Elder Watson Diggs
Founder Elder Watson Diggs, was quiet, polished, scholarly, a prolific writer and commonly referred to as ‘the Father of Kappa’. He was born in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky, on December 23, 1883 Diggs enrolled at Indiana University in the fall of 1910 and was the first African-American to graduate with an A.B. degree from Indiana University’s School of Education in 1916. He subsequently earned his Master’s degree of Education from Howard University in 1944..Diggs was an educator who held teaching positions and served as principal at public schools throughout Indiana. When the U.S. made its declaration in World War I against Germany, Diggs resigned as principal and entered the nation’s first Negroes Officers Training Camp at Fort Des Moines, Iowa and was commissioned a First Lieutenant. After serving in Europe with the 368th Infantry, he rose to the rank of Captain in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps. Based on the hostile attitude and circumstances facing Blacks at Indiana University, Diggs decided to establish a fraternity on campus to give African-Americans support and sanctuary based on high Christian ideals and the purpose of achievement. Diggs died November 8, 1947. Following his death, School #42 was named in his honor where he served as principal for 26 years. Diggs is laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Byron Kenneth Armstong
He was born in Westfield, Hamilton County, Indiana, on April 8, 1892. Armstrong enrolled at Howard University in 1909, met Elder W. Diggs and together, they transferred to Indiana University in the fall of 1910 where he studied philosophy, mathematics and sociology. He graduated from Indiana University with an A.B. degree in the fall of 1913. Armstrong subsequently earned a M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1914 and was decreed a Doctor of Philosophy degree by the University of Michigan in 1940. He held teaching positions as a professor at universities in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland and Michigan and served as Dean in Maryland and Oklahoma.During World War I, he was an investigator for the Department of Labor. He subsequently worked as Personnel Director for Chrysler Motors for 22 years. He also authored “Crossing the Jordan and Beyond” and served as Editor of the Journal. Armstrong died June 28, 1980 and is buried at Inglewood Cemetery in Inglewood, California
Dr. Ezra Dee Alexander
born in Monroe County, Bloomington, Indiana on July 18, 1891 . Alexander graduated from Bloomington High School in 1910. He matriculated to Indiana University in the fall of 1910 and graduated from Indiana University in 1917 with an A.B. degree. Prior to graduation, he held positions as a teacher and principal at Indiana public schools. He received his M.D. degree from the Medical School of Indiana University in 1919. Alexander served an internship at Provident Hospital in Chicago in 1920. Alexander served in the Army Medical Corps during WWI and as a medical examiner during WWII. He practiced medicine in Indianapolis for nearly 50 years. was also one of two Founders who helped establish the Chicago (IL) Alumni Chapter and one of three Founders who helped establish the Indianapolis (IN) Alumni Chapter.
Henry Tourner Asher
Henry T Asher was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 30, 1890 and was an unassuming, dependable supporter of Negro youth, equal rights, higher education and religious affairs. e enrolled at Indiana University in 1910, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1914. He became an instructor at Lincoln Institute at Jefferson City, Missouri from 1914-1915. he enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his MA degree in 1917. He received the degree of LL.B. at the Detroit College of Law in 1928. Asher served a year overseas in France during World War I and attained the rank of corporal. He was assigned to the 809th Pioneer Infantry unit of the U.S. Army. Asher was an active member of several organizations including the NAACP, the Elks and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He spent the remainder of his life in Detroit, Michigan, where he died March 5, 1963
Marcus Peter blakemore
a man of deep religious convictions and quiet confidence, contributed greatly to education, his community, his church, hospitals and his Fraternity, was born in Franklin, Indiana on January 3, 1889. He entered Indiana University 1910. After leaving Indiana University in the spring term of 1912, he organized the Electric Engineering Company, which he operated until he enlisted with the U.S. Army in World War I. Blakemore served in the U.S. Army as the rank of Private with the 30th Company, 154th Depot Brigade. He was honorably discharged in August of 1918. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and graduated from its Dental School with the DDS degree in 1923. In 1949, Blakemore became the first Black to receive the MS degree in Prosthetic Dentistry from the University of Pittsburgh Dental School.
He was a charter member of the Pittsburgh (PA) Alumni Chapter and was instrumental in the establishment of the Beta Epsilon Chapter. Blakemore maintained his practice of dentistry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 35 years until his death, October 9, 1959
paul waymond caine
Paul Waymond Caine born in Greencastle, Indiana on May 17, 1890. at Indiana University sometime between 1909 and 1910 as a business major. He was adept at cooking and he honed those skills while working at DePauw University, where he worked as a cook in the sorority houses prior to enrolling at Indiana University. He later set up the Caine Catering Company in his hometown, and continued his catering business in various cities including: Gary, Indiana, Peoria, Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. Caine opened a restaurant and bakery while residing in Peoria, Illinois. He also published a catering book, Artistic Dishes copyrighted in 1919 by the Hurst Publishing Company. He became well known in the culinary circles and was well sought after to teach and conduct lectures. He later acquired a 2nd hand goods clothing store and dry-cleaner business in Rockford, Illinois. He was burned during an explosion of gaseous materials as he worked in his dry cleaning business. Caine subsequently died of pneumonia on April 15, 1931 from injuries sustained from the fire
George W edmonds
George Wesley Edmonds,witty in nature and an enigma to most in the Fraternity was born in Knight Township, Vanderburgh County, Indiana on August 13, 1890. He enrolled at Indiana University in the fall of 1910.. After Edmonds returned home for the summer of 1911, he never returned to school. Instead, he worked in the coal mines and railroad of Vanderburgh County for many years. Edmonds married Willa Mae Forte and settled in Stevenson, Indiana. They became the parents of one son, Noel. Founder Edmonds died on June 13, 1962.
Guy levis Grant
Founder Guy Levis Grant, small in stature, but a giant in charitable endeavors and preserver of history, was born in New Albany, Indiana on April 9, 1891. Grant entered Indiana University 1909 where he majored in chemistry, graduating with the A.B. degree in 1915. In 1920, he received the D.D.S. degree from Indiana Dental School, then a part of Indiana University; he practiced dentistry in Indianapolis for over 50 years.
Edward giles irving
A civic and religious leader, journalist and entrepreneur, was born August 13, 1893, in Spencer, IN. In 1910, he enrolled at Indiana University While attending Indiana University, at only 17 years of age, Irvin was the youngest one of ten Black students who assisted to found Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc., in which Irvin served on the fraternity’s Incorporation Committee. After leaving the University, Irvin pursued a career in journalism until World War I. While serving the U.S. Army during the War, he was a Combat Medic and was cited for bravery for his actions with the Expeditionary Forces in France. He served on the Selective Service Board during WWII and the Korean War. He received the 2nd highest medal that is given by this country for valor. He also received two Distinguished Service Awards, from President Truman and Eisenhower respectively. He subsequently moved to Indianapolis and was on the staff of the Indianapolis Freeman, the first Negro newspaper in the nation with pictures. In 1922, he established the Shining Star, a weekly newspaper based in Anderson, IN. He subsequently moved to Gary, IN in 1923, to become the editor of the Gary Sun newspaper. Irvin moved to Chicago, IL, in 1928, to work as the sports editor for the Chicago Daily Bulletin newspaper. Over the years, he received many awards, but the one he cherished the most was the Laurel Wreath Award, the highest award available to a member of Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. for meritorious achievement. It was bestowed upon him in 1976 at the 60th Grand Chapter Meeting of Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. The Fraternity’s last living Founder died on November 4, 1982
John Milton Lee
Founder John Milton Lee was born in Danville, Indiana on September 7, 1890. He enrolled at Indiana University in 1910. He completed three years of pre-medical work before leaving the university. In 1914, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania but withdrew for health reasons. In 1915, he became a student at Temple University but was compelled to leave due to a death in the family. Lee enlisted in the Army in 1917. He was a non-commissioned officer assigned to Battery F, 349th Field Artillery Regiment, 167th Field Artillery Brigade of the 92nd Division. The Division organized at Fort Dix (New Jersey) in November 1917. The Field Artillery component was the first Negro Artillery Regiment in the history of the military.. Lee helped organize, and for several years was president of the Fairview Golf Club, the first Negro Golf Club in Pennsylvania. . Vocationally, he was engaged in several enterprises. For eight years, Lee conducted a successful catering business in Philadelphia; he organized and served as Vice-President and Secretary of the Mutual Emergency Union, a mutual aid company in Philadelphia. He was also a member of the Board of Managers of the Columbia Community Branch of the YMCA. . At the time of his death, January 3, 1958, he was employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania