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Leadership Highlight: Larry McKenzie the Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi’s Richfield-Bloomington Alumni Chapter in Minnesota

Photo Credit: Terence Penister

In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Richfield-Bloomington Alumni Chapter in Minnesota and did an interview with Larry A. McKenzie the ploemarch/president of the chapter.

The position of president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. McKenzie, who is the Chief Executive Officer of LPM Coaching Strategies, LLC, has held the position for two terms including from 1984-1988 and 2021-2024.

We interviewed McKenzie, who is a Spring 1978 initiate of the Psi Chapter his fraternity at the University of Minnesota and a graduate of University of Wisconsin-RiverFalls and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.

Photo Credit: Terence Penister

Read the full interview below.

What motivated you to take on the role of alumni chapter president?

My chapter was struggling and needed a lift. I was confident that if I could pull together a good leadership team that not only did we had the potential for growth but we could be a positive contributor to the Twin Cities metro area.

What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the local community or the broader Black community?

Our focus has been three-fold, the first priority is reclaiming members between the ages of 21-40 years of age( especially recent graduates) then being committed to “Training Them For Leadership, Creating opportunities that is inclusive of all brothers that decide to participate and lastly reestablishing ourselves as an organization committed to serving the community.

What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?

First, the fact that Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc was built off of christian principles, it was an organization of Black men who was committed to Achievement In Every Field of Human Endeavor.

What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?

The core values of the Richfield-Bloomington Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. are rooted in the foundational principles of the fraternity itself. Kappa Alpha Psi was founded on the principles of achievement, brotherhood, service, and scholarship. These principles have guided the fraternity and its members for over a century and continue to be central to the organization’s mission and values.

1. Achievement: The fraternity emphasizes the importance of academic and professional achievement. Members are encouraged to strive for excellence in all their endeavors and to continuously seek personal and professional growth.

2. Brotherhood: Kappa Alpha Psi places a strong emphasis on fostering lifelong bonds of brotherhood among its members. The fraternity promotes a supportive and inclusive environment where members can rely on one another for guidance, support, and camaraderie.

3. Service: Service to the community is a fundamental value of Kappa Alpha Psi. The fraternity encourages its members to be actively involved in serving and uplifting their communities through volunteerism, mentorship, and leadership.

4. Scholarship: Kappa Alpha Psi values the pursuit of knowledge and intellectual growth. The fraternity promotes academic excellence and encourages its members to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers. These core values serve as the guiding principles for the Richfield-Bloomington Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., shaping the chapter’s activities, initiatives, and contributions to the community.

How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?

Our focus have been on the reactivation of Psi Chapter as a large number of our membership was initiated in Psi Chapter. While we don’t have direct oversight we make ourselves to assist in any manner that we can.

How do you approach fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among alumni members, and what strategies have you found effective?

We have a number of initiatives that support building unity and camaraderie. Starting with our regular monthly meetings. We have a number of social events such as Soul Food Sunday’s, attending sporting events, family events, Sweethearts and Silhouettes functions etc.

What advice would you give to aspiring leaders within your fraternity/sorority who may aspire to take on roles of leadership within alumni chapters?

Like Nike, I would say ” Just Do It” The best way to learn and have your voice heard is to get involved. I believe that everybody brings value.

How has mentorship helped you get to where you are today? Are there any specific people in your org who have made a significant impact on your life as mentors?

I blessed to have an amazing undergraduate advisor, John K .Cameron who was like a second father and impacted my life tremendously. I don’t think I would be the man I am today without his mentorship. He allowed me to stand on his shoulders.

Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?

Watch The Yard” is important to the black community because it serves as a platform for celebration, amplification, and preservation of the rich heritage, achievements, and contributions of HBCUs and BGLOs, while also providing a sense of community, empowerment, and inspiration for its audience.

Looking back at it, why do you love being a member of your org?

As a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, l appreciate its values the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie that the fraternity offers. The organization fosters strong bonds among its members and provides a supportive network of individuals who share common values and experiences. The strong emphasis on community service and leadership development. Kappa Alpha Psi encourages its members to strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives. This commitment to achievement aligns with my personal values and have contributed to his pride in being associated with the fraternity.

​​Lastly, what does brotherhood mean to you?

Brotherhood for me encompasses support, shared values, mentorship, lifelong bonds, accountability, unity, inclusivity, and diversity. It is a fundamental aspect of the fraternity’s culture and plays a central role in shaping the experiences and relationships of its members.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Larry McKenzie for his work as the polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Richfield-Bloomington Alumni Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1984.

Share this on Facebook and help us highlight Larry McKenzie’s chapter.

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