Phi Beta Sigma History

It all started nearly a century ago when three young, enterprising, African American college men founded Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC January 9th, 1914. The most honorable A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown determined that there was a need for a fourth fraternity in the new but thriving realm of black greek lettered societies. Their vision was to create an organization that would receive men of integrity and purpose, build upon their innate gifts and inspire them to go into the world and serve mankind. Our founders wanted to create a brotherhood that would truly exemplify the high ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service.

Entrenched in the belief that GENUINE BROTHERHOOD can be fostered and maintained without surrendering one’s individuality or sacrificing one’s personal judgment, our founding fathers believed that each potential member should be judged on his own merits rather than his family background or affluence, without regard of race, nationality, color, skin tone or texture of hair. They wished and wanted their fraternity to exist as a part of an even greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the "inclusive we".

From its inception, the founders of our wondrous band aimed to create an organization that was global in membership and scope. Listed on Phi Beta Sigma’s membership rolls are internationally known princes’ and presidents such as the late Liberian President William Tolbert; Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah and our very own William Jefferson Clinton.

The founders of our great fraternity also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, the founders of Phi Beta Sigma held the deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrored in the fraternity motto, "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity."

Today, almost 100 years later, Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders. No longer a single entity, the fraternity established the Phi Beta Sigma Educational Foundation, Inc. and the Sigma Leadership Academy which provides scholarship opportunities for its members as well as leadership and management training, Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union (Serving Sigma’s, Zeta’s and their families internationally for 25 years and counting), Phi Beta Sigma Charitable Outreach Foundation which helps the less fortunate help themselves, and the Sigma Beta Club Foundation.

With the force, vigor, power and energy of more than 105,000 dedicated men united in more than 700 chapters across the United States, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, Phi Beta Sigma continues to faithfully perpetuate composite growth and progress as a True brotherhood, dedicated to "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity".

Our Mission

The brothers of Phi Beta Sigma are the Fraternity's most valuable resource and strength. They are the primary means by which the Phi Beta Sigma objectives will be achieved. In order to accomplish the Fraternity's objectives, it is essential that systems are instituted that effectively embody "Culture For Service and Service For Humanity" and promote brotherhood, scholarship and service.

To optimize Phi Beta Sigma's effectiveness, the Fraternity will: