A Grand Journey in Service to Kappa and Community:
The Chartering Ceremony for the First Baltimore Metropolitan Area Alumni Chapter
in More Than a Century
An August Occasion
On November 20, 2021, Towson-Catonsville (MD) Alumni held its chartering ceremony and celebratory dinner in Gambrills, MD, with more than one hundred twenty Brothers in attendance to witness the historic event. 29th Eastern Province Polemarch Charles E. Exum, Jr., presented the charter to Polemarch Keith A. Stith amidst thunderous applause and congratulatory shouts of joy, encouragement, and triumph. The Brothers of the newly chartered Chapter were honored with the presence and enthusiastic support of many other Eastern Province and Grand Chapter dignitaries, some of whom are pictured here.
A Watershed Event
On October 13, 2020, Towson-Catonsville (MD) Alumni was recognized as an Association by the Grand Board of Directors. This welcome news was announced by the 29th Eastern Province Polemarch Charles E. Exum, Jr. On October 19, 2021, the Brothers of the Towson-Catonsville (MD) Alumni Association were informed that the Grand Board of Directors, led by the 34th Grand Polemarch Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., cast an affirmative vote to charter the Towson-Catonsville (MD) Alumni Chapter in the Eastern Province. This was the first charter granted to an alumni chapter in the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area in more than a century.
Crystallization of a Dream
Words are insufficient to convey the height of exuberance and depth of gratitude that members of Towson-Catonsville Alumni continue to feel for this long-awaited, momentous event, which is nothing short of historic.
The nascency of this journey had roots that were established well over a decade ago, but the concerted, tangible effort began in 2011. During the pilgrimage to Indiana for the Conclave celebrating the Centennial of our Noble Clan, a small group of Brothers met to discuss the prospect of finally establishing an alumni chapter in Baltimore County, Maryland. At that gathering, those Brothers purposed to bring this aspiration to fruition.
Throughout the more than decade-long journey that stretched between the 100th Anniversary Conclave and the Grand Board’s historic vote to charter the Chapter, the Brothers of Towson-Catonsville Alumni remained steadfast; exhibited resilience, perseverance, and intensity of purpose; and refused to be dissuaded from achieving their noble aim. Despite numerous obstacles, they evidenced adherence to and personified the principles of Invictus, and continued to espouse the core philosophy that Towson-Catonsville Alumni is and will be, in perpetuity, the Chapter “Where Fraternalism Happens”.
Our Opportunity to Serve
The Brothers of the future Association and Chapter began to make substantive impacts by serving various communities prior to the existence of either entity. The citizens of these communities were in need, so Brothers wasted no time and stepped up to meet those needs. Service projects included the following:
food-bank distribution drives
clothing drives to benefit a men’s shelter
back-to-school supply drives
Thanksgiving food drives
Christmas toy drives
other charitable efforts
Of note, Brother Lamont O. Norwood, Chairman of the Social Action Committee, and now also the Keeper of Records for Towson-Catonsville Alumni, produced a COVID-19 Town Hall to address the clinical and mental-health issues associated with the pandemic. The registration page was viewed more than eight hundred times, 96% of available tickets were claimed, and attendees joined from locations as distant as nations in Europe.
Our Appreciation and Raison d'Être
The Brothers of the Towson-Catonsville (MD) Alumni Chapter (E) enthusiastically thank 29th Eastern Province Polemarch Charles E. Exum, Jr., and 34th Grand Polemarch Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., for their unwavering support in the establishment of the Chapter. We salute them both for their vision and their manifestation of fraternalism. Because of their superlative leadership, the Brothers who fought for well over a decade to serve Kappa, the Eastern Province, and the community as a unified, sanctioned body can now do so within and through the Towson-Catonsville Alumni Chapter. It is quite evident why Brother Eastern Province Polemarch Exum was selected to man the helm of the greatest Province in Kappadom and why Brother Grand Polemarch Shelton was elected to lead the greatest Fraternity in our nation’s history. We endeavor to honor our calling, opportunity, and obligation to serve with gratitude-fueled, mission-driven intensity of purpose.
In this 110th year of our Noble Clan, and forward, our gratitude will only be matched by our passion to embody its high principles; to make manifest its laudable purposes; to strengthen the Bond; to substantively and measurably impact the environments we occupy; to expand Kappa Alpha Psi®’s footprint, by serving deserving, but underserved, communities; and to encourage, guide, coach, mentor, and otherwise assist our younger generations, in order to give them the best possible opportunities to develop into productive, fruitful, and successful members of their communities – and citizens of the world. This is our collective endeavor.
Towson-Catonsville Alumni looks forward to contributing to the Eastern Province and partnering with other Province chapters to serve the greater good – within Kappa Alpha Psi®, throughout the African-American community*, and for our nation.
*Note: In the spirit of our great Fraternity’s principle of inclusivity regarding membership, Towson-Catonsville Alumni is willing to serve any disadvantaged community. We specified the African-American community here for two reasons: (1) That is where the greatest collective need resides. (2) Our great Founders formed our Noble Clan specifically to address the needs of African Americans in the midst of an environment of institutional racism. Both those needs and that environment still exist.
Towson-Catonsville (MD) Alumni Chapter (E):
“Where Fraternalism Happens”
– Vice Polemarch Karl P. Jones