Alpha Phi Alpha Brief History
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for Black college students, was organized at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1906. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was born out of the desire for maintaining close association and unified support for members of this small minority group, in as much as they were denied, for the most part, the mutual helpfulness which the majority of the students attending their university regularly enjoyed.
The seven visionary founders at Cornell, Henry A. Callis, Charles H. Chapman, Eugene K. Jones, George B. Kelly, Nathaniel A. Murray, Robert H. Ogle, and Vertner W. Tandy, labored in the years of severe economic struggle and racial conflict in the United States. Despite their difficulties of life, the early pioneers succeeded in laying a firm foundation and remained steadfast in their goals pointing towards the development of the Fraternity's membership - which are the espousing of the principles of good character,sound scholarship, fellowship, and the uplifting of humanity, especially the struggling Black population around the world.
Because of the needs of the national black community and the organization's commitment to positive social change, Alpha Phi Alpha began to involve deeply into social reform and education. The "Go to High School - Go to College" campaign of the 1920's and 1930's established Alpha Phi Alpha as a scholarship organization. The struggle for equality and for raising the level of consciousness and mobility were heightened by the involvement of such brothers as; W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Robeson, Dr. Martin Luther King jr., Jesse Owens, David Dinkins, Dick Gregory, Hope Franklin, to name a few.
The Fraternity has grown steadily in influence throughout the years. It integrated its racial membership in 1945 and it has expanded to the extent that there are now over 150,000 Alpha Men 800 chapters located throughout the U.S., Caribbean Islands, Africa, Asia, and Europe.