New Orleans, LA - August 15, 2015 - The delegates of the 82nd Grand Chapter Meeting of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity elected Chastin L. Gammage as the Junior Grand Vice Polemarch, the highest elected office reserved for an undergraduate member of the fraternity.
A 2013 initiate of the San Jose State University Chapter, the Delta Rho of Kappa Alpha Psi, Brother Gammage is a Junior studying Computer Engineering. His leadership experience includes tenures as Polemarch of his chapter, and as a member of the Western Province Board of Directors, as well as many campus organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Collegiate 100 Black Men of America.
Brother Gammage comes from a legacy of Western Province leadership; his father, Chauncey L. Gammage Sr. (Gamma Iota, 1990) served as Junior Province Vice Polemarch.
New Orleans, LA - August 12, 2015 - At the 82nd Grand Chapter Meeting, 32nd Grand Polemarch William "Randy" Bates Esq. bestowed the Guy Levis Grant Award to Damariyé L. Smith. Brother Smith is the 79th awardee of the Grant Award, Kappa Alpha Psi's highest recognition for an undergraduate member.
A 2011 initiate of the California State University, Sacramento Chapter, the Iota Beta of Kappa Alpha Psi, Brother Smith led his chapter in several capacities, and served multiple terms on the Western Province Board of Directors before his election as Grand Strategus at the 81st Grand Chapter Meeting.
Brother Smith was recognized for "exemplary and extra meritorious collegiate community activities that reflectively advanced the Fraternity's image." His leadership and participation in multiple campus organizations lead to a paid position as a Program Assistant for the university's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), where he works toward the retention and graduation of traditionally at-risk students.
In a heartfelt acceptance speech, Brother Smith humbly thanked others for his achievements, expressing gratitude "for brothers who represent Kappa wherever you are in the country, for your hard work in the community, and the impact that you had and will continue to have on young African-American males such as myself."
Brother Smith is a candidate for a Master's degree in Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento, and aspires to earn a doctoral degree in the field so that he may work as a college professor of Media and Culture.
New Orleans, LA - August 16, 2015 - Upon the conclusion of the 82nd Grand Chapter Meeting, where Thomas L. Battles Jr. was elected to the highest office in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, 33rd Grand Polemarch Battles appointed Brother Kevin D. Kinsey as one of his special assistants. Brother Kinsey will serve the fraternity as the National Director of Organizational Effectiveness.
A 1981 initiate of the University of California, Los Angeles Chapter, the Upsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi, Brother Kinsey has served the fraternity in multiple capacities, including seven terms as the 20th Western Province Polemarch.
Nationally, he was an Operating Assistant to Grand Polemarchs Bacon, McBride, and Harris; and his experiences include chairmanships on the Guy Levis Grant Commission, the Constitution & Statutes Reconciliation Committee, and the inaugural Council of Senior Province Vice Polemarchs. He has also served on the Council of Junior Province Vice Polemarchs, the Grand Chapter Planning Committee, and the National Housing & Economic Development Committee.
Brother Kinsey is a member of both the Beverly Hills - Century City Alumni Chapter and the Los Angeles Alumni Chapter. He currently resides in the cities of Los Angeles and La Quinta, California.
Lake Elsinore, CA - January 1, 2014 - The 23rd Western Province Polemarch, Brother Gilbert D. Brown, III, MBA, announces new appointments of Western Province Officers and Chief of Staff, effective immediately. Brother Brown stated "I know the dedication and capabilities of the Brothers appointed to these offices will continue the upward trajectory of the province, and position the Western Province for the next level of achievement.”
Brother Timothy “Tim” Woods, (Phoenix Alumni Chapter) has been appointed to serve as the Senior Province Vice Polemarch. Brother Woods is a past Polemarch of the Phoenix Alumni Chapter and is the outgoing Western Province Keeper of Records and Exchequer.
Brother Lynn Greer (Sacramento Alumni Chapter) has been appointed to the Office of Western Province Keeper of Records and Exchequer, relieving Brother Woods. Brother Woods is a Past Polemarch of the Sacramento Alumni Chapter and served as Chief Administrative Officer to the Western Province Polemarch.
Brother Dr. Kourt D. Williams (Beverly Hills, Century City Alumni Chapter) has been appointed to the Western Province Chief of Staff, replacing Brother Breck Cook. Brother Williams is a Past Polemarch of the Beverly Hills, Century City Alumni Chapter.
Brother Brown wishes to thank Brother Breck Cook for his dedicated service as Chief of Staff for the Western Province Polemarch since 2009.
Brother Brown stated that other appointments and re-appointments will be announced by the end of January. An updated Western Province Officers and Board Members Roster will be distributed by the Western Province Keeper of Records and Exchequer.
William "Randy" Bates Jr., Esq.
Philadelphia, PA - December 24, 2013 - Grand Polemarch William "Randy" Bates, Jr., Esq. announced today the appointment of Gilbert D. Brown, III, Sr. Province Vice Polemarch, Western Province to the position of Province Polemarch, Western Province.
Brother Brown succeeds Brother Samuel B. Knight of San Diego, California, who has served faithfully as Province Polemarch. In response to the appointment, Brother Brown said; "I want to thank you for my appointment as the 23rd Western Province Polemarch. I am honored by the faith, trust, and confidence you have placed in me, and look forward to becoming a part of the 32nd Administration team." The appointment is effective January 1, 2014.
Grand Polemarch said; "We are grateful to Brother Samuel B. Knight for his outstanding service as Province Polemarch of the Western Province. I was happy to share some quality time with Brother Knight on our visit to South Korea early in the year. It was a great learning experience to me and a trip I will always remember. While I reluctantly accepted his resignation, I know that his family will be pleased with his decision to devote more time to them. May his days ahead be filled with great joy."
Brother Gilbert Brown has been an active brother in the Western Province, who has served in many capacities that qualify him for his new position. We look forward to great things in the West as we continue our journey.
Yours in the Bond,
Randall C. Bacon, a public administrator who utilized his career experience to modernize the Fraternity, passed away on Monday, September 12th. Though gone, he will not be forgotten; Brother Bacon set the standard for how Kappa men should lead their lives.
Trained for Leadership
Initiated in 1958 at the Upsilon of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Bacon quickly established himself as a leader. He served as Keeper of Records of his chapter as a neophyte before being elected as the chapter's Polemarch in 1959. The same year, brothers elected him Western Province Vice Polemarch, where he served for two years (at the time, the Province did not have a Senior Province Vice Polemarch position).
At the 49th Grand Chapter meeting, Bacon was elected Grand Strategus--the second highest national undergraduate position at the time. It was the same year that another Upsilon initiate, future Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, was elected Senior Grand Vice Polemarch. Bacon established a close mentor/mentee relationship with Bradley, who would later become the fraternity's 18th Grand Polemarch.
Pioneer in Public Administration
While working full-time as a clerk for Los Angeles County, Bacon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. He took advantage of the county's numerous promotional opportunities, serving as Chief Deputy Director of L.A. County's Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as Assistant Division Chief of the Chief Administrative Office.
After five years at the division chief level of the nation's largest county, in 1979 Bacon took an opportunity in San Diego County, where he served in several capacities, including Director of Social Services. Directing a newly-reorganized department of 2,300 employees with a budget of 375 million dollars, Bacon developed an innovative, war-on-poverty program that focused on employment and ending the cycle of welfare dependency. His work became widely recognized; in 1987, the program he developed became the reformation model for both the State of California and the United States' welfare programs. Bacon also tackled issues of inefficiency. He developed automation plans using new technologies to realize significant savings while simultaneously delivering higher quality service. Once again, his innovations were recognized; the State of California modeled its automated eligibility program after the one he established in San Diego County.
In 1987, Bacon was appointed to manage the Chief Administration Office's 12,000 employees and two billion dollar budget. A year later, he took an opportunity to return to Los Angeles, where he was the highest-ranked candidate in a nation-wide search to replace the head of the city's Department of General Services. As he did in his previous positions, he implemented policies to lower costs, increase efficiencies, facilitate transparency, and foster workplace equity. Brother Bacon served in this capacity for more than a decade before retiring.
Under Bacon's leadership, his San Diego County department staff members earned more National Association of Counties (NACO) awards than any other department in the United States. In 1986, the United States Social Security Administration presented the State of California its highest honor in recognition of Bacon's department's "contributions in demonstrating the effectiveness of work programs".
Bacon's achievements in public administration earned him numerous accolades. In 1987, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the National Academy of Public Administration jointly presented Bacon with their National Public Service Award for outstanding career achievement. In 1992, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) presented him with its highest honor, the "Mark of Excellence" award for outstanding public service. Bacon subsequently served as NFBPA President for two terms.
National Fraternity Leadership
In 1970, Grand Polemarch Ernest Davenport appointed Bacon to become Western Province Polemarch, making him the youngest Province Polemarch in the Fraternity's modern history. After three years, Bacon was elected Senior Grand Vice Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi, again becoming the youngest brother to hold his position since the Fraternity's early years. Bacon served in that capacity for six years before looking to apply his wealth of knowledge and skills to higher office.
The Grand Polemarch Years: Improving Fraternity Operations
Influenced by his public administration experience, and mentored by Bradley, Bacon was destined to become a Grand Polemarch. When that opportunity came in 1985 at the 66th Grand Chapter Meeting, Bacon wasted no time in implementing a vision for a more efficient Kappa Alpha Psi.
He oversaw an increase to National Headquarters staff to provide better member services, hiring former Junior Grand Vice Polemarch Gary Gold (North Central Province) and future Executive Director W. Ted Smith (Northeastern Province) for their experience in accounting and public administration, respectively.
In 1986, Bacon appointed Dr. Oscar L. Mims (Eastern Province) as the fraternity's Executive Secretary. Bacon recognized Mims' administrative experience with major federal agencies--the U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)--as invaluable assets for the modern Kappa Alpha Psi.
Bacon successfully convinced the Grand Board to move the Kappa Foundation from its original location--New Haven, Connecticut--to the fraternity's offices in Philadelphia. He also convinced the fraternity's Executive Committee to adopt his plan to replace the fraternity's information technology system, which had not been upgraded since the mid-1970s.
Other notable achievements under his leadership included: adoption of minimum standards for chapters, development of the Protocol Manual, implementation of a Chapter Advisors' training program, and a complete update of the Constitution & Statutes.
A Modern International Headquarters
Due to his national leadership roles, Bacon was intimately aware that the fraternity's temporary national headquarters building in Philadelphia--originally a residential home--was not suitable for use as an office building. Just six years after the structure was purchased, the city hosted the 49th Grand Chapter meeting, where Bacon was first elected to national office. He had many more occasions to visit the building between 1973 and 1979 while he served as Senior Grand Vice Polemarch.
Aware of previous, underfunded attempts to update the site, Bacon made it a personal objective to move the project forward. In his 1986 State of the Fraternity report, Grand Polemarch Bacon called the establishment of a new headquarters facility "a must". He developed a plan that directed the construction of an "International Headquarters" facility, and authorized the fraternity to levy a housing assessment fee to finance the project. The plan was adopted at the 68th Grand Chapter meeting. While the assessment was controversial, it proved to be the tool necessary to finance the building.
When Grand Polemarch Ulysses McBride succeeded Bacon as Grand Polemarch in 1988, McBride immediately appointed Bacon to a committee to oversee the construction of the new International Headquarters. The following year, Bacon participated in the ground-breaking ceremony for the new facility, and just two years later, the building was open for business. At the dedication ceremony, Bacon was visibly moved by the realization of his dream.
Kappa Foundation & Laurel Wreath
In 1991, Brother Bacon was elected to the Kappa Foundation's board of directors; he was elected President the following year. As always, he set and achieved some progressive goals, including the establishment of the Million Dollar Club endowment fund.
In 2001, Kappa Alpha Psi awarded Bacon its highest honor, the Laurel Wreath, for his outstanding achievements in public service and extra-meritorious contributions to the Fraternity.
Vision for the Future
While Bacon succeeded in many of his innovative goals for Kappa Alpha Psi, some of Brother Bacon's ideas for the fraternity's future remain to be seen. As he prepared to exit the office of Grand Polemarch, he championed two key improvements to the fraternity's organizational structure: first, greater access to national office; and second, election of Province Polemarchs. In his words:
Randall C. Bacon's life, the merging of public administration principles with fraternal ideals, shines as an example of all that can be achieved with vision, perseverance, and selfless work on behalf of one's constituents. For that, Kappa Alpha Psi was fortunate to call him "Brother".
Brother Mervyn M. Dymally, a 1949 initiate of the Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, passed away Sunday morning at age 86.
Dymally was a trailblazer in the field of politics. While teaching exceptional needs students in Los Angeles, Dymally volunteered in local politics and served as the California Young Democrats' state treasurer. He worked for the 1960 Democratic National Convention held in Los Angeles, and subsequently served as a field coordinator during the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy.
Elected to the California State Assembly in 1962, he became the first foreign-born Black American elected to the state's legislature. Just four years later, he became the first African-American elected to the California State Senate, where he served eight years.
Brother Dymally became a founding member of California's Legislative Black Caucus in 1967. Current CLBC Chair Senator Curren Price recently said of Dymally, “he has broken down so many barriers and mentored so many legislators, Black and non-Black, that we would be remiss not to honor him for opening up the doors that we now walk through.”
In 1974, Californians elected Dymally to be Lieutenant Governor--making him the first African-American elected to one of the state's constitutional offices. In doing so, he also gained the distinction of becoming one of the first two Black Americans in the nation to be elected to statewide office since the United States' Reconstruction era.
South Los Angeles County voters elected Dymally to the United States House of Representatives in 1980, where he served six two-year terms. During his congressional tenure, he held positions on many committees, including Foreign Affairs, District of Columbia, Science & Technology, and Education & Labor. During the 100th Congress (1987–1989), he served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Upon retirement from the House, Dymally spent several years working as a foreign affairs consultant. However, he continued to follow his legislative district closely; in 2002, after a ten year absence from elected office, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the local candidates by running for the state's 52nd State Assembly district. He easily won the primary election, more than doubling the votes of his nearest competitor, and went on to win the seat in the general election, where he served until 2008.
A strong advocate for education, Brother Dymally held degrees from California State University, Los Angeles (B.A., Education, 1954); California State University, Sacramento (M.A., Government, 1969); and Alliant International University (Ph.D., Human Behavior, 1978).
Directors at its meeting on 7 January 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee. During the same meeting,
Ron was elected by the Foundation Board to the Office of Treasurer. Brother Berryman is
a 1961 initiate of the Upsilon Chapter and a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,
Inc. Additionally, he was the Western Province Coordinator for the K100 Kappa Executive
Leadership Program, a member of the Million Dollar Club, and has served as a mentor and
supporter for the Los Angeles Kappa League program for many years. Brother Berryman is the
CEO of Berryman & Company Management Consultants located in Pasadena, California and is
a member of the Los Angeles (CA) Alumni Chapter (W). He and wife Jacqueline (the Western
Province Silhouette Coordinator) reside in San Dimas, California.
"First, I have to say it's an honor," said Freeny, who joined the tournament in 1988 and was just elected to the 14-member executive committee.
"So few get to do this. But we are a family here, and I always preach it takes a team working together to put on the best parade and the best best football game in the world on one big day."
Freeny, who will lead the 130th Rose Parade and 105th Rose Bowl Game, said he's a little ambivalent about being in the spotlight as first black president.
"It's good to be the first, to make history, but I don't want to take anything away from (President Richard Jackson) - this is his year, his parade," Freeny said.
In his 23 years at the Tournament of Roses, Freeny has worked his way up the committee ranks, most recently as the chairman of parade operations.
"It's very important that you have the respect of your peers, and that they've seen the work done on the committees you've been on, seen you in leadership roles, seen what you can do," he said. "That's a big plus, and let's face it, not everyone gets the opportunity to get on the executive committee."
The 900-plus member tournament has changed since he was brought in by two sponsoring members, Freeny said. One was African American and one white - Bob Cheney, the 1992 president, who knew Freeny as a student working his way through college at his company.
"I can say for the most part I never had any problems here," Freeny said. "I tried to work with everybody ... and the two people who sponsored me gave me good support."
Freeny said he wasn't the first African American to join the Tournament of Roses, although there weren't many at the time. But he found his positive attitude and being a "people person" made him part of the family.
Jackson called Freeny's election "a milestone," but said it was his level of commitment and willingness to serve that stood out over his decades of volunteering.
"It was much the same way I came up," he said. "That's how you get to become the future president of the organization."
That "typical path to leadership" is long and arduous, and everyone pays their dues, Jackson said. "That's why it takes so long."
The diversity in the 123-year-old Tournament of Rose has developed naturally, mirroring the Pasadena community, Jackson said. Libby Evans Wright became the first woman president in 2006, and Sally Bixby will take the role in 2013, to be followed later by the first Asian American, Richard L. Chinen.
"We made a concerted effort to be responsive (to calls for diversity), but at the same time be true to the meritocracy," Jackson said. "I think you're going to see it in the next few years. This isn't something that's happening in the moment. This is our future."
Freeny, a graduate of John Muir High School and Cal State L.A., works in law enforcement and has been involved in such organizations as Pasadena Alumni Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Pasadena Police Foundation board, Pasadena Police Citizens Academy, the Rose Bowl Aquatics board, University Club, Pasadena YMCA board, Black Support Group at Cal State L.A., the Urban League Board of Governors, United Way Fundraising Committee, and the Pasadena NAACP.
Joe Brown, president of the Pasadena NAACP, said Freeny's election shows the Tournament of Roses has become more welcoming to all minorities.
"At this point I'm not overly surprised, but I'm delighted," Brown said. "It's a great thing for African Americans, women and minorities in general, seeing that glass ceiling broken. This is for future generations to look and say, `I can do this."'
By 2019, Freeny said he plans to be retired, and he and his family will have the time to deal with the demands of the presidency.
"I guess what I'm looking forward to is going down the parade route," said Freeny. "A native Pasadenan, seeing my high school buddies, my college buddies, people from the community, saying one of us Pasadenans made it here."
From The Pasadena Star-News, February 24, 2011.
Brother Elbert Brooks, a 1966 initiate of the Gamma Eta Chapter, has been elected to the Board Directors of the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation.
Brother Brooks, a 2006 recipient of the Western Province’s Randall C. Bacon Alumni Achievement Award, has served as the originator of the Nordstrom Scholarship Program, which maintains scholarship programs in every Province of Kappa Alpha Psi. In his work with Nordstrom, Brother Brooks has been responsible for nearly one million dollars in base and matching fund scholarship dollars.
In 2005, Brother Brooks was chosen by the Western Province to serve as the Western Province's Northwest Cluster Coordinator for Operation Pi, the Kappa Alpha Psi’s Hurricane Katrina Relief project. Through Brother Books’ efforts, the Western Province raised nearly $15,000.00 to support Kappa hurricane victims and their families.
Brother Brooks, a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi, resides in the Seattle, Washington metropolitan area.