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Pi Gamma Omicron (ΠΓΟ) was one of the first documented black collegiate fraternities which was founded in 1905.[1] The group was founded at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.[2][3] The group had 12 members.[4] The group was not known by the Ohio State's registrars office but was known to the Chicago Defender newspaper which wrote an article about Pi Gamma Omicron.[1][5] This article about Pi Gamma Omicron took the interest of Alpha Phi Alpha founder Robert H. Ogle who was inspired to transform Alpha Phi Alpha from a literary society into a fraternity.[5] Pi Gamma Omicron had initial desires to become a national fraternity by establishing chapters in Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana according to the Beta Theta Pi correspondent at Ohio State University.[6]

Some members went on to earn law degrees.[2]


The Founders of Pi Gamma Omicron were:[4][7]

  • Leroy Barnett
  • William Berry
  • W. E. Davis
  • Richard Pettiford
  • Elmer Shackelford
  • John Shavers
  • Norman Thorne
  • H. A. Turner
  • C. C. Underwood
  • Walter Williams
  • William Woodward

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Kofi Lomotey (2010). Encyclopedia of African American Education. SAGE Publications. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4129-4050-4.
  2. ^ a b "Tracking the early history of African-American fraternities at OSU". "From Woody's Couch" - Official Ohio State University Archives’ blog. March 28, 2012.
  3. ^ Ricky L. Jones (10 March 2010). Black Haze: Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities. SUNY Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7914-8565-1.
  4. ^ a b OSU Archives Student Assistant Michelle Brundige (March 2012). "Pi Gamma Omicron Members" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b Gregory S. Parks (13 June 2008). Black Greek-letter Organizations in the Twenty-First Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun. University Press of Kentucky. p. 52. ISBN 0-8131-3872-8.
  6. ^ "The Rainbow of the Delta Tau Delta". Vol. XXIX no. 3. March 1906. p. 406. ISSN 1532-5334.
  7. ^ "Ohio State Lantern". January 10, 1906. p. 3. OCLC 18384916.