Kappa Kappa Psi History Overview

In the years that followed World War I, a movement developed among college and university bands, searching for some motivating force that would create a greater interest in band music. This movement sought expression in an effort to develop good will, fellowship and understanding among bands and their members, and to recognize the value of dedicated leadership. Seizing upon this idea, ten members of the Oklahoma A & M College (later to be known as the Oklahoma State University) Band, led by William A. Scroggs and their director, Bohumil Makovsky, drew up a plan for a national honorary society for college bandsmen.

Director Makovsky selected nine men to work with Scroggs to organize the first local club. These ten charter members were: A. Frank Martin, Raymond D Shannon, Clyde Haston, Clayton Soule, Carl Stevens, William Coppedge, Dick Hurst, Asher Hendrickson, and Iron H Nelson. Officers for the local club were elected and William Scroggs was selected as president.

With the local organization complete, a corporation was formed which petitioned the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for a charter. The charter was granted November 27, 1919, and "Kappa Kappa Psi, Honorary Fraternity for College Bandsmen," was established on the Oklahoma State University campus with the local group being known as the "Alpha Chapter."

During the first year of operation as an honorary society the members were kept busy working out and adopting a national constitution, creating and developing the Ritual ceremony, designing the jewelry needed to provide distinctive recognition for the organization, and setting up plans for the expansion of the Fraternity. The Greek name and symbols, "Kappa Kappa Psi," were furnished by Dr. Hilton Ira Jones of the OSU Chemistry faculty, and assistance in the final organization was furnished by Col. F.D. Wickham of the OSU Military Department.

No person is so important to any organization as its constant companion, inspiration, and source of support. Such a man was Bohumil Makovsky, Director of Bands and Head of the Music Department at Oklahoma State University from 1915 until 1945. Affectionately referred to by all who knew him as "Boh," Makovsky provided the strength and encouragement needed by William Scroggs and those nine other bandsmen which saw them successfully through the establishment of a national fraternal society.

Founded by bandsmen for the band member, Kappa Kappa Psi was (and is) a tribute to the dynamic personality of one man. For around this personality there grew a core of student leaders committed to assist him in a program of developing the best college band with the highest performance standards possible. "Boh" was that man, and each incoming member of this Fraternity should be familiar with the man who was officially recognized by the Grand Chapter in Convention assembled as "The Guiding Spirit of Kappa Kappa Psi."

Symbols

Kappa Kappa Psi has symbols that represent different meanings and values of the fraternity. Below describes the history of each artifact.

The official Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity flag.

The official Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity flag.

The Fraternity Flower, the red carnation.

The Fraternity Flower, the red carnation.

The Fraternity Flag

During the 1987 National Convention at the University of Michigan, the History and Traditions Committee was presented with the idea of creating a national flag. G.R. Schaag, Life Member of the Eta Sigma Chapter at the University of Central Florida presented the idea of a flag to the committee. Brother Schaag had designed a chapter flag for Eta Sigma and noted that Tau Beta Sigma had a national flag so he presented the proposal to the committee. The National Chapter approved the idea. The 1987 committee charged the National Council to seek out design proposals from brothers during the 1987-1989 biennium.At the 1989 National Convention at Oklahoma State University, several brothers, including Brother Schaag, submitted designs for the flag to the History and Traditions committee. The committee approved Brother Schaag’s design and presented it to the national chapter for adoption. The flag design was adopted at this convention. However, the flag was still not ready for distribution or purchase by chapters.

In 1991 at the National Convention at the University of Maryland, the Ritual and Regalia Committee was charged with discussing whether the symbolism of the flag adopted at the 1989 National Convention warranted a place in our Ritual. The committee felt that the flag was significant enough to be placed in the Ritual and the National Chapter adopted the recommendation unanimously.At the 1993 National Convention at Purdue University, the National Chapter selected a vendor to manufacture the flag and agreed that the flag would be secured by chapters through the National Headquarters. The Fraternity Flag became available for use by chapters in the 1993-1995 biennium.

The Fraternity Flower

Steve Nelson, Past National Officer, reported that Past Grand President, J. Lee Burke told him during discussions at the 1989 National Convention in Stillwater, Oklahoma that the red carnation was Founder William A. Scrogg’s favorite flower and was thus chosen as the official Fraternity Flower. This was confirmed by alumni member Kristopher A. Lininger in discussions with Bill Scroggs, Jr. and Susan Scroggs, the adult children of William A. Scroggs.

The Fraternity Hymn

The Fraternity Hymn was submitted at the 1995 National Convention by the Eta Gamma Chapter from Morgan State University and Brother Scott Jeffery Heckstall, Jr. (Eta Gamma 1977). The hymn is based on the hymn “Someday”. The hymn was adopted as the official hymn of our Fraternity during the 1995 National Convention at Separate Session # 3 on August 3, 1985.

The Fraternity Song

The Fraternity Song was submitted by the Beta Delta Chapter from Sam Houston State University and adopted by the National Chapter during Separate Session # 6 on August 8, 1975. The Fraternity Song was arranged by Todd Malicoate of the Alpha Chapter in 1987. The new arrangement was adopted at the 1987 National Convention during Separate Session # 6 on July 31, 1987.