Founders

On September 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), 12 students founded what is now the nation’s fifth largest, predominately African-American social service fraternity: The Iota Phi Theta® Fraternity, Incorporated.

This group of men was unique for several reasons. First of all, many were long-time friends. Spruill, Coakley, Dorsey, and Gregory had known one another since grade school, and Spruill and Coakley’s friendship extended to when the two were pre-schoolers. Even more uniquely, many of these men were what are now referred to as “Non-Traditional Students” and were 3-5 years older than the average college student. Gregory, Willis, and Brown were all service veterans, and Brown, Hicks, and Briscoe were married with small children. Of this group of 12, several were also working full-time jobs and all were full-time students. Based upon their ages, heightened responsibilities, and increased level of maturity, this group had a slightly different perspective than the norm for college students. 

 1.   Albert Hicks          -  Polaris

2.    Lonnie Spruill, Jr.  -  Vice Polaris

3.    Charles Briscoe     -   Secretary

4.    Frank Coakley       -   Treasurer

5.    John Slade            -    Business Manager

6.    Barron Willis         -    Chaplain

7.    Webster Lewis      -     Historian

8.    Charles Brown       -    Sergeant-at-Arms

9.    Louis Hudnell        -     Dean of Pledgees

10.  Charles Gregory

11.  Elias Dorsey Jr.

12.  Michael Williams

 

The First Iota Phi Theta Meeting

Top: Elias Dorsey, Charles Brown, Webster Lewis

Bottom: John Slade, Frank Coakley, Lonnie Spruill

Six of the twelve Foundes at the first official Iota Phi Theta Fraternity meeting (1963)

THE HONORABLE FOUNDERS

1. BARRON WILLIS

2. LONNIE SPRUILL JR.

3. JOHN SLADE

4. FRANK COAKLEY

LONNIE SPRUILL JR.
FRANK COAKLEY
JOHN SLADE
50th Anniversary 34th International Conclave

August 15, 2013

Baltimore Hilton Hotel

Baltimore, Maryland

R.I.P. Honorable Founder Barron Willis

Died December 23, 2015

R.I.P. Honorable Founder Albert Hicks

Died:  June 30, 2015

R.I.P. Honorable Founder Charles Gregory

Died: October 22, 2012

R.I.P. Honorable Founder Elias Dorsey, Jr.

Died July 26, 2010

R.I.P. Honorable Founder Webster Lewis

Died November 20, 2002

R.I.P. Honorable Founder Charles Briscoe

Died September 27, 1990

 
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