Sigma Iota Chapter
The Grand Daddy of Northern California Chapters
Sigma Iota Chapter – The Grand Daddy of Northern California Chapters
In the Fall 1988 Oracle, Bro. Marvin C. Stallings, Basileus, stated “In the early years, the chapter was known as the Bay Area Chapter of Sigma Iota of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Brothers in the surrounding areas attended the meetings and became a part of this great chapter. When the Bay Area was dropped, Sigma Iota stood out as a legend with a legacy which lead the way for many brothers to start their own chapters in their respective communities.” (Oracle Fall 1988 p. 28).
Epsilon Psi: In 1952 Epsilon Psi was reactivated as an undergraduate chapter at the University of California, Berkeley and pledged undergraduates from Bay Area colleges and universities, including San Francisco State. The Sigma Iota Basileus, Bro. Percy Moore provided the leadership to establish this chapter that remained active until the mid-1960’s. Bro. John Vann, current Sigma Iota chapter member, served as Basileus of Epsilon Psi for several years until it became inactive. (Note: Epsilon Psi was initially chartered in 1925 per Oracle, see Part 6).
Pi Chi: July 1, 1955, several Sigma Iota charter members, including Bros. Charles F. Fields, Earl L. Jones and Richard Stewart, chartered Pi Chi in San Francisco, CA (the original home of Sigma Iota). Besides Bros. Fields, Jones and Stewart, the other charter members were Tom Jackson, Louis Ingram, Wesley Slade, Charles L. Turner, Verdese R. Carter, Leon Clark, William McKinley Thomas, Hiawatha Harrison, and Joseph Williams. Pi Chi as the host chapter for the 1980 Grand Conclave in San Francisco, collaborated with many Sigma Iota brothers (and other Bay Area chapters) to make this event a tremendous success.
Xi Gamma: Two undergraduates at San Jose State College, Vance Barnes and William Robert Hudson, were directed to the fraternity by their Sociology professor, Bro. James Blackwell. They were initiated in Sigma Iota in 1961. They went on to recruit and initiate seven additional brothers to form Xi Gamma chapter in January 1962. As told by Bro. Rodney Reed, several Sigma Iota brothers and their wives provided occasional meals to the struggling undergraduate brothers. Led by Bro. Barnes, Xi Gamma provided thrilling basketball competition before thousands of fans at the Frat Games (held in the Oakland and Richmond Auditoriums), supported by many Sigma Iota brothers in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A number of former Xi Gamma brothers became active with Sigma Iota chapter after becoming graduate brothers in the fraternity.
Alpha Rho: In 1962 Alpha Rho was charted as an intermediate chapter in Sacramento, CA. Bro. James Brown, Sigma Iota chapter member, was one of fourteen charter members. The chapter was de-activated with the direction to abolish intermediate chapters. In 1997, Alpha Rho was re-activated as a graduate chapter in Berkeley, CA.
Xi Nu: Eighteen brothers charter members May 8, 1968, San Jose, CA.
Omicron Nu: January 1, 1971, with the help, leadership and guidance of Bro. Philmore Graham, Sigma Iota chapter brother, and 12th District Representative, Omicron Nu was the first African American fraternity on the Monterey Peninsula. It attracted many service men from Fort Ord and the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
Theta Pi: Theta Pi received its charter on July 31, 1973. Bros. James Brown, Philmore Graham and Frank G. Breaker, Jr., active members of Sigma Iota chapter, decided to establish a new chapter. The Continentals of Omega Boys (now Boys and Girls) Club had been under the auspices of Sigma Iota since it was founded in 1966 by Bro. Graham. These brothers decided that there was need for a more individualized and centrally located “Reservoir of Help” for the young club members in Vallejo, Ca. Bro. Godfrey White, another Sigma Iota chapter member, was included in the charter membership.
Epsilon Mu: The first steps towards the formation of another chapter on the University of California, Berkeley campus were initiated by Sigma Iota chapter under the leadership of Basileus Jim Brown. The first smoker on the campus was held under the direction of Bro. Carl Blunt. The Dean of the first line of three members in 1983 was Bro. Carlton Smith. The second line of five young men crossed in April 1984. A charter was issued proclaiming September 28, 1984 as the date for the establishing of the new chapter at UC Berkeley, CA. A number of former Epsilon Mu brothers moved on as graduate brothers into Sigma Iota chapter leadership roles.
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