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Norristown History

It is the 1960's or the early 1970's. Brother Arthur Scott of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania arranged several meetings in his recreation room for the purpose of organizing a suburban alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. Brother Scott continued these efforts for sometime but for some reason these endeavors failed. Although the struggles failed to achieve a suburban chapter, these were actually the first efforts of attaining an Alumni Chapter in the suburbs. The activities of establishing an Alumni Chapter in the Suburbs of Philadelphia laid dormant but not forgotten. Several Brothers of our "Noble Clan," who resided in the outlying counties of Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester Delaware and Montgomery ) were showing interest in an Alumni Chapter. Occasionally they would get together and share social and professional activities. More than fifty Brothers had been identified who lived in the Montgomery County , King of Prussia and Valley Forge areas. It became certain that there were many others who had not kept in touch with the local alumni chapter or in touch personally.


Brother W. Ted Smith wrote a letter to known concerned Brothers. He wanted to find out if they would like to keep in touch on a Social and Professional basis. Brother Smith made arrangements for a dinner meeting which was held on Monday, October 17, 1983 at 6 p.m. at the Central Montgomery County Area Vocational & Technical School , at Johnson Highway & New Hope Street in Norristown , Pennsylvania . After dinner, the Brothers discussed activities for the future that would include families, sweethearts and friends. All known Brothers in the outlying areas were asked to join. They were asked to confirm the invitation by Friday, September 30, 1983. The letter was signed by, "Yours in the Bond, W.Ted Smith."


In the fall of 1983, several Brothers who lived and/or worked in the Suburban Communities of Philadelphia met occasionally for that "Ole Kappa Spirit" and comradery. Several of them met for dinner in October 1983. However Brother Ted Smith moved to Florida and many contacts were lost. When Brother Smith returned to this area, the subject of getting together resurfaced. There were many Brothers who were not associated with any active chapters. They expressed interest in keeping the Kappa objectives and goals of Achievement, and Brotherhood alive. Another planning dinner meeting was held on Thursday, November 7, 1985 at 6 P.M. The cost per Brother was $6. The location of this meeting was at the Central Montgomery County Area Vocational & Technical School , Norristown, Pa.


During 1986, Brother W. Ted Smith served as the representative in the organization of the Suburban Kappa's. Several Brothers of our Noble Clan, who lived in the suburban counties of Philadelphia ( Montgomery and Chester in particular) met twice at a dinner meeting. They discussed the possibility and feasibility of developing an Alumni Chapter to meet our needs as Fraternity members. There were approximately 35-40 Brothers who had been associated with an Alumni Chapter in the Southeastern Region of our State. Additionally, there was the possibility of reclaiming others. The potential of new membership through pledging was tremendous. These efforts would in no way lessen the active membership of any other Alumni Chapters in the Delaware Valley .


Brother Ted Smith asked Brother Joseph Meade, Polemarch of Philadelphia Alumni, for his support and guidance during the initial development stages of the Suburban Chapter of Kappa. Brother Meade provided support and assistance in the development of our chapter's by-laws, membership dues structure, management of records and finances, and help in organizing committees which would raise funds for our charter and other required archives. Brother Meade's guidance and endorsement made this long awaited effort a reality. Brother Smith indicated that we would submit the required fees and petition to National Headquarters.


On November 27, 1985, a letter was written by Bro. Smith to the North Eastern Province Polemarch, Brother Richard Scott. Brother Smith's letter stated that we have identified the required amount of Brothers as specified. Also, we know several others who will become active once they have met their Grand Chapter's financial obligations. Therefore, on November 27, 1985, the following names were submitted to the Grand Chapter as a requirement to organize a Norristown Chapter: John H. Culbreath, Eric C. Payne, Webb D. Hallman, Charles L. Sawyer, Stanley L. Johnson, Jr., Arthur L. Scott, Robert E. Murray, Ed.D., Eugene H. Turpin, W. Ted Smith, Ph.D., Sherman E.Williams, Clayton L. Reid.


Brother Richard A. Scott, Northeastern Province Polemarch, was extremely excited about this, and hoped that our petition could be presented along with others at the Grand Board's Meeting. This meeting was scheduled for December 13-14, 1985 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


On Saturday December 14, 1985, the Grand Board of Directors held their scheduled meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They voted unanimously for the expansion of Undergraduate and Alumni Chapters of which Norristown, Pennsylvania was selected. Brother Smith stated the following to the "NEW" Chapter:


"My Brothers of this Noble Clan; It is with the greatest pride

and pleasure that I congratulate all of us for being the Founders

of the new Norristown Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi

Fraternity, Inc. On Saturday, December 14, 1985, at approximately

12 noon, the Grand Board of Directors at their regularly

scheduled meeting voted unanimously to allow expansion of Alumni

Chapters of which we were among them. As you are aware this is

only the beginning of a long struggle for our chapter's survival

and we must make the commitment to move forward."


On December 20, 1986, a letter was written to Brother Ted Smith from A. F. Moultrie, Executive Secretary of Kappa Alpha Psi. This letter was the Official notice that the petition requesting the establishment of an alumni chapter named " Norristown (PA) Alumni Chapter," was approved by the Grand Board of Directors on December 14, 1985.


Norristown proceeded with plans for the actual chartering ceremony. First, they had to remit the sum of $267 to cover the materials for the chapter archives which included: Charter, five copies of the Ritual, Constitution and Statutes, Scroller Manual, Story of Kappa Alpha Psi, Bookkeeping System, Roberts Rules of Order, National Pledge Program Manual, File Case – portable and Officers Insignia, Brother Smith had to consult with the Polemarch, Brother Richard Scott, in order to, determine a chartering date. This information had to be forwarded to the National Headquarters at least fifteen (15) working days prior to the chartering so that all materials could be forwarded to the Province Polemarch. All Norristown Officers had to be elected prior to the chartering date in order to be installed during the ceremony.


On Thursday evening, January 9, 1986, the Members of the Norristown (PA) Alumni Chapter (elect), voted by secret ballot officers to serve for this program year. The first officers of the proposed new chapter were as follows:

Polemarch: Walter Theodore Smith, Ph.D.

Vice Polemarch: Robert E. Murray, Ed.D.

Keeper of Records: Sherman E. Williams

Keeper of Exchequer: Eugene H. Turpin

The new Kappa Alpha Psi, Norristown Alumni Chapter "BANNER" was designed and donated by Brother Sherman Williams, on Thursday, January 9, 1986. One of the first actions taken was on Friday, January 10, 1986. The pending new chapter authorized the payment of $267 for the purchase of the charter and paraphernalia. January 25, 1986, was the Official date of Chartering and Installation for the Norristown, Pennsylvania Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. This is the only Chapter to be founded 75 years to the month of this Noble Clan. The Chartering and Installation Ceremonies were held at the first chapter meeting on February 13, 1986. The Northeastern Polemarch, Brother Richard A. Scott, Esq. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Alumni, presided over the meeting.