Changing Lives for At-Risk Youth
In 1904, a group of men in Philadelphia came together to establish an organization that would serve to unite African-American professionals so they might know “the best of one another.” As a result of their efforts, Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, also known as the Boulé, was born. In 1921, Columbus became the first city in Ohio to form a chapter, known as Lambda Boulé.
Lambda Boulé is one of 125 member boulés throughout the United States and the Caribbean. An invitation-only fraternity, Lambda Boulé includes more than 50 central Ohio judges, doctors, lawyers, educators, and business leaders—all of whom have made significant contributions to their respective fields. Over the past 90 years, the group has quietly focused on supporting social action programs in central Ohio, awarding scholarships and providing programs for at-risk youth, with an emphasis on African-American males. In 2010, Lambda Boulé established the Lambda Boulé Foundation, an Organization Endowment fund at The Columbus Foundation. The foundation will serve as the vehicle to help with outreach efforts as the organization begins engaging the community to help support its programs and initiatives.
“Our national organization has emphasized the importance of social action,” said Ralph Smithers, board president of Lambda Boulé. “We established our foundation to help support local programs. Our national motto is ‘celebrating and cultivating excellence.’ What we do really follows in that framework.”