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Spring ‘23 Probates Electrify The Yard

A Howard spring would not be complete without activity on The Yard, and this April the Divine 9 Greek organizations drew crowds with their probates. 

During the first week of April, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. revealed their newest initiates and celebrated legacy, some of which began at Howard. 

These are four of the nine organizations of the National Pan-Hellenic Council,  more commonly known as the Divine 9. These Greek collegiate organizations have historically impacted the Black community as a whole striving to build and uplift the Black community amid times of rampant discrimination through community service. 

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Alpha chapter

Spring ‘23 Initiates of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. walk into the crowd in The Yard on April 6. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)

“Being able to go through this is very weird and scary, but I’m very excited.”

“It’s all a sisterhood, so we’re all gaining new people in our family; we’re getting new brothers and sisters, and being able to go through this is very weird and scary, but I’m very excited. I also believe we have a group of strong people that are already involved within the university and only want to build our presence within the university as well as build what we could do for the university. So I’m very excited, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great year for us to be able to build and grow and do more great things for Howard that we love so much,” Tatiana Carter, a Spring ‘22 initiate of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., said.

Someone holds up their phone to see the spring ‘23 initiates of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Alpha chapter on The Yard on April 6. (Keith Golden Jr/ The Hilltop)

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Alpha chapter 

Spring ‘23 Initiates of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. dance with Ayoade Adebiyi (in front). Bettina Pennon (left of picture) proudly films her son Bryce Harris (behind Adeyebi) on April 7. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)

“I’m beyond proud, I’m Impressed.”

“As a mother, I am beyond proud of my son carrying this legacy. To watch him complete this process in the midst of basketball finals, knowing his mother is battling breast cancer, having a double mastectomy, and 34 treatments of radiation, watching his father being the hospital for almost a month and eventually succumbing to the disease of cancer at the age of 56, and still stay committed to the cause. I watched him be there for his two sisters and 80-year-old paternal grandmother; I’m beyond proud, I’m impressed. I admire and look up to my son. Without a shadow of a doubt that the spirit of his Father – Cecil Anthony Harris – is forever present,” Bettina Pennon, mother of new Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity member Bryce Harris, said.

Spring ‘23 initiates of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. chant in front of a crowd in The Yard on April 7. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)  
Ayoade Adebiyi (right) stands next to the spring ‘23 initiates of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. on The Yard on April 7. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Beta chapter 

Spring ‘23 initiates of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. stand in a line on The Yard on April 7. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)
Mr. McEwen (left) watches his son DJ (middle of the group) on The Yard on April 7. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)

 “I was telling my wife the night before the probate, I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.”

“I don’t know if I have the words to describe the feeling of your son following your footsteps but more importantly, seeing the value of the fraternity that I saw as well some 30 years ago. It’s amazing, I’m overjoyed, feel blessed, and excited at the same time. I was telling my wife the night before the probate, I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve,” Mr. McEwen, who pledged to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. in 1989, said reflecting on his son’s probate.

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People watch the probate from the windows of Douglass Hall on April 7. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Alpha chapter 

Number four of the spring ‘23 initiates of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. stands in front of the Omega Psi Phi sundial on The Yard on April 8. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)
Spring ‘23 initiates of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. lay on the floor on The Yard on April 8. (Keith Golden Jr/The Hilltop)

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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