Upsilon members posed for the centennial celebration photo. (Courtesy photo)

The University of California Chapter, the Upsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity celebrated its Centennial Celebration the week of April 20-25.

On Thursday, General Chairman Kevin D. Kinsey announced that the theme of “Rich Past, Strong Reunion, Bright Future,” would signifies the exciting schedule. Events began with the Community Service Day where Raymond Bell’s documentary, “Called Up: The Emmett Ashford Story,” was screened followed by a Q&A panel discussion on diversity and inclusion.

After the discussion, Ashford’s daughter, Adrienne Cheri Ashford, was presented with a citation from the Upsilon Centennial Celebration recognizing her father for his achievements in the field of baseball and civil rights. Members also attended a Sip & Smoke Reception at Post and Beam Restaurant at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall.

The Civic Engagement Luncheon was held at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, April 21, where 250 guests attended. The 27th Grand Polemarch Robert L. Harris, Esq., introduced Mandela Barnes, fraternity member and the 45th lt. governor of Wisconsin, who delivered the keynote address.

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Other speakers and guests included UCLA Chancellor Dr. Gene D. Block, who gave the opening remarks along with other fraternity members including Master of Ceremonies Kevin G. Harbour Sr., former UCLA Black Alumni Association President and current Los Angeles Board of Public Works President Pro Tem Dr. Michael R. Davis, Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, and former Regent of California and Superior Court Judge Sherill D. Luke.

The Centennial Fellowship Breakfast on Saturday featured a tribute to members who were student-athletes.  Dr. Kourt D. Williams, former Bruins football player, served as emcee and music manager Ron Sweeney, Esq. delivered the keynote address.  Other participants were UCLA Associate Athletic Director Dr. Kenny Donaldson and William “Bill” Ellis, former Bruin basketball player and Upsilon Chapter past advisor emeritus.

More than 300 people attended the Upsilon Centennial Black & White Gala on Saturday night and enjoyed the reception, live entertainment, and L.A.’s top DJ. Guests included members of the UCLA Alumni Association, the National Panhellenic Organizations and the general public.

Undergraduate members of the Upsilon Chapter were recognized at the gala and escorted by the ladies of the Royal Court of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. A Kappa Queen was selected to serve as president of the Royal Court for the next fiscal year.  The ceremony concluded with all attendees joining in a final serenade of the Kappa Sweetheart Song.

A marker on the UCLA campus denotes the establishment of the Kappa Alpha Psi  Upsilon Chapter. (Courtesy photo)

Other activities during the weekend included the worship service at Faithful Central Bible Church, a family outing and barbeque, Kappa Komedy Night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, and the Upsilon Centennial Dedication Program at the UCLA Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom.

The Upsilon chapter was chartered on the campus of UCLA on April 25, 1923, by four charter members – Wendell P. Gladden Jr., Byron F. Kenner, C. T. Ross, A. Moore Shearin –    and 13 charter initiates – Alonzo A. Adams, George D. Greene, Joseph N. Birch II, Lorenzo B. Graham, Jefferson M. Brown. Edgar K. Johnson, Leon C. Clark, C. Louis Rosser, William Rux Jr., Benjamin Colby, Walter Enton, Edward Thompson, and Leon Whitaker.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. was founded on January 5, 1911, on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana as an historically African American fraternity.  The fraternity’s motto of “Achievement in Every Field of Endeavor” has been the driving force for all member accomplishments over the years.

Distinguished alumni include Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, California Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally, Los Angeles Public Administrator Randall C. Bacon, UCLA Vice Chancellor Winston C. Doby, Attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., tennis great Arthur Ashe, UCLA Basketball Coach Walt Hazzard, renowned actor Whitman Mayo, MLB umpire Emmett Ashford,  and  James “Jimmy” LuValle, scientist and 1936 Olympic bronze medalist.

The fraternity has over 160,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the United States, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Japan, United States Virgin Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.