To Mrs. Georgia Adams Morse and the Family of Leonard F. Morse, Jr.:
On behalf of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated let me first extend heartfelt condolences to you at this time of transition for your husband, father and best friend. Mrs. Morse God gave you a special gift in the person of Leonard Francis Morse, Jr., for which we know you are grateful. While it is painful to let go of someone who has been by your side for more than 60 years, no doubt you can celebrate the life and love that you shared with our Brother Morse. We pray that over the coming days you will be strengthened and encouraged by fond memories and the love of friends and family.
In the passing of Brother Morse, the men of Phi Beta Sigma acknowledge losing a special link in its chain. As you know, Leonard Morse, Jr. is the son of our Founder, Honorable Brother Leonard F. Morse, Sr. Because of him, along with Honorable A. Langston Taylor and Honorable Charles I. Brown we exist today, still striving to carrying on the legacy of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. It is difficult to imagine what it is like to be the direct descendant of one of someone who worked to establish an organization which now moves into its 100th year of existence with a proud record of promoting scholarship and community service. We do know that Bro. Morse, Jr. did his best to represent that legacy, serving in the military with distinction and honor, and in civilian life as a teacher, information technology manager and law enforcement officer. Needless to say, Bro. Morse lived a full and honorable life!
Please know that the entire membership of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity joins with you in remembering and celebrating Brother Leonard F. Morse, Jr. Although we did not know him as you did, he is our Brother and will always live in the hearts and minds of those whom he touched. We pray with you for comfort and peace in the days ahead, and extend ourselves to you as members of Bro. Morse’s “Wondrous Band” of brothers.
PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY INCORPORATED 99 years. G.O.M.A.B
99 Years a go on this day, January 9, 1914 the founders of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. conceived an idea to create an organization that educated and delivered services to under represented communities . The Founders felt a great sense of purpose in investing in the communities they came from, while creating an organization of international leaders.
Throughout the years, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.'s presence has remained constant and is reflected in our motto, "Culture For Service and Service For Humanity."
In order to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the fraternity's founding the Alpha Delta chapter has made it our mission to continue living up to our beloved brotherhood's principles. We will continue to exemplify and maintain a strong commitment to our ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service.
With that said, we would like to wish all of our brothers a Happy Founders Day and hope that we all have a very successful fraternity year!
Charles I. Brown
According to the 1914 Howard University yearbook, Founder Charles I. Brown is documented as Finished Howard Academy, 1910; Class Chaplain, 1913; Chaplain Classical Club, 1912-1913; President Classical Club, 1914; Vice-President Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, 1914; will do post-graduate work in Latin. In addition, Founder Brown was chosen “The Most To Be Admired” for the Class of 1914.
Founder Brown is said to have been born in Topeka, Kansas in 1890. Census records show that his father was Rev. John M. Brown and that his mother was Maggie M. Brown. However, records at Howard University from 1910 have Founder Brown living at 1813 Titan Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He was very cordial and very popular with the student body and Howard University administration. He is credited with choosing the nine charter members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Founder Brown founded the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, on April 9, 1917 and was a teacher at the Kansas Industrial School for Negroes in Topeka, Kansas.
Census records and oral interviews have showed us that Founder Brown was alive in the Topeka, Kansas area until 1931. Some believe that he was a casualty of the First World War; others believe that he moved overseas. In the spring of 1949, Founder Leonard F. Morse wrote “We live in daily hope that we shall one day learn the fate of our beloved Brother and Founder”.
In the 1914 Howard University yearbook, under the Personals and Applied Quotations section, Founder Brown left us with this, “No legacy is so rich as honesty”. Founder Brown graduated from Howard University on June 3, 1914. The last correspondence that the fraternity received from him was a letter to Founder Taylor in 1924, in which Founder Brown indicated that he was teaching in Kansas.
Although we may never find out the fate of our beloved Founder, always remember, “March on, March on, Ye mighty host” for Founder Charles I. Brown will remain in our hearts
Leonard F. Morse
Leonard F. Morse was the proud son of a distinguished New England family, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Morse of Boston, Massachusetts. Trained in the elementary and secondary schools of New Bedford, Massachusetts, he became the valedictorian of his integrated high school and entered Howard University. In 1915, he graduated from Howard University and was the first person to graduate in 3 years with an A.B and a B.Ed degree.
Later, the degree of Bachelor of Divinity was conferred upon him by the Payne School of Divinity, Wilberforce University. He received his Master’s degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and the degrees of Doctor of Metaphysics and the Doctor of Psychology from the College of Metaphysics, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Honorary Degree of D.D. was conferred at Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, and the LLD at Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida.
An outstanding educator and prophet, he lived a busy and resourceful life, having served in many institutions and areas of educational and religious life. He was Dean of Theology at Edward Waters College, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, President of Edward Waters and a Mason. Founder Morse founded and chartered numerous Sigma Chapters especially in Florida.
Founder Morse was a student of the Greek language, and he named our beloved fraternity. In addition, he wrote Sigma’s first constitution and was the first president of Alpha Chapter. In the 1915 Howard University yearbook entitled “The Mirror”, Founder Morse had listed by his name the following: Director of Social Service, YMCA, 1913-1914; Organizer and President of Phi Beta Sigma, 1914-15; President, Young Men’s Progressive Club, 1914-15; tutor of languages and history.
Founder Morse was married and had five children, two of which are Brothers in this fraternity. Most recently his grandson became a Sigma. Leonard F. Morse was the last living Founder of Phi Beta Sigma. In the 1915 Howard University yearbook, Founder Morse left us with “Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.”
Founder Leonard F. Morse
January 12, 1891 – May 22, 1961
A. Langston Taylor
A. Langston Taylor, the founder of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from the Howe Institute in 1909 which is now Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis. He received his college and professional training at Howard and Frelinghuysen University in Washington, D.C.
Founder Taylor chose business for his life’s career and from 1917 to 1926 he conducted a real estate and insurance business. He was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Potomac Investment Company, Director of the Federal Life Insurance Company and President of the Taylor Tobacco Company.
Founder Taylor coined “Culture for Service, Service for Humanity”. He began serving humanity by founding Sigma, to which he gave twelve consecutive years of service as a National Officer, serving as National President, National Treasurer, National Secretary and Field Secretary. He also served as President of the Distinguished Service Chapter.
Brothers have described our Founder as distinguished, poised and truly a hard worker. The members of the Alpha Sigma chapter called Founder Taylor “Prof”, short for professor, because he was always carrying a book, files or reading. He held offices and was instrumental in the following organizations: The Washington Art Society, The Derby Club, The Banneker Research Society, The Mu-So-Lit Club and the Tennessee State Club.
A tireless worker, he worked hard to see that Sigma maintained its illustrious history, by serving on the history committee and providing numerous forms of notes, minutes and oral history to those who served with him. Founder Taylor retired from federal service from the Smithsonian Institute.
Founder Taylor is buried at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland (right outside of Washington, D.C.). His gravesite sits at the highest peak.
Founder A. Langston Taylor, the Greatest Name in SIGMA.
January 29, 1890 – August 8, 1953
"When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
Brother George Washington Carver was one of many children born to Mary and Giles, an enslaved couple owned by Moses Carver. He was born during the Civil War years, most likely in 1864. A week after his birth, George was kidnapped along with his sister and mother from the Carver farm by raiders from the neighboring state of Arkansas. The three were sold in Kentucky, and among them only the infant George was located by an agent of Moses Carver and returned to Missouri.
The conclusion of the Civil War in 1865 brought the end of slavery in Missouri. Moses Carver and his wife, Susan, decided to keep George and his brother James at their home after that time, raising and educating the two boys. Susan Carver taught George to read and write, since no local school would accept black students at the time.
The search for knowledge would remain a driving force for the rest of George’s life. As a young man, he left the Carver home to travel to a school for black children 10 miles away. It was at this point that the boy, who had always identified himself as “Carver’s George” first came to be known as “George Carver.” Carver attended a series of schools before receiving his diploma at Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.
Accepted to Highland College in Highland, Kansas, Carver was denied admittance once college administrators learned of his race. Instead of attending classes, he homesteaded a claim, where he conducted biological experiments and compiled a geological collection. While interested in science, Carver was also interested in the arts. In 1890, he began studying art and music at Simpson College in Iowa, developing his painting and drawing skills through sketches of botanical samples. His obvious aptitude for drawing the natural world prompted a teacher to suggest that Carver enroll in the botany program at the Iowa State Agricultural College. Carver moved to Ames and began his botanical studies the following year as the first black student at Iowa State.
George Washington Carver excelled in his studies. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Science degree, Carver’s professors Joseph Budd and Louis Pammel persuaded him to stay on for a master’s degree. His graduate studies included intensive work in plant pathology at the Iowa Experiment Station. In these years, Carver established his reputation as a brilliant botanist and began the work that he would pursue for the remainder of his career.
"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting system, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."
– George Washington Carver
Brother George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Diamond, Missouri, around 1864. The exact year and date of his birth are unknown. Carver went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver devised over 100 products using one of these crops—the peanut—including dyes, plastics and gasoline. He died in 1943.
"It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success."
– George Washington Carverhttp://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-carver-9240299?page=1