“Kappa Alpha Psi® , a college Fraternity, now comprised of functioning Undergraduate and Alumni Chapters on major campuses and in cities throughout the country, is the crystallization of a dream. It is the beautiful realization of a vision shared commonly by the late Revered Founders Elder Watson Diggs; John Milton Lee; Byron Kenneth Armstrong; Guy Levis Grant; Ezra Dee Alexander; Henry Tourner Asher; Marcus Peter Blakemore; Paul Waymond Caine; Edward Giles Irvin and George Wesley Edmonds.”*
Elder Watson Diggs
An educator by profession, he taught in the public schools of Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was elevated to a principalship. After his death on November 8, 1947, the name of the school where he taught was changed to the Elder Diggs School in his memory. Upon America’s entrance into World War I, Diggs resigned his principalship to enter the Nation’s first Officer’s Training Camp at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, and was commissioned a lieutenant. After European service with the 368th Infantry, he became a captain in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Diggs was instrumental in having the Indiana Constitution amended to permit Negro enlistment in the Indiana National Guard
Dr. Ezra Dee Alexander
Dr. Byron Kenneth Armstrong
Atty. Henry Tourner Asher
Dr. Marcus Peter Blakemore
Paul Waymond Caine
Brother Caine went into the catering business in his hometown, later attended Columbia University, set up a catering business in Gary, Indiana, Peoria, Chicago and Evanston, Illinois and published a book on catering, which was copyrighted in 1919 by the Hurst Publishing Company. Brother Caine was instrumental in setting up the Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Zeta chapters of the fraternity. He later went into business in Rockford, Illinois and was burned during an explosion of gaseous materials in his dry cleaning business in 1931. He died April 15, 1931 at St. Anthony’s Hospital, Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, due to pneumonia and shock following 1st and 2nd degree burns.
George Wesley Edmonds
After George returned home for the summer of 1911, his father became ill with pneumonia and died. His father had worked in the coalmines of Vanderburgh County for many years. George, being the eldest son, became head of the family, thus preventing his return to school. With the new responsibility of supporting the family, George took a job with the area coalmines and worked with the coalmines and the railroad until he died of pneumonia on June 13, 1962. George married the former Willa Mae Forte and settled in Stevenson, Indiana. They became the parents of one son, Noel.
Dr. Guy Levis Grant
He served as a member of the Grand Board of Directors and was the Fraternity’s Historian. In addition to his activities with Kappa Alpha Psi, Brother Grant held memberships in several civic, professional, and business organizations. He was a member of the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis.
Edward Giles Irvin
Aside from his success as a Journalist, Brother Irvin was a pioneer in promoting basketball and track athletics in the small town schools of Indiana. He was an active member of the Methodist Church of Chicago and a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges. He organized and operated the Afro-American Manufacturing Company in Chicago, which produced novelties, candies, and specialties.
John Milton Lee
He helped organize, and for several years was president of, the Fairview Gold Club, the first Negro Golf Club in Pennsylvania. In 1931 he married Mary Walker Robinson. Vocationally, he was engaged in several enterprises. For eight years, he conducted a successful catering business in Philadelphia; he organized and served as Vice President and Secretary of the Mutual Emergency Union, a mutual aid company in Philadelphia. He was also a member of the Board of Managers of the Columbia Community Branch of the YMCA.
*Passage from “A Brief History of Kappa Alpha Psi”