Elder Watson Diggs was Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity’s first chairman and one of it’s principal founders. He served as chairman, a position later known as Grand Polemarch, from 1911 to 1917.
Elder was also one of the first Kappa’s to serve in the armed forces. He signed up after World War I and served as a member of the 368th Infantry in Europe. As a member of the armed forces he achieved the rank of Lieutenant and he played a major part in changing the Indiana Constitution that prevented African Americans from serving in the National Guard in Indiana.
There is currently one public school in Indiana named in Elder Watson Diggs honor. It was given the name after his death in 1947. This school is where he served as principal during his distinguished career as an educator.
Diggs was the first African American to graduate from Indiana University’s School of Education in 1916.
Elder Watson Diggs was born on December 23, 1883 and made his transition to the heavenly abode on November 8, 1947. He is currently interred in Indianapolis, Indiana at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Elder Diggs was awarded the Laurel Wreath in 1924 because of his commitment, dedication and relentless efforts to improve and expand the fraternity. The Laurel Reef is Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity’s highest honor.
Diggs was instrumental in the creation of Kappa Alpha Psi’s initiation ceremony, constitution and coat of arms.
Elder Watson Diggs is also commonly referred to as “The Dreamer”.
Elder Diggs married Clara Smith in 1912 but had to keep the union a secret due to married women not being allowed to serve as teachers and educators in that day and age.
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