Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. contributes $11K toward HBCU scholarship in his honor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Alpha Brother James Shaw, Jr., who disarmed the Waffle House mass shooter on April 22, was honored last night for his heroism at a special event at Tennessee State University, his alma mater.

Brother Shaw, a 2011 Beta Omicron Chapter initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., wrestled an assault rifle from a gunman and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door after the shooter killed four people and wounded several others at a Waffle House in the Nashville suburb of Antioch. Authorities have said there would have likely been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions.

“Like I’ve said, I was just trying to save myself . . . It seems like its inspires so many people throughout the world, and not only throughout the world, but in this room. For that, I am greatly, greatly appreciative,” said Brother Shaw during the ceremony. “To the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., thank you for being there. . . . There’s only one poem that comes to mind and that’s ‘Test of A Man.’ ‘The test of a man is the fight that he makes, The grit that he daily shows . . .’ Thank you for that!”

Brother Dr. Everett B. Ward, general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., praised his bravery in a statement.

“The well-being and viability of our communities has often been predicated on the willingness of strong men to put themselves in harm’s way. In like manner, the men of Alpha Phil Alpha Fraternity Inc. have established a legacy of service and sacrifice to serve the greater good that was continued by our brother James Shaw Jr., whose actions prevented further loss of life.”

Brother Dr. Jamie Riley, executive director of the Fraternity and himself, a 2003 Beta Omicron Chapter initiate and TSU alumnus, who was present, recognized Brother Shaw’s heroism and bravery with a special fraternity proclamation.

“Your example challenges me and others to be our best even in the most uncomfortable circumstances,” said Brother Dr. Riley. In addition, he added that the Fraternity, including the local alumni chapter, District, Southern Region, and the General organization was contributing $11K toward an HBCU scholarship in Brother Shaw’s honor.

The new scholarship, which will benefit a TSU student is a component of the Fraternity’s national Onward HBCU initiative involving three strategic actions to designed to strengthen access, secure assets, and engage in strategic advocacy work to ensure capacity and sustainability of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities, among them Tennessee State University.