By Dawn Scotland
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
The Xi Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held their annual Founders’ Day Celebration Friday evening, November 18, at the Summit Banquet Hall. The fraternity honored four men with awards of distinction and introduced the five newest members of the chapter.
Keith Jordan, Vice Basileus of Xi Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Fraternity, Inc, opened the night as master of ceremonies. Jordan was followed by Alan Bannister, Basileus of Xi Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. who presented the history of the fraternity.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded 110 years ago on November 17, 1911 at Howard University. It is the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college. The organization principles are Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift. The fraternity exemplifies these principles through its outstanding service and the leadership of its members.
Jeffrey Rollins, Northwest Ohio Area Representative and Membership Chairman, presented the history of the Xi Tau Chapter. The local graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc. in Toledo, Ohio was chartered in 1960 and has been an active force in the community for decades.
Four men were honored with awards of distinction as part of the chapter’s ‘Achievement Week.’ The awards were presented “[to] those that show excellence in their craft but also in humanity and manhood,” said Jordan. David Fleetwood, business manager of Laborers Local 500, received the Citizen of the Year Award for his commitment to the community. The Superior Service Award was given to Omega Psi Phi member Eldon Payne Jr. for providing the highest level of service and dedication to the fraternity.
Rollins presented the newest members of Xi Tau, ‘The Furious Drive 5’: Frederick Pruitt, Jay Barnett, Sammy Spann, PhD, Mark Riley and Richard Langford.
The new Omega men walked across the stage and exchanged their suit coats to don new jackets of royal purple. Following the introduction of each new member the group received gifts including embroidered scarves and a bouquet of roses to give to their wives who supported their journey to becoming Omega Men.
Following the presentation of the new memberships, fraternity brother Julian E. Highsmith received the Founders Award and the Omega Man of the Year was awarded to fraternity brother Jeffrey Rollins. Both awardees received the distinct honors with humility and gratitude.
Vince Davis, long time member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and former Basileus of the Xi Tau Chapter, gave remarks. “I am so proud of the people who came [and] the people we took into the fraternity. Men who had other options. Who could have done anything. These men joined our organization because we are a brotherhood.”
The event was part of the chapter’s “Achievement Week.” Guests enjoyed dinner and entertainment provided by a live DJ.