The Omega Psi Phi fraternity launches campaign to create Our Time Has Come scholarship fund.
We are pleased to announce the Kappa Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in support of the Office of Program Development’s Our Time Has Come (OTHC) scholarship fund. Dedicated to providing financial support for African American and Latino students pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees, 50 OTHC scholarships were awarded in the 2016-17 academic year.
Omega brothers Derrick Hostler ’85 and Michael Blackshear ’91 are spearheading the effort for the fraternity, which was the first black organization to set up on the Syracuse University campus. Hostler, who has made personal contributions to OTHC over the years, says the second cardinal principle of Omega Psi Phi is scholarship, so it should not come as a surprise that members have decided to support students of color at SU.
“Since the last CBT the brothers of Omega Psi Phi have been discussing a group effort,” says Hostler. “I was fortunate enough to have a family that supported my efforts, have access to student loans, and the contacts to secure paid internships that helped to bridge any gap in funds I faced from year to year. It is clear to me that everyone will not be as fortunate, and I am committed to doing my small part to help those who have the drive to succeed, but perhaps need a little financial support along the way.”
The addition of the scholarship by Omega Psi Phi would bring the total to 28 scholarships supporting black and Latino students. Rachel Vassel ’91, assistant vice president of the Office of Program Development, has been helping Hostler and Blackshear navigate the process of establishing the fund.
“I was so excited to help Derrick and Michael when they approached me with the idea to establish the scholarship fund,” says Vassel. “Both of these Omega brothers are successful, engaged, and passionate about paying it forward by giving back to our African American and Latino alumni.”
Vassel points out that OTHC scholarships have created opportunities for Syracuse University’s African American and Latino students since 1987. “The need for financial support continues to grow, however,” she says. “We will be able to support even more students when this new fund is established.”
While Hostler hopes the fund will continue to grow and that more students’ lives can be positively impacted over the coming years, he has a bit more in mind. “I also hope the fund opens a bridge from those students to the alumni who contribute to the fund, so there can be a dialogue between those who are going through the SU educational experience and those who’ve completed the journey.”
To help Omega Psi Phi reach its goal, visit the Program Development giving page and look for the “Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Endowed Scholarship Fund.