Members of the Eta Eta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. are celebrating their 50th anniversary at Kettering University with green instead of gold.
A group of brothers has pledged a minimum of $50,000 over the next five years to fund Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Eta Eta Chapter Scholarship Endowment.
“The brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Eta Eta Chapter believe our 50th anniversary celebration at Kettering University should include an element that will have a long-term positive impact,” said Ron Pirtle (’77, Industrial Administration). “Our endowment scholarship will accomplish that goal by contributing ongoing financial resources to qualified students of color who are selected.”
Scholarships, subject to renewal with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a satisfactory Co-op performance evaluation, will be available to Black or Hispanic students.
Pirtle said many of the fraternity’s brothers went on to have successful careers after graduating from Kettering. He earned an MBA from Harvard and spent nearly 40 years in the automotive industry, including 25 years at General Motors and 15 years at Delphi Automotive, where he served as President of Delphi Thermal Systems, President of Delphi Powertrain Systems and President of Delphi Europe.
“I feel a responsibility to give back and help other young people of color who are talented with tons of potential but may not be able to reach their full potential because of the lack of financial resources,” he said. “The lack of funding is the No. 1 barrier to matriculation and graduation success for Black and Hispanic students in the STEM-related fields. Being able to give back financially to future generations is very gratifying.”
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. is a national historically African American fraternity founded at Indiana University in 1911. The Eta Eta Chapter was founded at Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) on July 20, 1973, with the initiation of 21 students. It was the first national African American Greek-letter organization on campus. The chapter received its charter in March 1974 and has since expanded to include students attending University of Michigan-Flint.
Many brothers will return to campus July 28 as part of a 50th anniversary weekend celebration.
“We look forward to a grand reunion weekend,” said Reggie Linebarger (’76, Industrial Administration). “Because life happens, many of us have not seen each other in years. In other cases, we have not met in person. I am really looking forward to spending time with my fraternity brothers and seeing or meeting their spouses. Further, I am hopeful this will mark a new beginning of communication and activity among us.”
Linebarger attended business school at Amos Tuck at Dartmouth and earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance. He then joined the General Motors Financial staff and worked at the company’s Detroit headquarters.
“Believing education at a high level is key to advancement, being able to support students and, in particular, Black students, to achieve in STEM studies that Kettering focuses on is very gratifying,” he said.
Ernest Glenn (’81, Industrial Administration) said there’s a buzz in the air as the reunion gets closer.
“There is great joy and anticipation as we plan to gather together to celebrate one another and the significance of what began 50 years ago,” he said. “Fifty years of anything is significant, but the shared history we have as members of this chapter of our fraternity is what will make it extra special.”
After Kettering, Glenn earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and had a successful and rewarding career in finance and general management.
“We understand the challenges and difficulty of being a Black or Hispanic student here,” he said. “It is not just the educational discipline required, but the social challenges of being among so few people who look like you. This endowment is aimed at encouraging more Black and Hispanic students to attend Kettering, assisting those students financially so they can focus on their education, and encouraging the male students to consider Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity as a means of uniting in a bond to achieve academically and in subsequent life beyond college.”
To make a gift to the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Eta Eta Chapter Scholarship Endowment, click here.