Governor Phil Murphy recently signed legislation recognizing the contributions and achievements of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated by establishing special license plates for members of the organization in the state of New Jersey.
Authorizing the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special Kappa Alpha Psi license plates, the bill provides that the design of the Kappa Alpha Psi license plate would display appropriate words and an emblem honoring the fraternity.
“I am proud to sign legislation authorizing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special license plates for the distinguished members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,” said Governor Murphy.
“For 112 years, Kappa Alpha Psi has stood for progress, equality, and brotherhood. As a member of the Divine Nine, it has stood as a national leader in community service efforts large and small and its members have made invaluable contributions across every facet of society,” said Murphy.
“Today, we commend Kappa Alpha Psi’s achievements as we establish this keepsake to be proudly displayed by its members.”
Founded on the campus of Indiana University on January 5, 1911, Kappa Alpha Psi is the second oldest, existing, collegiate historically Black Greek Letter Fraternity and the first intercollegiate Fraternity incorporated as a national body.
Kappa Alpha Psi is currently comprised of undergraduate and alumni chapters on major campuses and in cities throughout the country, boasting over 125,000 members, with 700 undergraduate and alumni chapters in nearly every state, as well as international chapters.
“I am pleased and honored to attend this momentous occasion with the Governor and my Fraternity brothers today,” said 34th Grand Polemarch, Reuben A. Shelton III, International President and CEO, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
“It is gratifying the State of New Jersey recognizes the significance and impact of Kappa Alpha Psi and all Black Greek letter organizations that we proudly and affectionately proclaim as The D9. Kappa is rooted in community service and civic engagement. We pledge to help the Governor and the State of New Jersey in all endeavors that promote the welfare of its citizens,” said Shelton.
The Chief Administrator, in consultation with the Northeastern Province Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi, Christopher J. Thompkins, will select the design and color scheme of the Kappa Alpha Psi license plates.
A portion of fees collected from the purchase of the specialty license plate will be deposited into a special non-lapsing fund, known as the “Kappa Alpha Psi License Plate Fund,” which monies will be annually appropriated to Kappa Alpha Psi to support the organization’s mission and programs.
“The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is one of the most respected fraternities in the state and in the country because of its members’ dedication to brotherhood, community service, and strengthening civil rights,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
“By establishing a Kappa Alpha Psi license plate, our state is recognizing this history of excellence and leadership, as well as members’ contributions to creating positive change in their communities and the country,” said Oliver.
The bill requires the Chief Administrator to annually certify the average cost of producing, issuing, renewing, and publicizing the availability of the specialty license plates.
“The Northeastern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated is extremely thankful for the support from Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature for passing Bill S2587 that authorizes issuance of Kappa Alpha Psi license plates,” said Thompkins.
“It is my distinct honor to participate in the official signing of the bill into law by Governor Phil Murphy,” said Thompkins.
Sponsors of the legislation include New Jersey State Senators Shirley K. Turner and Nia H. Gill, and Assemblymembers Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Benjie E. Wimberly.
“I am proud to join in paying tribute to this national organization and the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi, who exemplify excellence in everything they do,” said Senator Turner.
“This honor is a testament to the exceptional contributions of Kappa Alpha Psi and their impact on their communities,” said Senator Gill.
“The license plate celebrates and reminds us of the fraternity’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to promoting academic excellence and leadership development. Congratulations to Kappa Alpha Psi on this well-deserved recognition,” said Gill.
“Extremely proud” to see Governor Murphy prioritize the signing of the bill to highlight the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. and “shine a light on the organization’s history and their contributions to our educational and general communities,” Assemblywoman Carter, Co-Sponsor of the legislation, said she looks forward to “seeing our brothers displaying their new license plates on our Jersey roads.”
A mentee of the Trenton Alumni Kappa League, a program for the educational, occupational and social guidance of male students in grades 6th-12th, Tajon Wadley said he has been impacted by Kappa Alpha Psi and its community building efforts.
“Without this program, I would not be the person I am today,” said Wadley.
“I am grateful for my mentors in the Trenton Alumni Kappa League and to Governor Murphy for establishing this license plate.”