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The Founders


November 17, 1911 changed the lives of many African-American men in this great country. It was on that day that three liberal arts students, accompanied by their professor and mentor, founded arguably the greatest Fraternity in the world: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The name of the fraternity was derived from the Greek phrase "Ophelema Phelia Psukas" which translates into "Friendship is Essential To The Soul".This phrase was adopted as the Fraternity's motto and is embedded within every man in the Omega fold.

The founders worked tirelessly during a time when African Americans encountered many social injustices including the right to vote and the ability to attend many schools attended by their white counter-parts. Friendship, was the common bond between them; Brother Herman Dreer wrote that the founders desired to establish an organization were the members would be "one in aim, one in thought, and one in loyalty" (Dreer, 1940) . The founders sought to overcome college administration which wanted to limit Omega to a

"....Friendship is Essential to Life and it is because we were born as a Fraternity of brothers and friends always love each other..." 

Bishop Edgar A. Love

local organization. Perseverance...Omega today is an internationally known organization

made of men strong in character, intellect, and responsibility.

The founders established the four cardinal principals, which all Omega men live by until the day they enter in "Omega Chapter" with our supreme ruler who created all men. These principles are Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift. Today the men of this great Fraternity celebrate the birth date of the fraternity during the annual Founder's Day Celebration organized and celebrated jointly among the various chapters of Omega Psi Phi.  

Omega continues to flourish, largely because founders — Love, Cooper, Coleman and Just — were men of the very highest ideals and intellect.

The Founders selected and attracted men of similar ideals and characteristics. It is not by accident that many of America’s great black men are or were Omega Men.

There are very few Americans whose lives have not been touched by a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Dr. Ernest E. Just

1883 - 1941


Of all the founders, Dr. Ernest E. Just can be considered the true leader of the four. His obsession with science led to him being one of the first African Amerian Scientist to acheive world recognition. Read more.

Bishop Edgar A. Love

1891 - 1974


An accomplished man in his own right, Brother Love was born in Harrisburg, Virginia in 1891. Brother Love received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Howard University in 1913 and his Bachelor of Divinity from Howard in 1916. Read more.

Dr. Oscar J. Cooper

1888 - 1972


Dr. Oscar James Cooper was born in Washington, D.C., cane of God fearing and ambitious parents, who desired their son to control himself and master the arts expected of the fine gentleman. Read more.

Prof. Frank Coleman

1890 - 1967


Professor Frank Coleman was born on July 11, 1890 in Washington, D.C. Cheerful and known to be quite the young philosopher, he participated in various extra-curricular activities, and was known among his friends for his writing acumen. Read more.

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