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Grand Polemarch is the highest office that can be held by a member of Kappa Alpha Psi. The holder of this office serves as the fraternity's national president and chairman of the Grand Board of Directors, which is tasked with managing the affairs of Kappa Alpha Psi. The Grand Polemarch also serves as the fraternity's head of state at gatherings that include heads of other Greek-letter organizations, university officials, business executives, politicians, and community leaders.


The term polemarch comes from Ancient Greece. The title is derived from polemos, meaning war, and archon, meaning ruler or leader. The name suggests that the polemarchos' original function might have been to command an army. Eventually military command, however, was transferred to the strategoi (στρατηγοί) of Ancient Greece. By 487/486 BC, polemarchoses no longer had military authority. Thereafter their main functions were administrative and legal.

Relationship with Province Polemarchs[]

The fraternity is divided into twelve administrative regions, called provinces, and the representative of the Grand Polemarch in each region is the Province Polemarch. Decisions made by province polemarchs carry and weight of authority of the Grand Polemarch and are backed by the full faith and credit of the national organization. For this reason, province polemarchs are not elected; rather, they are hand-picked appointments of the Grand Polemarch and they serve at his pleasure, solely.


The following is a summary of the fraternity's past Grand Polemarchs.

Rank Grand Polemarch From To Grand Chapter Election
First Elder Watson Diggs 05/1911 12/1916 First Bloomington, IN
Second Irven Armstrong 12/1916 12/1921 Sixth Columbus, OH
Third George F. David II 12/1921 12/1922 11th Cleveland, OH
Fourth W. Ellis Stewart 12/1922 12/1924 12th Chicago, IL
Fifth Earl B. Dickerson 12/1924 12/1927 14th St. Louis, MO
Sixth Archie A. Alexander 12/1927 12/1930 17th Detroit, MI
Seventh A. Moore Shearin 12/1930 08/1933 20th Philadelphia, PA
Eighth Jesse Jerome Peters 08/1933 12/1935 23rd Chicago, IL
Ninth Theophilus M. Mann 12/1935 12/1938 25th St. Louis, MO
10th James E. Scott 12/1938 12/1941 28th Detroit, MI
11th Carl R. Johnson 12/1941 12/1944 31st Indianapolis, IN
12th Augustus Parker 12/1944 12/1947 34th Louisville, KY
13th J. Ernest Wilkins 12/1947 12/1950 37th Los Angeles, CA
14th Frank M. Summers 12/1950 12/1953 40th Kansas City, MO
15th W. Henry Greene 12/1953 12/1955 43rd Chicago, IL
16th C. Rodger Wilson 12/1955 08/1961 45th Columbus, OH
17th Richard B. Millspaugh 12/1961 08/1964 45th Bloomington, IN
18th Thomas Bradley 08/1964 08/1967 52nd San Francisco, CA
19th Ernest H. Davenport 08/1967 08/1970 54th St. Louis, MO
20th William T. Carter 08/1970 08/1973 56th Charlotte, NC
21st Elbert E. Allen 08/1973 08/1976 58th Miami, FL
22nd Hiliary H. Holloway 08/1976 08/1979 60th New Orleans, LA
23rd Oliver S. Gumbs 08/1979 08/1982 62nd Chicago, IL
24th Robert L. Gordon 08/1982 08/1985 64th Detroit, MI
25th Randall C. Bacon 08/1985 08/1988 66th Washington, DC
26th Ullysses McBride 08/1988 07/1991 68th Dallas, TX
27th Robert L. Harris 07/1991 08/1995 70th Orlando, FL
28th Ronald R. Young 08/1995 08/1999 72nd Philadelphia, PA
29th Howard L. Tutman, Jr. 08/1999 07/2003 74th Atlanta, GA
30th Samuel C. Hamilton 07/2003 08/2007 76th Charlotte, NC
31st Dwayne M. Murray 08/2007 08/2011 78th Minneapolis, MN
32nd William Randolph Bates Jr. 08/2011 08/2015 80th Indianapolis, IN
33rd Thomas L. Battles, Jr. 08/2015 82nd New Orleans, LA