Wichita, Kansas - Gamma Upsilon Chapter brought distinction and awards to the Air Capital from the 65th Eighth District Meeting of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 10 – 13, 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel. There were a record number of delegates in attendance from the District’s eight state area which includes Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, North and South Dakota. The Gamma Upsilon delegation numbered twelve strong including Larry Burks (28th Eighth District Representative), Roderick Gray (Kansas State Representative and Gamma Upsilon Basileus), Johari Hemphil (newly appointed North Dakota State Representative), Dana McElrath (Immediate Past Chapter Basileus), Carl Lemons (Chapter Vice Basileus), Joseph Patrick Jr. (Chapter Keeper of Finance), Harry Willis (District Scholarship Committee Chairmen and Chapter Scholarship Chairman), Zachary Bland (Chapter Chaplain), Curtis Whitten and Rodney Jones. Newly initiated members Marvin Dawson and COL Eric Faison (attending their first district meeting) rounded out the delegation.
The two and a half day meeting schedule included three plenary sessions which covered District Officers and committee chairmen reports, candidate forum for members running for national office this summer, fraternal workshops, district elections, group picture, the memorial and rededication program, and a prayer breakfast. There were numerous social events after the business segments, a program for our Quettes (wives of the Men of Omega) which included a luncheon and shopping tour. There were thirty undergraduate members of the fraternity registered as part of the 210 men in attendance. The weekend culminated with the Annual Founders’ Banquet which included a tribute to the military. The guest speaker for the evening was LTG William “Kip” Ward, the first Commanding General for US Africa Command, now corporate CEO and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He addressed the audience on the importance of responsible leadership and its impact on our community.
As part of the banquet, district awards were presented and the chapter was selected as the 2013 Social Action Chapter of the Year in recognition of compliance to the fraternity’s ten Internationally Mandated Programs and execution of them during the year. These included support of specific community based social action programs, contributing scholarships, supporting college endowment, voter registration initiatives, supporting health initiatives, reclamation and retention and recognizing individuals at the local level who have contributed to community uplift. A High School Essay Contest was also held in conjunction with the 2013 Achievement Week in November.
Gamma Upsilon’s submission for Citizen of the Year, Pastor Junius T. Dotson of St. Mark United Methodist Church was selected as the District Citizen of the Year for his community impact in 2013, specifically for work drawn from the example of Elijah and Elisha, with merging Epworth UMC with St Mark UMC, thus strengthening the religious viability of the Epworth facility and its congregation in the community.
Brother Carl Lemons, the chapter’s selection of Omega Man of the Year for 2013, took the District Omega Man of the Year Award for his distinguished service to the fraternity. Both awardees, as well as the chapter, will compete at the International level for these awards at the 79th Grand Conclave which will be held 10-18 July 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Carl Lemons was also elected as Eighth District Chaplain, joining the District Council for the 2014-2015 fraternal year. Gamma Upsilon is proud to represent the district in this community, fulfilling the mission of the fraternity thanks to the support of the people of Wichita, Kansas.