OMEGA PSI PHI FRATERNITY, INC.

MEMBERS ON U.S. POSTAGE STAMPS

Founded 1911

Founded on the campus of Howard University November in 1911, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternity founded on the campus of a historically black college or university.  The founders were three Howard University students (all juniors): Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, and Frank Coleman, along with faculty advisor Dr. Ernest Everett Just.  The principles created by the Founders and embraced by all members of the fraternity are: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift.  The organization boasts over 100,000 members with 750 chapters located in 14 countries.  

The development of successful men from all walks of life and in all disciplines is nothing new to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Each of the four Founders went on to successful careers in education, science, the military, and/or ministry.  

 

For example, Frank Coleman (1890 -1967) graduated from Howard in 1913 and later received a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Chicago.  The completion of his doctoral thesis was interrupted by his call to service in the military during World War I.  He served as the head of the physics department at Howard University.

 

 Oscar James Cooper (1888 – 1972) graduated from Howard University in 1913 with a B.S. degree in science.  In 1917 he received the Doctor of Medicine degree from Howard.  He practiced internal medicine in the Philadelphia area for over 50 years. 

 Edgar Amos Love (1891-1974) received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1913, Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1917 – both from Howard University.  He also received a Bachelor of Theology from Boston University in 1918 and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Morgan College in 1935.  He served as a Chaplain in the U. S. Army during WWI and was appointed Bishop within the Methodist Church.

 

Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1907 as the sole “cum laude student” receiving honors in botany, sociology and history.  He was a teacher at Howard University and later appointed head of the Department of Zoology. In 1916 he received a Doctorate degree in experimental embryology from the University of Chicago. Also at Howard, he served as professor in the Medical School and head of the Department of Physiology until his death.

 

The following are members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated who have been commemorated on stamps by the United States Postal Services:

 Click on stamp for more bio

Dr. Charles Drew (1904-1950), an eminent surgeon, teacher and scientist devised the system to process and store large amounts of blood plasma. That system is still used today. In fact, any person who has received a lifesaving blood transfusion owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Drew.  In 1944 for his work in the blood plasma project, Dr. Drew received the Spingarn Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

 

Dr. Charles R. Drew, issue date June 3, 1981 in Washington D.C. – “Great American Series,” denomination 35cents

Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) was a prominent historian. He was the son of former slaves from Virginia. He was educated at the University of Chicago and was one of the first African Americans to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He founded the Association for the Study of Afro American Life & History. One of his most successful works was “The Mis-Education of the Negro published in 1933. He is recognized for initiating the observance of Negro History Week in 1926. This observance has continued and today the month of February each year is celebrated as Black History Month.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, issue date February 1, 1984 in Washington D.C. – Black Heritage Series, denomination 20 cents 

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Dr. Percy Lavon Julian (1899-1975) was a pioneer in chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids & birth control pills. He synthesized antihistamine from the calabar bean to create a drug treatment for glaucoma and arthritis.  He also invented aero foam, a product using soy protein to put out gas & oil fires.  In 1990, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Educated at Fisk, Howard & Harvard, he received a Ph. D. from the University of Vienna. Dr. Julian was one of the first African American millionaires. 

 

Percy Julian, issue date January 29, 1993 in Chicago – Black Heritage Series, denomination 29 cents

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Dr. Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941) an African American biologist and educator who pioneered many areas on the physiology of development, including fertilization, experimental parthenogenesis, hydration, cell division, dehydration in living cells, and ultraviolet carcinogenic radiation effects on cells. He pioneered experiments in the process of fertilization of marine invertebrates. He graduated from Dartmouth and received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1916. In 1911 as a student advisor at Howard University, Dr. Just became one of the four founders of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In 1915, he became the 1st recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Award.

 

Dr. Ernest E. Just, issue date February 1, 1996, Washington, D.C. – Black Heritage Series, denomination 32 cents

 Click on stamp for more bio

 Click on stamp for more bio

William “Count” Basie (1904-1984) a native of Red Bank, New Jersey is recognized as a celebrated jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer. He started playing by ear and learned improvisation. His first band was formed in 1930 and over the years featured some of the greatest musicians of all time. He is credited with bringing the improvisational sound of jazz into the “swing era” of the late 1930’s and 1940’s.

 

Count Basie, issue date September 11, 1996 New York City – Legends of American Music Series: Big Band Leaders, denomination 32 cents

 

Roy Wilkins (1901-1981) a prominent civil rights activist and journalist, was a tireless advocate for racial equality. In 1931 he joined the NAACP and was leader of the organization from 1955 to 1977 as Executive Secretary.  He was involved in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. Under his leadership, the NAACP campaigned for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Wilkins helped to organize the August 1963 March of Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  

 

Roy Wilkins, issue date January 24, 2001 in Minneapolis, MN – Black Heritage Series, denomination 34 cents

 Click on stamp for more bio

 Click on stamp for more bio

James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is considered one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. He studied at Columbia University, and then traveled to Africa and Europe. He is a graduate of Lincoln University, where he was initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Some of his celebrated works include: The Weary Blues (1926); The Negro Mother and Other Dramatic Recitations (1931); The Dream Keeper (1932); Shakespeare in Harlem (1942); Fields of Wonder (1947);  The First Book of Jazz (1955); Tambourines To Glory (1958); and The Best of Simple (1961). He is one of the early innovators of “jazz poetry” and was a leader of what became known as The Harlem Renaissance.

 

Langston Hughes, issue date January 3, 2002 – New York City – Black Heritage Series, denomination 34 cents       

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Prepared by Horace Baldwin,              Omicron Chi Chapter,

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Plainfield, New Jersey