Fraternity History

The objective of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, is to stimulate the ambition of its members; to prepare them for the greatest usefulness in the causes of humanity, freedom and dignity of the individual; to encourage the highest and noblest form of manhood; and to aid downtrodden humanity in its efforts to achieve higher social, economic and intellectual status.


The most remarkable leadership in the African-American community in the 20th century 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, 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's principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity.


Today, THE ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INCORPORATED exceeds 125,000 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 the Black people in the United States are unparalleled. 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. Alpha Phi Alpha was a proud sponsor of the recent Million Man March last year 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: