"The Divine Nine"
1. Ronnie Eggerson
2. Revel Bracy
3. Ronnie Govan
4. Gary Brandon
5. Alan Clark
6. Cecil Mcdonald
7. Carl Wade Banks
8. Lowell Sanders
9. Larry Stapleton
Theta Alpha Chapter has been a part of the Henderson State University family for over 30 years and we are the only Black Greek Letter fraternity that has not been kicked off the yard for any period of time.
We continue to contribute to the Arkadelphia community with our mentorship of students, food drives, philanthropic projects and highway clean-up.
Since 1975 we have devoted countless hours to the community. We continue to seek out ways to give back and uplift our youth. We live by the motto "culture for service and service for humanity" and are ever mindful of our principles: Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service
An account of the Theta Alpha Chapter Genesis by: Bro. Lowell Sanders.....
I Remember Us In The Beginning:
To be totally honest, prior to transferring to Henderson State College my knowledge of Greek life was limited to some of the Greek gods and Aristotelis Onasis. In other words, I knew very little. Black Greek letter organizations? Nothing. After arriving on campus, I quickly noticed the Greek organizations, mainly with their colored frat-lettered shirts, paraphernalia and when the time came, the block shows. How the idea of establishing a chapter at Henderson State came about, I’m not quite sure. I vaguely remember an informal smoker being scheduled on a Wednesday or Thursday night, which was the very night I made a quick trip home to see the girl in my life at the time. Upon returning, I don’t remember asking my roommate, Larry Stapleton, anything about the Smoker and then it slipped my mind all together. I went home, as usual, the following weekend but returned a little earlier that Sunday evening than usual. Larru Stapleton, (Tennessee), as we called him, was about dressed, told me he was going to a formal smoker in Arkansas Hall and asked me to go along. Well, I went along but wasn’t dressed in formal attire. However, there was a kind welcome for me none the less.
There were 10 other young men there, two who I knew, Tennessee and Cecil McDonald. Later I learned the others were Carl Wade Banks, Revel Bracy, Gary Brandon, Allan Clark, Ronnie Eggerson, Joel Ford, Ronnie Govan and Eddie Highsmith. I can’t speak for the others but what impressed and encouraged me the most to join Phi Beta Sigma was the fact that during the smoker never did the Sigma brothers mention having the best parties or performing the best. They spoke of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service. But the most important inspiration to pledge was the idea of being one of the “first” to become a member of Phi Beta Sigma on the campus of Henderson State University.
After the orientation, we were given an hour to decide whether to return and be indoctrinated into the Crescent Club. All 11 of us returned and on that date, May 4, we became “One”, the initial pledge group at Henderson State College. Over the course of the next five months, Ford and Highsmith dropped out, but the remaining nine sped on with our cause. Then on Oct. 3, 1975, 3:30 in the afternoon, on the block in front of Day Armory, The Divine Nine dazzled the student body with its probate show, and later that night, crossed the burning sands and became members of PHI BETA SIGMA, Inc. We soon received our charter and Theta Alpha was officially on the books. McDonald was elected the chapter’s first president and I the first vice-president. During the next few months we carefully selected six men, who we thought were ideal to continue what had been started. Those six, Mike Abbott Gerald Craig, Ronnie Hamilton, Wendell Jones, Ken Thomas and Roy Hearn, crossed the sands in fall of 1976 known as the The Conspecious Gents. McDonald and Stapleton both graduated in 1977 and I became the second president of Theta Alpha. After two unsuccessful line attempts, we had two men, Larry Harris and Chris Lockhart, to make up our second line,”One Up, One Down”, in the Fall of 1978. I graduated in Dec. of 1978 and after that, Ken Thomas was the third president and Carl Anderson later became the fourth.