Theta Iota was chartered on October 11, 1975, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the second undergraduate chapter of the fraternity to be chartered in the state of Massachusetts and the 12th undergraduate charter awarded in the Northeastern Province. The chapter's reach includes universities that lie north and west of the Charles River, including Harvard University, Tufts University, Dartmouth College (now Mu Chi), the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (now Nu Tau) and the University of Connecticut (now Nu Psi).
The first-known African American to matriculate at Tufts College (now Tufts University) was Forrester Blanchard Washington, a member of the class of 1909. After earning a masters degree from Columbia University, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, and served as the first director of the Detroit Urban League. At that time, he encountered future Grand Polemarch Earl Burrus Dickerson (Beta, 1913), who was head of the Chicago Urban League. Concurrent with the chartering of Chicago (IL) Alumni in April 1919, Washington was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi.
A Kappa Alpha Psi presence was first established north of the Charles River in the early 1920s with the enrollments of Unknown (Omicron, 19xx), at Harvard University, Maceo Hubbard (Epsilon, 1918) at Harvard University Law School, and finally, Courtney Dooley and Jon Hunter at Tufts University. Hubbard, Dooley, and Hunter were among the six charter members of Chi on February 15, 1924. Within a month, Chi initiated its first member, Clifford A. Crawford (Chi, 1924), a student at Tufts University. A year later, the chapter initiated Jester Hairston (Chi, 1925), a 1928 graduate of Tufts University.
The next-known member of the fraternity to study in Cambridge was Henry Aaron Hill (Alpha Epsilon, 1934), who earned a PhD in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1942. He remained in the Boston area and, in 1950, formed the nucleus of men who would charter Boston (MA) Alumni.
In February 1975, a charter line of eight students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi. They include: William A. Black (Chi, 1975), Philip G. Hampton (Chi, 1975), Leonard Nethersole (Chi, 1975), Samuel Nixon Jr. (Chi, 1975), Glenn E. Perkins Jr. (Chi, 1975), Bernard H. Robinson (Chi, 1975), Frederick Thompson (Chi, 1975), and Stanley J. Washington (Chi, 1975). The following spring, two more students were initiated, Alvin Robertson (Chi, 1975) from MIT, and Theodore Austell (Chi, 1975) from Tufts University. Together these ten men, under the leadership of William Black (Chi, 1975), who served as the chapter's first Polemarch, and with the assistance of members at the Boston (MA) Alumni and Chi, submitted a petition to 15th Northeastern Province Polemarch Irving Briddell, Jr. (Lambda, 1955) for the establishment of a second undergraduate chapter in Boston, Massachusetts. On October 11, 1975, Theta Iota was chartered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The chapter existed on the campuses of MIT and Tufts for eight years until expanding to Harvard University in 1982. Theta Iota also established colonies at
- Dartmouth College (now Mu Chi) in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1982,
- the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (now Nu Tau) in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1984, and
- the University of Connecticut, Storrs and Wesleyan University (now Nu Psi), in Storrs, Connecticut, and Middletown, Connecticut, respectively, in 1986.
The chapter was reactivated in July 2017 after a 17 year hiatus with all undergraduate fraternal activity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, Harvard University under the direction of Boston (MA) Alumni Chapter.
It is with sincere regret that we announce the passing of the following members:
- F. Joseph Rogers (Theta Iota, 1982) died tragically in a car crash on January 29, 2018. He was 55, and leaves behind three sons.
- Ivey A. Webb, Jr. (Theta Iota, 1988) passed away on December 28, 2010, at his home in Concord, North Carolina.
- Ronald L. Blackburn (Theta Iota, 1982)
- James E. Young (Theta Iota, 1980)
- Alvin Robertson (Theta Iota, 1975)
|Elegant Eight||February 1, 1975||Fall '74||8|
|Unfinished Business||May 1, 1975||Spr '75||2|
|Unfinished Business||June 4, 1976||Spr '76||1|
|Three for the Key of Life||December 4, 1976||Fall '76||3|
|Southern Comfort||April 23, 1977||Spr '77||4|
|Ubiquity||April 29, 1978||Spr '78||2|
|New Wave||May 10, 1980||Spr '80||4|
|Unknown||December 6, 1980||Fall '80||1|
|Three The Hard Way||April 17, 1981||Spr '81||3|
|Dynasty||April 25, 1982||Spr '82||7|
|Empire||April 30, 1983||Spr '83||8|
|Destiny||April 28, 1984||Spr '84||8|
|Ashanti||April 13, 1986||Spr '86||9|
|Tijani||April 18, 1987||Spr '87||5|
|Paragon||April 6, 1988||Spr '88||7|
|Alliance||April 4, 1989||Spr '89||9|
|Nexxus||April 14, 1990||Spr '90||9|
|Nubian Syndicate||April 10, 1991||Spr '91||7|
|Inkani||April 8, 1992||Spr '92||4|
|Paramount||April 22, 1993||Spr '93||1|
|Odyssey||February 29, 1994||Fall '93||8|
|Triumph||April 18, 1994||Spr '94||3|
|Kenosis||April 11, 1996||Spr '96||3|
|Those Who Shall Not Be Named||March 27, 1998||Spr '98||2|
|Kafara||October 29,1999||Fall '99||1|
|Mageuko||July 1, 2017||Spr '17||5|
Theta Iota has made significant contributions toward the advancement of the fraternity. Among its initiates is 23rd North Central Province Polemarch Korlon Kilpatrick II (Theta Iota, 1989), who has served in that role from 2011 to 2017. Other contributors include several Northeastern Province officers including Charter Member Bernard Robinson (Chi, 1975), who served as Northeastern Province Undergraduate Board Member; Darryl Parson (Theta Iota, 1984), who co-chaired the Northeastern Province Risk Avoidance Committee; Frank Griffith Jr. (Theta Iota, 1986) who has served on both the Achievement and Awards and Bylaws Committees of the Northeastern and Eastern Provinces.
- Adolpho A. Birch III (Theta Iota, 1986) is a sports executive and the senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs at the National Football League. In 2014, he was invited to join the board of trustees at Vanderbilt University, where he earned a law degree. Birch is also the son of A. A. Birch, Jr. (Epsilon, 1951), also an attorney and the first African American to serve as Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
- Earnest Lamont Greer (Theta Iota, 1987) is an attorney, and co-president at Greenberg Taurig, the third-largest law firm in the United States, with 1,800 attorneys and 37 offices worldwide. He is also the managing shareholder of the firm's Atlanta office, which is its third largest office, with 105 attorneys.
- Greg Anderson (Theta Iota, 1992) visual effects designer, and the head of the New York office of FuseFX, an award-winning visual effects studio for film, television, and gaming projects. In 2005, he was nominated for a Film Award from the Online Film & Television Association for his special effects work on science fiction thriller Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Angelina Jolie). His special and visual effects credits includes Marvel Universe super hero series Luke Cage, which debuted on Netflix in 2016.
- Chris Lewis (Theta Iota, 1994) is a professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati. He is also the founder and chairman of Village Life Outreach Project, a non-profit agency that directs the resources of the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, to improve the quality of life, and health outcomes in the Shirati region of Tanzania.
- Eric Johnson (Theta Iota, 1996) is the current Mayor of Dallas, TX (elected June 2019) and a past member of the Texas House of Representatives. He represented the 100th legislative district, which includes parts of Greater Dallas, that has been stricken by urban blight. In 2010, he preserved black representation in the district by unseating seven-term incumbent Terry Hodge, who was forced out after a federal tax evasion conviction. Since taking office, he has introduced 60 bills, authoring 46 of them.