Greenville (SC) Chapter History

Thirty-nine years after the organization and incorporation of Kappa Alpha Psi (born Kappa Alpha Nu), the Spartanburg Alumni Chapter was chartered on June 11, 1950. It was the brainchild of Bro. J. C. Abercrombie. J. C. Abercrombie was joined by Frank Bennett, Harry C. Gardin, Herman Glover, Thomas E. Hampton, and H C. Ogelsby. On September 19, 1965, meeting the chapter’s name was changed to THE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG ALUMNI CHAPTER by the Grand Chapter. This process was originated during the administration of Bro. Thomas E. Hampton, Sr. In September of 2003, the chapter’s name was changed to the GREENVILLE ALUMNI CHAPTER, as a result of an alumni chapter being established in Spartanburg, S.C. (See the charter members photograph below).

Charter Members: Seated L to R: Thomas Hampton, Thomas Whaley, Herman Glover, J.C. Abercrombie. Standing L to R: Harry C. Gardin, Luther Batiste, Frank Bennett, Dr. H. C. Oglesby

From this distinguished nucleus has evolved a parade of professional men that have truly
achieved in every field of human endeavor. The composition of the current membership reflects this. Among the chapter’s members are business managers and educators, some that hold Ph.D.s. There are numerous members in all levels of city, state and federal governments, including delegates and state senators, architects, bankers, engineers, attorneys, judges, health professionals, veterinarians, dentists, physicians, accountants, ministers, insurance agents and real estate brokers. There is a myriad of other occupations, some quite unique. The chapter has been served by twenty-seven (27) different Polemarchs with Bro. Harry C. Gardin having the distinct pleasure of serving three (3) separate times. The roll call of Polemarchs include: J.C. Abercrombie (1950-1952), H. C. Oglesby (1952-1954), Harry C. Gardin (1953-1954,1960-1962, 1965-1968), Bert T. Bell (1945-1956), James V. Connelly (1956-1960), Dr. Willie F. Gibson (1962-1964), Thomas E. Hampton (1964-1965), George L. Walker (1968-1970), Fred Golden, Jr. (1970-1972), Louie Golden (1972-1974), Earl H. Robbins, Jr. (1974-1977), Calvin G. Mayes (1977-1979), Phil C. Jackson (1979-1981), Reginald Alexander (1981-1982), Chester R. Trower (1982-1983). George A. Lloyd (1983-1985), Theoplious F. Welfare (1985-1987), Preston Smith (1987-1990), J. Dwight Rutledge (1990-1992), Chester Leaks (1992-1995), Solomon Bradley (1995-1998), Oscar R. Neely (1998-2000), Stanley Clinkscale (2000-2002), J Roland Sullivan (2002-2003), Allen Kagler (2003-2005), Darryl Williams (2005-2008), Ernest Hamilton (2008-2010),  Delane Rosemond (2010-2012), Dale Sanders (2012-2014), Carlos Littlejohn (2014-2016) and Horace Butler, Jr. (2016-present).

Thomas E. Hampton was the last surviving charter member. For his long dedicated service and leadership, the Kappa Knight Scholastic Achievement Award is named in his honor. Bennie L. Cunningham, Sr., who was initiated into Alpha Lambda Chapter at South Carolina State University in 1946, is the oldest living chapter member. Bro. Cunningham received the Joseph R. Jenkins Award at the 59th Province Council Meeting, which was hosted by the Greenville (S.C.) Alumni Chapter.

The chapter has produced many Province officers. The Greenville (S.C.) Alumni Chapter is the home of the ninth Province Polemarch, Preston Smith, Jr., the eleventh Province Polemarch, Chester Leaks, and the thirteenth Province Polemarch, Solomon S. Bradley.

The Greenville-Spartanburg Alumni Chapter received the Paul W. Caine Award (the International Alumni Chapter of the Year) at the 1999 Grand Chapter Meeting. At the 79th Grand Chapter Meeting, which was held in Washington, D.C. in 2009, the Greenville (S.C.) Alumni Chapter received the award for the second time.

Since its beginning, the Greenville (S.C.) Alumni Chapter has actively participated on the Provincial level. Over this period, numerous Province awards have been won: the Jay Crosby Award, the Leon W. Stewart Award, the Bert V. Wadkins Award, 1st Place Guide Right Scrapbook, 1st place Student of the Year, 1st place PowerPoint Award, and Southeastern Province Chapter of the Year for medium-size chapters.

The Greenville (S.C.) Alumni Chapter has expanded its award-winning Guide Right Program into a year-round activity. Its tutorial and mentoring programs provide our Kappa league and Kappa Knights with reading programs at local elementary schools, a Violence Prevention workshop, health awareness seminars through the Greenville Hospital System, and career workshops at Carolina High School.

The Greenville (S.C.) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is a proactive organization striving to make a positive impact on the citizens of the Upstate. We have embarked on many programs to provide scholarships and to support community service projects for area youth. The premier program is the Kappa Knights program, which combines mentoring with fundraising. The Kappa Knights program has been recognized by our communities, school district, the Southeastern Province, and International Headquarters for its positive impact on young males.