Our 1914 Alpha Chapter photo was taken on the steps of the “Applied Sciences and Industrial Arts Building” built in 1911. The College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Science building now stands where the old Science building stood.
My feeble attempt to put it into words…
Attitude: Everyone is in a good mood. Was there something in the juice? Unlike a Conclave or Regionals where there’s serious work to do. This week had one purpose – celebration.
Sorors: This week would not have been the same without them here.
Scale: Blue everywhere. Bigger than any Conclave. Bro. Justice Wood’s rooftop pic of the Valley during the monument unveiling may go down as the most iconic pic of our Centennial.
3 (For the Founders) Degrees of Separation: Randomly meeting frat in the lobby and finding out how closely connected you are. For me it was the old head from NV playing bones in the hallway who said “Man who do I know from CA?” then throws out the name of someone from my chapter’s charter line. Or the Brother who took my pic at the tree that spent time with my undergrad chapter while he was stationed nearby.
Personal: People finally meeting after years of knowing each other online (but in a non-catfish kinda way). Meeting Brothers from around the country in the lobby and at every event.
Historical: Meeting Soror Elaine Doar and her daughter, Soror Julie, as well as Bro. Georg Iggers. History team…in the same place?! That’s like seeing Clark Kent and Superman together.
Time Value: Having the PST time zone on my side to party till the wee hours. Or that it takes forever to get through the lobby not because of the numbers in the lobby, but because you’ll run into some frat you haven’t seen in years.
Coast to Coast: From the Bay Area’s Club 4226 to the Eastern Region’s Hospitality Suite in 1300 to Nasty Chi Chapter’s party and all the fam that I partied with in the lobby. Wow.
Imperfect: But so are we and I had the time of my life despite those imperfections. What you remember from the Centennial is what you made of it and I made sure to make the most of mine. Thank you all for helping create the greatest Sigma moments I’ll ever have.
Happy Centennial – A Very Rare Gift – Honoring Uncle G (Zeta Alpha Spring 1939)
It is here! The Centennial Celebration. At first, I wasn’t looking forward to it. But over the last 72 hours, the phone calls, invites, offers to stay at my house, just brought it all full circle, and I shed a tear today for all of our beloved brothers who did not get to see this moment, here on Earth. They are looking down on us praying for our safety, and brotherhood as our fraternity celebrates our 100th.
Remembering my beloved Uncle G (Brother George W. Nelson), who joined our fraternity, April 8, 1939, Zeta Alpha Chapter, Tennessee State University. I miss Uncle G, but I know he guides me everyday. His knowledge, his wisdom, his ability to relate to all people (and as he got older, he was great in talking with and to young frat).
One day, he called me over, and said have dinner with me, Uncle G could grub, and he sat me down and told me about his process. In those days, you pledged an entire school year. One of the first things his chapter gave him to read was the Fall 1938 Crescent. I wonder how many chapters do that today (don’t get me on my soapbox). Anyway, he pulls out this 1938 Crescent, and said I carried this when I pledged and for many a year, keep Sigma Strong. I remember it like it was yesterday.
This is the oldest original Crescent that I have.
Happy Centennial Celebration Phi Beta Sigma. Keep Sigma Strong
ps. I am not apologizing for the large file today. This is for Uncle G. God Bless.
Brother Trennor Thomas Beckwith: one of the first 14 initiates. Alpha Chapter. Many years ago, I searched on the internet for our Brother – Trennor T. Beckwith. i didn’t find really anything until I guessed that his middle name might be Thomas. When I searched that I came up with an interesting story from a local military veterens organization out of Steelton, PA. I contacted the head of the organization, Mrs. Barbara Barksdale, who informed me that Mr. Beckwith was a distinguished member of their small community and although they knew pretty much everything he did in life for “some reason” they had no idea where he was during the years of 1913-1917. I remember distinctly being at a gas station on a cell phone call with her saying, “I know where he was, and what he was doing.” From there, we completed the the life story of Trennor Thomas Beckwith and the rest is history. Every year, the Friends of Midland Organization have a memorial Day Dedication event for the Veterens in the community. Several years ago, the Brothers of the Theta Omicron Sigma Chapter out of Harrisburg, PA attended the event and with the help of Mrs. Barbara Barksdale dedicated the entire event to Bro. Beckwith. Learn more.
A Brother from the first 14 initiated. Brother Theophilus Steward Langston. Originally from Bridgeton, New Jersey. Served in the U.S. Army and eventually moved to Chicago where he was a successful dentist. Apparently, he lived and worked at his office. Address: 4835 Michigan Ave. (Any Brothers in Chicago, try to take a picture of that location and post it in here, if it still exists). I was lucky enough on many ocassions to talk with his son before he passed away and he informed me that his father – our Fraternity Brother – was the individual who designed our Fraternity pin and that for many years the original drawing hung on the wall behind his office desk. He said he also believed his dental practice was across the street from the Chicago Fraternity House, but I am not familiar at all with that area so I don’t know how accurate that is. Someone ask Clarence Johnson. Enjoy. (More TS Langston photos)