The History of Iota Delta
Contrary to popular belief, Kappa Alpha Psi was the first Black Greek Letter Organization to appear at the University of Texas at Austin. Brothers first graced the 40 Acres between 1956 and 1959, although not in the form of an organized chapter.
The first three lines of the modern chapter of Iota Delta were taken over through Gamma Lambda at Huston-Tillotson University. Spring 1976, the Premiers of Destiny, originally had six young men on line: Recey Dancer, Joseph Robinson, Chris Pittard, Randolf Mayfield, and Cornell McGhee from UT, and Kenny Hardaway from HT. Dr. Johnny Butler served as their Dean of Pledges. The line crossed the Burning Sands on April 22, 1976 without Hardaway, who was not initiated into the Fraternity. The first Polemarch of Gamma Lambda at UT and Iota Delta was Cornell McGhee, who was also named the chapter’s first “Kappa Man of the Year” in the spring of 1978.
The second line was called the M.A.S.K. of Distinction (also the “Dirty Dozen”), and consisted of 12 Scrollers from three campuses: Michael Shepherd, Anthony Joiner (deceased), Steve Manning, and Kenneth Drayden from UT; six Brothers from HT; and two Brothers from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State). That line went over in November of 1976. The Brothers from HT rejuvenated Gamma Lambda and gave that chapter a presence on HT’s campus. The Brothers from SWTSU were the first on that campus, and that colony eventually became Lambda Theta. Otis Brooks constituted the third line which was called “The Chosen One,” as he pledged solo in the spring of 1977. His was the last UT line pledged under the auspices of Gamma Lambda.
Recognition must be given to Dr. Johnny Butler, John Sanford, and Craig Sandling, who were instrumental in providing guidance and mentorship to the first 10 Brothers of Iota Delta. The chapter is eternally grateful for their contribution to its history.
The Iota Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was chartered at The University of Texas at Austin on December 3, 1977.
The self proclaimed “Wizards of I.D.” established the Kappa-tol City Olympiad Greek Show in the fall of 1977. The chapter also started a talent show to raise money for community activities and initiated a Thanksgiving basket effort for needy families that semester. The first Kappa Week was held in the spring of 1978. The Alphas and Omegas were established on campus when ID came into the picture. During freshman orientation and, several times, the first six weeks of school, both organizations would organize private parties for selected African American men and women. At the time, the African American enrollment at UT was less than 1,000 of 42,000 students. The chapter felt that it was counter productive to “the struggle” for any black organization to be exclusive. An inclusive philosophy is what motivated the first two lines into becoming a force of change on campus. The festivities surrounding the initial Kappa Week were novel in that they were inclusive of the entire African American population on campus. Events that took place included a dance, talent show, bowling tournament, and guest speakers, all of which were free to the public. In constructing the festivities in such a manner, the chapter celebrated achievement in every field of human endeavor.
In the fall of 1976, the chapter established the Kappa Diamonds, which later became the Kappa Jewels, and then the Kappa Sweethearts. The Miss Black University of Texas Scholarship Pageant evolved in 1983 from the Miss Jamilla Pageant begun by the Jewels two years earlier. This program, which celebrates the essence of the Black woman, continues to this day.
Since its inception, more than 200 men have become a part of this very elite group of individuals. Iota Delta men hold professions in a number of industries, including law, investment banking, dentistry, education, engineering, and business. The impact of Kappa Men on the University of Texas cannot go unnoticed. Bro. Eric Bradley served as Student Government President during the 1993-94 school year. Bro. Jason Bugg founded the Black Student Alliance. In 2004, Iota Delta was recognized as the Best Male and Overall Organization by both the Black Essence Awards Committee and Neighborhood Longhorns.
Iota Delta has become a flagship undergraduate chapter in the Southwestern Province, helping to establish or re-establish chapters at Texas Tech, Paul Quinn, St. Phillips, Baylor, Huston-Tillotson and, most recently, Texas State. Members have served as officers at both the alumni and provincial level, and the chapter has won several awards, including Outstanding Undergraduate Chapter of the Year.
Today, Iota Delta has an active membership of 20 men who are constantly striving to uphold the fraternity’s fundamental purpose and objectives. We actively participate in community service efforts such as our annual TAKS Carnival, Helping Hands of Austin, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the Capital Area Food Bank.
Iota Delta, in its nearly 35-year history, has exemplified the ideals of the Fraternity through Phi Nu Pi, through the achievements of the Chapter as a whole, and through the individual achievements of its Brothers. We look forward to the current and future Brothers of Iota Delta continuing the success of years past, building upon that success, and leading the way towards even greater success over the next 30 years.