The Illustrious Founders of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Elder Watson Diggs
Elder Watson Diggs (circa 1883-1947), born in Christian County, Kentucky, was a graduate of Indiana State Normal (now Indiana State Teachers College) and Indiana University, the birthplace of Kappa Alpha Psi ® Fraternity. He served as Grand Polemarch for the first six consecutive years of the Fraternity’s existence. For this and other outstanding contributions to the Fraternity, he was awarded the Fraternity’s first Laurel Wreath in December, 1924.
Marcus Peter Blakemore
Marcus Peter Blakemore (1889-1959), born in Franklin, Indiana in 1889, attended common and high schools in Anderson, Indiana. He was graduated from High School in 1909 and entered Indiana University the following year. After leaving the University, he organized the Electric Engineering Company, which he operated until he enlisted in World War I. He later entered the Dental School of the University of Pittsburgh, from which he was graduated in 1923. At the time of his death in October 1959, he was residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he maintained his practice of dentistry.
Byron Kenneth Armstrong
Byron Kenneth Armstrong (1892-1980), born in Westfield, Indiana, entered Indiana University where he studied philosophy, mathematics, and sociology. After finishing Indiana University, he earned his Master’s degree at Columbia University in 1913, and subsequently the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan. He held teaching positions in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma. During World War I, he served as an investigator for the Department of Labor. He was awarded the Laurel Wreath in 1935.
Paul Waymond Caine
Paul Waymond Caine (1891-1931) was born in Greencastle, Indiana, in 1890 and attended grade school and high school in Greencastle, Indiana. He enrolled at Indiana University in 1909 and helped the other Founders in organizing Kappa Alpha Nu (original name of the fraternity). Because of a disastrous fire in the Fraternity house in which he was employed, he never finished his sophomore year.
Ezra Dee Alexander
Ezra Dee Alexander (1891-1971) was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1892, the site of Indiana University. He was graduated from Bloomington High School in 1910. He matriculated at Indiana University in the fall of 1910 and was graduated from Indiana University in 1917 with the A.B. degree. He received his M.D. degree from the Medical School of Indiana University in 1919. He practiced medicine in Indianapolis. In 1920, he married Mary Hunter, a teacher in the Indianapolis Public School system. Alexander served several terms as a member of the Grand Board of Directors.
George Wesley Edmonds
George Wesley Edmonds (1890-1962) was born in Vanderburgh County, Knight Township, Indiana on August 13, 1890. He entered Carver Elementary School and Clark High School in Evansville, graduating in 1910. In the fall of 1910, George entered Indiana University at Bloomington. He joined nine other students in founding Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Henry Tourner Asher
Henry Tourner Asher (1890-1963), born in Woodburn, Kentucky in 1890, was graduated from the Bloomington High School in 1910. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in 1914 and the next year was an instructor at Lincoln Institute at Jefferson City, Missouri. He was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in 1917. He received the degree of LL.B. at the Detroit College of Law in 1928.
Guy Levis Grant
Guy Levis Grant (1891-1973), born in New Albany, Indiana, attended public schools in that city, was graduated from Scribner High School in 1909, and later entered Indiana University. While there, he majored in chemistry, graduating with the A.B. degree in 1915. In 1920, he received the D.D.S. degree from Indiana Dental School, then a part of the University of Indiana; he practiced dentistry in Indianapolis. In 1929, he married Laura Hammons.
Edward Giles Irvin
A civic and religious leader, journalist and entrepreneur, was born in Spencer, Indiana on August 13, 1893 and was the seventh of nine children and son to an AME Minister. Irvin graduated from Kokomo Indiana High School in 1910 and entered Indiana University the same year
John Milton Lee
John Milton Lee (1890-1958), born in Danville, Indiana, was graduated from the Danville High School in 1910 and entered Indiana University and there completed three years of pre-medical work. He later became a student at Temple University (1915) but was compelled to leave school because of a death in the family. He enlisted in the 349th Field Artillery in March of 1918 and served overseas as a First Class Sergeant and Gunner. His battery enjoys the unique distinction of having been the first battery of Negro Artillerymen ever to open fire upon an enemy. John Milton Lee fired the first shot.