NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Monday signed legislation (A978) recognizing the contributions and achievements of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. by establishing special license plates for members of the organization.
Kappa Alpha Psi is the second oldest existing collegiate historically Black Greek Letter Fraternity and a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also known as the Divine Nine.
The legislation signed Monday authorizes the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special Kappa Alpha Psi license plates. The bill provides that the design of the Kappa Alpha Psi license plate would display appropriate words and an emblem honoring the fraternity.
Governor Murphy was joined today by Kappa Alpha Psi 34th Grand Polemarch Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., Northeastern Province Polemarch Christopher Thompkins, Polemarch Stephen White, Trenton Chapter Founding Member and Alumni Samuel Floyd, legislators, and Kappa Alpha Psi members, mentees, and alumni.
“I am proud to sign legislation authorizing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special license plates for the distinguished members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,” Murphy said. “For 112 years, Kappa Alpha Psi has stood for progress, equality, and brotherhood. As a member of the Divine Nine, it has stood as a national leader in community service efforts large and small and its members have made invaluable contributions across every facet of society. Today, we commend Kappa Alpha Psi’s achievements as we establish this keepsake to be proudly displayed by its members.”
“The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is one of the most respected fraternities in the state and in the country because of its members’ dedication to brotherhood, community service, and strengthening civil rights,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “By establishing a Kappa Alpha Psi license plate, our state is recognizing this history of excellence and leadership, as well as members’ contributions to creating positive change in their communities and the country.”
The Chief Administrator, in consultation with the Northeastern Province Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi, will select the design and color scheme of the Kappa Alpha Psi license plates. In addition to all fees otherwise required by law for the registration of a motor vehicle, the bill provides an application fee of $50 and an annual renewal fee of $10 for each Kappa Alpha Psi license plate. Under the bill, these fee collections would first be used to reimburse the commission for certain costs incurred in the implementation of the license plate program. Thereafter, the additional fees would be deposited into a special non-lapsing fund, known as the “Kappa Alpha Psi License Plate Fund,” which monies would be annually appropriated to Kappa Alpha Psi to support the organization’s mission and programs.
“As one of the oldest Black fraternities in the country, recently celebrating 112 years of achievement, Kappa Alpha Psi is a proud organization that is a symbol of resilience and community. Its members and alumni have made countless contributions to the fabric of our lives in New Jersey, and across the nation and world,” said Motor Vehicle Commission Acting Chief Administrator Latrecia Littles-Floyd. “With this legislation, the MVC is eager to work with Kappa Alpha Psi to oversee the design and issuance of a license plate that will help commemorate the accomplishments of this historic fraternity in New Jersey.”
“I am pleased and honored to attend this momentous occasion with the Governor and my Fraternity brothers today,” said 34th Grand Polemarch, Reuben A. Shelton III, International President and CEO, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. “It is gratifying the State of New Jersey recognizes the significance and impact of Kappa Alpha Psi and all Black Greek letter organizations that we proudly and affectionately proclaim as The D9. Kappa is rooted in community service and civic engagement. We pledge to help the Governor and the State of New Jersey in all endeavors that promote the welfare of its citizens.”
Sponsors of the legislation include Senators Shirley K. Turner and Nia H. Gill, and Assemblymembers Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Benjie E. Wimberly.
The bill requires the Chief Administrator to annually certify the average cost of producing, issuing, renewing, and publicizing the availability of the specialty license plates. The bill also requires the Northeastern Province Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi to appoint a liaison to represent the Northeastern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi in all communications with the commission regarding the license plate program.
Kappa Alpha Psi was founded on the campus of Indiana University on January 5, 1911. Kappa Alpha Psi is currently comprised of undergraduate and alumni chapters on major campuses and in cities throughout the country. It is the second oldest existing collegiate historically Black Greek Letter Fraternity and the first intercollegiate Fraternity incorporated as a national body.
The Fraternity has over 125,000 members, with 700 undergraduate and alumni chapters in nearly every state as well as international chapters.