Alpha Phi Alpha History
Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and the founders are collectively known as the “Seven Jewels”. Alpha Phi Alpha is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established by African Americans. It uses motifs and artifacts from Ancient Egypt to represent itself and its archives are preserved at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. The fraternity expanded when additional chapters were chartered at Howard University and Virginia Union University in 1907. From 1908, Alpha Phi Alpha became the prototype for other Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs). The fraternity has over 185,000 members and has been open to men of all races since 1940. Today there are over 680 active chapters in the Americas, Africa, Europe, Caribbean, and Asia. Alpha Phi Alpha evolved into a primarily service organization and provided leadership and service during the Great Depression, World Wars, and Civil Rights Movements, and addresses social issues such as apartheid, AIDS, urban housing, and other economic, cultural, and political issues affecting people of color. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and World Policy Council are programs of Alpha Phi Alpha, and it jointly leads philanthropic programming initiatives with March of Dimes, Head Start, Boy Scouts of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Rho Chapter History
Rho chapter was founded on November 3rd, 1914 in Philadelphia, PA. At one time in it’s history, Rho chapter initiated both college and alumni men into it’ ranks. As it developed it purely an alumni chapter, Rho has remained distinguished from all other alumni chapters in Alpha Phi Alpha by not having the to use the lambda designation in its name. Rho chapter has embraced the national program of this great fraternity. “Go to High School, Go to College “ and “ A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” were action cries and rallying calls of the Fraternity and Rho Chapter. The Rho education foundation was established to further assist the chapter in scholarship giving. Voter registration, tutoring, mentoring, support of Big Brothers, scouting, the March of Dimes, Sickle Cell awareness, job training and career development, Aids awareness, Men’s health awareness and many other issues that affect the African American community benefited from Rho chapter. These programs remain active today. The leadership of Mighty Rho chapter has been entrusted to fourteen Presidents who have taken this chapter from its humble beginnings to its respected position in the Philadelphia community and throughout the Fraternity.