Our Mission

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.

Our Vision

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.

The first two objectives- [1] to stimulate the ambition of its members and [2] to prepare them for the greatest usefulness in the cause of humanity, freedom, and dignity of the individual-serve as the basis for the establishment of Alpha University.

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Alpha Legacy: A Brief History

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 developed at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell. 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.

Alpha Legacy: The Founding Seven Jewels

The founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. were no ordinary achievers. Given racial attitudes in 1906, their accomplishments were monumental. As founder Henry Arthur Callis euphemistically stated-because the half-dozen African American students at Cornell University during the school year 1904-05 did not return to campus the following year, the incoming students in 1905-06, in founding Alpha Phi Alpha, were determined to bind themselves together to ensure that each would survive in the racially hostile environment. In coming together with this simple act, they preceded by decades the emergence of such on-campus programs as affirmative action, upward bound and remedial assistance. The students set outstanding examples of scholarship, leadership and success-preceding the efforts even of the NAACP and similar civil rights organizations.

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Henry Arthur Callis

Henry Arthur Callis became a practicing physician, Howard University Professor of Medicine and prolific contributor to medical journals. Often regarded as the "philosopher of the founders," and a moving force in the Fraternity's development, he was the only one of the "Cornell Seven" to become General President. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., he was a medical consultant to the Veterans Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama. Upon his death in 1974, at age 87, the Fraternity entered a time without any living Jewels. His papers were donated to Howard's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

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Eugene Kinckle Jones

Eugene Kinckle Jones became the first Executive Secretary of the National Urban League. His 20-year tenure with the Urban League thus far has exceeded those of all his successors in office. A versatile leader, he organized the first three Fraternity chapters that branched out from Cornell-Beta at Howard, Gamma at Virginia Union and the original Delta at the University of Toronto in Canada. In addition to becoming Alpha Chapter's second President and joining with Callis in creating the Fraternity name, Jones was a member of the first Committees on Constitution and Organization and helped write the Fraternity ritual. Jones also has the distinction of being one of the first initiates as well as an original founder. His status as a founder was not finally established until 1952. He died in 1954.

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Nathaniel Allison Murray

Nathaniel Allison Murray pursued graduate work after completing his undergraduate studies at Howard. He later returned home to Washington, D.C., where he taught in public schools. Much of his career was spent at Armstrong Vocational High School in the District of Columbia. He was a member of Alpha Chapter's first committee on organization of the new fraternal group, as well as the Committee on the Grip. The charter member of Washington's Mu Lambda Chapter was a frequent attendee of General Conventions. He died in 1959.

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Charles Henry Chapman

Charles Henry Chapman entered higher education and eventually became Professor of Agriculture at what is now Florida A&M University. A university funeral was held with considerable Fraternity participation when he became the first Jewel to enter Omega Chapter in 1934. Described as "a Brother beloved in the bonds," Chapman was a founder of FAMU's Beta Nu Chapter. During the organization stages of Alpha Chapter, he was the first chairman of the Committees on Initiation and Organization.

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George Biddle Kelley

George Biddle Kelley became the first African American engineer registered in the state of New York. Not only was he the strongest proponent of the Fraternity idea among the organization's founders, the civil engineering student also became Alpha Chapter's first President. In addition, he served on committees that worked out the handshake and ritual. Kelley was popular with the Brotherhood. He resided in Troy, New York and was active with Beta Pi Lambda Chapter in Albany. He died in 1963.

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Robert Harold Ogle

Robert Harold Ogle entered the career secretarial field and had the unique privilege of serving as a professional staff member to the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations. He was an African American pioneer in his Capitol Hill position. He proposed the Fraternity's colors and was Alpha Chapter's first secretary. Ogle joined Kelley in working out the first ritual and later became a charter member of Washington's Mu Lambda Chapter. He died in 1936.

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Vertner Woodson Tandy

Vertner Woodson Tandy became the state of New York's first registered black architect, with offices on Broadway in New York City. The designer of the Fraternity pin holds the distinction of being the first African American to pass the military commissioning examination and was commissioned First Lieutenant in the 15th Infantry of the New York State National Guard. He was Alpha Chapter's first treasurer and took the initiative to incorporate the Fraternity. Among the buildings designed by the highly talented architect is Saint Phillips Episcopal Church in New York City. He died in 1949, at age 64.

Prominent Brothers

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  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Civil Rights Activist
  • Julius L. Chambers: NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Lester Granger: National Urban League
  • Frederick Douglass: Anti-Slavery Activist
  • W.E.B. Dubois: Writer, Historian, Civil Rights Activist
  • Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.: Civil Rights Activist
  • Thurgood Marshall: Civil Rights Activist, Supreme Court Justice
  • Paul Robeson: Activist, Scholar, Singer, Football Player
  • Dick Gregory: Activist
  • William Gray: United Negro College Fund, Businessman
  • Franklin Williams: Phelps-Stokes Fund
  • James Check: Howard University
  • Thomas W. Cole, Jr.: President, Clark-Atlanta University
  • William B. DeLauder: President, Delaware St. University
  • John Hope Franklin: Historian
  • E. Franklin Frazier: Sociologist
  • Dennis Kimbro: Author
  • Frederick Patterson: Founder, UNCF
  • Dr. Ronald J. Temple: Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Cornell West: Author
  • Andrew Zawacki: Rhodes Scholar, Author
  • Dr. Raymond W. Cannon: 1st Edition, Sphinx Magazine
  • Norm Francis: President, Xavier University
  • Roscoe Cartwright: General, AUS
  • Samuel Gravel: Admiral, USN
  • Edward Honor: Major General, AUS
  • Fred A. Gorden: Brigadier General
  • Samuel Gravely: Admiral
  • Benjamin Hacker: Rear Admiral
  • Edward Honor: Major General
  • James McCall: Major General
  • Dr. Lessall D. Leffall: President, American College of Surgeons
  • James Comer: Psychologist
  • Garrett Morgan: Inventor, Traffic Signal
  • Louis Sullivan: Secretary of Health and Education
  • Winston Scott: Commander NASA
  • Kwame Kilpatrick: Mayor of Detroit
  • Dennis Archer: former, Mayor of Detroit
  • Richard Arrington: Mayor of Birmingham
  • Willie Brown: Mayor of San Francisco
  • David Dinkins: Former Mayor of New York
  • Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver: Mayor of Kansas City
  • Chaka Fattah: Congressman, Pennsylvania
  • Ernest Finney: South Carolina Supreme Court Justice
  • Earl Hilliard: Congressman, Alabama (7th District)
  • Maynard Jackson: Former Mayor of Atlanta
  • Thurgood Marshall: Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Earnest "Dutch" Morial: 1st Black Mayor of New Orleans
  • Marc Morial: Mayor of New Orleans
  • Charles Rangel: Congressman, New York (15th District)
  • Robert C. Scott: Congressman, Virginia (3rd District)
  • Andrew Young: Former Mayor of Atlanta
  • Thomas J. Burrell: CEO, Burrell Advertising
  • W. Melvin Brown: CEO, American Development Corp.
  • John H. Johnson: Entrepreneur
  • Delano Lewis: President, National Public Radio
  • Henry Parks: Founder, Parks Sausages, Inc.
  • Joshua Smith: CEO, Maxima Corporation
  • Daryl Bell: Actor
  • Tony Brown: Journalist/Producer
  • Countee Cullen: Poet
  • Duke Ellington: Jazz Musician
  • Donny Hathaway: Musician
  • Eugene Jackson: National Black Network
  • Stuart Scott: ESPN Anchorman
  • Chuck Stone: Philadelphia Daily News
  • Keenan Ivory Wayans: Comedian, Producer
  • Quinn Buckner: Former NBA Player and Coach
  • Wes Chandler: Former NFL Player
  • Todd Day: NBA Player
  • Rosie Greer: Former NFL Player
  • Charles Haley: NFL Player
  • Michael Jackson: NFL Player
  • Carnell Lake: NFL Player
  • Jesse Owens: Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Fritz Pollard: 1st Black Head Coach in the NFL
  • Mike Powell: Track Star
  • Eddie Robinson: Winningest Football Coach in NCAA History
  • Art Shell: Former NFL Player and Coach
  • Wes Unseld: Former NBA Player and Coach
  • Gene Upshaw: President of the NFL Players Association
  • Lenny Wilkens: Winningest Coach in NBA History
  • John "Hot Rod" Williams: Former NBA Player
  • Reggie Williams: Cincinnati Bengals