November 13, 2004 - Bro. Horner Williams "The Invisible Man"
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"Alpha History"
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter, Inc.
Founded October 13, 1926

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

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The History of Alpha Phi Alpha,
A Development in College Life, Page 183, 2000 edition

Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter
Newark, New Jersey 2013

"It is much harder for a member to stay in a fraternity than it is to enter it. "

12th General President Raymond W. Cannon, 1927

It was decided that the first annual convention of the alumni organization should meet in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on September 3 and 4, 1917. It was hoped that this meeting would be not only the means of maintaining the Alpha Phi Alpha spirit during the period of college days, but also of
"Alpha Phi Alpha for Life."
(Credited to Brother E. B. Smith of Beta)
The History of Alpha Phi Alpha,
A Development in College Life, Page 104, 2000 edition

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"Alpha For Life" - Sphinx Magazine Ad - 1971

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The Founders

Cornell University
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Centennial Celebration
Cornell University - Centennial Celebration

Alpha East
Eastern Region

New Jersey Association of
Alpha Phi Alpha Chapters


Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter, Inc.
Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter, Inc.

Alpha Men of Action
Community Leaders Page

Membership Handbook

Sphinx Magazine

Alpha Syllabus

Alpha For Life
Sphinx  Magazine Ad

Twenty years after the founding of our dear Fraternity, the Brothers in the State of New Jersey experienced a need to establish a local chapter to sustain them in their efforts to address what has been called the problem of the 20th Century – the problem of the color line; while pursuing, ambitiously their professional careers.

Therefore on a fall Wednesday evening, October 13, 1926, in the home of Brother Dr. Clarence S. Janifer, Sr., at 208 Parker Street, Newark, New Jersey; Bro. Peyton Anderson, Eastern Regional Vice President with Bro. James Fladger and Bro. Leslie Thompson of Eta Chapter (Columbia University) along with the following Brothers met to form a New Jersey chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Thirteen alumni Brothers made application for charter. Ultimately, fourteen were recognized as charter members.:

  • Dr. Walter G. Alexander
  • William M. Ashby
  • Richard B. Carter
  • Ernest Clarkson
  • John Douglas
  • John E. Hayes
  • E. Gaylord Howell
  • Dr. Clarence S. Janifer
  • Dudley A. Johnson
  • J. C. McKelvie
  • James O. Randolph
  • Frank F. Thompson
  • Dr. Arthur C. Thornhill
  • Ferdinand D. Williams

On October 13, 1926, a charter was granted and the formation of Alpha Alpha Lambda Chapter was authorized.
  The History of Alpha Phi Alpha, page 161, 2000 edition

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated is the first collegiate fraternity for African-American men, founded December 4, 1906 at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. The Fraternity was founded by seven visionary men honorably named 'The Jewels'. At the turn of the century, the Fraternity was born out of a desire to promote close association and mutual support among the small population of African-American male college students. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has provided leadership, development, and community service training to young men for more than a century. Thanks largely to the visions of its Founders and dedicated leaders; the Fraternity has become the most prestigious organization of its kind in existence today. Since its founding, over 200,000 men have been initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. It has been international since 1945 and interracial since 1946. There are now 375 chapters on college campuses and 375 alumni chapters in 45 states, including the District of Columbia. There are also chapters in the West Indies, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Virgin Islands.
Who were 'The Jewels'?

The Jewels are the Founders of our illustrious fraternity, whom we hold in high regard.   The Fraternity was organized to support young African-American men attending Cornell University. The Jewels took it upon themselves to begin a group that was designed to help themselves and others academically and socially. After leaving Cornell, The Jewels went out into the world and upheld the name of Alpha.
An Introduction to the Founding Fathers known as the "Jewels":

Jewel Dr. 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.

Jewel 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.

Jewel 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.

Jewel 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.

Jewel 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.

Jewel 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.

Jewel Vertner Woodson Tandy became the state of New York’s first registered African-American architect. Working from his office 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 are Villa Lewaro, the mansion of millionairess Madame CJ Walker, Ivey Delph Apartments and  Saint Philip's Episcopal Church in New York City. He died in 1949, at age 64.