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Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Since it’s founding on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 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. 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.

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 the uplifting of humanity.

Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were established at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell. The first Alumni Chapter was established in 1911. 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, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and many others. True to its form as the “first of firsts,” Alpha Phi Alpha has been interracial since 1945.

Alpha Lambda Chapter

Alpha Lambda, the first graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, had its inception in Louisville, Kentucky, as an outgrowth of the University Club which met at the Western Branch Library to discuss current topics of the day.

Jewel Eugene Kinckle Jones, then engaged as a teacher in the city schools of Louisville, was instrumental in persuading the following members of the University Club to become affiliated with Alpha Phi Alpha: Messrs. J.O. Blanton, A. S. Brock, W.T. Peyton, J. H. Hubert, W. Welch, F. Johnson, C.A. Powell, J.T. Clark, W. Ballard, and D. L. Lawson. It is significant to note that these men were not members of Alpha Phi Alpha at this time.

On April 11, 1911, Brother Richard Hill, a graduate of Fisk University, came from the University of Michigan where he was studying law, and with the assistance of Jewel Jones set up the first graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

The decision to establish a graduate chapter was met by opposition from the National Body. The opinion of the Brothers at that time was that the Fraternity was for undergraduates only. After careful consideration of the matter, however, it was concluded at the Fourth Annual Convention that this infant group would be Lambda Chapter since eight undergraduates chapters were in existence at that time.

The Fifth General Convention and First Alumni Reunion convened on December 26, 1912, with Kappa Chapter, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Lambda Chapter was ably represented by delegates A. S. Brock and J. T. Clark. A recommendation was presented by Brother Brock that all graduate chapters be designated similar to the undergraduate chapters, but with Lambda as a final letter. The recommendation was adopted by a motion of Jewel Kelly, seconded by Brother Dunn. Thus the Louisville chapter became known as Alpha Lambda and the system for naming the graduate chapters was established.

Current Chapter Officers

President :  Bro. Derek Bell
Vice President : Bro. Garry M. Spotts
Recording Secretary : Bro. Dana Horton
Treasurer :  Bro. Michael Crawford
Assoc. Editor/Sphinx : Bro. Germain Randolph

Chaplain :  Bro. Dr. Bernard Crayton
Historian :  Bro. Charles Piphus

Dir. Educational Activities :  Bro. Ken Ellis
Chief Dean IMDP :  Bro. Rick Tennyson


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