Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity International President Jonathan Mason joined his fraternity members of the Tennessee State University – Zeta Alpha Alumni Association (ZAAA) as they unveiled the Zeta Alpha (ZA) Monument recently. Spotty rain showers could not damper the day as hundreds of Sigma men, and sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, from around the country met on TSU’s Greek Row to witness the dedication.
“I want to congratulate this chapter and congratulate you for raising the dollars to get this monument,” said President Mason. “I want to encourage you to continue to let Phi Beta Sigma shine.”
TSU President Dr. Glenda Baskins Glover was on hand to thank the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity for the contributions to the university. The monument’s unveiling was scheduled to coincide with TSU’s Homecoming. President Mason took part in the homecoming festivities by riding a float in the parade and by attending the TSU President’s Scholarship Gala and the ZAAA Scholarship Gala.
Elements of the piece of public art include a tower highlighted by a crescent moon inscribed with FBS and the fraternity’s motto accompanied by the fraternity’s shield on the front “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity” along with the chapter’s history on the back. Three benches – each with the names honoring their Honorable Founders – surround the tower. Funding was provided by individuals, chapters and lines contributions. The names of donors are engraved on the benches, on a plaque and on bricks. More than $93,000 was generated to complete the project.
“For years, we have worked to make this monument an awesome reflection of our respect and love for both Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Tennessee State University while creating a functional gathering place for the current Zeta Alpha Chapter members,” said ZA Monument Chairman Bro. Derrick Smith. “A special thanks goes to our Legacy donors in support of this project; Honorable Brother William Hayslett, Brother Gary Dupree, Brother Paul Luter and Brother Tony Walls,” added Smith.
“We are very pleased and excited about the brick and mortar that displays our AWESOME new monument on campus but our true lasting legacy and focus over the coming years will be providing financial resource to those that will follow in our footsteps by supporting our scholarship endowment fund,” said Zeta Alpha Alumni President Charles Scott. The ZAAA has also started the Awesome Zeta Alpha Scholarship Endowment Fund to generate scholarship dollars for needy students.
To make contributions to the TSU Foundation / Zeta Alpha Endowment via the internet visit TSUZetaAlpha.com or mail checks made payable to TSU Foundation 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd Campus Box 9542, Nashville, TN 37209
About Zeta Alpha
Zeta Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was chartered at then Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College by Dr. Alger V. Boswell, Roger P. Bailey, Theocia O. Carter, Searcy C. Harris and Walter L. Vickers on May 1, 1931. Boswell served as Vice-President of the University and was named Vice President Emeritus in 1970. The university’s physics and mathematics building is named in his honor. A chapter and university rich in Phi Beta Sigma history, TSU has produced two international presidents, Roswell Johnson and Alvin J. McNeil. TSU alums in the National Distinguished Service Chapter include Ras O. Johnson (37), Dr. Alvin McNeil (57), Ulysses S. McPherson (78), Sylvester Davis (93), Dr. Samuel Robinson (100), Luster Brute Hayes (101), Mack Scott (118), Wilfong Wilson (119), William Hayslett (148) and Keith Pitts (171) …more than any other university. Honorable Bros. Scott, Hayslett and Pitts were in attendance for the unveiling along with the widow of Honorable Bro. Davis.
Other notable TSU/Phi Beta Sigma alums include Pro Football Hall of Famer Bro. Claude Humphries and International Gospel Music Icon Bro. Dr. Bobby Jones. Currently, Zeta Alpha is one of the largest collegiate chapters in the fraternity. In the 1970s, the Nashville City Council placed a monument on the inland area at 28th Avenue and John A. Merritt at the entrance of TSU. The ZA Chapter members built a shelter over the bus stop to provide coverage from the weather for the citizens of Nashville. For more information on the ZA Monument, please contact Derrick Smith at 615.669.8024.