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Professor Frank Charles Coleman

His Life

Honorable Professor Frank Coleman, an undergraduate and best friend of Oscar J. Cooper and Edgar A. Love, was born in Washington, DC. He matriculated through the Washington, DC segregated school system and graduated from M Street High School. He entered Howard University in 1909 and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard in 1913. His undergraduate record at Howard was so outstanding he was appointed a professor, and later, head of the Physics Department of Howard.

Bro. Coleman went on to pursue further study and received a Master of Science degree from the University of Chicago and took advance courses at the University of Pennsylvania, completing all the requirements for his Doctorate except completion of his thesis. When America entered the World War, he joined the army, became a first lieutenant, and served honorably overseas as one of the few black Army officers in World War I. Aside from carrying on his regular work, Brother Coleman was a member of the Boys Committee of YMCA, a Mason, an American Legionnaire and a Congregationalist.


Founder Coleman dated, and later married, Mary Edna Brown, one of the Founders of Delta Sigma Theta, creating the beginning of the bond between the Ques and the Deltas. Sealing the early tradition of the Brotherly-Sisterly love, Grace Coleman, sister of Omega Founder Frank Coleman was elected Delta president in 1914. In 1929, Anna Johnson Julian, wife of Percy L. Julian (Γ’19) and internationally famous chemist, became the fourth National president of Delta Sigma Theta.


Because of these early strong and significant relationships at Howard, the Deltas chose the purple and gold African violet as their official flower, to further signify the special bond that they had with the Omegas. Traditionally then at the Founders’ Howard University Alpha Chapters, the Ques and the Deltas were brothers and sisters in Greek life. This spread throughout the nation as Delta & Que Chapters were founded on various college campuses. Over the years, Delta & Que Chapters as well as individual Deltas and Ques have retained this brother-sister affinity.

Ω Chapter: Founder Coleman is interred at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Suitland, MD.

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