The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated was founded on Friday, November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by three undergraduate students and one faculty advisor. The founders were Howard University students Edgar Amos Love, Frank Charles Coleman, and Oscar James Cooper. The first faculty advisor was Dr. Ernest Everett Just, who early on was accorded the status of founder by the three undergraduates. Each of the founders had distinguished careers in their chosen fields: Bishop Edgar Love, became a bishop of the United Methodist Church; Dr. Oscar Cooper, was a prominent physician who practiced in Philadelphia over 50 years; Professor Frank Coleman, was the chairman of the Department of Physics at Howard University for many years; and Dr. Ernest E. Just, was a world-renowned biologist. The fraternity is the first black national fraternal organization to be founded at a historically black college.
From its inception, the fraternity has worked to build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, Uplift, and capable of giving expression to the hopes and aspirations of an unfree people in the land of the free. In 1927, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the Fraternity made National Negro Achievement Week an annual observance, and it continues today as Black History Month.
Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education. Omega Psi Phi has been a patron of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1955, provides an annual gift of $50,000 to the UNCF, and is a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) member.
Today, Omega Psi Phi has over 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait. There are many notable Omega Men recognized as leaders in the arts, sciences, academics, athletics, business, civil rights, education, and government at the local, national and international level. Some of these men include former Executive Directors of the NAACP Roy Wilkins and Benjamin Hooks, former President of the National Urban League, Vernon Jordan, and President & CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson. Also, two former governors William H. Hastie (U.S. Virgin Islands) and L. Douglas Wilder (Virginia) and numerous presidents of historically black colleges and universities grace the roster of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.