Beta chpater

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Description: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., which is the oldest Black Greek letter organization was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The first unit of this national

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., which is the oldest Black Greek letter organization was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The first unit of this national fraternity, organized by college men, was called Alpha Chapter. It was founded as a response to a need for an organization of highly motivated and college trained Black men, which could address the problems of the Black Community. This need was recognized by the visionary founders of the fraternity, know as the Seven Jewels. These innovative men, Jewels Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy, labored in years of economic struggle and racial conflict in the United States. Despite the difficulties of organization in this untried field of student life the early fraternity pioneers succeeded in laying a firm and purposeful foundation. From this timely beginning, the dream and influence of Alpha Phi Alpha spread to other groups of young men who wrought avenues by which to affect needed change. Thus an organization that sprang from a need for Black self help and unity on a predominantly White college setting has grown into an Organization of worldwide scope and influences. With the betterment of the Black community in mind, Alpha Phi Alpha has embarked upon a program of racial action and social purpose.

The fraternity has grown steadily in scope and influence since its inception. Beta Chapter which was the first chapter of a Black Greek letter organization to exist on a Black college campus, was founded at Howard University on December 20, 1907. Since that time the organization can boast of approximately 615 chapters scattered throughout the United States, Caribbean Islands, Africa, Europe, and other parts of the world. There is no doubt that Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc will continue to strive for excellence, give service and provide leadership in finding solutions to the ongoing problems facing the Black Community.

NATIONAL PROGRAMS The fraternity instituted the "Go to High School - Go to College" program, which was designed to impress upon the Black Youths the importance and necessity of education, as well as the Education Foundation which set aside scholarships and fellowships for outstanding students. These programs were specifically designed to address the problem of educational opportunity for the disadvantaged and minorities.

The fraternity helped finance landmark legal cases like the Scottsboro Case. In addition to this, Alpha men who happened to be attorneys actively attacked Jim Crow laws and fought for equal rights in courtrooms throughout the end. Realizing the importance of the utilization of voting rights by Black People, a voter registration program was instituted under the slogan "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People". The fraternity has provided leadership in all fields of endeavor. Alpha men were vital to the founding of the National Urban League, United Negro College Fund, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation began collaboratively implementing Project Alpha National Program in 1980. This collaborative project is designed to provide education, motivation and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for young males ages 12-15 years. Designed to provide young men with current and accurate information about teen pregnancy prevention, Project Alpha consists of a series of workshops and informational sessions conducted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brothers.

The fraternity's most recent national program entitlied Brother’s Keeper is a service program developed with the mission of advocating for and improving the quality of life for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. brothers, their spouses, and widows who are retired, are elders, have disabilities and are ailing. Upon identification of need, the Brother’s Keeper Program also provides assistance to mature and ailing members of its communities. Limitations caused by advanced age place demands on family members, caregivers, and the larger community to ensure that elders remain independently functional. The goal of the Brother’s Keeper Program is to promote dignity and independence among Alpha family and community members who need help in keeping their lives and homes functional.

The history of Alpha Phi Alpha's second oldest chapter is interwoven with that of Howard University where Beta was established by Jewel Eugene Kinkle Jones and Jewel Nathaniel Allison Murray on December 20, 1907, just one year after the fraternity was born. The charter members are were Brothers Welford W, Wilson, C. Edmund Smith, A. Peyton Cook, John A. McMurray, George A. Lyle, Carl A. Young, J. Oliver Morrison, Moses Alvin Morrison, James R. Chase, Cornelius S. Cowan, J. Russel Hunt, William D. Giles, Robert E. Giles, Daniel W. Bowles, Morris S. Walton, Junius W. Jones and James E. Hayes.

In 1908, Beta served as host to the fraternity's first General Convention and had the honor of providing Alpha's First General President, Brother Moses Alvin Morrison. Each year during the chapter's first sixteen years, at least one national officer came from Beta's roster---including four General Presidents. In addition to Brother Morrison, other general presidents from Beta Chapter were Brothers Charles H. Garvin, Howard H. Long, and W.A. Pollard.

During its 80 plus year history, Beta has been one of the fraternity's largest and most outstanding college chapters. Its impact has often been felt beyond the Howard Campus. For instance, its members during World War I pioneered in the movement leading to the establishment of training programs for the commissioning of Blacks as officers in the United States Army.

The University also has been well served by the presence of Beta. Using an old piano in the first of several structures in which the chapter has been housed (located on what is now the School of Engineering), Brothers Fred J. Malone and J. Hunter Brooks composed Howard's Alma Mater.

Some of the University's most recognized alumni were initiates Beta, including former Massachusetts Senator Edward W. Brooke, a Washingtonian who first served Beta president and later as General Counsel and Eastern Region Vice-President; David Dinkins, Borough President of Manhattan; Dr. James H. Robinson, Founder-Director, Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc.; William T. Patrick, Jr, first Black Detroit Councilman and Assistant General Attorney of Michigan Bell Telephone Company; Andrew Young, Former United Nations Ambassador and Present Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia; Donny Hathaway, Singer and Recording Artist; and Sydney P. Brown, author of "House of Alpha".

The brothers of Beta chapter have been involved in every facet of Howard University campus life. They have served as scholars, leaders in student government, athletes, singers, musicians, even though engaged in a full spectrum of academic endeavor. Their academic prowess has earned numerous awards and recognitions by organizations such as Who's Who and Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, Beta alumni, with the double distinction of being Alpha men and Howard graduates, have entered the community and made contributions as doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, engineers, educators, and many other professions.

Today, as in 1907, Beta men continue the great tradition started with the birth of Alpha Phi Alpha, stressing achievement, service, commitment, and, high above all, brotherhood.

The 19 Initiates
  • Welford R. Wilson
  • Cornelius S. Cowan
  • C. Edmund Smith
  • J. Russel Hunt
  • A. Payton Cook
  • William D. Giles
  • John A. McMurray
  • Robert E. Giles
  • George A. Lyle
  • Daniel W. Bowels
  • Carl A. Young
  • Morris S. Walton
  • J. Oliver Morrison
  • Junius W. Jones
  • Moses Alvin Morrison
  • James E. Hayes
  • James R. Chase

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