The “Mighty” Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was charted January 21, 1920 on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania by twenty-one distinguished gentlemen. The young men were enrolled in many schools across the University, including the College of Arts & Sciences, Wharton School of Business, Medical School, Dental School, and Law School. Psi Chapter holds the distinction as the last single-letter chapter in Alpha Phi Alpha lineage, and as the second Black Greek-letter organization on University of Pennsylvania’s campus. The chapter’s charter also extends to: Villanova University, Drexel University, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and St. Joseph University. Psi Chapter history is steeped in the legacy of African Americans at Penn, the other charter campuses, and in the greater Philadelphia community.
Psi Chapter provides academic, social, and leadership activities for its members and the Black community at large. In the 1930s, brothers of Psi Chapter were integral in the formation of the Du Bois Scientific Club and Daniel Hale Williams Surgical Society – both at the University of Pennsylvania – to discuss timely, science-related subjects. Each year, Psi Chapter holds a signature formal event – the Pharaoh’s Ball – which incorporates a national program – Miss Black & Gold, a scholarship pageant – in addition to a host of community service endeavors, parties, and innovative programming meant to promulgate unity amongst Black students in Philadelphia.
The Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. boasts upwards of 450 alumni that have made indelible impressions in business, academic, entertainment, law, education, and the ministry in its 100 years of existence. Notable alum include: Raymond Pace Alexander, the first African American graduate of the Wharton School; Willis Nelson Cummings, the first African-American to be elected to Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national dental honor society, and the first African-American to captain a varsity team at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Ivy League or the Big Ten; and Marc Morial, former Mayor of New Orleans and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League.