Omega History

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The founders were three Howard University undergraduates, — Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. From the initials of the Greek phrase meaning, “friendship is essential to the soul,” the name Omega Psi Phi was derived. That phrase was selected as the motto. Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift were adopted as Cardinal Principles.

Today, Omega Psi Phi now has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. There are many notable Omega Men recognized as leaders in the arts, the sciences, academics, athletics, business, civil rights, education, government, and science sectors at the local, national and international level.

Omega continues to flourish, largely because founders — Love, Cooper, Coleman, and Just — were men of the very highest ideals and intellect. The Founders selected and attracted men of similar ideals and characteristics. It is not by accident that many of America’s great black men are or were Omega Men. There are very few Americans whose lives have not been touched by a member of the Omega Psi.