A Short History of The Mighty Tau Rho Chapter
Due largely to the untiring organizational efforts of Brother Wilbur Chance, nineteen Omega Men came together and founded the Tau Rho Chapter. The Chapter was chartered on 1 December 1964. Founding Brothers included A. McKee Banks, Norman Calhoun, Wilbur Chance, Robert Green, Allen Hankinson, Bernard Harper, Johnny Johnson, Ronald Jordan, Robert Laws, Christopher Lee, Robert Montgomery, James Outlaw, Thomas Parker, Edward Ragland, Joseph Roane, Yosif Roane, Thomas Scott, Sr., Johnny Smith and Leon Weston.
From its inception, Tau Rho has been a leader on all of the Fraternity’s functional levels: local, district, and national. Led by its first Basileus, Brother Greene, Tau Rho immediately attracted attention from within the Fraternity on the district and national levels. So active were the Brothers on the district level that by the end of its ninth year of existence, Tau Rho had been selected to host the Third District Meeting twice.
Guided by Omega’s four Cardinal Principles – Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift - Tau Rho’s presence was soon felt as much in the community as in the fold of the Fraternity. For it was during these early years of dynamic growth that many of today’s community oriented programs and activities were established. Perhaps most notably, the A. M. Banks Scholarship Fund was started in 1965. The scholarship was named in honor of Brother Banks (during his tenure) for his considerable contributions to the Chapter as its unofficial advisor. Over the years, Tau Rho has awarded some $70,000 in annual scholarships to worthy college-bound high school graduates from the city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Westmoreland, Spotsylvania and Stafford.
Besides its annual scholarship awards, Tau Rho contributes moral and financial support to numerous civic related activities and organizations in Fredericksburg and its surrounding counties. As a part of Omega’s annual National Achievement Week activities, Tau Rho has never failed to publicly recognize individual local leaders and high achievers. In addition, the Chapter provides an annual forum for musically and artistically talented high school students to perform and compete for monetary prizes. Tau Rho was the first local chapter of any NHPC fraternity or sorority in the Fredericksburg area, and one of the first local organizations of any kind to become a Life Member of the NAACP. The Chapter also solicits and distributes food and other necessities to the elderly and to less advantaged families at various times throughout the year, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tau Rho is proud of the fact that many of the activities that it initiated over the years have been routinely emulated by other organizations.
While Tau Rho’s membership is currently in the 40-50 range, Chapter Brothers continue to make significant contributions to just about every conceivable area of public service and community life. Within fraternal circles, individual Brothers have received numerous awards and accolades on both the district and national levels. Most significantly, all of these efforts have been unfailingly continuous.
Currently, Tau Rho Chapter is led by Brother Pitman Rock. Past leaders (in descending order) include: Brothers Lyndon Roane, Antonio Samuel, Douglas Carter, John Easley, Thomas Parker, Joshua Thomas, Jesse Taylor, Raymond Carey, Ronald Jordan, Robert Montgomery, Johnny Johnson, Robert Laws, Nathaniel Young, James Outlaw, Harold Rutherford, Wilbur Chance and Robert Greene. As has been the case throughout its existence, Tau Rho’s membership roster frequently changes from year-to-year. But the source of its strength remains constant: Brothers thoroughly immersed in the ideals of Omega. Indeed, as it anticipates its next fifty years of existence, Tau Rho moves forward with the singular purpose of advancing the noble causes of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Tau Rho Chapter Photo
50th Anniversary Celebration
1964 December,4 2014