University of Illinois Fraternity & Sorority Affairs’ student leadership honor society, Order of Omega, is recognizing the accomplishments of notable Illinois Greek alumni. This Saturday’s ceremony will celebrate four Fraternity & Sorority Hall of Fame inductees at this inaugural event, including the attendance of Colonel Charles McGee of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Pamela Downey of Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority and the posthumous recognition of Roger Ebert of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and of Dr. David Blackwell of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The undergraduate students in attendance will be inspired by these celebrated alumni while not forgetting the role these individuals played in the achievements and continuation of Greek life at Illinois.
Colonel Charles McGee of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. served the United States Air Force as a Tuskegee Airman and holds the record of 409 fighter combat missions during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. McGee previously served as Director of the Kansas City airport and devoted over 30 years as a member of the Aviation Advisory Board.
Pamela Downey is a senior level sales/operations executive in the service industry focusing on business partnerships in food and facilities management. Over her 10+ years of service to Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority, she most notably led as International President from 2009-2011.
Roger Ebert worked for the Chicago Sun Times until his death in 2013, but his contributions as a film critic, journalist, and screenwriter remain highly regarded. In addition to his 20 books and 200 reviews published, Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. While attending the University of Illinois, he was the president of the U. S. Student Press Association, Editor-In-Chief for The Daily Illini, and a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.
Dr. David Blackwell was the first African-American tenured faculty member at UC-Berkeley and inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. While a student, McGee joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and majored in Mathematics at Illinois. He ended his career in academia with distinguishment as Professor Emeritus at the University of California before his passing in 2010.