Chi Sigma History

The Founding Years…

In 1923 in the great City of Newark, New Jersey Chi Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma

Fraternity, Inc. was chartered as an Alumni Chapter.  Chi Sigma flourished after its initial years

of formation. One of the initial members of the chapter, Brother Dr. Thomas H. Wright, was a

leading physician in the City of Newark. Bro. Dr. Wright was from Guthrie, Oklahoma. Bro.

Wright was the first doctor to open in Newark a private maternity ward and sanitarium for

“Negroes.” The Wright Sanitarium open on June 21, 1921 at 768 High Street, near Clinton

Avenue.  Chi Sigma continued to thrive throughout the 1920’s and early 1930’s. In the 1930’s,

Bro. Dr. Wright would go on to serve the fraternity as Vice-President of the Eastern Region, as

the first Director of Bigger Better Negro Business and later as the National First Vice-President

of the fraternity.

 

The 1957 Reactivation…

In 1956 Brother Alonzo Jackson moved from New York City to New Jersey. Several years

earlier, in the Spring of 1950 Brother Jackson was initiated into the Beta Lambda Chapter at

Brooklyn College. As a dedicated and energetic Sigma Man, Brother Jackson became dismayed

because there was no active Sigma Chapter in Northern New Jersey. Brother Jackson and the

late Brother William E. Doar, Jr., then National Executive Director of the Fraternity, worked for

the same employer and had many discussions. Brother Jackson shared his dismay at there

being no active Sigma Chapter in New Jersey. Brother Doar informed him that there was once a

thriving graduate chapter (Chi Sigma) in the area until the death of its President, Bro. Dr.

Longshore. Brother Jackson was given the names of Brothers Nathaniel Brown and John Rice

to contact and meetings were held along with Brother Rainey This led to a re-chartering of Chi

Sigma on October 21, 1957. The Reactivation Charter Members were Bros. Nathanial A. Brown,

David H. Hall, Homer L. Meade, John H. Rice, and Alonzo C. Jackson.

 

The ’73 Reactivation…

Chi Sigma Chapter was officially reactivated in July 1973. The re-activation Charter

Members were: Bro. Paul A. Cash, Bro. William Howard, Bro. Alonzo C. Jackson, CPA, Bro. Jerry

Edwards, and Bro. John H. Rice. Shortly afterwards, Bro. Charles E. Knight and Bro. Henry L.

Scott became an active members of the chapter. Brother Howard became the first post

reactivation Chapter President and Chi Sigma immediately began to serve the community. In

1974, Chi Sigma initiated two members into the fraternity. Brother Louis D. Hassell and

Brother Robert B. Greaux. Brothers Hassell and Greaux would both go on to achieve much in

the fraternity and would be inducted into the Distinguished Service Chapter.

Needing finances to support an Educational Program, the first “Chi Sigma Scholarship

Dance” was held on October 27, 1974 at the Scott’s Manor Ballroom in Orange, New Jersey.

Attended by approximately 125 guests, the event was successful and the chapter decided this

would be an annual event. From ten members in August 1974 to more than one hundred

thirty-five members at the close of 2014, Chi Sigma Chapter remains active and relevant in the

community of Northern New Jersey.