WASHINGTON, DC (January 14, 2014) – Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., has launched a centennial celebration of its founding that began with a ceremony at Howard University on Jan. 9 and will culminate with a Grand Centennial Celebration on campus July 16-20. The service fraternity was founded at Howard in 1914.
Last week’s kickoff event was a monument groundbreaking and wreath-laying ceremony on the Lower Quadrangle.
"I would like to congratulate the members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity on 100 years of brotherhood, scholarship and service," said Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick at the ceremony. "Your ideals and commitment to excellence mirrors that of Howard University. You present images of the Black male that we should see more of in the media. Again, congratulations and welcome home.”
This milestone was celebrated simultaneously in all seven of the organization’s regions, with simulcasts in Los Angeles, Fort Worth, Chicago, Memphis, Orlando, Greensboro and Washington, D.C., and other highly anticipated events, including televised segments on MSNBC and “The Today Show.”
The Centennial Memorial will honor the legacy of its visionary founders, A. Langston Taylor, Charles I. Brown and Leonard F. Morse, and reflect the leaders’ commitment to brotherhood, scholarship and service. The Centennial Memorial will bear the names of various members and chapters around the world when it is unveiled during the Grand Centennial Celebration in July.
“It’s the collective contributions of the Brothers of Sigma that we honor by placement of a monument on Howard’s campus, where the seed of Sigma was sown, to inspire another century of service,” said international president of Phi Beta Sigma, Jonathan A. Mason, Sr.
Also attending the groundbreaking were past international presidents of Phi Beta Sigma; Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who is a Sigma; Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Washington City Council Chair Phil Mendelson; and Mary Breaux Wright, international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – sister organization to Phi Beta Sigma.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., is an international organization of college and professional men, predominantly of African- American origin, open from its inception to men of all races, religions, classes and national origins. The fraternity holds as its motto, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.” The organization has its international headquarters in Washington, D.C., and has more than 175,000 alumni and collegiate members in more than 500 chapters
throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. It conducts national programs in education, social action and bigger and better business, a youth mentorship program of Sigma Beta Clubs for young men from 8 to 18, and a Sigma Wellness program in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Members include James Weldon Johnson, George Washington Carver, Dr. Alain Leroy Locke, Congressman John Lewis (GA), Former Congressman Edolphus Towns (NY), Mayor Harold Washington, African Presidents: Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Knamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria) and William Tolbert (Liberia), Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Hines Ward, President Bill Clinton, Reverend Al Sharpton, Al Roker, Malik Yoba, Terrence Howard. Phi Beta Sigma celebrates One Century of Service in 2014. Information on its Centennial Celebration is found at www.pbs100.org.