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Fri, 04.08.1892

Byron Armstrong, Educator born

Byron Armstrong

*Byron Armstrong was born on this date in 1892. He was a Black scholar, educator, and administrator.

Byron Kenneth Armstrong was born in Westfield, Indiana in 1892. He attended Howard University in 1909, where he met Elder Watson Diggs. Armstrong, at the end of the Spring term of 1910, visited his cousin, Irven Armstrong, at Indiana University. Soon after, he and Diggs left Howard to enroll in Indiana University in 1910. There, Armstrong studied philosophy, mathematics, and sociology. The founding of Kappa Alpha Psi Armstrong and Diggs were troubled by the status of Blacks at the predominantly white Indiana University campus. The two men convened with other Black men at the university to develop a fraternity that served in their common interest.

On January 5, 1911, the men officially established the fraternity which would be known as Kappa Alpha Psi. Once founded, Armstrong became the fraternity's first Strategus (sergeant-at-arms). While at Indiana University, he was responsible for developing the Kappa Alpha Psi insignia and emblems, after taking courses in ancient Greek culture. He also was responsible for suggesting the idea of the Laurel Wreath Award, the highest recognition of achievement given by the fraternity.

Armstrong received a master's degree from Columbia University in 1913. He served as the Dean of Education for Langston University from 1921–1927 and 1931-1935. While in Langston, Armstrong helped start the Langston Alumni Chapter, the Tulsa Alumni Chapter, and the Alpha Pi chapter (at Langston University) of Kappa Alpha Psi. In 1935, he received the Laurel Wreath, the highest recognition of achievement in Kappa Alpha Psi. In 1940, Armstrong earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan. He taught in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and served as visiting professor at Maryland State College (now the University of Maryland Eastern Shore). Armstrong also served as personnel director for Chrysler until 1962. Byron Armstrong died on June 28, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, and was laid to rest at Inglewood Park Cemetery.

To Become a Professor
To Become a College Administrator


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