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SU Welcomes First Black Fraternity

March 6, 2008

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – Susquehanna University will welcome Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.,  its first traditionally African American fraternity, to campus March 16 with a reception at 4 p.m. in Lore Degenstein Gallery.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 1914. The founders' goal was to create a group to be "a part of" the general community rather than "apart from" it. They believed members should be judged by their own merits rather than by family background or affluence and with disregard to race, nationality, and skin tone and hair texture. They intended for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood devoted to inclusiveness for all.

Phi Beta Sigma has evolved into an international organization that embraces men of all nationalities who believe in the central tenets of brotherhood, scholarship and service. Their motto is Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.

Some notable Sigma men are Nelson Mandela, Morgan Freeman, Dr. G. Iggers, Dr. Alain Leroy Locke, who is also the first black Rhodes Scholar, and George Washington Carver.

Charter inductees at Susquehanna are Gregory Jones, Jr. , a sophomore business major from Brooklyn, N.Y.; Bobby Bradley, a sophomore interested in veterinary medicine from East Orange , N.J.; George Livingston, a junior biochemistry major from Lindenwold, N.J., Victor Taylor, a junior accounting major from South Orange, N.J.; and Alex James, a junior biology major from Baldwin, N.Y.

Phi Beta Sigma joins Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., a traditionally African American sorority that was chartered at SU in February 2007. “This shows the importance of diversity on SU's campus,” observed Armenta Hinton, interim director of multicultural affairs. “It demonstrates the importance of the entire student experience for all students.”

Chris Markle, director of admissions; Erik Viker, professor of theatre; and Eric Hinton, director of bands, will serve as advisors to the new inductees and intend to establish a graduate chapter of the fraternity at Susquehanna.

Contact: Gerald Cohen
570-372-4119

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