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Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.



“First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All”


Manly deeds, scholarship and a love for all mankind!!!


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.  


Years later, Pi Chapter, an undergraduate chapter, which grew out of the Cleveland College Club, composed of students attending Case Western Reserve University, was established in Cleveland Ohio and became the fifteenth chartered chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  Graduate (Alumni) brothers in the Cleveland area were affiliated with Pi Chapter until Delta Alpha Lambda Chapter was chartered November 15, 1947 to provide continuing leadership opportunities for Brothers beyond the college years.

Brother Josephus Hicks was elected the first DAL President, Henry C. Crawford: Vice President, Harold Barnett: Secretary, Kweigger Aggrey: Treasurer, Jay B. Walker: Associate Sphinx Editor. Additionally, since its inception 29 other distinguished brothers served as Presidents to date.  Some of the fifty Charter brothers involved in the very early years of our chapter include: Henry C. “Heinie” Crawford, Milus Graham, Joe Hall, Felix Haney, Frank “Doc” Kelker, Bob Madison, Joe Smith, Bert Styles, Carl Richards and Henry L. “Hank” Williams.

Meetings were held at Dr. Christopher’s Funeral Home, the office of Edwin “Fly” Williams, Sr., the Redmond Building, Corky and Lenny’s, First Bank and the Cedar YMCA.  They were also held at the Alpha House owned by the chapter on Magnolia Drive prior to the construction of the VA Hospital.  Presently, the chapter meets at Cleveland State University.  As in the past, meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Friday of each month, with the exception of the months of July and August.

Many Alpha Brothers have enhanced both the local and national scenes through endowments, both personal and financial, i.e., the gas mask and stop light inventions of Brother Garrett Morgan; leadership presentations to high school youth through our local Project Alpha, a Midwest Region’s leadership Program at colleges within our Midwest area and the Pride Program initiated and carried on by Brother Josephus Hicks, who encouraged many Cleveland Public Schools to qualify for and to fly the “Pride Flag” along with “Old Glory.”

The Chapter always supports national and local programs and projects.  National programs have included The Million Dollar Fund Drive, Project Alpha, Go-To-High School-Go-To-College and funding for the Martin Luther King Memorial.  Local programs include: Founder’s Day Services followed by attending Sunday Church Services at churches where Alpha Brothers serve as pastors, Distribution of Holiday Food Baskets to Needy Families, The Sweetheart Brunch honoring Ladies of Alpha, a Scholarship Fund-Raiser, A Family Picnic and The Annual Elmer Collins Golf Outing are just a few of the community projects DAL sponsors.

DAL has also received recognition for its’ opening on December 5, 1987, of the Alpha Phi Alpha Housing Estates by the national body. Community recognition from the Greater Cleveland area over the years have come from the NAACP (Golden Heritage and Distinguished Service plaque), the Urban League and the United Black Fund to include a few.

Additionally in 2010, Delta Alpha Lambda received The Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award and The Charles H. Wesley Award from the Ohio District. Special thanks and acknowledgment to those who contributed to the keeping of the History of DAL: Brother Chellis D. Madison, Brother Milton Randall, and Brother Sidney S. Thompson and all of the members who contributed to the publishing of the 1994 edition of DAL history and the Millennium edition.  This brief abridgment is extracted from the earlier editions.

Together we forge ahead in the twentieth-first century continuing the legacy of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., ever committed to our motto: “First of All, Servants of All, We shall Transcend All.”  

Brother Daniel J. Brinson, Sr., Historian
Submitted - September 14, 2011

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