Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,
Alpha Phi Alpha
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 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.
Mu Chapter History
The founding of The "Mighty" Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Minnesota may be traced to the meeting of March 11, 1911, of twelve students enrolled at the University. Mr. Gale P. Hilyer and Mr. James L. Titus called the meeting because they felt:
“Whereas the colored students of the University of Minnesota, do feel the need of organization and cooperation, and do realize the need of promoting good fellowship among ourselves, and of furthering the interests of ourselves and our race, looking to the Almighty Father for guidance, do organize this club”.
With these intentions in mind, the social club Pi Alpha Tau was established. The following men were present: James L. Titus, Gale P. Hilyer, Benjamin F. Bullock, R. C. McCullough, Jasper Gibbs, Jr., Hammond Turner, Raymond W. Cannon, Nelson D. Ricks, Frederick L. Parker, John H. Hickman, Jr., William M. Godette, and George Edgar Butler.
The goal of the social club was to maintain high literary and musical ideals among the black people in Minneapolis and St. Paul, sponsoring many cultural events. The social club received much praise from the president of the University, Cyrus N. Northrop, for promoting unity among the black students on campus, including this written response about the new organization:
“I am very glad that you propose to form a club of the Colored (Black) students at the University. Such a club can do great good in promoting friendship and acquaintance among yourselves, and in securing respect from others. It will be a stimulus to faithful scholarly work and will show you what you are able to do. I congratulate you on your prospect and I wish your club the greatest of success in all the years to come.”
On April 12, 1912, the social club officially transitioned into the Mu chapter, the eleventh house of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and soon became one of the leading chapters in the General Organization, and from its membership, several leaders of the fraternity have been chosen.
THE FIRST INITIATES OF MU CHAPTER:
Brother Benjamin F. Bullock
Brother Jasper Gibbs, Jr.
Brother John Hickman, Jr.
Brother Gale P. Hilyer
Brother Reuben C. McCullough
Brother Frederick L. Parker
Brother Nelson D. Ricks
Brother James L. Titus
Brother Louis Valle
Founding Date: December 4, 1906
Founding Institution: Cornell University
National Website: www.apa1906.net
Chapter Name: Mu Chapter
Chapter President: Xavier Walden