Byron Kenneth Armstrong

Byron Kenneth Armstrong


Founder Byron Kenneth Armstrong, affectionately known as “Boomski”, was a scholar, imaginative and outspoken. He was born in Westfield, Hamilton County, Indiana, on April 8, 1892, was one of five children and was the cousin of 2nd Grand Polemarch, Irven Armstrong.

Armstrong enrolled at Howard University in 1909, met Elder W. Diggs and together, they transferred to Indiana University in the fall of 1910 where he studied philosophy, mathematics and sociology. He graduated from Indiana University with an A.B. degree in the fall of 1913. Armstrong subsequently earned a M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1914 and was decreed a Doctor of Philosophy degree by the University of Michigan in 1940. He held teaching positions as a professor at universities in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland and Michigan and served as Dean in Maryland and Oklahoma.

During World War I, he was an investigator for the Department of Labor. He subsequently worked as Personnel Director for Chrysler Motors for 22 years.


Armstrong was one of the primary potent forces behind the founding of Kappa Alpha Nu. He created the motto, assisted Diggs in preparing the Coat of Arms and produced the fraternity badge. He suggested the Fraternity should reward members’ outstanding achievements with a Laurel Wreath. He served the fraternity as the 1st Grand Strategus, 5th Grand Historian and as a Grand Board Member. He also established the Beta, Theta, Xi, Alpha Pi, Gamma Xi, Chicago (IL), Langston (OK) and Tulsa (OK) Alumni Chapters. Armstrong assisted in the writing of the “1928 Handbook of Kappa Alpha Psi”. He also authored “Crossing the Jordan and Beyond” and served as Editor of the Journal.

Armstrong was awarded the 6th Laurel Wreath. The Byron K. Armstrong Scholars Award, the only Grand Chapter award available to fraternity undergraduate members for outstanding achievement, is named in his honor. Armstrong died June 28, 1980 and is buried at Inglewood Cemetery in Inglewood, California.