Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, a revered institution deeply ingrained in the Los Angeles community for a remarkable century, recently gathered for a momentous celebration honoring its enduring legacy of scholarship, brotherhood, and service. From May 19th to 21st, members spanning multiple generations, including undergraduates, graduates, and alumni, convened from across the nation to partake in a joyous weekend hosted by the Lambda Scholar Foundation, Incorporated.
Dubbed the Centennial Celebration, the event embraced the theme of “Many Walks of Life – The Common Bond of Friendship” and unfolded within the renowned confines of Town & Gown, nestled on the vibrant campus of the University of Southern California (USC). Nearly 300 esteemed guests were in attendance, eagerly anticipating an evening replete with outdoor receptions, a sumptuous dinner, a captivating gala program, a chapter photo to immortalize the occasion, and an enthralling step show.
Renowned television and radio commentator Morris “Will” O’Kelly assumed the role of the master of ceremonies, while the fraternity’s 42nd Grand Basileus (International President), Ricky L. Lewis, delivered a special keynote address, gracing the celebration with his presence.
During his opening remarks, Mo’Kelly expressed, “To tell the tale of our illustrious fraternity’s expansion from the western frontiers into a truly national and ultimately international organization is to inherently recount the remarkable narrative of the Lambda chapter.”
In his resonant keynote address, Grand Basileus Lewis declared, “Since 1923, we extend our deepest gratitude for your unwavering commitment. We appreciate the enduring bond of friendship that unites us.” Lewis further acknowledged Lambda chapter, emphasizing, “We extend our heartfelt thanks for the remarkable contributions you have made and will continue to make in upholding our fraternity’s four cardinal principles.”
Accompanying Grand Basileus Lewis were fifteen distinguished current and former officers of the fraternity, including the recently elected thirty-fifth 12th District Representative, William Earl Edwards, Jr., who was ceremoniously installed at the fraternity’s district meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. Additionally, esteemed guests in attendance included Ryan Thomas, the 2nd Vice Grand Basileus, as well as members of the fraternity’s esteemed leadership, such as Edward Young, First Vice District Representative; Maurice Mason II, 2nd Vice District Representative; Nick Thompson, 12th District Keeper of the Seal; Raphael Irving, 12th District Keeper of Finance; Charles Clemons, 12th District Chaplain; Damon Martin, 12th District Counselor; Kwame Dow, Immediate Past and thirty-fourth 12th District Representative; Kelvin K. Ampofo, Immediate Past 2nd District Representative; Fred Alexander, thirty-first 12th District Representative; Sedrick Spencer, thirtieth 12th District Representative; Reverend Dr. Jewett L. Walker, Jr., twentieth 12th District Representative; Tony Collins, Grand Marshal for the 1996 69th Grand Conclave in Los Angeles; and Gerard Catala (’98 Beta Chapter), Rhode Island NAACP President.
Franklin Henderson, an esteemed member of Omega Psi Phi’s Beta Sigma Chapter at Southern University, who was initiated in 1950, also graced the celebratory gala hosted by Lambda Chapter. The attendees applauded and paid tribute to this remarkable individual, whose membership in the fraternity has endured an impressive seven decades.
Lambda Chapter, with its rich and storied history, holds a special place within the esteemed ranks of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. Chartered on May 3, 1923, at the University of Southern California (USC), Lambda became the first single-letter, undergraduate chapter on the West Coast, proudly representing the fraternity’s 12th District. Throughout the years, Lambda Chapter has nurtured and shaped the lives of nearly 400 dedicated Omega men who continue to uphold the chapter’s illustrious nickname, the “Pearl of the West Coast,” affectionately known as “Slammin’ Lambda.”
Among its esteemed members, Lambda Chapter boasts an impressive roster of distinguished individuals and trailblazers, including renowned celebrity architect Paul Revere Williams, FAIA; the honorable Judge Thomas L. Griffith, Jr.; exceptional athletes such as William McKinley Peterz, Sebron “Ed” Tucker (a Stanford Hall of Fame inductee), Brice Union Taylor (a USC Athletic Hall of Fame member who also served as a coach at Southern University, pioneering the game that later evolved into the iconic Bayou Classic); record holder Wilalyn Q. Stovall and Stevan Simmons (both All-Americans); and civil rights litigator Erskine Stevenson Ragland. Additionally, Lambda Chapter proudly counts among its members Centennial co-chair Al Sargent, the visionary behind the original USC Black Graduation ceremony.
We at Watch The Yard would like to congratulate the Lambda Chapter on their 100 years of brotherhood and service to the Los Angeles community.
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