Beta Kappa Boulé - Birmingham, Alabama


Beta Kappa Boulé

Scholarship Beautillion



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Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by a group of six African American professional men.  The Fraternity founders included; Henry McKee Minton, Dr. Algernon B. Jackson, Dr. Edwin C. Howard, Dr. Richard J. Warrick, Robert J. Abele, and Eugene T. Hinson. The Fraternity was established so that educated, accomplished African American men could bond socially, intellectually and spiritually.  Within the group, members are Archons and their wives are Archousai. 

The group's second Boulé, Beta Boulé was formed in 1907 in Chicago followed by it's third Boulé in Baltimore in 1908. The organization gradually grew nationwide and has included many prominent men including Martin Luther King, Jr. WEB Dubois, Arthur Ashe, Ron Brown, Vernon Jordan, Douglas Wilder, Earl Graves, Whitney Young, Ralph Bunche and John Johnson. Many prominent African Americans are members including college presidents, leading business executives, congressmen, cabinet members, and other national figures. 

The Fraternity is often referred to as the Boulé, which means "a council of noblemen".


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A Brief History

Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Beta Kappa Boulé

Provided by

Archon Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr.



Beta Kappa Boulé (Boulé number 56) was founded on May 17, 1981 in Birmingham, Alabama.  Beta Kappa Boulé was set apart by Phi Boulé, Montgomery—Tuskegee, Alabama.  During 1980, Archons Frankie W. Taylor, Charlie Dunn, James A. Dunn, Fred Gray, Sr., Joe Reed, Milton Davis and J. Garrick Hardy met with Grand Sire Archon Harvey Russell at the Governor’s House [Hotel] in Montgomery, Alabama to explore setting apart a Boulé in Birmingham, Alabama.  Phi Boulé approved the formation of a Boulé in Birmingham.  Their recommendation was forwarded to the Grand Executive Committee which also gave its approval.  Archon James A. Dunn of Anniston, Alabama, transferred from Phi Boulé and became a charter member of Beta Kappa Boulé along with inductees Oscar Adams, Dwight A. Burgess, J. Mason Davis, John Jerome Drew, Arthur G. Gaston, Joe Nathan Gayles, David Hood, Tom L. Larkin, Arthur D. Shores, Edward Bennett Thompson and William Trammell.  J. Richmond Pearson, an Alabama State Senator and Chair of the Finance and Taxation Committee, could not attend the induction due to the Governor of Alabama calling a Special Session that required his attendance.  Pearson was inducted at the first regular meeting of Beta Kappa Boulé.  Archon Pearson is not pictured in the photo taken the night Beta Kappa Boulé was set apart.


The officers elected to serve at the first meeting were:  Archon J. Mason Davis, Sire Archon; Archon Dwight Burgess, Grammateus; Archon Tom Larkin, Thesauristes; Archon William Trammell, Graptor; Archon John Jerome Drew, Leading Archon; and Archon Edward Bennett Thompson, Lecturing Archon.  Grand Officers attending the chartering of Beta Kappa Boulé were Grand Sire Archon Theodore A. Jones; Immediate Past Grand Sire Archon Harvey Russell; Grand Grammateus-Executive Secretary, Archon Butler T. Henderson; and Grand Thesauristes, Archon Manford Byrd, Jr.


National History

In 1989, under the leadership of Sire Archon J. Mason Davis, a distinguished lawyer and adjunct law professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, Beta Kappa Boulé established The Arthur D. Shores Scholarship at the University of Alabama School of Law in honor of Archon Arthur D. Shores.  During that time, Archon Cleo Thomas was the first African-American to sit on the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.


Archon Shores was the attorney for Arthurine Lucy when Governor George Wallace blocked her entrance to the University of Alabama in an effort to block integration.  The scholarship fund was initially established through a banquet that honored Archon Arthur D. Shores.  Other fundraisers, including Beta Kappa’s Annual Charitable Golf Tournament, have added money to the scholarship fund.  Interest from the scholarship fund has funded 16 annual scholarships for minority law school students at the University of Alabama School of Law and one scholarship to Tuskegee University.         


Grand Boulé Officers and Members of the Sponsoring Boulé at Sigma Pi Phi Induction Ceremony in 1981


Left to Right (Standing): Grand Grammateus/Executive Secretary Butler Henderson; Archons David Hill, William Tramml, Edward Bennet Thompson, Tom Larkin, Oscar Adams, Jr., Joe Nathan Gayles, Dwight A. Burgess, Grand Thesauristes Manford Byrd, Jr.
Left to Right (Seated): Archons A.G. Gaston, Sr., Arthur D. Shores, Grand Sire Archon Theodore A. Jones, John J. Drew, J. Mason Davis

Archousai at the Sigma Pi Phi Induction Party with Grand Sire Archon Theodore A. Jones, May 16, 1981.
Left to Right (Seated): Archousai Thompson, Trammell, Davis, Adams, Burgess
Left to Right (Standing): Drew, Gaston, Larkin, Grand Sire Archon Jones, Shores, Hood, Dunn.
Missing: G. Gayles