The University of Southern Mississippi’s Kappa Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., which is part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, awarded Wilton Jackson the Province Polemarch Award for his service to the fraternity and community in the Great Southwestern province.
The award came from the province level of the fraternity and considered all members from Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and New Mexico. Jackson also received the second-highest GPA award at this level. The local chapter of the fraternity has 14 undergraduate members. It was founded as a fraternity for young black men, and one of its core mottos is “achievement.”
“I was really shocked to learn I was going to receive the award,” Jackson said. “It really means a lot to know that my province notices me and knows who I am. Winning the award has set me on a path to help the chapter achieve everything that it has been working for. It is an honor and a privilege.”
Trent Johnson, the Kappa Iota Keeper of Records, said the recognition has opened up new opportunities for the chapter. “It’s given us the chance to travel outside the state and meet the Grand Polemarch and other people who hold positions in the fraternity,” he said.
“I actually got to shake (the Grand Polemarch)’s hand,” Jackson said. “Not many people in the fraternity get to do that.”
Kappa Iota also initiated eight new members in the ceremony: Andrew Bevily, Kyle Oatis, Bryson Brown, Katrell Lewis, Jordan Crump, Perry Robinson, DonAvon Ambeau and Michael Smith.
“The fraternity has allowed me to gain new brothers and build a bond with them,” Johnson said of his experience. “I’m surrounded by like-minded people who have the same goals.”
“As a fraternity, our mission is to serve the public interest and to achieve,” said Morris Bevily, the local chapter’s Polemarch. “The fact that a member of our chapter won the award is a symbol of how we all push each other to achieve and to do better. Other chapters look up to us and shake our hands and congratulate us, but the biggest thing about it is that it pushes other chapters to do better as well.”