Many of you were present during the 80th Grand Chapter Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you were fortunate enough to be present, you had the opportunity to view the Centennial Historical Collection which displayed a variety of Kappa artifacts, documents and photographs from 1911-2011. Many Brothers believe that these artifacts were provided by our International Headquarters (IHQ). However, that was not the case. A museum of this size and scale was only made possible by the generosity of the Brothers and Chapters who temporarily loaned artifacts to the Collection.
I’ve recently visited IHQ for the purpose of organizing our archives and to conduct an inventory of our artifacts and documents. This visit confirmed my greatest fears: IHQ’s archive collection is missing many vital pieces of our Fraternity’s history. We have not actively retained and recovered Kappa Alpha Psi’s historical objects. Our IHQ archives are in immediate and long term need of attention to recover items that have been lost and to preserve items that come into our possession in the future.
As each month passes, several of our Brothers transition to Chapter Invisible and our history is lost with them.
THERE IS AN ALARM AT THE GATE!
It has become a common occurrence, when our Brothers die, that their paraphernalia, pledge and undergraduate keepsakes and even our Fraternity’s esoteric materials kept at their homes, are subsequently discarded or placed for sale at flea markets, estate sales or purchased by non-members at online auctions such as eBay.
It is paramount that we all actively contribute to the preservation of the Fraternity’s history, in order to ensure that we retain our history, for future generations of Brothers to enjoy. The recent deaths of Past Grand Polemarchs Randall Bacon and Ronald Young as well as George David, III (the son of Past Grand Polemarch, George David, II) have not only left a void within our Fraternity, but their deaths have also left us without tangible items to remember them by and evoke their legacies.
The Kappa Historical Archive Recovery Initiative has been created to specifically combat this critical problem. I originally instituted this initiative in 2010 as the North Central Province Historian. Under that initiative, I have been able to recover precious items belonging to Founder Edward G. Irvin, Past Grand Polemarch C. Rodger Wilson and Past North Central Province Polemarch C. Leon Wilson, as well as many other notable Kappas.
The Kappa Historical Archive Recovery Initiative addresses this crisis head-on. However, I will only be able to complete this monumental task with your valued assistance. How can you help Kappa? I have found that many of Kappa’s historical items can be found in the closets, basements and attics of Brother’s homes. I am requesting that each of you participate in this recovery initiative by taking the following two actions:
- Conduct an inventory of your own items; and
- Contribute to the Fraternity by making a permanent donation of these artifacts.
The range of items you may decide to gift to the Fraternity is expansive, and may include: Province/Grand Chapter Programs and/or related keepsakes, Fraternity jewelry, pledge memorabilia, documents, photographs, official Fraternity publications and clothing paraphernalia, and other Kappa related items.
In order to make this task easier, the following documents have been developed to assist in the recovery and collection of our artifacts:
KAΨ Historical Archives Program Request Form:
- Provides Brothers the option of listing specific or general fraternity related items that they possess.
- Provides each Brother with a formal, written account of his Kappa items.
- A Brother can identify which of these items he wishes to permanently gift to his Legacy, Chapter, Province or IHQ. Furthermore, he can select when he wishes to gift these items (some or all items at the current time or after his death).
- Note: It is important to list these items in this manner so that the Brother’s family is aware of his wishes in the event of his death.
KAΨ Historical Archives Program Sample Legal Form:
- Provides suggested wording to Brothers for use in a Will or in addition to an existing Will.
- This is a formal option, and an official legal means of documenting a Brother’s wishes regarding his Kappa possessions.
Our Grand Polemarch, William “Randy” Bates Jr., has approved this initiative to go forward and is actively supporting it by donating items in his possession.
This Kappa-wide initiative will , then branch out to (past and current) elected leaders of the Fraternity, our Senior Kappas and to the general membership. Your immediate participation would positively promote The Kappa Historical Archive Recovery Initiative by demonstrating that you recognize its importance and encourage others to follow your leadership in this critical endeavor.
The Kappa Historical Archive Recovery Initiative will be aggressively promoted on the Fraternity’s national website, in the Journal, at C. Rodger Wilson Leadership Conferences, at Province Council and Grand Chapter Meetings. The aforementioned forms and other related documents will be made available on Grand Chapter’s website as well as provided to each of you electronically by request. In addition, Chapter Polemarchs will make hardcopies of these documents available to all Brothers who prefer to receive them in that format.
Once our archives are categorized, along with the other donated items we accumulate, my ultimate goal is to create a new Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity museum, reminiscent of the Centennial Historical Collection. We will then have a much better account of our rich history for the posterity of our Fraternity’s heritage.
Be assured that your items will be handled with the utmost care. Once they are placed on display, your name/chapter will be featured on a placard to indicate the generosity of your donation for posterity.
Brothers, collecting and preserving our Fraternity’s history is vital and cannot be accomplished without your valued assistance. I am requesting your full and unwavering support of the Kappa Historical Archive Recovery Initiative by answering this alarm at the gate. I can be reached at the email address and telephone number below for any questions. I would be happy to speak with you personally on this subject.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.