By Brother I.T. Donaldson (Past Polemarch)
(reprinted with update by Brother Alturo Rhymes)
New York Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,
Inc. was chartered February 20, 1937, under the
sponsorship of the Province Polemarch, Brother
I.T. Donaldson, with the cooperation of a number
of Brothers, including: Brothers Ernest L. Dimitry,
Thomas Hocutt, Ernest Wood, H. Taft Thompson,
Robert "Si" Jones, Othello Broadnax,
William Bryant, Samuel Walker, James B. Hardy,
J. Douglass Serrell, John Perry, Marion Griffin,
James "Chum" Reid, Walter I. Delph,
Anthony G. Featherston, Rudolph Scott, Nathaniel
Scott, Frizel Smith, Leroy Payne, Robert H. Watson,
Harcourt Tynes, George "Pat" Tynes,
C.L. Heyliger, Laurence Hunt, Miguel Houchen,
Floyd Mourning, Chauncy Cox, Thomas Gorgas, Roosevelt
Hammond, Robert Stevens, Von Dickerson, Frank
Wheeler, William Atkinson, E.K Jones, Leroy Lowery,
G. Victor Cools, Elihue Packard, Hubert Carter,
John Silvera, Roy Ferguson and Irving Hammer.
Many of these Brothers were the original sponsors
of the Kappa Kostume Karnival which became the
unique and outstanding NY Fall Ball. Now called
the Annual Krimson and Kream Ball.
New York Alumni's first Polemarch was Brother
Irving Hamer. The Keeper of Records, Brother
Robert "Si" Jones; and the Keeper of
Exchequer was Brother H. Taft Thompson. In the
early stages of the Chapter's incorporation there
was no regular meeting place. Brothers met at
local YMCAs, Elks Home, Basement Room at 135th
Street and also at Brother Dimitry's and Delph's
The most prominent issue on the minds of Brothers
was the longing desire to have a Kappa Kastle.
Brother Donaldson put up the first five dollars.
This was the start of the fund to buy a house.
Brother Donaldson encouraged the Chapter to allocate
a portion of their dues for this fund, as well.
The fund received its greatest impetus from the
Annual Kappa Kruise. The Kruise began in 1950.
In 1952 the Boatride netted $12,500 which was
placed into the Bank along with each subsequent
net profit. In 1959 the Brothers' hard work and
dreams paid off. With a loan from Carver Federal
Bank of $12,500 the deal was solidified and the
purchase of a four story brownstone at 472 W.141st
in Harlem, New York, was made.
The mortgage was burned during the administration
of Brother Oliver W. Parson. Thus, the title
of Polemarch Emeritus was bestowed upon him.
After a recent fire, funds being collected are
for the complete restoration of the Kappa Kastle.
To this date, the wood furnishings have been
re-varnished, bathrooms have been renovated and
plans to carpet the floor and renovate the Silhouettes
room on the third floor are under way.
Reclamation has always been an important issue
for the Chapter. Under Brother R. Duke Marshall,
the Reclamation Committee reclaimed more Brothers
than at any other time. The Chapter received
recognition for this at the Detroit Conclave.
There is an ongoing Guide Right program. The chapter
sponsors a tutorial program at Salem Methodist
Church. In the Spring of 1996, the Fredrick Douglass
Kappa League made the first Historically Black
College Tour, visiting schools such Hampton University,
Howard and Morgan State University.
During Halloween and Christmas there are children's
parties given which are anticipated by the neighborhood
the entire year. Brothers also donate gifts to
the children during the Christmas party.
Under the state's not-for-profit laws, New York
Alumni Chapter Scholarship Foundation formed
a Reginald Lewis Scholarship Luncheon in 1992.
The Scholarship Foundation gives at least five
scholarships to college bound young men every
year. This year, five scholarships were given
at a luncheon at the New York Sheraton.
New York Alumni is looking to expand its Guide
Right program to another school. The Chapter
is also making moves to reactivate the undergraduate
chapters under their advisory.
New York Alumni continues to participate in community
affairs and looks forward to maintaining its
position as one of the jewels in the crown of
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.