Birth of Omega

On Friday evening, November 17, 1911, three Howard University undergraduate students, with the assistance of their faculty adviser, gave birth to the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. This event occurred in the office of biology Professor Ernest E. Just, the faculty advisor, in the Science Hall (now known as Thirkield Hall). The three liberal arts students were Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman. From the initials of the Greek phrase meaning " friendship is essential to the soul," the name Omega Psi Phi was derived. The phrase was selected as the motto. Manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift were adopted as cardinal principles. A decision was made regarding the design for the pin and emblem, and thus ended the first meeting of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

 The next meeting was conducted on November 23, 1911. Edgar Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Cooper and Coleman were selected Grandkeeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grandkeeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected as charter members.

Omega continues to flourish, largely because Founders Love, Cooper, Coleman and Just were men of the very highest ideals and intellect. The Founders selected and attracted men of similar ideals and characteristics. It is not by accident that many of America's great black men are/were Omega Men. To this date, there are very few Americans whose lives have not been touched by a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.


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Bishop Edgar A. Love (1891-1974)

Edgar A. Love was born in Virginia
Graduated from the Academy of Morgan College
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Howard University, 1913
Bachelor of Sacred Theology Degree, Howard University, 1916
Bachelor of Divinity Degree, Boston University, 1918
Doctor of Divinity Degree (Honorary), Morgan College, 1935
U.S. Army Chaplain, World War II
Bishop, Methodist Church

Dr. Oscar J. Cooper (1888-1972)

Oscar J. Cooper was born in Washington, D.C.
Graduated from the M Street High School, Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Science Degree, Howard University, 1913
Doctor of Medicine Degree, Howard University, 1917

Practiced medicine in Philadelphia, PA for 50 years

Professor Frank Coleman (1890-1967)

Frank Coleman was born in Washington D.C.
Graduated from the M Street High School, Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Science Degree, Howard University, 1913
Master of Science Degree, University of Chicago
Advanced Training, University of Pennsylvania
Professor and head of the Physics Department, Howard University
U.S. Army Officer, World War I

Dr. Ernest E. Just (1883-1941)

Ernest E. Just was born in Charleston, South Carolina.

Graduated from the Industrial School of the State College, Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, New Hampshire
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa)
Doctor of Philosophy Degree, University of Chicago Awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP, 1915
Black Heritage Stamp Series honoree, February 1, 1996

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