At a time when the Afro-centric experience was not prevalent in Central Illinois, the birth of the Nu Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was brought into existence. On May 15, 1981, Nu Psi Lambda Chapter was chartered as an alumni chapter of the fraternity in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.
Co-Founder Tim Walker first conceived the idea of an alumni chapter while still an undergraduate member of the Eta Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha seated at Illinois State University. Brother Walker was desirous of maintaining his fraternal bonds once he transitioned from the college ranks to that of a professional.
In the latter part of 1979 and through the year of 1980, Brother Walker called several meetings with other professional Alpha men residing in central Illinois to consider the formation of an alumni chapter in Bloomington-Normal.
The reasoning behind this initiative was for Nu Psi Lambda to provide community service, social outlets, and networking opportunities for professional black men and the greater Bloomington-Normal community. The original number of those attending the meetings was nine (9).
They were: Arthur B. Cooper, Jr., Willie Dixon, Harry Hightower, Ray Hodges, Steve Jones, Arturo Mack, Dr. Charles Morris, Tim Walker & Hezekiah Webb.
After several meetings and discussions, on November 21, 1980, Bro. Tim Walker submitted all the necessary forms and assessments to Bro. Arthur B. Cooper, Jr. to forward to the National headquarters for the application of a charter to establish an alumni chapter.
The names affixed to the charter application were ten (10). They were: Arthur B. Cooper, Jr., Willie Dixon, Harry Hightower, Ray Hodges, Steve Jones, Arturo Mack, Dr. Charles Morris, Tim Walker, Hezekiah Webb, and Gregory Holmes.
After months of waiting, the 26th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha, Ozell Sutton, with the approval of the Board of Directors granted the chartering of an alumni chapter in Bloomington, Illinois on May 15, 1981.
The installation ceremony took place on October 24, 1981, at Mawell’s Continental Café located at 200 West Front Street, Bloomington, Il. Bro. Hezekiah Webb served as the Master of Ceremonies. The National Executive Secretary of Alpha Phi Alpha, Bro. James “Tiny” Blanton, presented chapter president Tim Walker with the official charter for the chapter, key # 589.
Since it’s inception, there have been twenty-three lines and forty-eight brothers inducted into Alpha Phi Alpha by the way of Nu Psi Lambda. These men and the various transfer brothers that have been affiliated with the chapter are innovators in the Bloomington-Normal community.
As leaders, the brotherhood strives to project a positive image as businessmen and servants of all. Through the Nu Psi Lambda Memorial Scholarship, first established in 1983 as the Minority Achievement Award, the brothers have demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence by awarding more than $40,000 in scholarships to local youth, specifically students of color.
The founders of Nu Psi Lambda were dedicated to providing leadership and service to the community and this is a legacy that we proudly continue to this day.
Today, we pledge ourselves to grow not only in membership, but also in the dedication of providing educational, spiritual, cultural, and social programs to the community.
FRATERNAL AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS:
2008 District of Illinois Outstanding Alumni Chapter of the Year
2008 Midwestern Region Outstanding Alumni Chapter of the Year
2015 District of Illinois Charles H. Wesley Brotherhood Award - Alumni
2015 District of Illinois Outstanding Alumni Brother of the Year - Bro. Robert Braswell
2017 District of Illinois Outstanding Alumni Brother of the Year - Bro. Brandon Caffey
2017 Midwestern Region Outstanding Alumni Brother of the Year - Bro. Brandon Caffey