Zeta Psi Chapter celebrates 50 years

May 03, 2023 | by Maddie Sims, UP managing editor

"The Five Fifths" celebrate Zeta Psi Chapter's 50th anniversary April 15. Photo courtesty from Emmanuel Grandeza.

The Zeta Psi Chapter’s motto is “40 Years And Building…The Journey Continues.” However, that motto is now out of date as the fraternity celebrates its 50th anniversary at Lamar University.

The Zeta Psi Chapter, part of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, celebrated their anniversary April 15 in Gray Library’s eighth floor reception center with a luncheon, as well as additional publicly and privately held events which ran April 14-16.

The idea for Zeta Psi Chapter started in the fall of 1970 when some young men were invited to attend a smoker, which is an invitation to meet with other fraternities such as Kappa Alpha Psi who wanted to start an undergraduate chapter at Lamar. On April 6, 1973, five of them were accepted to be Kappas for Lamar’s Kappa Alpha Psi chapter. These five would go on to be called “The Five Fifths.”

The originator of the Zeta Psi Chapter, Samuel Peterson was a member of the Beaumont/Port Arthur Alumni Chapter. And was nicknamed the “Dreamer” by “The Five Fifths.”

The fraternity developed service initiatives including taking underprivileged kids to the campus pool and assisting the elderly.

Along with being involved in the community, they would also talk to young men matriculating to Lamar, Spencer Charlton, one of the “Five Fifths” said.

“In an effort to introduce them to fraternities, which was something lower income communities weren’t aware of, we would bring them (to Lamar) and get them acclimated to campus life, and introduced ourselves to the administration and teachers at those community schools,” he said.