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Alpha Phi Alpha at Penn

February 24, 2012

Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate fraternity for African American students, was founded in 1906 at the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The fraternity aimed to support young black men in a hostile, largely white Ivy League environment. Starting as a social club, later developing into an honor society, and finally a fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha is the first organization to withstand the arduous social and academic currents, and aims to uplift Blacks in our community day in and day out.

Alpha Phi Alpha also has a storied history at the University of Pennsylvania. The Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, chartered January 21st, 1920, by 21 men, is the final single letter chapter of the fraternity, and one of five seated at an Ivy League institution. It was one of the first student organizations on campus, and the first president of the chapter was renowned lawyer and Wharton graduate Raymond Pace Alexander. He is also husband to Sadie Alexander (née Mossell), the first women to earn a Ph.D. in the United States, and a founding sister of the Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Sorority, Incorporated.

Psi Chapter has been a mainstay in the Philadelphian community for the better part of the last 90 years, and has initiated hundreds of men who embody the ideals of manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. Currently, there are nine active brothers in Psi Chapter, coming from three of the seven schools under the chapter’s charter (University of Pennsylvania, Villanova Univerisity, Drexel University, St. Joseph’s University, Haverford College, Swarthmore College & the University of the Sciences).

Ike Onyeador, CAS ’14

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