GES

The Gamma Eta Sigma, Tampa Alumni Chapter

The Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was chartered in November of 1946. Prominent members of the chapter that were known in the city of Tampa included:

  • Bro. T. N. Hill, educator and past State Director, one of the brothers responsible for the chartering of the collegiate chapter at the University of South Florida (Zeta Xi chapter)
  • Bro. Dr. Caleb Wright, prominent dentist
  • Bro. Linnell DuPress, owner of the DuPree Press-printing company
  • Bro. Clifford Brady, City of Tampa Employee
  • Bro. George Dennis

The chapter has been involved with the various community conscious organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League. Also, the chapter was responsible for the chartering of the two collegiate chapters at the University of Tampa (Alpha Beta Gamma) and the University of South Florida (Zeta Xi). Annual chapter projects include the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Food Drive, Christmas Toy Drive, Bigger & Better Business Reception and the Blue Tie Affair. 

We celebrated 100 years as a fraternity in 2014 and will celebrate 70 years as a chapter in 2016. Gamma Eta Sigma will continue to uphold the principles of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service. 

The Story of Tampa Sigmas

The year 1914 was a year that changed the lives of Americans. It was the year of the first scheduled airline flight. That flight took place from St. Petersburg-Tampa. It was the year of the first Mother’s Day. One hundred years ago, an average house costs $6,156, and to buy a car folks had to spend on $550. That was just $27 shy of the average yearly wage of $557.

The year also brought about a major movement for hundreds of thousands of African-American men…it was the year Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity (Sigma) was founded. On January 9, 1914 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, three courageous men forged new ground to form the fraternity. On January 9, 2014, the men of Phi Beta Sigma celebrated 100 years of service. The founders A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown established the fraternity on the principals of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service.

A century later, the hope the founders, to be an organization that is “a part of” rather than “apart from” the community, lives on. The organization has evolved into a historical institution of more 150,000 college-educated men operating more than 650 chapters worldwide.

One of those chapters is here in the Tampa Bay area. The Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was chartered in November of 1946. Prominent members of the chapter that were known in the City of Tampa included: Bro. T.N. Hill, educator and past State Director, one of the brothers responsible for the chartering of the collegiate chapter at the University of South Florida, Bro. Dr. Caleb Wright, prominent dentist, Bro. Linnell DuPree, owner of the DuPree Press Printing Company, Bro. Clifford Brady, City of Tampa Employee and Bro. George Dennis. The chapter has been involved with the NAACP, National Urban League and Voters Registration Drives. Also, the chapter was responsible for the chartering of the collegiate chapter at the University of Tampa.
Sigma is very involved in the community from the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Bigger and Better Business Reception, presentation of thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving young men in Tampa Bay, Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service at the Boys & Girls Club of Sulphur Springs, build a KaBoom playground for the children in Tampa Heights neighborhood, Thanksgiving Food Drives and Christmas Toy Drives for families in Sulphur Springs neighborhood. In 2013 the Sigma’s contributed over 3,000+ hours of volunteer service to community of a fiscal impact of $69,848 through sweat equity.
Newly elected Tampa Alumni chapter president Zannie Mount, a 35-year member of Sigma, said the Fraternity has rich legacy to pass on the next generation of brothers. Trailblazer men of Sigma Tampa Alumni Chapter are Bro. Howard W. Blake-Blake High School (One of the Charter members of the Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter-1946); Bro. Dr. Sam Horton-Horton Stadium at Jefferson High School and the Instructional Services Building on 40th Street (first black Director of Secondary Education for Hillsborough County School Board, Principal of Jefferson High); Bro. Rev. Jimmie Keel-Jimmie Keel Regional Library Branch (Former Hillsborough County Assistant Administrator); and Bro. George Selvie an American football defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college for the University of South Florida, and received All-American honors. The St. Louis Rams drafted him in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
In March of 2006 Bro. Philip Harris, Bro. Zannie Mount, Bro. Jermaine Hankerson, Bro. Mit Patel, Bro. Chris Asberry, Bro. Ken Adams and Bro. Akinlawnon Tabari Frierson established The Crescent Foundation, Inc. 501(C)(3) non-profit organization to support the Tampa Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma youth mentorship program called the “Sigma Beta Club.”The Crescent Foundation received it’s 501(C)(3) non-profit designation December 26, 2007. The Sigma Beta Club youth mentorship program is targeted for males 13-18 years of age. Members receive leadership development at the middle, and high school levels. Focusing on one-on-one and group approaches of mentoring Sigma Beta Club members during after school hours and weekends by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Alumni and Collegiate members in various academic and professional disciplines. Additionally, Sigma Beta members are exposed local and regional colleges and universities in an effort to road map a seamless transition into degree programs. Since March of 2006 The Crescent Foundation and the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Tampa Alumni have support 62 young men graduate high school and attend college and 55 of these young men have graduated from college or university.

Tampa Trailblazer Sigmas

Click on each picture to learn more

Blake
Howard W. Blake

Lowry
Rev. Dr. A. Leon Lowry

Horton
Dr. Sam Horton

keel
Rev. Jimmie Keel