Beta Thru The Years
The 1980s up through today has brought about many positive transitions, additions & accomplishments. In 1981, Omega endowed its first Omega faculty chair at Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi that would be used to promote the humanities. The 75th Anniversary Grand Conclave was celebrated & surpassed the previous attendance record of all Grand Conclaves. In addition, we experienced the transitioning of several great Omega men, H. Carl Moultrie I, Ronald E. McNair, Don Q. Pullen, and W. Mercer Cook into Omega Chapter.
During the 1980s Beta Chapter witnessed the initiation of 10 Brothers who began the decade and would take not only Beta Chapter but Omega to greater heights, the fall line of 1980, “10 The Hard Way”.These 10 Omega Men have successfully entered into various fields of education, business, medicine, accounting, hotel management, and construction. The journey to get the opportunity to be a part of Beta Chapter’s history was not an easy one. Beta Chapter experienced inactivity in 1979 and there were only two brothers that remained on campus. In preparation for the 1980 line, many Beta brothers visited frequently. The day finally came, Sunday, October 26, 1980 when 14 Lincoln men were initiated into the Lampados Club. Brother Michael Fleming served as the Dean of Pledges and Brother Eric Stills served as the Assistant Dean of Pledges with the support and participation of Beta Brothers ranging from the 1950s – 1970s. The 6 week journey into Omega Land ended on Friday, December 5, 1980 with only 10 soldiers left. The initiation of “10 the Hard Way” was the revitalization of Beta Chapter bringing the number of active brothers on campus to 12. The new initiates held the position of Basileus, Brother Michael Pollard, Vice Basileus, Michael Fleming, Keeper of Records and Seal, Brother Hasaan Newberry, Keeper of Finance, Brother Thomas Mayfield, Dean of Pledges, Brother Damaas Stephens, Assistant Dean of Pledges, Brother Barry Collins, Dean of Education, Brother Allen Wilkins. The new blood into Beta Chapter brought a new spirit on Lincoln’s campus. The chapter established stronger and improved relationships within the Pan Hellenic Organizations and Lincoln Administration, sponsored various social action projects such as Clean Up Beautification Campus Days, Painting the Basketball Courts and Campus Trash Receptacles, Afterschool tutoring in the Lincoln community, volunteer work with student with disabilities from the Oxford community, partnering with the Education Department and Tutoring Lab, sponsored Halloween Parties for children in the Lincoln Village, voter Registration Drives, Active Participation in the March on Washington to make Martin Luther King’s Birthday a National Holiday, Active Participants in the Lincoln Pan Hellenic Organization (Vice President), Track and Field Team, Student Government Association, Fundraising Activities to support and benefit the Lincoln students and children in the Lincoln and Oxford community.
The fall of 1981 marked the initiation of The Convicted 5. After the initiation of the Fall Line of 1981 there were challenges and obstacles that the chapter experienced which led to the inactivity of Beta Chapter from Spring of 1982 to Fall of 1983. The brothers in the chapter worked diligently to improve the status of Beta Chapter and to initiate the Spring Line of 1983. The Major Revitalization of Lincoln’s Community Center, Ongoing Volunteer Work in the Oxford and Lincoln Community, the continuous Afterschool Student Tutoring, Off Campus Fundraising Activities and partnered relationships with Lincoln’s Administration and Faculty led to the celebration of Back To Beta in the newly remodeled Lincoln Community Center in February of 1982 and the active status of Beta Chapter in the Fall of 1983. Brother Robert Stroud served as the Basileus during this time.
The Spring of 1983 brought another resurrection and revitalization of Beta Chapter initiating the 10 Purple Jewels. Zachary Rollins achieved the position of Basileus during his tenure. The Brothers of Beta Chapter elevated the chapter through major fundraisers on campus sponsoring the first All Weekend Campus Block Party inviting celebrity entertainment to participate, turkey and canned Good Drives for the Lincoln Community during the holidays, sponsored the Junior Olympics for elementary school students. In addition, the brothers started an afterschool tutoring program in Lincoln Village, won the Campus Step Show, and had the highest GPA of all Greek-lettered organizations. The brothers continued their successful programming as well as prepared for the Fall Line of 1985, “Ten Dog Knights”.In 1986 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. celebrated 75 years of commitment to community service, leadership excellence, and scholastic achievement. Beta Chapter continued to lead the way in the Lincoln University community and beyond.
In the fall of 1986, Beta Chapter welcomed “The Fugitive 5” into the fold of Omega. Beta Chapter also welcomed Brother Donzelle Tiller (Nu Psi Chapter, Virginia State University, 1982) to the campus. Brother Tiller assumed many of the day-to-day Chapter Advisor duties as Brother Frank “Tic” Coleman neared retirement. Under the leadership of Basileus David Lee (1987-1988), Beta Brothers continued to lead the way at Lincoln. Academically, Beta Chapter maintained the highest GPA of all campus Greek-lettered organizations. Additionally, Beta Brothers were recognized for outstanding academic achievement in nearly all of Lincoln’s academic programs, including Chemistry, Engineering, Medical, Computer Science, Accounting, and Mathematics. Beta Chapter continued its commitment to uplift the scholastic endeavors on campus with tutoring. The Chapter maintained its commitment serving the surrounding communities with its annual Turkey and Canned Food Drive, and expanded its commitment by establishing an Annual Clothing Drive and mentoring at-risk youth from Downingtown, PA. In athletics, Beta Brothers also continued to represent Lincoln: Brothers Eric Pigford & Chijioke Okoro in baseball, Brother Marcus Harris in basketball, and Brother Darryl “Darryl “D Mac” McAdams in both basketball and baseball.
In February 1988, Beta Chapter initiated “Solitary Soldier” Marcus Harris into the fold of Omega. Brother Harris became the first Lone Lampado in Beta Chapter history to begin and complete the initiation process by himself. Later in the spring of 1988, Beta Brothers hosted fellow Beta Brother Roscoe Lee Brown for a seminar focused on leadership and personal growth. The event was well-attended and covered by Philadelphia media and helped to re-establish Lincoln’s as a source for political and business leadership in the Philadelphia-area. In the political arena, Beta Brothers raised campus and community awareness of international issues such as apartheid. Beta Chapter supported the Fraternity’s anti-apartheid position by hosting several anti-apartheid forums on campus, and participating in anti-apartheid rallies in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C. Entering the 1988-1989 academic year, there were only three brothers on campus: Brother Marcus Harris - Basileus; Brother Tracy Brown - Keeper of Finance; and Brother Chijioke Okoro - Keeper of Records & Seal. All 3 Brothers were seniors and were preparing to graduate and begin their professional careers. However, despite the low numbers Beta Chapter upheld its tradition of campus and community leadership. Beta Brothers provided major local support to Brother Jesse Jackson during his Presidential run in 1988. Additionally, Beta brothers led campus and community voter registration drives even going as far as to organize a road trip to represent Lincoln University at “Super Tuesday” in South Carolina. The highlight of the decade was the celebration of Beta Chapter’s 75th Anniversary on February 6, 1989. Every decade in Beta history was represented, from Brother Ted Randolph to Brother Marcus Harris. Grand Basileus Moses C. Norman brought greetings and well wishes from the international headquarters of the fraternity. During the final year of the decade Beta Brothers, past and present, continued to influence campus life: Lincoln University President Brother Donald Mullet, Alumni Director Brother Frank “Tic” Coleman; Special Assistant to the President Brother Paul “Pablo” Stephens; Pan-Hellenic President Brother Tracy Brown, WLIU-FM General Manager Brother Chijioke Okoro, and Senior Resident Counselor Brother Marcus Harris were shining examples of Omega men in leadership positions. Beta Chapter appeared to be poised for continued success in the next decade. However, as our focus turned to initiation Beta Chapter faced a huge obstacle. Beta Chapter had been recognized by the Fraternity for successful completion of three consecutive Lampado Programs – 1985, 1986 and 1988. In September 1988 the Fraternity imposed a moratorium on all initiation activities. Despite numerous attempts, the Brothers of Beta Chapter were unsuccessful in obtaining fraternity clearance for a Spring 1989 Lampados Club. Beta Chapter experienced triumphs as well as challenges during the 1980s but the chapter has continued to flourish.