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

Founders Day Message 2017


November 27, 1919 will live forever in our history as the beginning of an organization that has become the standard for musicianship, leadership, and service within college and university bands. Our existence is defined by the bonds of friendship that we share, and our commitment to building an inclusive community that builds its members up to be outstanding leaders, brothers, and human beings. As John Philip Sousa believed, we are the ones who will carry on the work started and continue to promote music and appreciate its performance. We will also carry on the example of our Founders by dedicating ourselves to excellence in all we do for our chapters and band programs.

Our Founder, William A. Scroggs said, “No organization on the campus should be more sought after for membership, no honor should be more appreciated by the fortunate few than by those affiliated with Kappa Kappa Psi.” He believed that what you get out of your membership in Kappa Kappa Psi is determined by what you put into it. Our band programs depend on our leadership and selfless service. We should all dedicate ourselves to this ideal and live up to the trust placed in us as Brothers.

During this holiday season, reflect on all that matters to you and be grateful for all that you have. Seize on opportunities to serve and give back to your community, university, and bands. Promote fellowship and kindness within your circles, and be mindful of those who are struggling.

Kappa Kappa Psi is fortunate to have each of you affiliated with our work as an active member, director, sponsor, alumni, life, honorary, or friend. The Founders’ Spirit that was brought to life 98 years ago, lives on in our dedication to leadership, fellowship, and better music. Embrace this spirit and dedicate yourselves to its positive example.

I wish you all a Happy Founders’ Day!


Evan L. Thompson
National President
Kappa Kappa Psi

Founder’s Day Message 2016



Brothers and Friends of Kappa Kappa Psi,

Today marks 97 years since the founding of Kappa Kappa Psi. A Fraternity that started with 10 men, has expanded to where we are today: over 6000 active members from all walks of life, chapters and colonies on 217 college and university campuses, and thousands of alumni that to this day, honor their commitment to walk ever in the ways of Kappa Kappa Psi.

There is no doubt that today is a day that our Brothers and Friends should celebrate. However, it is also a day that we should remind ourselves of our ritualistic obligations and charge. As a chapter, I encourage you to review the ritual together. Make time during your chapter meetings to do so. As an individual member, I challenge you to hold true to our ritual and its lessons. Study it. Learn it. Live it.

In 1923, our then publication, The Baton, summarized the purpose of our founding:

“Kappa Kappa Psi was founded for a great and definite purpose. Believing that better music and better bands would be the result of such an organization, the Fraternity was organized to foster a close relationship and co-operation within the band, to co-operate with the direction in making a better band for the institution, to raise the standard of music in our American universities, to own an organization that bandmembers may stand together in a time of need and to organize university bandmembers from which professional band leaders may select musicians for their bands at any time in a systematic way.”

Since then, we have worked to fulfill that purpose through the initiation of men and women that have a desire to see the success of their college and university band programs. We have sought to fulfill the purposes of this great Fraternity for the betterment of our band programs, our universities, and our chapters. We have worked to support our Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi and our Sisters of Tau Beta Sigma in ways that have created life-long friendships. We have stood together in times of difficulty as well as times of celebration.

Brothers, we have much to be thankful for!

Today, I challenge our Brothers and Friends to celebrate our founding by sharing with your Brothers, Sisters, friends, family, and colleagues why you are thankful for them and for Kappa Kappa Psi. Celebrate by sharing a message of gratitude and love. I am thankful that our Founders pushed their friendships to commitment and started this 97 year journey. I am thankful for where Kappa Kappa Psi stands today. I am thankful for each and every one of you. I am #ThankfulForKKPsi.

Jack D. Lee
National President
Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity