When it comes to graduation gifts, it is the thought that counts. For the young Brothers of Epsilon Sigma Chapter in the graduating Class of 2021 at Bowie State University, the graduation gift from the graduate chapter Brothers of nearby Gamma Pi Chapter was about the thought as well as the uniqueness. In a gesture of pure Omega love – love for the Fraternity and for each other – the Brothers of Gamma Pi bestowed all four Bowie State graduates who are Omegas with stoles that adorned their gowns on graduation day. Of course, the stoles were Purple and Gold.
“The Brothers of Gamma Pi are always looking for innovative ways of continuing to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate brothers,” said Bro. Shawn Estelle (Epsilon Sigma '93), who oversees Gamma Pi’s advisory relationship with Epsilon Sigma. “These brotherly gestures help in strengthening the bond and will lay the groundwork for their transition to a graduate chapter and their continued service to the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.”
The gifts were especially meaningful given the challenges experienced by graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While these young Brothers will no doubt remember what they went through with interruptions, disruptions and virtual classes and events, during almost two years of the epidemic, they will have even greater memories from receiving some Fraternity colors to go with their graduation regalia. Four stoles were purchased and delivered to the young men – three who graduated this spring and one who will graduate during the summer.
“We chose a traditional design made out of handwoven kente cloth symbolizing the link with our ancestors. Of course, the bright Purple and Gold is in honor of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.” said Bro. Estelle, who credited Gamma Pi’s Bro. Rodney Beverly with having come up with the idea as a way of extending congratulations. He hopes it becomes a tradition.
The Epsilon Sigma Chapter sent a letter of thanks to Gamma Pi Chapter that read, in part, “The Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. would like to thank the Gamma Pi Brothers for sponsoring our three chapter Brothers with Fraternity stoles during the spring 2021 Graduation Commencement Ceremony. This academic year was a tough one for a lot of reasons but, we were blessed with three graduates in the Class of 2021 from the illustrious Bowie State University.”
The three spring recipients are Bro. Stefon Somers (Spring 2018), Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Bro. Quentin Braswell (Spring 2019), Bachelor Of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management; and Bro. R.J. Rountree (Spring 2020), Bachelor Of Science in Sports Management. The summertime graduating Brother's name was unavailable at press time.
“Our chapter is blessed to have been able to receive the support from our neighboring brothers of Prince George’s County,” Epsilon Sigma continued in their thank you letter. “The 2020-2021 Academic School year has been severely challenging for most due to Covid-19 restrictions and even though our brothers had the ability to persevere, being able to check one thing off of their To-Do list for graduation needs is something to be highly grateful for.” So, on Behalf of our three chapter brothers the Epsilon Sigma Chapter is much obliged for the helping hand and appreciates the endless support from the Gamma Pi chapter.”