William Henry Greene

William Henry Greene

The Twenty-First Laurel Wreath Wearer [1970]

William Henry Greene [Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter] was the 15th Grand Polemarch and the fifth recipient of the Elder Watson Diggs Award [1961].

During his tenure as Grand Polemarch, he started the Life Membership program employing a simple idea: a member who bought life membership was absolved from paying Grand Chapter dues for life. The interest earned on the corpus would pay his Grand Chapter dues for life. When the member died his payment would remain a part of the corpus available to generate investment income. This was the same model Grand Polemarch Greene used to start a life membership program for the NAACP Washington (DC) Chapter. Grand Polemarch Greene authorized the purchase of a property to serve as the headquarters for the Fraternitt;. He also identified a member - Hiliary Hamilton Holloway - to become the first Executive Secretary of the FraternihJ, and hired him.

By his own admission, Grand Polemarch Greene attended eve.ry Grand Chapter meeting since his initiation (1922], except the one held in the year his wife died. He believed in debate and at the conclusion of a debate, accepted the position of the majority. He was not an ardent supporter of a house at Indiana University but was among the first to conh·ibute once the membership agreed to the endeavor.

Grand Polemarch Greene visited most of the chapters of the Fraternity during his tenure. While flying to the West coast, he wrote the poem "Kappa of My Dreams." At Grand Chapter meeting, he was among the last to retire in the evenings and among the first to arrive at business sessions. He was the leader of the popular snake line that delegates formed during the Closed Ball.

Following his tenure as Grand Polemarch, Greene served two terms on the Grand Board of Directors. He was the first Fraternity chief executive officer elected to the Grand Board after serving at the helm of the Fraternity.

The Eastern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Handbook for the 20th Century During the tenure of Grand Polemarch Davenport [1967-1970], he appointed Greene the chairman of the life membership committee. Grand Polemarch Greene impaneled a committee that developed a marketing campaign with the theme: "Life membership is a legacy for the seasoned brother and an investment for the younger brother." He traveled thrnughout the Fraternity, at his own expense, marketing the program. His commitment to the concept was apparent and the results exceeded the expectations of the committee.

In 1978, the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter sponsored a surprise tribute to Grand Polemarch Greene. Upon learning about the event, he joined the committee, financed the travel of several guests from Oklahoma, and hosted an open bar. Among the awards and acknowledgments presented during the formal program, was a special award from Founder Edward Giles Irvin, on behalf of the two living founders, thanking him for his service.

Greene was the first member to earn the two highest awards of the Fraternity. The Eastern Province William Henry Greene honors his memory.

His extra meritorious contributions to the Fraternity earned him the 21st Laurel Wreath.