertime came, and it was time to see what Mexico had to offer. Spaghetti, fish, pancakes, watermelon and some other stuff, but I don’t remember because I didn’t eat it. This meal pattern, don’t forget it because we had it every single night and maybe chicken was thrown in there somewhere. (continued on page 60)
Brother Ronell Harrison and his wife Tracina Harrison have been deployed together in Kuwait since May 2012. Their deployment ends in May of this year. Staff Sargent Ronell Harrison is a 12-year veteran of the Air National Guard serving as a flight operation specialist. His wife, Sargent Tracina Harrison is a 10-year veteran serving as a human resource specialist for Headquarters Company, 35th Combat Aviation Brigade. Their three children are being cared for by loving family members back in Missouri. Brother Harrison joined Iota in April 1999 at the University of Central Missouri (UCM), Delta Alpha Chapter. Harrison served in numerous positions within the chapter including Vice-Polaris, Secretary, and Sargent-at-Arms. He played a vital role in the chapter earning chapter designation in July 2000 summer conference. He is a charter member of one of the Fraternity’s newest Alumni chapters, Gamma Iota Omega of Kansas City, Missouri in 2012, where he serves as Sargent-At-Arms. Ironically, Brother Harrison met his future wife on an earlier deployment to Iraq in 2005. They have been married for more than 4 years now.
Leadership Message China Report (continued from page 7)
Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history. This spot was huge. Almost like a large concrete park. The bricks had been individually laid. There were statutes on Tiananmen Square. The statute above is called the “People’s Statute” or “Workers’ Statute”. Monument in front of Mao’s Mausoleum on Tiananmen Square. We were told that there were rulers buried there and residents of China come from all over China to worship the spot.
Visit to the Forbidden City Another site we visited was the Forbidden City. The History of the Forbidden City begins in the 15th century when it was built as the palace of the Ming emperors of China. It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. It has been a museum since 1925. Built from 1406 to 1420, the palace complex has undergone many changes. After serving as the imperial palace for some five hundred years, the Forbidden City became a museum, the Palace Museum, in 1925. In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Site 50 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
by UNESCO. The site of the Forbidden City was situated on the Imperial city during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty moved the capital from Beijing in the north to Nanjing in the south, and in 1369 ordered that the Yuan palaces be razed. His son Zhu Di was created Prince of Yan with his seat in Beijing. In 1402, Zhu Di usurped the throne and became the Yongle Emperor. He made Beijing a secondary capital of the Ming empire, and construction began in 1406 of what would become the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City’s plan was designed by many architects and designers, and then it was examined by the Emperor’s Ministry of Work. The Chief Architects were Cai Xin and Nguyen An, a Vietnamese eunuch and the Chief Engineers were Kuai Xiang and Lu Xiang. During this visit, the temperature was below zero with a brisk and brutal windchill that easily dropped the temperature 15-20 degrees. But the delegation wrapped up in our heavy coats, hats and multilayered clothing and assumed the tour. The Forbidden City is a place that gives you goose bumps while you’re there. It is also like a large enclosed park. As measured by “world’s largest palace by area enclosed within the palace’s fortified walls,” the title is held by China’s Forbidden City complex, which covers an area of 720,000 square meters (178 acres). The buildings of the Forbidden City have a combined floorspace of 1,614,600 square feet (150,001 m2) and contain roughly 9,000 rooms. You’re assisted by a tour guide if you want or you can
roam the city on your own. History informs that The Forbidden City was a place where the Chinese Emperor and his family lived. The Forbidden City was built high over the city so the Emperor could keep a watchful eye on the residents. There was an air of paranoia as the Emperor was always concerned that the residents, mostly the servants, would somehow over power him and dethrone him. To this end, the Chinese Emperor had a massive army. The Emperor’s family lived under the ground as the bricks on the ground had been laid as deep as 3 miles. This again was to prevent anyone from getting to the Emperor or his family when they retreated to this underground haven. This was the very brick we were walking on. We were shown the quarters were the family lived, which for anyone to get to them, they would have had to pass and defeat a massive army and penetrate another city within the Forbidden City. We were shown a number of bedrooms. One in particular was the bedrooms where the Emperor would have sex with young females to determine their eligibility to be one of his wives. Locals would bring their daughters to the quarters for the test. If they failed the test, some would be killed and not returned to their parents. If they passed, then they were allowed to live in the Forbidden City as a wife or servant of the Emperor. These were just a few of the stories told to us by the tour guide. The Forbidden City also housed a tomb of where the Emperor was buried. The whole tour was some(continued on page 55)
Living History (continued from page 18)
responsible? When do we want to arrive? As time went on, through our efforts and the assistance of some of the NPHC member organizations, we were admitted as a full member of the NPHC in 1997, changing the Elite Eight to the Divine Nine. During our beginning we received a great deal of support from the Brothers of the Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma. These Brothers were not threatened by Iota; instead they chose to be a part of the growth in the Greek community. We will forever be grateful to the Brothers of Gamma Chapter. Over the past forty-nine years we have experienced the pains of growth. I was not prepared initially for the death of Brothers, lack of commitment which some displayed, violations of campus rules and disregard for the Oath they took. Fortunately these Brothers were in the minority. However, a lack of financial responsibility of some members was very disappointing. In speaking with some of the leaders of other organizations; we find that the above is a problem for most of us. It seems to me that some of our Fraters and Sorors have chosen to be Card Carriers instead of Committed Members. As a Founder this perplexes me. I often think about the Founders of the other organizations and wonder how they would feel about the above. They founded these organizations to promote parity for Black people in our country. The racism which was prevalent in their era has changed in appearance but still exists. Even though we have a Black President; we have a law suit in Maryland dealing with the inequities
of funding for HBCUs as compared to predominately White institutions. The Law Suit covers the period from 1937 to today. In 1981 I wrote a poem, “Hindsight” after some of our plans proved unsuccessful. As a result of the above; we modified our strategies to reinforce our goals and objectives. Each day, I continue to think of the Founders of the Elite Eight to keep in mind what they did and why we chose to follow their path. This seems to recharge my batteries to continue my dream of Iota. The BGLOs should consider the possibilities of sharing resources. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to represent Iota at an Alpha Kappa Alpha Regional Meeting and these Sorors honored an AKA who owned a bank in California with over 200 million dollars in assets. What if we were offered a BGLO discount rate for mortgages, automobile loans, etc.? This could be mutually beneficial to all involved. There are additional opportunities available to us through shared resources and promoting each other’s businesses. This is food for thought. I have been blessed to have experienced the dream of twelve men. Two of these men were older, non- traditional students. Four Iota Founders had served in the military and returned to school under the G.I. Bill; the remaining six were traditional students who knew each other since childhood. The above was an asset in the success of Iota’s Founding; it provided us with a diversity of experiences and an understanding of the tasks before us. I have a picture of my elementary school graduating class (1954); there
are two Founders and two members of Iota’s First Line (1964), “The Fifteen Centaurs”. As with the Founders of the other NPHC organizations, we were friends with similar experiences and goals. Five Iotas were in our Junior High School Graduation Class of 1957, and Five Iotas were in our High School Graduation Class at Baltimore City College (1960); Founders Coakley and Spruill; First Line Members Freeland*, Watson* and Wheatley. Founders Webster Lewis* and Louis Hudnell; First Centaur Line Members Jeff Johnson, Jerry Cullings* and Wesley Jennings who is the son of Iota’s Eternal Sweetheart and Mother - Our Beloved Audrey Brooks*- also attended Baltimore City College. Baltimore City College is the second oldest public high school in the USA; integrated in 1956. It should be noted that Lt. James “Tony” Watson was the first Morgan graduate killed in Vietnam, on December 4th, 1965. It is interesting that Four Founders and Six First Line Members attended Baltimore City College. Many future Iotas went on to attend the school, including four International Grand Polars(i). I would like to pay homage to the three outstanding men who founded Sigma. Founder A. Langston Taylor; “Culture For Service and Service For Humanity”, Founder Charles I. Brown; “No Legacy Is So Rich As Honesty” and Founder Leonard F. Morse who displayed Sigma’s sadness; “We Live In Daily Hope That We Shall One Day Learn The Fate Of Our Beloved Founder Charles I. Brown”. I had the pleasure of speaking with Sigma President, Brother Jimmy Ham(continued on next page)
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Living History (continued from page 51)
mock, at the Eightieth Anniversary of the NPHC. We discussed the opportunities and problems facing our organizations. Brother Hammock and I plan to continue our conversation in the future. I was honored to be invited to administer the ReDedication Ceremony to the Divine Nine Presidents. I thought of Iota’s deceased Founders and Brothers and I remembered the various trials and tribulations we had to overcome. Yet, we continued the dream and one day an Iota Founder administered an Oath to the Presidents of the Divine Nine. The above dampened the eyes of those Iotas who were present; including mine. I also thought of the twenty International Grand and Vice
Grand Polaris(i); Board Chairmen and Vice Chairmen; National Iota Foundation Chairmen and Vice Chairmen over the years who were and are supported by staffs of committed Iota Brothers. They are my Brothers/Sons who made Our Dream a reality. There were some similarities in the Founding of Sigma and Iota. We both were not satisfied with the status Quo. We both envisioned a Fraternity that would welcome all worthy Black students regardless of social status, wealth and/or the pigmentation of their skin. The words of your Founder Leonard F. Morse touch us deeply. We too do not know the fate of Founder Micheal Williams. He has not been seen or heard from since 1970. For a candid comprehensive view of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
and the national environment during this period in history; read Founder John D. Slade’s Book: “IOTA PHI THETA - The Founding and Ascendency”. In closing I would like to again thank the Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and particularly Brother Todd D. Le Bon for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts relative to Iota and the BGLOs over the past forty-nine years. By the way, I have five nieces, three are Iota Sweethearts and one, Christina “Chrissey” Spruill is a proud new Soror of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at Florida State University; I am a very proud uncle. Finally, I pray that we increase the percentage of commitment (financial responsibility) in all of our organizations and continue our commitment (continued on page 54)
Eastern (continued from page 40)
National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. Peninsula Pan-Hellenic Council 21st Annual Awards Banquet On Saturday November 10, 2012, the Brothers of Gamma Omega Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. nominated Brother Samuel W. Jones Jr. as “Greek Man of the Year” the 2012 Award Banquet. Brother Jones is currently holding the office of Treasurer within the chapter. He has been instrumental in setting up the interactive National Website communications with the Alumni 52 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
Chapter to keep the Chapter active with recording and coordinating community service. In addition to his degree of Bachelor of Administration in Business from Averett University, he recently graduated Sigma Cum Laude with another undergraduate degree in Information Technology from Kaplan University. Samuel is employed by the Bon Secours Health Network at Mary Immaculate Hospital as a Computerized Tomography and Bone Densitometry Technician in the Diagnostic Imaging section. Samuel is board certified for the National Registry and also for the state of Virginia. He has been a participant with the Spirit of Giving Employee Campaign and also was a contributor for Bernadine Franciscans Sisters Motherhouse which has
recently been renovated and broke ground and branched out from Reading, PA. Brother Harry O. White Gamma Omega Alumni Chapter, Inc.
Gamma Omega brothers L to R Anthony Cosby, Robert Perry, Sam Jones, Jr., Sam Jones, Sr. William White & Harry White
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and support to our colleges and/or universities, communities, country and each other. May we all be Blessed. “Nothing counts but pressure, pressure, more pressure and still more pressure through broad organized aggressive mass action” Asa Phillip Randolph Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
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Inc. in the hearts and minds of all who attend the 23rd Annual Long Beach Step Show! OW-OW! And OLE! Written by Brother Sean Housen Polaris, Far West Region
Regional Growth * Deceased
HINDSIGHT Perhaps its time for me to relax And think about what I’ve done But for some odd reason the truth appears And eliminates all the fun I pictured myself the Star of the Play But things were moving so fast In retrospect, it didn’t turn out that way I wasn’t even a member of the Cast Friends in the audience, watching the Play Asked “Where were You?” Staring down towards the ground I said “I directed Scene Two” They nod towards me; puzzled obviously and Quietly walked out the Door I was forced to accept (as quiet as it was kept) The Climax was in Scene Four The Moral is to Keep Your Eyes Open, Each experience logged within For how do you know where you are going; If You Don’t Know Where You’ve Been Lonnie C. Spruill, Jr. October, 1981 Reprinted with permission from “Our Cause,” the official magazine of the Eastern Region of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Volume 3, Issue 1,
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The Far West Region has come a long way. Without the vision and determination of Robert Clark and Cecil Bienvenu, the region would have not existed today. The Far West Region has improved tremendously in community service, financial chapters and brothers, making a huge name for ourselves. In the past, the region was not well known to many Brothers outside of the west coast; in fact, some brothers could not believe there were brothers out west. When talking about the region, most people thought only of the Bay Area, simply because the majority of the brothers reside there. But now it is well known to include all of California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada and Japan. We are growing and will continue to grow and strive to be a great asset to the Fraternity as a whole. The region has taken up a motto of its own that each chapter strives to fulfill to contribute to the brand of Iota. The FWR believes in “Building, Retaining and Sustaining our Brotherhood.” We will continue to follow this mantra in order to fulfill our part of the national mission of Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One.
The Region has gone through many trial and tribulations, but we were certainly hit hard when we lost our beloved Brother and Assistant Regional Polaris, Devrick T. Smith. When he first came to Iota, Brother Smith was excited and ready to help the region grow. He moved up the ranks very quickly because of his leadership skills from other organizations and the United States Air Force. Our region gave him a heartfelt and fantastic home going ceremony. Brother Smith, affectionately known as Devo or Big Brother Rapacious 1, would have been proud. We know he was looking down at us with a smile. The entire region, our Brothers and Hearts will miss him tremendously. Our Far West brothers have great reason to take pride with themselves. They appeared on television shows such as America’s Next Top Model and The Love Games to mention a few. The Southern California Angel City Owtlaws won back to back step shows in the biggest step show in California and they are looking for a three-peat win to represent Iota. In good nature, our brothers in from Alpha Chi Chapter in Northern California are giving their Southern counterparts friendly competition by winning the San Francisco State step show, the biggest step show in Northern California. The Brothers from The Bay Area Assassin step team are looking to bring the Mother chapter back to life in the Bay Area, and run Northern California area with a new look and new steps. The Far West Region is a small but powerful region. The Brothers love (continued on page 56)
Leadership Message China Report (continued from page 50)
what scary, strange, cold and intriguingly mysterious with unsettling paranoia.
Visit to the Great Wall of China Another popular site we visited was the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger, stronger, and unified are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks,
garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor. Again, the weather was brutally cold. Videos of my visit to the Great Wall have been posted on the IotaNetwork. Visit the IotaNetwork to view them. We left Beijing on our designated tour bus and drove a little over an hour to the Great Wall. The Great Wall (“the Wall”) is a popular tourist attraction in China. The higher we got up the Wall the colder it got. Again, we were draped with several layers of clothing, several pairs of socks, hats and gloves to battle the cold and increasingly dropping temperatures the higher we climbed up the Wall. The test for all of us was to see how far we could get up the Wall. There was a top that we could see from the ground when we first arrived. That top is where most of us made our goal. The two Omegas in the delegation set their goal a little higher and walked much further. This was expected as one of the Omegas, the one who held the Ph.D would get up every morning much earlier than all of us despite the time change and undertake his physical training in the hotel before we began our journeys. The steep steps and the bitter cold proved to be a challenge but the challenge was matched by the fun I was having walking up the Wall with the Urban League President of Atlanta, then National President of Alpha Phi Alpha, Skip Mason, and the Urban League President of Denver. The Grand Polemarch opted to take pictures with us at the bottom of the Wall, climbed about 25 steps and
retreated back down. He and I still joke about his brief journey up the Wall as well as the pictures he, I and Skip Mason took while displaying our hand signs. The two of them thought this was good tweeting material. When the student delegation visited China, it was summer in China. They were encouraged to walk up the Wall. This Wall was built by hand one brick at a time. Amazing.
Travel to Xian After our intense meetings, briefings and State dinners and luncheons which consumed all of both Monday and Tuesday, we set off to the Beijing International Airport to travel to Xian. Xi’an Wade–Giles: Hsi-An, also spelled Hsi-an, Hsian, or Sian) is the capital of Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People’s Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang’an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi’an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi’an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. What many don’t know about China is that it is void of technology, except for that technology that it has copied or received from other countries. Many westerners confuse China with Japan. I was guilty of this also. I set out on my journey to China thinking that I would have the opportunity to (continued on page 59)
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Far West (continued from page 54)
Iota and the Region will continue to build the brand in a positive light and show the community that we are here and we will serve. and finding maximum time to practice! We all see that practice does make perfect, and after two Back to Back wins of this coveted competition, their record is indeed perfect and unblemished. With these last two titles securely under their belts, the Angel City Owtlaws know and understand the responsibility of being on top. They have shown pride in themselves, their Chapters, their Region, and their Fraternity. They also know that future competition from every county, city, campus, fraternity and sorority will soon be knocking at their door to try to take what is rightfully theirs: the Championship! Written by Brother Derek L. Stalling
Far West Regional Anniversary The Far west Region will celebrate its 30th year anniversary on June 18, 2013. The Region has grown tremendously since Robert Clark started it in 1983. The first two chapters in the region were Alpha Chi Chapter, San Francisco State University and Xi Omega chapter, the graduate chapter for the San Francisco and the Oakland Area. Alpha Chi Chapter is considered the Mother Chapter of the region and we will always be thankful to the visionaries 30 years ago.
The Far West Region (originally West Coast Region) was established on June 18, 1983 by Brother Robert Clark of Alpha Lambda Chapter, University of Illinois. The founding chapters were Alpha Chi, San Francisco State University, and Xi Omega, San Francisco Alumni. Besides actualizing the Fraternity motto of “Building A Tradition, Not Resting Upon One,” the Region also abides by its own adopted precepts: “Building, Sustaining and Retaining our Brotherhood.” The West Coast Region consisted of the following chapters: • Alpha Chi, San Francisco State University - 1983 • Xi Omega, San Francisco Alumni 1983 • Upsilon Omega, Los Angeles Alumni - 1987 • Beta Upsilon Cal State UniversityEast Bay (Formerly Hayward) 1995 • Beta Psi, Arizona State University 1996 • Gamma Zeta, University Of California - Berkeley - 1997 • Gamma Pi, Sacramento City-Wide (UCD, CSUS) - 1999 • Gamma Phi, Los Angeles City-Wide (USC, CSULA, CSULB, Chapman) - 1999 • Alpha Zeta Omega, Oakland/ Berkeley/East Bay Alumni - 2000 • Delta Mu, Hawaii Military & Honolulu Citywide Chapter – 2001 • Delta Chi San Jose State University – 2003 • Alpha Upsilon Omega, Seattle/Tacoma Alumni – 2007 • San Diego State University - 1997 • Sacramento Graduate/Alumni Colony – 1998
Note: Beta Eta University Of Wyoming (1987), Beta Sigma, University of Northern Colorado (1992), and Alpha Beta Omega, Denver Alumni (1996) were a part of the Far West Region until the Fraternity restructured its regional directorate in 2001. The Region has grown even more since 2001 has put Iota on the map in the Far West. Chapters has won big step shows in the areas, and they have impacted their communities tremendously by working downtown Los Angeles on Skid Row helping people see the light at the other tunnel. The FWR is a small but powerful region, and the region will continue to big a huge asset to the Fraternity as a whole. Happy 30th Anniversary, Far West Region!
Southern (continued from page 35)
created a lasting impression on the campus and the surrounding community. Not only did we represent in the Homecoming Step Show, we also gave back to the community by donating needed items to a local women’s shelter. The southern region has seen the rebirth of several chapters this year, these chapters include, Zeta Omicron at Sam Houston State University, Epsilon Alpha at Texas Southern University and Alpha Kappa at Dillard University. I was able to attend the joint NPHC Fraternity probate of Alpha Kappa. The chapter had been (continued on next page)
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dormant for many years, but with the hard work and dedication of Brothers within the area we were able to return victoriously to the campus. There is nothing like seeing firsthand the determination of the Brothers as we work side by side to ensure the longevity of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Many other chapters are working on re-establishment plans. The Southern Region is on a rise and I am proud to see the growth that is taking place when the region. On March 8-10 2013, The Southern Region rolled in to the Big â€œDâ€?, Dallas, Texas to host our 2013 Spring Regional Meeting. The meeting was carefully planned to allow a great mixture of learning opportunities as well as time for Brothers and Sweethearts from the region to relax and bond. We used this meeting as a time for the Southern Regionals 50th Celebration Kick Off. And we welcomed the attendance of our Grand Polaris Karl Price and Brother Robert Clark as they discussed their ideas on moving Iota forward. Best of success to both these fine Brothers.
items being sold were slightly used, many times looking brand new. This kind of facility allows for people in this economy to afford items that will enhance their lives at a discounted rate. When money is tight we all need a little assistance. So let me encourage everyone to give a hand to Habitat for Humanity by helping to ReStore in the spirit of giving. I was humbled by this experience as it forced me to put my prissiness and pride aside and get my nails and clothes dirty for a worthy cause. I have promised myself to find a place like this in the city of Youngstown, Ohio, so that I can continue to serve rather be served. The Ohio Valley Region will continue to lend an effort to ReStore the hope and faith of this nation. I may be small in stature but with the help of my brothers and sisters, collectively we have the power to change this world. Submitted by Tanga Smith Ohio Valley Region Sweetheart
Brother Salute Ohio Valley Habitat for Humanity (continued from page 37)
began to use screwdrivers and hand drills to remove the screws between each end. The concept of teamwork was evident as you could see brothers and hearts working together to complete the assigned task. The employees of Restore did not let us struggle alone - they shared some of their trade secrets along the way. Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores are great assets to any community. The
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academic endeavors and remain focused on his journey to medical school. He has demonstrated citizenship while working as a mentor for the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives. He has also assisted fellow classmates as a study group leader for introductory biology and animal physiology courses. Brother Quaye has conducted years of research at U of M in topics ranging from brain and iron deficiency to esophageal cancer. He received the opportunity to conduct his brain and iron deficiency research in China
during the summer of 2011. In Fall 2011, he was presented with the scholarship award at the Ohio Valley regional meeting. Emmanuel is slated to graduate in May 2013 and begin his first year of medical school shortly after. The Ohio Valley Region salutes you, Brother Emmanuel Quaye III.
Eastern Regional Update
(continued from page 40)
list their line information. We now have over 1,000 Eastern Region Brothers listed. We know there are many more (especially those who crossed since the last regional conference). Please go to the regional website (http://easternregion.iotaphitheta. org) to add your name to ERoots! This will have the dual effect of helping chapters rediscover our roots to increase pride within the region and reactivate and recognize brothers that have stepped away from the Fraternity. Some Virginia Chapter Accomplishments in Fall 2012 Theta Epsilon became the 1st Black Greek Organization on Campus of Randolph-Macon College (see more below). Active Scholarship Programs by Omicron Omega and Gamma Omega Chapters. Gamma Omega was recognized by the City of Hampton for great community service. Weekly and Monthly Community service initiatives: Mentoring, Mary Carter Beacon (continued on next page)
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Executive Director Connects with Brothers at the Verizon Center
From left to right, Executive Director Kevin Bennett, Darrell Pittman, Clyde Richards, Jeffery Chatman. Richard Robinson, Jefferey Chatman
On March 1, 2013, the Washington Wizards hosted the Divine Nine in an effort to facilitate awareness for the NPHC Organizations in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. Over 300 Divine Nine members, friends and family participated in a night, which included refreshments in the exclusive Dewar’s Clubhouse followed by a competitive basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks. Unfortunately, for the hometown fans the Wizards loss to the Knicks 88-96. All attending organizations took group pictures at center court.
Eastern (continued from page 57)
House, Food Drives, Scholarship Programs and Voters Registration. Reactivation of Beta Chapter During their first semester on campus, the Theta Epsilon Chapter at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia has registered the highest GPA of all Greek Organizations for the Fall 2012 semester. The brothers of Theta Epsilon averaged a cumulative GPA of 3.05, which was the highest among 58 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
the other eight fraternities and four sororities on campus. The members of the Theta Epsilon Chapter are, and shall remain, dedicated to our Organization’s principles of scholarship, leadership, fidelity, citizenship, and brotherhood and our Founders’ vision of “Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One.” Some Maryland/DC/Delaware Chapter Accomplishments Fall 2012 Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Providing meals and gifts to the Women’s Shelter
Thanksgiving baskets to families We Feed Our People Food drive Reactivation of Rho Chapter at Towson State University, Maryland Some North Carolina Chapter Accomplishments in Fall 2012 Community service initiatives and accomplishments provided by the alumni, undergraduate and sweethearts. Voter Registration Drives, Feeding the homeless, Mentoring youth in the community, Susan Koman Crop Walk, and several university health fair programs. Reactivation of Xi chapter Spring 2013
Building in the Mid West (continued from page 46)
Josef K. McNeal was one of eight Brothers who chartered Gamma Iota Omega - Kansas City, Missouri on June 11, 2012. Brother McNeal was also working at Kansas State University by reaching out to a young Kansan man who had previously contacted him. Brother McNeal gained a provisional registration that allowed Iota to use campus facilities and helped provide travel funds for the Regional Conference and Conclave. Kansas State University will be the first Iota Chapter in the state. The dedication of these Brothers is commendable, to say the least. We live in a society of instantaneous results; however, these men nurtured their respective projects for approximately 18 months. There are not many who will go above and beyond for fear that their time and effort will not be appreciated or will not produce a positive return on their investment. As Regional Polaris, I applaud both Brothers Ware and McNeal for their persistence. Both collegiate charters are expected to gallop into Iotaland at our 2013 Spring Regional Conference in Minneapolis, as we bring another ten young men into the fold. I officially welcome our newest chapters in the Midwest; Theta Theta-Minnesota State University-Mankato and Theta Eta-Kansas State University.
China Report (continued from page 55)
purchase a lot of cutting edge electronics. Absolutely not! That is Japan, not China. Xian is the city that expresses what China really is about. China is a laboring country. It is known for its textile industry. One would argue that it is one of the textile capitals of the world. Take a moment and look around your house or the next time you visit a Target or Walmart and take a peek at the labels on the clothes or the “made in” spot on the object. You will be surprised at how many you will find that say “Made In China”. It is no surprise that the United States Olympic Committee, when it hired Ralph Lauren to make its uniforms, discovered that the label said “Made In China”. Most of the clothes we pay top dollar for is made with cheap labor from China, yes, even the Sean John, Phat Pharm, Baby Phat, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, etc. Skip Mason joked that once his son was assigned a homework project that required him to go around his home and identify items with the label “Made In China”. Skip said that he was shocked to find how many items displayed in his own home that had been made in China. Textiles is a claim to fame of China. The Chinese will make a suit almost while you wait. In fact, the President of the Urban League from New Orleans got just that. He had 3 two-piece suits made in about a two hour span. During the meetings we attending, we increasingly heard the complaint that the United States government
would not share but only a very small portion of its technology with China. This is an area that the Chinese are eager to trade with America. Even though there are some places where Apple, Inc. manufactures some of its products, the secrets are highly secured. Xian is a city where 14 million apartment units were being built. Beijing and Xian where two cities that were distinct by observation. In Beijing, the mode of transportation was primarily pedal bikes and the underground subway. Clearly 75% of the street traffic in Beijing was pedal bikes, 15% was vehicular and the other 10% was public transportation either above or below ground. Whereas in Xian, the primary mode of transportation was vehicular. Clearly 70% was vehicular traffic, 15% was pedal bikes and the other 15% was either public transportation either above or below ground. In Xian, most of the residents were poor. Interestingly the breakdown economically was that the farmers or the residents from the country side were more impoverished whereas in the urban areas the population seemed to be doing better economically but by no way affluent. We were told that most of the wealth was in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Joanne’s missing luggage One noticeable snafu occurred during our trip to Xian. The former Grand Basileus of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s luggage was lost during the flight from Beijing to Xian. We were in Xian from Wednesday to (continued on page 62)
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Mid West Brother Coaches His Way to National Championship (continued from page 47)
Station Commander with the United State Army. As a top and decorated leader in his Health Care Recruiting Battalion, Brother Brown has led his Center to finish in the Top 10 recruting stations in the nation. Brother Brown will be retiring in the fall of 2013 after 24 years of distinguished military service to pursue new career ambitions in coaching, leadership development and business. Brother Brown will continue to serve Iota as a Life Member affiliated with Alpha Alpha Omega Indianapolis Alumni Chapter. He has already infused his coaching and recruiting skills as he has successfully recruited the son of Aaron Butler (Beta Mu) to play at Marian College next year. Brotherhood Regional 2012 Carlos P. Romulo stated, “Brotherhood is the very price and condition of a man’s survival.” This survival of brotherhood is demonstrated, practice and bestowed upon all Iota Men who embrace the ideas and principles of fraternity. On March 29th through April 1st, 2012, the Brotherhood Regional Conference descended upon the City of Memphis, Tennessee. This historic event was hosted by Beta Xi Omega Alumni Chapter and Eta Epsilon Chapter. The theme, “Separated by States, United by Brotherhood” presented this particular regional conference to be a great opportunity for bonding, educating, and civic engagement to the Memphis community. The 60 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
creative motivation of this event was spearheaded by the Regional Polari Kenneth White of The Midwest Region , Marc Nichols of The Southern Region and Leon Coleman III of The Ohio Valley Region. The weekend kicked off on Thursday evening with a hospitality reception. Also, the Ohio Valley Region presented Mr. Jarvis Mimes II, a local high school senior, the Ms. Audrey S. Brooks Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for his outstanding academic performance. In a collective effort set forth by all three regions, The Memphis Food Bank was presented with a donation of one thousandtwelve hundred and fifty dollars to address the hunger disparities in Memphis. The 20th International Grand Polaris, Karl Price, gave his perspective pertaining to each region bringing forth abundant positive social initiatives and, as a result, showcase the talents and dedication of the fraternity. Saturday’s regional meeting presented training opportunities for current and new members and brought forth relatable topics including , Branding Iota, Roberts Rule of Order, and How to Building a Solid Chapter both at the Undergrad and Grad level. All training was done to provide adequate information for functional prosperity . A Brotherhood Banquet was held at the Doubletree Hotel to recognize the achievements of each region. Some of the award presentations included Chapter of Year, Alumni and Undergraduate Member of the Year, Regional leadership Awards and Sweethearts of the Year. A benefit auction sponsored by the Sweethearts of each region, inviting mem-
bers to bid on various items ranging from ties, a custom made shovel, a basket and more to support the Ms. Audrey S. Brooks Scholarship Fund. Many members experienced the attractions of Memphis. Historic sites such as the Beale Street, W.C Handy Park, National Civil Rights Museum, and Stax Museum of American Soul added to the momentum of bonding and signified the reason for this regional conference which is to build a new tradition of brotherhood that goes beyond states and is united by the Five Stars of the Fraternity. At the end of the day, the goal of this event was to rekindle the flame of hope to Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. “for all the world to see”. I love I Phi. Sean Upshaw Beta Xi Omega Alumni Chapter State Director of Tennessee
Experience is Everything (continued from page 49)
Competition day finally came. It was Thursday, July 6th and the Heptathletes were underway. Supporting USA as we went out and competed against Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada and Saint Kits, was just amazing. The days would go by and I would just watch USA rack up medals, 1st and 2nd in the Heptathlete, 1st and 2nd in the Long Jump, 1st and 2nd in the shot put and now it was my turn. Sunday, the Lords day rolls around and it’s game time. I wasn’t feeling the best, because I had gotten sick after eating some KFC two nights before but I knew God didn’t
bring me this far to not jump from a stomachache so I proceeded. Warming up with my USA teammate Chris Benard, as we prepared thoroughly for competition, got in the zone prior and focused. After saying a prayer with my jumping partner, I said may God be with you to the rest of the jumpers and proceeded to getting in my zone. It was my turn, as I walked onto the runway; I kneeled down to thank God for the opportunity and asked for confidence and speed. As I stood up, I looked down the runway and visualized a successful jump. I then ran down the runway, knees trotting, focused, and determined. I ran off the board, first phase connected, up into a bound and then into the sand pit I went. 51ft. 3 inches on my first jump but I knew I could do better. As I looked at my coach, she told me what needed to be done, so I did it. Second jump, I kneel back down and thank God for the previous jump and ask him to give me the strength to do it again. I get ready, I focus, I visualize and I run down the runway as fast as I can, I run right off the board, first phase, then up into a bound, and into the pit for a landing I went. 52ft on my second jump, I was satisfied but not fully because I knew I could do better. I glanced at my coach and she got my full attention and told me that I used all of the board on that jump so I knew that I had to move back especially because I knew that I was going to call for the clap on the next one. 3rd jump up, game time is what I said in my head. Each jump had been getting better and better so it was only right that I kept it going. On the runway again, I kneel and told God,
let’s go!! I stood up and screamed to the crowd “Vamanos” which means let’s go in Spanish and they loved it so they begin to really get into the clap. I was overflowing with energy at this time, as I ran down the runway I knew this jump would be good! Off the board I ran, up into a bound, and out into the sand pit I went. I get up and look and I saw that it was pretty far, but I felt like my bound was not a great one so the jump could have been better overall. 52ft. 7inches on my 3rd jump, I pointed up at God, indicating that he is the reason for it all as I walked back to the rest of the competitors. The final 3 jumps were under way and I was feeling amazing. Sitting in first made me the last jumper to go. I was ready to finish it strong. 4th jump, back on the runway, kneeled down and thanked God for getting me this far and was ready to go. I yelled “Vamanos” and the crowd started to clap again. When I ran down the runway this time, I was moving even faster. Off the board I ran, up into a bound, out into the sand pit and out at 53 ft. 1 ½ inches I landed. I was excited, because on every single jump I was improving, and I was seeing that all this hard work was finally paying off. When the last two jumps came, I was hoping that nobody passed me but if they did I was going to have to do what had to be done! On my 5th jump, I passed it because my ankle had been a little sore from the previous so I wanted to save everything so that my sixth jump, if needed, would be great! 6th jump was up. I watched my teammate jump, the last jumper that had an opportunity to pass me and take first, fall inches short of winning
the Gold and I was crowned the USA under 23 NACAC 2012 Triple Jump Champion! I can’t even explain the feeling that I had. All I could do was smile, kneel down, give thanks, scream “Vamanos” one last time and take my final jump. It wasn’t any better than my previous jumps but I was still thankful for what had happened! The crowd cheered, as I was walk down the fence line giving high fives, taking pictures and signing autographs! It was an honor to have gotten this opportunity to compete for the USA in Mexico and it was an experience that I will never ever forget! After a trip like this, I can look past the long days of traveling, the getting sick, and the repeat of meals all because it was an amazing trip. The days seemed as if they took forever to pass, but we were all able to socialize and really get to know each other. What I realized was this, if it was not for this trip, a lot of us athletes and coaches would have never spoken to each other and that would have resulted in missing out on an opportunity to meet some really cool and interesting people. So I am so thankful that this opportunity came about. Since I am going to be 23 going on 24 the next time this team comes around I will not be able to compete in this meet in two years however, I still look forward to doing great things as I prepare for world championships next year and the 2016 Olympics! Chris Phipps, Polaris-Epsilon Rho
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Leadership Message China Report (continued from page 59)
Friday morning. I believe that her luggage was finally found on Thursday afternoon.
Special visit to an exclusive Panda Reserve One of the sites we were given special permission to view was the China Panda Reserve. Normally no one is allowed in that area. Watch the video on the IotaNetwork. The viewing was special as China is the world leader with pandas. The pandas we saw were in captivity but throughout China there are Panda Reserves where they are allowed to roam free.
is laid to rest. And in his quest to protect his so called “life after death” journey, he employed warriors to do that. History states that some of the warriors protecting the Emperor were buried alive along with livestock. You can see various photos of the site and the amazing pictorial history in the images below. The video of this site is posted in the IotaNetwork. History tells the story that a farmer some years ago was plowing his land and discovered objects that he could not describe so he alerted the Chinese government which then took over the land. The Chinese government sent archeologist and engineers on to the land to investigate and that’s when the Terracotta Warrior site was discovered. It is literally the size of 3 separate football fields with burials in each. The strangest of all of the buri-
AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN CHINA The African American experience in China was fun and quite interesting. No doubt that the Chinese people are not accustomed to seeing African Americans. To some extent we felt we were often surrounded by a paparazzi. While traveling through the airports. It was not unusual for us to pass a crowd holding up their iphones to video or photograph us. Sometimes it felt strange. A lot of these people are accustomed to seeing African American men as stellar athletes and African American women as fashion models or singers. Ordinary black tourists were a sightseeing feature for the spectators. At one point while at the
CONCLUSION Traveling to China was a unique experience. Every leader in this country should visit at least in his/her lifetime. I found the experience to be a fulfilling one in a number of ways. I was there during the Super Bowl. If I had the chance to do it over again, I would visit China in a heartbeat.
Terracotta Warriors Another site we visited that nearly took our breaths away was the Terracotta Warriors site. This site is a site again where a Chinese Emperor 62 | CENTAUR | iotaphitheta.org
als is that they all took place at least a mile from the actual burial site of the Emperor. It was the belief, we are told, that the Emperor needed this protection after death.
Grand Polaris Karl Price with other NPHC fraters in China
CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES!
GULF COAST REGION Travarus Holloway Tennessee State University
Lionel Alexander Michigan State University
Kory Maurice Rogers University of Louisville
Brent Mitchell Michigan State University
Deontrae Ellis University of Phoenix (Masters)
Devon Butts Michigan State University
Daran Caray Northwood University
Desmond Martin University of Kentucky
Steve Jenks University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Masters)
Joseph Levall University of Louisville
Dadrien Barnes University of Tennessee at Knoxville Daniel Bush Central State University Roviere Colson Central State University Jaylen Glenn Central State University Antonio Williams Central State University Javonate Watson Central State University Larry Gardner Central State University Terry Graves Central State University Jerome Grant Central State University
K.J. Fields University of Louisville Mario Cole Memphis University Terron Banner Kentucky State University Chris Powell Kentucky State University Aiesha Bowie Michigan State University Maria Lewis Western Kentucky University Dianna Michele Perkins Northwood University Raisi K Mobele The Ohio State University Delano Prince Middle Tennessee State University
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Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Founders Hall 1600 N. Calvert Street Baltimore, MD 21202