Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American Men, 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 fraternity initially served as a social 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.
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.
The seven 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.
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 the emergence of such on-campus programs as Affirmative Action and Upward Bound. They set outstanding examples of Scholarship, Leadership and Tenacity.
CHARLES HENRY CHAPMAN
EUGENE KINCKLE JONES
NATHANIEL ALLISON MURRAY
VERTNER WOODSON TANDY
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.
Manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind.
First of all, servants of all, we shall transcend all.
Our objective is to stimulate the ambition of its members; to prepare them for the greatest usefulness in the causes of humanity, dignity and freedom 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.