Founders’ Day Message 2021

What does it mean to celebrate Founders’ Day?

This is a moment to truly celebrate!  For 102 years, our organization has withstood the test of time.  Our values are the same as they were when 10 bandsmen came together and created an organization in the image of their director.  We celebrate the opportunity to serve college bands with honor, integrity, respect, and loyalty. We celebrate our relationship and our shared mission with Tau Beta Sigma.  We celebrate our chapters, our Brothers, our connection and the spirit of servant leadership.  We celebrate the precious gift of music, and the magic it brings when we join together in harmony.

This is also a moment of reflection.  I think of how far we have come in 102 years.  Certainly – I would not be here as your National President.  Throughout the years, we have grown and adapted as an organization.  Our acknowledgement, inclusion, and acceptance of people of color, women, and the LGBTQIA community demonstrates our growth as an organization that cares about the people who serve in it.  But at the same time, we must also acknowledge that we haven’t always gotten it right, and that when we reflect on our successes, we must also reflect on the moments that we could have done better and done more.  I hope that this sentiment continues to drive us forward as a better Kappa Kappa Psi.

Finally, this is a moment of gratitude.  I’m thankful for my home chapter at Lock Haven, for the amazing experience playing in the LHU Band, and that seven people saw something in me to offer me an invitation for membership in Kappa Kappa Psi.  I’m thankful for the many Brothers I have met over the years, at conventions, over zoom, and from countless chapters across the country who have touched my life.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve all of you as your National President.  I’m especially thankful for the ability to play music with one another, to have a shared experience that connects and brings joy, love, and light to all.

In the March 1923 Baton, Grand President Scott Squyres wrote an article about the greater fraternity.  In it he says, “The entire success of the fraternity depends on your individual continued cooperation.  You only get out of a thing what you put into it.  HAVE YOU PUT ALL YOU CAN INTO KAPPA KAPPA PSI?”  In July, I asked you if you were with me – to help reCHARGE Kappa Kappa Psi.  Ask yourself – are you truly putting all you can into Kappa Kappa Psi?  Are you working to serve your college or university band?  Are you striving to live our values, as we make bands, and the world at large, a better place?  Are you working to reCHARGE Kappa Kappa Psi through your actions as a Brother, as a chapter, as an alumnus?

Brothers, on this day, our Founders’ Day, take a moment – to celebrate, to reflect, and to give thanks.  Thank a Brother, a Sister, a band director, a fellow musician – someone who has touched your life and made it better because of your connection to music and Kappa Kappa Psi.  Reflect on your commitment to musicianship, leadership, and service as we strive for college bands.  And most importantly, celebrate the moment!  Here’s a toast to Kappa Kappa Psi and 102 years of service to college bands!

Striving with you,

Jessica Lee
48th National President
Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity