History of Omega Psi Phi

Omega Psi Phi  is a fraternity and is the first African-American national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. The founders were three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Each of the founders graduated and went on to have distinguished careers in their chosen fields: Bishop Edgar Amos Love became Bishop of the United Methodist Church; Dr. Oscar James Cooper became a prominent physician, who practiced in Philadelphia for over 50 years; Professor Frank Coleman became the Chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University for many years; and Dr. Ernest E. Just became a world-renowned biologist.

On November 23, 1911 Bishop Love became the first Grand Basileus (National President). Dr. Cooper and Professor Coleman were selected to be the Grandkeeper of the Records (National Secretary) and Grandkeeper of Seals (National Treasurer), respectively. Eleven Howard University undergraduate men were selected to be the charter members.
History of Upsilon Tau

Upsilon Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. received its charter in 1959, in the city of Poughkeepsie , NY. The Charter Members were as follows:

  •  Arthur Ted Brown
  •  Samuel C. Coleman
  •  Dr. Chandler Gibbs
  •  Julius S. McClain
  •  Robert Moody
  •  Booker Pierce
  •  John Revis
  •  Sherwood Thompson

The chapter serves the areas of Dutchess, Orange , and Ulster Counties . Many of its members are graduates of historically black colleges and have gravitated to the Mid-Hudson Valley as a result of business and employment opportunities.

Over the years Upsilon Tau Chapter has participated in, coordinated and supported programs that have made a positive impact on the community. Some of the chapter's ongoing programs have been to provide hands on support for a local soup kitchen, distribute food baskets at Christmas time, perform youth mentoring and present annually, scholarships to high school seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence.

Upsilon Tau Chapter has a long list of professional men who have truly exemplified, through the years, the Cardinal Principles of Omega Psi Phi. Doctors, educators, engineers, scientist, political figures and businessmen have all helped to maintain its longevity and growth.
Brother Julius S. McClain a charter member from New Paltz NY was a loyal member of Upsilon Tau chapter until his death. Prior to becoming a member of Upsilon Tau Chapter, Brother McClain served at the national level as the 11 th Grand Basileus of the fraternity. Upsilon Tau was honored to have him as a member.

Brother Samuel C. Coleman, a charter member of the chapter lived in Newburgh , NY . He was the chapter's Journalist for many years and held various other offices during his membership. In the late 1960's and the early 1970's, Brother Coleman served the fraternity at the national level as the Historical Editor of the Oracle.

In the early 1980's another member of the chapter, Brother Sherwood Thompson , a charter member was elected to the Dutchess County Legislation. As a legislator he was the first African American to hold this position. One noted achievement of Brother Thompson in 1985 was to help organize the cleanup and restoration of an abandoned slave cemetery found in Stormville , NY . There were as many as 40 slaves buried there around the time of the Revolutionary War. His efforts as an Omega Man and Legislator helped to save this historical landmark.
Brother Joseph E. Davis , a retired IBM Engineer and a long time member of the chapter served as the first African American Town Supervisor for the Town of Poughkeepsie . He served two terms from 2002 -2005 and was very instrumental in bringing much growth to the town.

The above named chapter brothers and many more, not listed, have made their mark and left their legacy on the Mid-Hudson Valley . As a viable organization in the community the chapter will continue to exemplify those Cardinal Principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift.