Saturday, August 29, 2009

In the Major Leagues, A Gamma Pi Man Sings "Leadoff"

The first man to take the field at the start of the Washington Nationals-Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball game on the evening of August 18 at Nationals Park actually was NOT either team's leadoff hitter. It wasn't even the umpires or the first and third base coaches moving into position to start the contest. It was, instead, Eddie Epps, of Gamma Pi chapter. And he didn't come up to the plate with a bat, a glove or a ball. He took the field with the best voice in the house when he sang the National Anthem to open the game.

Brother Epps put a new feather in Gamma Pi's cap by singing the National Anthem at a major professional sporting event in the Nation's Capital. It was a proud moment for him, his family and all of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Brother Epps is also an usher at Nats games in Section 119.

"If I never do it again, I will not forget the moment. It may have been one of the most exciting singing engagements I have had and I have been singing for a long time and at many venues," said Brother Epps, who also croons with a local group.

Brother Epps is the Co-Chairman of Gamma Pi's Social Action Committee, helping to lead the effort to assist women and children in homeless shelters, youths heading to college and seniors in need of loving attention and cheer.  In his "day job," so to speak, Brother Epps runs the Kentland Community Center for Prince George's County.

Just prior to the game, the skies were threatening. But as if God were saying.,"it's Eddie Time," the clouds parted and the rain ended allowing Brother Epps to belt out the anthem and the game to be played. The Nationals lost 4-3. Among the 18,000-plus in attendance was Gamma Pi's Brother Orlando McDowell.

Clearly, the Most Valuable Player at the Rockie-Nationals game was an Omega man, a Gamma Pi man. Read more about Brother Epps' feat at the Nationals blog, which includes photos of him projected on the stadium big screen while singing. Gamma Pi Public Relations has been informed that there is video and it will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gamma Pi Immediate Past Basileus Now Confirmed by U.S. Senate for South Pacific Ambassadorial Posts

Gamma Pi continues to celebrate the nomination and now the official confirmation of its Immediate Past Basileus, Brother Teddy B. Taylor, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and a career diplomat, as the U.S. Ambassador to the three Melanesian nations of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Republic of Vanuatu. In case word has not fully traveled the corridors, Brother Taylor was officially confirmed just a few days ago. Brother Taylor and his wife, Antoinette, also serving with the U.S. State Department, are preparing to leave for their new home located a half world away from Washington, D.C. in a few weeks. Brother Taylor served three terms as Basileus and ended his service as the Super Chapter's leader last year. He was the chapter's "Omega Man of the Year" last year.

You can read the White House announcement about the nomination. New, updated information about the U.S. Senate confirmation is available here. Also, you can watch the archived Senate proceedings where Brother Taylor appears at about the 1:40 mark.
Numerous publications have carried news stories about Brother Taylor's ambassadorial posts including Rattler Nation, a blog of Florida A and M University, Brother Taylor's alma mater. Below, you can skip the 26-hour plane ride and visit Papua New Guinea virtually:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chapter's First Basileus Receives 50-Year Pin at National Conference

It is some 2,000 miles and two weeks later, but they are still clapping for Gamma Pi's esteemed Brother Tim McIntosh. A highlight for Gamma Pi chapter during the recent Omega Leadership Conference in Las Vegas was Brother McIntosh receiving his 50-year pin. Brother McIntosh served as the first Basileus of Gamma Pi and remains very active in chapter business and is known as a quiet counselor. He crossed The Burning Sands at Tau Psi chapter at North Carolina Central University.

In an e-mail to fellow chapter Brothers, Brother McIntosh said upon return, "I am truly touched. You have brought tears to my eyes ... Needless to say, I will love Omega Psi Phi till the day I die!"

The conference was held July 23-25 at the Las Vegas Hilton and was co-hosted by Beta Mu Mu and Kappa Xi chapters. Omega Psi Phi used the leadership conference to announce a nationwide campaign to conduct an education and awareness campaign in minority communities jointly with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here are some photos of Brother McIntosh from the Las Vegas conference. These photos were taken by KRS Brother Joe Felder. In addition, below is a short video segment he recorded earlier this year for the Gamma Pi promotional DVD in which he talks eloquently and with inspiration about 50 years in the Fraternity. This is priceless video from a truly great Omega man who was instrumental in Gamma Pi's birth. The success of the beginning years under his leadership are the reason why Gamma Pi is known today as "The Super Chapter," as it reaches far and wide to serve and Uplift the Prince George's Community through the unique and solid bonds of Friendship and Fraternity that Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has patented.