Omega Psi Phi celebrates Founders’ Day, Achievement Week

Brother Ed Temple, Omega Citizen of the Year (left) and Brother Jerry Blackman, Omega Man of the Year

Throughout the week of November 11, Gamma Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. participated in its annual Achievement Week. Gamma Phi Chapter has served the Nashville community for 87 years since its establishment on October 1, 1925. Gamma Phi joined other chapters around the world in the observance of Achievement Week, an annual week of service projects and recognition of those who have made significant contributions to their communities.

Achievement Week was officially underway on Sunday, November 11 with members of Omega Psi Phi fellowshipping together at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church, Rev. Vance P. Ross, pastor. That evening the chapter held a Founders’ Day program at Gordon Memorial. Rev. Ross was the keynote speaker. It was during this program that the Omega Man of the Year and Citizen of the Year awards were presented to Brother Jerry Blackman and legendary Olympic women’s track and field coach Brother Ed Temple, respectively. Brother Blackman is an officer in Gamma Phi Chapter. He actively participates in many service projects, including engaging youth during class hours by educating them about money management, reading to them, and serving in annual spelling bee competitions. Brother Temple is an accomplished women’s track coach with a resume that includes serving as head coach for the women’s Olympic track team in 1960 and 1964 and assistant head coach in 1980. His teams won 23 total medals, 13 of which were gold. Temple was Head Women’s Track and Field Coach at Tennessee State University for 44 years. His teams won 34 national titles. Eight Tigerbelles have been inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, including Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus and Chandra Cheeseborough, the current Women’s Coach at TSU. Earlier this year Coach Temple was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Gamma Phi’s annual reclamation event was held on November 13, in which active members of Omega Psi Phi reach out to those who are inactive in an effort to return them to a participatory status in the fraternity.

On November 15, the chapter launched a new outreach program called ‘I Am My Brother’s Keeper,’ a program designed to reach out to fellow Brothers who need uplifting.

Youth acknowledgment was the objective of the chapter on Nov. 16 with the second annual Bordeaux Elementary Spelling Bee. Members of the chapter visited the school and facilitated the spelling competition between 3rd and 4th grade students. Later that evening, the chapter hosted its annual Harvest Ball at the Events Crossing Center in Antioch, Tenn. The Harvest Ball is a black tie celebration to thank members of the community for supporting the chapter during the year.

November 17 marked Omega Psi Phi’s 101st year, having been established on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 1911.