Friday March 12, 2004

History
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Fraternity History
History of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The most remarkable leadership in the African-American community in the 20thcentury has without question come from the ranks of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Since its founding on December 4, 1906, the Fraternity 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 in the United States established for men of African descent, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood between African-Americans. 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 seven young men felt there was a need for more Black unity on Cornell's predominately white campus.

Since other avenues in Greek life at this time were not readily accessible to many Blacks, these men took it upon themselves to take the first steps in forming the traditional Black Greek system. The Fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice, educationally and socially, at Cornell. During those beginning days, the Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity worked to lay a solid foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha'sprinciples of scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.

Today, THE ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INCORPORATED exceeds 150,000 members and has over 700 chapters in the 50 states, Bermuda, England, Liberia, South Korea, the Virgin Islands, and West Germany. Alpha Phi Alpha has evolved into an organization that takes pride in attempting to right many wrongs society has bestowed upon us. Alpha's constant efforts of increasing the educational, economic, and social well-being of Black people in the United States are unparalled. These efforts are evident in our direct participation in numerous national organizations and our financial contributions to their programs oriented to handle problem areas such as civil rights, poor housing, and inadequate education of our youth. In October 1996, Alpha Phi Alpha was a proud sponsor of The Million Man March in Washington D.C. And our philanthropies are the NAACP, United Negro College Fund, and the National Urban League. Alpha Phi Alpha's fraternity motto is: FIRST OF ALL, SERVANTS OF ALL, WE SHALL TRANSCEND ALL!!!

The Fraternity's national programs date back to 1919, when Alpha Phi Alpha introduced its Go-to-High School, Go-to-College" campaign to increase the education level of the African American community. Alpha Phi Alpha later took the lead in the voting rights struggle for African Americans and coined the nationally famous phrase: "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" as part of its effort to register Black voters. The slogan remains the battle cry today for Alpha's voter registration efforts. Despite its substantial growth - in membership and in prorgams - the Fraternity's aims remain the same as they were in 1906: MANLY DEEDS, SCHOLARSHIP AND LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND!!!

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Chapter History

Chapter Founders and House Mother
 

History of the Epsilon Theta Chapter

The Epsilon Theta Chapter of Bowling Green State University was established on May 15, 1959. The national organization of Alpha Phi Alpha decided to extend its legacy of leadership and service to yet another institution of higher learning. For it was on that date that the Epsilon Theta Chapter was founded at Bowling Green State University. The Chapters founding members were John Chinn, Gerry Elder, Elbert Smith, Eddie Mallory, James Furcron, Cecil Butler Jr., Albert Junior, Louis Manuel.

With the African-American populace at B.G.S.U. approaching five hundred, it was time to create an organization that could bring diversity to the university and, at the same time, enhance the quality of student life through quality programming and service. It was the institution's official recognition of the Greek system that same year that afforded these three endeavoring pioneers their opportunity.

As with the national organization, the atmosphere within the Epsilon Theta Chapter is conducive to the cultivation of leadership. Because of this, its constituents have made a tremendous impact on student life at B.G.S.U. University by serving in leadership capacities in such organizations as The Black Student Union, Dry Dock, The Obsedian (Multicultural Newspaper), Board of Black Cultural Activities, The National Panhellenic Council, Gospel Choir, and Student Government.

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