TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity across the Bay area and nationwide, are celebrating 102 years of service Saturday. On January 9, 1914, on the campus of Howard University in Washington DC, three men forged new ground to form the fraternity.
More than 100 years ago, those founders A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown established the fraternity on the principles of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service. The organization has evolved into a historical institution of more 150,000 college-educated men operating more than 650 chapters worldwide. One of those chapters is in Tampa.
The Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was chartered in November 1946 and this year celebrates 70 years of service. Prominent members of the chapter that were known in the city of Tampa included: Bro. T. N. Hill, educator and past State Director, one of the brothers responsible for the chartering of the collegiate chapter at the University of South Florida, Bro. Dr. Caleb Wright, a prominent dentist, Bro. Linnell DuPree, owner of the DuPree Press-printing company, Bro. Clifford Brady, City of Tampa employee and Bro. George Dennis
The chapter has been involved with the NAACP, National Urban League and Voters Registration Drives. Also, the chapter was responsible for the chartering of the collegiate chapter at the University of Tampa.
Sigma is very involved in the community with the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Food Drives, Christmas Toy Drive, Bigger & Better Business Reception and presentation of thousand of dollars in scholarships to deserving young men in Tampa Bay.
Tampa Alumni chapter president Zannie Mount, a 35-year member of Sigma said the Fraternity has a rich legacy to pass on to the next generation of brothers.
“Phi Beta Sigma has always been about upholding our principles of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service. Tampa Sigmas are ready to continue our proud history of service to the community, mentoring our youth through our Sigma Beta Club and working hand in hand with our sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and other community-based organizations to improve the lives of the residents of the Tampa Bay area,” Mount said.
Tampa fraternity member and pro football player George Selvie said Phi Beta Sigma has taught him the true meaning of brotherhood.
“Because of Phi Beta Sigma, I am tenacious in my endeavors, community service, and relationships and I am thankful for the experiences and bonds that I have encountered during this and it will continue to foster strength and integrity in my everyday life,” Selvie said.
Among activities to celebrate the Founder’s weekend, members of the fraternity along with its sister organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, held a reception, a unity cookout and will attend church as a group.