Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The Founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.
The Founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community. They believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits, rather than his family background or affluence…without regard to race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. They desired for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the “inclusive we” rather than the “exclusive we”.
From its inception, the Founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, they held a deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrored in the Fraternity’s motto, “Culture For Service and Service For Humanity”.
Today, Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders. No longer a single entity, members of the Fraternity have been instrumental in the establishment of the Phi Beta Sigma National Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union and The Sigma Beta Club Foundation. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, founded in 1920 with the assistance of Phi Beta Sigma, is the sister organization of the Fraternity.
Sigma in Minnesota
Local Chapters include: Zeta Nu Sigma Graduate/Professional Chapter, Pi Eta University of Minnesota Chapter, Gamma Alpha Omicron Winona State University Chapter.
In 1977 a brother by the name of Edward Robertson noted a need for a chapter here in the Twin Cities to proliferate our great fraternity’s philosophies. After deep consideration he submitted a proposal to another brother in town, Phil Walker. Phil accepted the proposal with interest. Five other fraternity brothers began to meet regularly. This resulting chapter became known as Zeta Nu Sigma.
The Twin Cities received its official charter for the “Zeta Nu Sigma” chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated on September 27th, 1977. The founders of this chapter are documented on record as Edward Robertson, Phil Walker, Amos Haynes, Abe McCarty, Henry Person, Robert Lewis, and Hayward McKerson.
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