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About – 1898 Forward
Kyle C. Coleman
Kyle C. Coleman National President

Hail, Brothers!

Hail, Brothers!

I would like to share a story about my late Father, Dr. Collie Coleman with you. 

In the eighties and mid-way through the nineties, Dr. Coleman served as the President of Allen University, a small HBCU in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Established in 1870, Allen was named for Bishop Richard Allen, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Allen has been and continues to exist among a network of AME Colleges and Universities across the country.

At the time that Dr. Coleman was named as President, the University was barely weathering dwindling enrollment and a crippling amount of debt. There is a famous story that Dr. Coleman and AME Bishop F.C. James called together a group of local bankers, investors, and politicians to discuss the challenges at Allen University. As the story goes, many of those assembled went to open their checkbooks as the two gentlemen elaborated on the University’s status and situation.

Dr. Coleman stopped them where they were and further explained that he and Bishop James were not there to ask for financial assistance. He introduced the concept of Self-Help that day…. The University and its stakeholders were ultimately responsible for its then-current status, and they would be the very same people who would navigate them out of it.

There was stunned silence in the room. Dr. Coleman promised them that once (and only then) the University and stakeholders had established financial stability and independence, would they return to ask for assistance in ensuring the future of the institution.

It was a few years after that day that Allen University was debt-free and fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for the first time in its history.

Dr. Coleman taught me lessons every day that I was blessed to have him here, physically, and has honestly never ceased to do so

Phi Mu Alpha

Brothers, we are entering a period of focused and deliberate Self-Help.

Just as with Allen University, there is no one person that deserves blame for the current status of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Rather, our day-to-day reality is a result of a multitude of factors dating back many years, further compounded by a non-sustainable financial structure. I and the National Executive Committee have been working to chart a course that will ensure our beloved Sinfonia will endure for generations to come.

Plainly, Brothers, WE, universally are responsible. And it will be that same WE that help ourselves in the near and far future.

Beginning, today, all Brothers may contribute to the 1898 Forward campaign. With a minimum donated amount of $18.98, Brothers may contribute either one-time or recurring payments.

As we look forward to the approaching milestone one-hundred-twenty-fifth anniversary of Sinfonia, let our generosity be a reflection on all the ways that the Fraternity has affected us as individuals and as Brothers. Ask yourselves, where would you be if Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia did not exist? How different would your life be without our collective, shared, exalted experience? More than a reflection and celebration, October 6, 2023 will be a renewed commitment towards ensuring that the Sinfonia will remain steadfast for generations to come. We are asking everyone to commit themselves to be ALL-IN with this initiative.

The initial contribution levels for 1898 Forward

Lyre Level

Contributions of $5,000 or more that are received on or before May 31, 2023, will also be listed as Lyre Level Sponsors for the first-run printing of the forthcoming 125th Anniversary Edition of Sinfonia Songs.

These contributions are NOT tax-deductible, however, will be applied directly to the following so as to impact our Brotherhood:

While our Fraternity has endured during recent difficulties, it has ceased to develop, grow, and expand. Donations to this campaign will restore our pathways of being able to consistently provide the resources, services, and experiences that our alumni have benefited from in the past.

Brothers, I have always, and always will believe in Sinfonia. Further, I believe in the ability of Sinfonians to gird themselves and ensure the future of our Order. I do not make this ask, lightly, and understand that Brothers have the wherewithal to glory in our mission and fulfill the physical manifestation of Father Mills’ Dream.

In PHI, MU, and ALPHA,

Kyle C. Coleman, Zeta Iota ’98

National President
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity