History of ΑΦΑ
THE ALPHA PHI ALPHA LEGACY:
A BRIEF HISTORY
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 (ΑΦΑ), 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, Ralph Metcalfe, Sr., Ernest Morial, and many others. True to its form as the “of firsts,” Alpha Phi Alpha has been interracial since 1945.
Alpha Phi Alpha today continues its commitment to members of the Fraternity and the African-American community through Alpha University. Through the groundbreaking Alpha University training program, the Fraternity has rededicated itself to fostering a spirit of Brotherhood within the ranks of the Fraternity, preparing a new generation of leaders and bringing consistency to chapter operation and to the implementation of the Fraternity's National and Special programs.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.