Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Mu Chapter
Alpha Phi Alpha History

Alpha Phi Alpha History | National Programs

Since its founding on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African-Americans and people of color around the world.

Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood among African descendants in this country. These men also understood the racism, discrimination, and prejudice that plagued African Americans, and sought this special bond as a source of support for one another. The visionary founders, known as the "Jewels" of the Fraternity are Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy. These legendary men undertook the immensely daring task of forging this organization which is now international and 150,000 brothers strong.

The Fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially, at Cornell. The Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha's principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character, and uplifting of humanity.

The spirit of brotherhood swiftly carried Alpha to campuses across the nation. Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were developed at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell University. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African-Americans.

Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community's fight for civil rights through leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Edward Brooke, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and many others.

To this day Alpha is still leading the way in fighting for positive national and global change. President and CEO of the National Urban League Mark Muriel, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Democratic House Representative Charles Rangel, are only a few of the prominent Alphamen working on behalf of justice, peace, and freedom. On the international level, the fraternity has recently constructed the World Policy Council in order to lobby on Capital Hill on behalf of African Americans and people of color worldwide. It is clear why Alpha Phi Alpha is "the light of the world."


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