Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS), one of the nine predominantly African-American Greek-Lettered organizations, is an international association comprised of collegiate and professional men. Founded January 9, 1914 on the campus of Howard University by three the noble Founders, Abram Langston Taylor, Leonard Francis Morse, and Charles Ignatius Brown, the Fraternity has evolved to amass 175,000 alumni and collegiate members, located in more than 650 chapters throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Two of PBS Founders, Taylor and Morse, went on to live very productive and notable lives, and were very active in the growth of the Fraternity until their deaths in 1953 and 1961, respectively. The third Founder, Charles I. Brown, as history is taught, disappeared from all aspects of society around 1924. It was the hope of every Sigma Man, that Founder Brown went on to live a productive and fruitful life – but the story of his disappearance, along with the rumors of what may have happened, plagued the organization for over 80 years.
In 1999, a small group of history-minded Sigma Brothers sat down and formulated a plan to locate Founder Brown. Assuming he had indeed passed away by this time, their efforts were concentrated around finding proof and evidence of what happened to him, and hopefully finding when and where he finally died. Led by the Fraternity’s international historian, professional archivists, historians, and genealogists were employed to assist in this massive project. This group spent the better part of the last 17 years following every lead, travelling the country, and combing through numerous archives and databases.
Over these years, a multitude of obstacles and dead ends were encountered, but it was completely unacceptable that a Founder of the beloved Fraternity just disappeared from the planet. The search had to go on. The story had to be told. There had to be an end to the mystery of the Charles I. Brown disappearance. In the year 2015, the breakthrough occurred. With the small group of Sigma Brothers who started the search at the grass-roots level, along with the professionals that aided the movement, and with the full support of the Fraternity . . . Founder Charles Ignatius Brown was FOUND!
On January 6-8, 2017, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity leaders and members, along with the national leaders from around the globe, will make “The Pilgrimage” to The Charles I. Brown Celebration in Philadelphia, PA during Founders Weekend. The three-day celebration will include special planned events and activities to commemorate this historic occasion in all of greekdom.
For information on how to register for this historic event please visit our IHQ.