Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.
The objectives of this Fraternity shall be: 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 down-trodden humanity in its efforts to achieve higher social, economic and intellectual status.
A Brief History of Alpha Phi Alpha
Since its 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.
History of the Alpha Gamma Lambda Chapter
The roots of Alpha Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. lie deep in the history of Eta Chapter of Columbia University, New York, NY. In 1926, Eta Chapter consisted of both undergraduate and graduate membership. However, some graduate brothers, were of the belief that a graduate chapter would greatly increase activity of the older brothers. It was felt that their interests, were somewhat different from those of the younger brothers.
A group of brothers from Eta, including its immediate Past President, Attorney Peyton F. Anderson, who was also Eastern Region Vice President, met on December 23, 1926, and organized Alpha Psi Chapter with Attorney Myles A. Paige, as temporary President; James Fladger, Secretary; and E.P. Roberts, M.D. as Treasurer.
The first major decision of the chapter was to send two delegates: Bros. James Fladger and Rev. J.Raymond Henderson to the 19th General Convention, which was held in Richmond, Virginia on December 27, 1926. The decision at that convention concerning the nomenclature of graduate chapters resulted in changing the name of Alpha Psi.
Shortly after the convention in 1927, the members of Alpha Psi, met at 355 West 145th Street, New York City - the home of Brother James C. Thomas, Assistant District Attorney - to formulate a new name. It was at this meeting, that Alpha Gamma Lambda was founded.
The spirit of Alpha Phi Alpha was indeed very high that evening, while the brotherhood feasted on an elaborate supper. Brother Paul Robeson, destined to become a legendary and world-renowned figure, sang several musical selections. The tradition of supper or repast following each Alpha Gamma Lambda Chapter meeting, has continued to this day. In February 1927, the old charter was returned and a new charter was issued.
The following brothers signed the charter: Myles A. Paige, Esq. Peyton F. Anderson, Esq. Lamar Perkins James E. Fladger "Jewel" Eugene Kinckle Jones W.T. Andrews W.P. Hayes Gerold F. Norman Edgar F. Henderson James C. Thomas, Esq. J. Edward Lowrey, M.D. Paul Collins Lucien M. Brown, M.D. James S. Watson, Esq. Thomas B. Dyett, Esq. Louis R. Middleton, D.D.S. G.W. Strickland Clarence Richardson
Elected officers were: Myles A. Paige, President; W.P. Hayes, Vice President; Attorney Thomas B. Dyett, Financial Secretary and F.L. Thomas, Editor (to the Sphinx).
Alpha Gamma Lambda presented a spirit and tenacity that would make the founders proud. Among the chapter's notable achievements, is the co-hosting of the 20th General Convention with Eta Chapter in the Great Hall of the College of the City of New York. The convention's theme was "The World of Tomorrow." This was the mission statement to build a world of brotherhood, during a time of impending war.
Educational development has been emphasized through the establishment of a scholarship foundation, and in conjunction with the neighboring chapters, the brothers of Alpha Gamma Lambda, engage in feeding the hungry and the less fortunate.
Project Alpha is one of the mentoring programs focusing on life and manhood for young African and Hispanic adolescents. One emphasis is on teenage pregnancy and the responsibilities of young fathers. The program is a "Rite of Passage" that provides young men with a forum for their cognitive and social development as men.