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The 1960s

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Langston Hughes

Beta Chapter 1963

Fall 1968

Sagacious Six

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Beta Chapter (Before 1969)

The 1960s saw a radical shift in African American civil rights movements and the history of Beta Chapter. During this era there were major changes taking place at Lincoln University and in the society at large. Fall of 1965 was the beginning of residential co-education at Lincoln. Women had been enrolled since 1954, however, there were no facilities for women to live on campus until the Alumni House was opened to them. Twenty-five women lived on campus that year. By 1968, enrollment of women stood at approximately 200. Less immediate, but no

less profound, was the rise of student activism at colleges and universities due to the pressing

gains of the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam War protest, and the emerging “Black Power”

movement as embodied in such groups as the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee

(SNCC), the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panther Party. It should be noted as well that in

this brief period we lived through the assassinations of Malcolm X (Feb. 1965), Dr. King (April 1968), and Robert Kennedy (June 1968).


Beta Chapter celebrated fifty golden years of service to Omega and Lincoln University in

1964. Among the honored guest was Bro. Langston Hughes who was the keynote speaker and H. Carl Moultrie, National Executive Secretary of the fraternity. The chapter continued to host its annual Christmas Cabaret in Philadelphia, “Miss Q-Tee” contest, stunning step and song demonstrations, and boisterous “brick fights” during open pledge week. Most notable sponsored events were an appearance by noted actor Sidney Poitier.


Former Grand Basileus George E. Meakes helped Beta Chapter honor Poitier with an award for his achievements in the arts. The brothers also co-hosted a Homecoming concert starring the Gamble-Huff band with the Intruders and the Delfonics, and had a very successful raffle for a trip to the Bahamas. With the graduation of the Roaring 19 in 1965, Beta Chapter membership held at a level of 15 to 20 brothers: the Neoteric Nine, the Sedulous Six,

and the Dynamic Duo (Burns & Bracy). With coeducation and social activism a sentiment arose that college fraternity life might be a thing of the past. However, in April of 1966 the Chapter attracted a Lampados Club of forty-six (46) aspirants. The line became the Tritonic 34. Over this period the position of Basileus was held by Bro. George Turner and Cordell Richardson.

With the enlargement of Beta’s membership came a more expansive and diverse engagement in campus life.The brothers of this era were the last to get to visit with our beloved Sister Lottie Wilson, for she passed this life on January 21, 1967 (known to generations of Lincoln men as the “pie lady” for her habit of baking pies for sale). By this time she was bedridden with arthritis, yet she was always cheered by the visits of the brothers for reminiscing and encouragement.

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