From the beginning, Kappa Alpha Psi always supported its members through whatever means it had. Many of the fraternity’s brothers grew up in families where helping people was a natural thing. You just did it. In its early years, the members would take the younger brothers with limited means to shop for clothing for college.
Kappa Alpha Psi is a predominantly African American fraternal organization of college graduates with the main goals of community service and scholarship. The fraternity’s values are based on the shared vision to support college men everywhere, regardless of their color, religion or national origin. The members explained that the fraternity thrives on brotherhood, scholarship, community service and achievement for African American men.
The Syracuse chapter of the fraternity was chartered on September 29, 1973 by twelve distinguished men including M. Gilbert Kirkland and Merle R. Greene. Both brothers were scholarly and provided other members with much wisdom. Education and achievement was important to them. The first question Gilbert, affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the chapter, would ask when he saw other members was, “Have you read any books lately?” The brothers still hold onto one of his baseball caps to honor and remember his many contributions to the fraternity and Central New York.
In March 1993, our chapter established the Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation in memory of Merle and Gilbert. The fund awards scholarships to young men that embody the essence of achievement in every field of human endeavor. When we put money into our endowed fund, it’s managed and invested for us, gaining interest and increasing its value over time. This has ensured that our scholarship will continue to support the men in our community who are working to better themselves through our core values. It’s pleasing to watch young men utilize the scholarship to better themselves and be great role models for others.