UK fraternity chapter awards scholarship to RAFL student

The newest and the oldest members, present at the event, cut the Chi Mu Mu Chapter Fifth Anniversary cake, April 15, 2017, at a banquet in Birmingham, England. Chi Mu Mu is the U.K. chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, headquartered in the States. Personnel from RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, England, were invited to the evening as members and patrons. (courtesy photo)

The newest and the oldest members, present at the event, cut the Chi Mu Mu Chapter Fifth Anniversary cake, April 15, 2017, at a banquet in Birmingham, England. Chi Mu Mu is the U.K. chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, headquartered in the States. Personnel from RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, England, were invited to the evening as members and patrons. (courtesy photo)

A RAF Lakenheath High School student, center, is awarded an $800 scholarship April 18, 2017, for his submission to an essay contest awarded by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., at a banquet in Birmingham, England. Sitting at the head table were district representatives and leaders of the fraternity. The evening was held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Chi Mu Mu chapter in the U.K. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justine Rho)

A RAF Lakenheath High School student, center, is awarded an $800 scholarship April 18, 2017, for his submission to an essay contest awarded by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., at a banquet in Birmingham, England. Sitting at the head table were district representatives and leaders of the fraternity. The evening was held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Chi Mu Mu chapter in the U.K. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justine Rho)

RAF MILDENHALL, England – The U.K. Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Chi Mu Mu, awarded a RAF Lakenheath High School student a scholarship on April 15, 2017, during their fifth charter anniversary banquet held in Birmingham, England.

The scholarship winner attended the formal evening with his father, 48th Dental Squadron chief of general dentistry. Personnel from both RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, England, attended the event as members and patrons.

“We are very proud of our son,” said the student’s father, on behalf of himself and his wife. “I was impressed by [our son’s] responses to the essay topic and we are both grateful to attend such a nice event.”

The Chi Mu Mu Chapter offered the scholarship to Department of Defense high school pupils, which includes students from service members assigned to RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, England. The prompt for the essay read, “What would you propose to substantially reduce the incidence of gun violence in the United States and around the world without taking away the legal rights of law-abiding citizens to acquire and possess firearms?"

“Winning the scholarship was unexpected,” said the essay winner. “I saw the essay competition and took advantage of the opportunity right away.”

The high school student said that he is confident with his writing ability, but it was the topic of the essay that drew his interest.

The 13th district of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. encompasses eleven countries including the United Kingdom and drew participation from nine countries. The RAF Lakenheath student’s essay was selected at the local level and then won at regional level. He received a scholarship of $800 and his essay has been submitted to compete at the international level where he can potentially win up to $5,000.

The U.K. chapter plays a major role in the efforts to increase the global reach of the fraternity, which originates from the States. Officially chartered on April 17, 2012, Chi Mu Mu, began to build a foundation primarily on community service. The fifth charter anniversary banquet brought together fraternity members from around the globe to celebrate the progress and dedication of the Chi Mu Mu Chapter.

The district representative, Dr. Delon Brennen, was a guest speaker at the banquet. He expressed his gratitude and pride in the accomplishments of the overseas chapters and described some of the major philosophies of the brotherhood. He emphasized that the goal of today’s fraternity membership is to build bridges for the youth and future potential members, and embody excellence, leadership and friendship.

“The name of the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, was derived from a Greek phrase ‘friendship is essential to the soul,’” explained James B. Snipes III, 100th Air Refueling Wing information systems security manager and one of the newest members of the fraternity. “Manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift were adopted as cardinal principles. As you can see, scholarship sits at the core of the fraternity’s four cardinal principales as set by our beloved founders: Dr. Ernest E. Just, Bishop Edgar A. Love, Professor Frank Coleman and Dr. Oscar J. Cooper.”

The essay contest was a small, yet equally important, promotion of that philosophy. For instance, the chapter, headquartered in Birmingham, England, has made donations and volunteered efforts for various organizations such as the Red Cross, women’s shelters and local food banks. The combined hard work of fraternity members and patrons continue the legacy of the founders of Omega Psi Phi Inc.

“I have always had the drive to help others through uplift, mentorship, and education, while inspiring individuals to make a significant impact in their lives, as well as in the lives of others around them,” said Snipes. “This is just one of many reasons I was inspired to join the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.”