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Virtual Founders Day event to mark fraternity's 115th year

by Special to The Commercial | November 28, 2021 at 2:10 a.m.
Jeramaine O. Netherly

The Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will celebrate the fraternity's's 115th Founders Day virtually at 7:06 p.m. Dec. 4 via Zoom.

The guest speaker will be Jeramaine O. Netherly, Alpha Phi Alpha southwest regional vice president.

The 2021 Brother of the Year honoree will be Jackie Harris, a lawyer from Pine Bluff.

Netherly is the 24th vice president of the southwest region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. Netherly is a native of San Augustine, Texas, but has resided in Houston since 1991, according to a news release.

Netherly received his bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Houston and he is a certified fraud examiner and project management professional. He is employed as an associate director with KPMG's Global Mobility Services.

Active in his community, his involvements include Communities in Schools Inc., Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, University of Houston African American Studies (past distinguished alum) and Northeast YMCA (past board member). He was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha in the fall of 1995 through the Eta Mu Chapter at the University of Houston and was elected southwest regional vice president in 2021, according to the release.

Born to Maurice and Lucy Netherly, Netherly is the youngest of five children, has five nieces and nephews and several great-nieces and nephews.

Brother of the Year, Harris earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice in 2005 from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and received his Juris Doctorate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law in 2008, according to the release.

After law school, he worked at the law firm of McKissic & Associates. He also served as the county attorney for Jefferson County (2013-2018) and as city attorney for Gould (2015-2018.)

A retired professional football player, Harris is also widely known for his accomplishments in college and the NFL. At Northeast Louisiana University, now the University of Louisiana-Monroe, he helped lead the school's football program to the 1987 National Championship. He was inducted into ULM's Sports Hall of Fame, individually in 1997, and in 2012 as a member of the 1987 National Champion football team.

In 1990, Harris was a fourth-round draft pick of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. He was an All-Pro selection in 1992 and went on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1994-1997), Tennessee Oilers/Titans (1998-1999) and the Dallas Cowboys (2000-2001).

Harris is a member of the Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and continues to serve his community by providing legal services to clients and through the many public service initiatives of the fraternity where he has served as past recording secretary and currently serves as vice president.

Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek letter fraternity established for African-American men, was founded on Dec. 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of brotherhood among African descendants in this country.

Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community's fight for civil rights through leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and many others. Alpha Phi Alpha has also been interracial since 1945.

For more information and the link for this year's program, contact William Campbell, program chair, at (870) 723-4262 or or any member of the Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter.

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