Achievement Dream still thriving in Port Arthur 111 years after Kappa Alpha’s national launch

Published 12:24 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

On Jan. 5, 1911, on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, ten young men decided to take a stand against the issues of their time and form an organization unique among Greek letter organizations.

In the 111 years that have passed since this auspicious beginning, the organization’s members have seen significant changes in the country and the world; however, the adherence to the organizations’ creed has been un-wavering. The creed of the organization “Achievement: In Every Field of Human Endeavor” is deemed the duty of each member of the organization.

Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. is an international organization boasting more than 125,000 members of diverse backgrounds with undergraduate and graduate chapters in virtually all 50 states as well as internationally.

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This year the Port Arthur Alumni Chapter celebrated the organization’s 111th year hosting a joint event with the Beaumont Alumni Chapter and the Zeta Psi Chapter (undergraduate) of Lamar University.

Pictured are Dr. Melvin Getwood, Bro. Charles Getwood Sr. (50-year member) and Bro. Charles Getwood II. (Courtesy photo)

The event was also attended by other undergraduate and alumni Brothers in the area.

The time of the founding of the organization was one in which racism was a dominant issue—even at institutions of higher learning. The organization formed to be accepting of young men of color and serve as an organization promoting fraternal bonding and professional development. The organization facilitates these characteristics during and after college.

The 2022 celebration was designed to have Brothers recall the hard-fought efforts of the Founders in bringing the organization into being. Further, to remind members that achievements of, and within, the organization are a direct result of the efforts of these ten men.

It enabled Brothers to recall that the existence of the organization, and the achievements, thereafter, are directly linked to and founded on the sacrifices of these ten men — the importance of which must never be minimized or forgotten.

Pictured are Dr. Jonathan Castille, Bro. Michael Mason, Hon. Donald J. Floyd (50-year member) and Bro. Matthews Smith Sr. (Courtesy photo)

This Founders’ Day was an especially exciting one for the Port Arthur Alumni Chapter as the Chapter chose to conduct a “White Jacket” ceremony for two of its members. The ceremony recognizes the Chapter’s presentation of a white fraternity blazer to a member who has 50 or more years of membership in the organization.

The recipients honored were Bro. Donald J. Floyd, Senior Status Judge, and current Chapter Polemarch, and Bro. Charles Getwood Sr., retired educator.

Both members have been very active in the Port Arthur community and are highly regarded within their respective professions. These men embody the meaning of “Achievement: In Every Field of Human Endeavor.”

As stated the members of the fraternity are known for achievement across the professional spectrum including, but not limited to: Duriel Harris, Colin Kaepernick, Mike Tomlin (the only active African-American Head Coach in the NFL), Gales Sayers, Arthur Ashe; Ced the Entertainer, Nephew Tommy; Hon. Andre Dickens, Hon. Thurman Bartie, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, General Chappie James, Lecrae, Marvin Sapp, Smokie Norful, Robert Johnson (first African-American billionaire), John Singleton, Bernard A. Harris (first African-American to walk in space), Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D, M.D., Guy Primus, Hon. Alcee Hastings, Johnnie Cochran and many others.

The Port Arthur Alumni Chapter was chartered by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in 1953 and has been an active chapter. Learn more at paacnupes.com.