University of Central Arkansas
Chapter Web Site:
P. O. Box 2034
Conway, AR 72035
1st Vice Basileus:
Randy Smith Jr.
About Beta Delta
A Brief History
Bro. Charles Williams (Spring 72 - Mean Thirteen)
The Beta Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was Chartered on the campus of State College of Arkansas (now the University of Central Arkansas) in Conway, Arkansas on March 18, 1972. The thirteen chartering members were Arnold Freeman, Joshua Hickman, Curtis Gatewood, Larry Ingram, Larry Miller, James Merriweather, Stanley Robinson, Earnett Maltibia, Dwight Duhart, Glenn Mahone, Charles Williams, Charlie Hampton and Thomas Johnson.
In the early 1970's, State College of Arkansas was not prepared for the sudden influx of black students. At the time, campus sponsored entertainment and the campus social life was not helpful toward the academic and social success of those students. When confronted with that dilemma among black students, the administration suggested that they organize themselves into a campus-recognized organization, thus be able to influence the campus social life and entertainment. A local organization Omega Phi Mu was organized. A majority of the black male students were member of that organization. Many nationally and locally known black entertainers sponsored by the new organization were brought to the campus.
In the fall of 1971, Omega Phi Mu, pursuing a need to address the growing social, academic and community service needs of black students on campus, began talking about becoming affiliated with one of the nationally known black fraternities. Omega Psi Phi National Fraternity was well known in many of the student's local communities for their outstanding work in community service, academic excellence and social standing. Omegas Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was chosen to seek affiliation. The members of Omega Phi Mu traveled to Little Rock to meet with members of Pi Omicron Graduate Chapter of Omega Psi Phi to inquire about membership.
In the spring of 1972, a majority of the men from Omega Phi Mu, sponsored by Pi Omicron and six students from Philander Smith College, formed
Pi Sigma's Spring '72 Pledge Club. After six weeks of traveling back and forth between Conway and Little Rock, along with natural attrition of pledges, only thirteen of the original men from Omega Phi Mu completed the pledge period on March 18, 1972. Along with six from Pi Sigma, the "Line" was named "The Mean Thirteen".
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity's Arkansas State Representative Fenny L. Curry presented a new charter for the men attending State College of Arkansas, establishing it as BETA DELTA Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Beta Delta became the first historically black fraternity established at SCA. Witnessing the event were Horace Adams, Richard Hudson and Maurice Webb, the Omega Phi Mu faculty advisors, several SCA students and administrators, and several members of Pi Omicron Chapter.
Beta Delta made an immediate impact on campus life. The brothers were active in bringing black entertainment on campus, sponsoring weekend dances on and off campus, establishing the Miss Omega Pageant and Ball and even sponsoring the first black contestant in the Miss SCA Pageant. Beta Delta Chapter gained community recognition for volunteer work at the Conway Human Services facilities and to underprivileged children, sponsoring scholarships and holiday baskets to needy families sponsored through the local African American churches. On campus, they were active in Inter-collegiate football, basketball, and baseball. As an active member of the Inter-fraternity council, Beta Delta was instrumental in voting for other black fraternities and sororities to be established on campus. Several of the "Black Firsts" were established by Beta Delta Brothers. For example, Black Men United was established by Bro. Derek Lewis II, Bro. Richard Martin became the first black head coach at UCA and Victor Turner became the first black quarterback to start for a national championship football team at UCA. Beta Delta gained the respect of the campus as outstanding brothers and an outstanding chapter, exemplifying the Four Cardinal Principles of Omega Psi Phi: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift.
Tragedy struck the chapter in the summer of 1975 when Charter Line Brothers Larry Ingram and Joshua Hickman were killed in an automobile accident. Brother Ingram's wife was also killed in the accident. A scholarship was created from the proceeds of Beta Delta's Annual Hickman-Ingram Greekshow, which is now the Homecoming Greekshow, for the surviving infant daughter of Brother Ingram and his wife.
A milestone was reached in 1982 when the chapter celebrated its tenth year in existence. Over fifty brothers returned to Conway for the celebration. Omega's Grand Basileus Burnell Coulon was the featured speaker. Since that time Beta Delta has celebrated a twenty, twenty-five, and in 2012 celebrated its fortieth year anniversary reunion. Over one hundred ninethy brothers have been initiated into Beta Delta since its inception.
Beta Delta has produced several outstanding citizens in the community. Notable brothers include Dr. Derek Lewis, MD, family practice doctor, Tim Connors, PhD, research scientist, Ralph Calhoun, EdD, educator, David Conners, U.S Naval Commander, Richard Martin, UCA track and cross country coach, Siegfried Lewis, Arkansas State Trooper, Reginald House (deceased), Dallas Police Officer, Joseph Gray, captain of Little Rock Fire Department and radio personality, James "Snuffy" Smith. There are also several teachers, coaches, church and community leaders, restaurant managers and business owners who also have their roots in Beta Delta.
Beta Delta has a rich history. BD, as the chapter has come to be known, has received a Ninth District Undergraduate Chapter of the Year, won 2nd and 3rd in several District Marching competitions, received several UCA Highest Fraternity GPA awards and Pan-Hellenic outstanding fraternity awards. They also hold the dubious distinction of never having been suspended or expelled from the fraternity, nor the University. Beta Delta has truly exemplified the Cardinal Principles of the Fraternity and will continue to do so in the next 100 years of Omega’s existence.