History of Alpha Phi Alpha
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
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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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
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.