Kappa Kappa Psi National History
THE BIRTH OF A NEW BROTHERHOOD
In October 1919, a member of the Oklahoma
Agricultural and Mechanical University Band conceived the idea that
something should be done to bring together the bandsmen in our
universities. At that time, there were only a few Nationals for
professional musicians (Phi Mu Alpha), but none exclusive for college
bandsmen. It was with this in mind that this member received his
inspiration and confided in Mr. A. Frank Martin his
plans for organizing a National Band Fraternity. Mr. Martin, then
president of the band, was very enthusiastic over the proposition.
Thus encouraged and knowing that Bohumil Makovsky, or "Boh" as
he was known on the campus, was always strong for anything that fosters
the development of better music, William A. Scroggs, founder of the
Fraternity, went to Boh with his proposition. Boh at once saw the great
possibilities of such a fraternity and offered his undivided support to
the cause. With such a character as Professor Bohumil Makovsky
backing the idea, this new organization was born into the fraternal world
November 27, 1919.
Mr. Scroggs immediately arranged for a secret
conference with Boh and A.
Frank Martin. At this conference ten of the best men of the large
Oklahoma State University Band, who were not only leaders in the band but
in their respective schools, fraternities, and scholastic activities,
were selected as charter members. The ten men selected to work out
the intricate problems of the new organization were: A. Frank Martin,
William A. Scroggs. Raymond D. Shannon, Carl A. Stevens, Clyde Haston,
Clayton Soule, William Coppedge, Asher Hendrickson, Dick Hurst, and
A meeting was immediately called and the first
officers of the Fraternity
were elected. William Scroggs was unanimously elected to be the
first President of the new organization. A. Frank Martin was
elected Vice President, Clayton Soule was elected Secretary-Treasurer,
and William Coppedge was elected Sergeant of Arms. Committees
were elected as follows: Constitution and By-Laws, William Scroggs,
Raymond Shannon, and Hawthorne Nelson; Ritual, A. Frank Martin, Clayton
Soule, and Col. F. D. Wickham; Fraternity Pin Design and Coat of Arms,
William Coppedge, Clyde Haston, and Dick Hurst; Degree Oaths, William
Coppedge, A. Frank Martin, and Asher Hendrickson.
When this young organization started working on
for organizing a National Fraternity, they were confronted with many
difficulties, but such leaders as were affiliated as charter members knew
not the meaning of defeat, but went forth with all the more
determination. Knowing that petitions would soon be received
asking for charters, the first National officers were elected from the
ten charter members to take care of the National work. The men that
received the honor of being the first national officers were: Grand
President, A. Frank Martin; Vice President, Raymond Shannon; Second Vice
President, Clyde Haston; Secretary, Clayton Soule; Treasurer, Carl A.
Stevens; and Editor and Assistant Secretary, William A. Scroggs.
Work on the first degree was soon completed and
five more leading
members of the band were selected as pledges to the fraternity.
They were, Gilbert Isenberg, Herbert Dixon, Dean Dale, Carl Smelzer, and
Clarence Shaw. These men were selected to test out the ritual work
on, as each degree was completed. The first degree was administered, and
it met with such success and admiration that it has remained unchanged to
the present day.
Seeing the success of the first attempt, the
members were inspired to put
forth even greater efforts, for the betterment of the organization.
Ten letters were sent out to universities all over the country, telling
of the new organization. Five replies were received, all of which
expressed their approval of such an organization and the great
possibilities of its future. In the spring of 1920, a petition was
received from the University of Washington, which was accepted. The
college year closed and very little was done until the opening of college
in the fall.
Late in the fall of 1920, a petition was
received and duly accepted from
the Montana State College, at Bozeman. As all ritual work had been
completed as well as the constitution and by-laws. Raymond D.
Shannon and William Scroggs were sent to the two petitioning Institutions
and Kappa Kappa Psi reached out her hand of fraternal spirit and
cooperation to Washington and Montana. The bands of both Institutions
are the pride of their states and rank high with any in the United
In the spring of 1921, a petition was received
from our own State
University. A charter was granted and eight members of the mother
chapter went to Norman and installed a chapter of an organization that is
doing more to create the right spirit between the two leading State
Institutions in Oklahoma, that is possible through any other procedure.
The fall of 1921, found the fraternity on a
firm foundation and every
member in an optimistic attitude. Institutions from the North,
South, East and West were writing in for information and the necessary
contents required for petitions. The officers were very busy
perfecting the internal mechanism of the Fraternity. Every member was
eagerly looking to the First National Convention of the Fraternity and
every detail to make the First Convention a memorial one, to those
privileged to attend, was looked after.
This convention was held at the home of the
Mother Chapter, Oklahoma
State University, at Stillwater, January 2, 1922, and from the spirit
shown by the delegates and officers, the great future of Kappa Kappa Psi
was realized and insured. Scott P. Squyres was elected to the
highest honor of National Grand President. The other officers elected
were: W. A. Nelson of Washington State University, First Vice President;
John Wylie of Montana State, Second Vice President; Dick Hurst, National
Secretary; Asher Hendrickson, National Treasurer; and William Scroggs,
National Editor and Assistant Secretary.
Soon after the close of the National
Convention, John Philip Sousa accepted the invitation to become a
National Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi. He expressed his
appreciation of the honor given to him during the evening:
"Brothers, I have received medals and honors from every civilized
country, but I feel this honor above all, due to the fact that this was
given me by a group of University bandsmen who are furthering the great
work that I have dedicated my whole life to."
WHAT ARE THE FRATERNITY'S GOALS TODAY?
Kappa Kappa Psi operates primarily as a student service and
recognition society whose chief aim is to assist the Director of Bands
in developing the leadership and enthusiasm that is required of his/her
band. Our goals are to provide the band not only with organized and
concentrated service activities, but to give our membership valid and
wholesome experiences in organization, leadership and social contracts.
The honorary nature of membership is based on our premise that "it is an
honor to be selected to serve" this band, its department of music, its
sponsoring institution, and the cause of band music in the nation's
colleges and universities.
The Fraternity is presently located in over
250 colleges and universities.
Since 1919 more than 50,000 interested bandmembers have devoted their efforts
to strengthening their bands through group and individual service projects.
The Fraternity's program of continued service to Music has attracted the
attention of the best in American band tradition. We number among our ranks
John Philip Sousa, Karl King, Frank Simon, Herbert L. Clarke, Harold Bachman,
William D. Revelli and many other contemporary composers, conductors, and