Chapter History

Written by Beth McGinnis, Alpha Kappa – Spring 1997
Edited by Allen Derina, Beta Nu – Spring 2011

In the fall of 1979, fourteen members of James Madison University’s Marching Royal Dukes began a journey of devotion and loyalty to Kappa Kappa Psi. However, for the colony to achieve active chapter status many hours were put in by all involved. On March 22, 1979, the then director of bands, Mike Davis, an alumnus of the Beta Nu chapter at Vandercook College of Music, wrote a letter to the National Office requesting information about colonization at JMU. At this point he agreed to become the chapter’s advisor.

An interest meeting was held and approximately seventeen members of the Marching Band attended. Out of these seventeen, fourteen became the founding fathers of the Eta Omicron chapter. The Eta Beta chapter, located at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University was chosen by the national office to serve as the advising chapter of the Eta Omicron colony.

After receiving approval from the university and completing all the tasks involved with colonization, the colony’s initiation and installation occurred on November 9, 1980, in Anthony-Seeger Hall on the JMU campus. The Eta Beta Chapter conducted the Second and Third Degrees and a national representative presided over the installation ceremony. Eta Omicron was installed as the 183rd chapter of the fraternity.

Our first chapter officers included Ken Langer as President and Tom McKenzie as Vice President. The Eta Rho chapter of Tau Beta Sigma was initiated at JMU on March 21, 1987. Since then, we have developed regular joint meetings, a joint constitution, and a closely related membership education program. Since Eta Omicron’s founding, we have served as advising chapters to Theta Psi at Virginia Union University, Iota Xi at Norfolk State University, Kappa Theta at Liberty University, Zeta Psi at Virginia State University, Beta Chi at the University of Virginia, and Mu Nu at Christopher Newport University. We celebrated our 30th Anniversary on March 19, 2011, and on December 2, 2012, the Beta Pi membership class was initiated.  32 years and going strong.

The Eta Omicron Chapter celebrating their 30th anniversary!

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