Friday, November 21, 2008

Alpha's Founders Day Observance

The Honorable Frank D. Jackson
Mayor, City of Prairie View

Alphas to Celebrate Anniversary Founders Day

The members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in Prairie View will join Alphas around the world in commemorating its 102nd Anniversary with a special Founders’ Day Observance Program on December 7, 2008 in the Opal Johnson Smith Auditorium at Prairie View A&M University at 3:00 pm. The speaker for the occasion is the honorable Frank D. Jackson, Mayor, City of Prairie View and Director for Government Relations at Prairie View A&M University.

Jackson, first elected as Mayor in 2004, is serving a third term and has been a driving force in the development of the city of the past three years. In addition to his role as mayor, Mr. Jackson is the Director for Government Relations at Prairie View A&M University, a position that takes him to the Capital in Austin, Washington DC and even international, making the case for Prairie View A&M in government circles. Jackson is a former Waller County Commissioner and was first elected to the PV City Council in 1982.

The fraternity was the first fraternity founded for Black college men on December 4, 1906, on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., by Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy.

The program is being hosted by the Eta Gamma (PVAMU) and Epsilon Tau Lambda (Prairie View), and assisted by Pi Omicron (TAMU) and Pi Alpha Lambda (College Station) Chapters, all members of Area IX of the Fraternity, under the direction of Bob Abraham.

Since its founding, the fraternity has provided leadership and service during the Great Depression, World War II, Civil Rights Movements, and addressed social issues such as apartheid and urban housing, and other economic, cultural, and political issues affecting people of color. Under its charge manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind it has established programs for mentoring, academic achievement, voter education and has made community service priority number one. Some of its major programs include the Million Dollar Contribution to the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the United Negro Scholarship Fund. The fraternity is leading the management and construction of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the Washington Mall. Dr. King was one of the most revered brothers of the fraternity. Attorney Harry E. Johnson, Sr., the fraternity’s 31st General President serves as the President of the MLK Foundation.

The fraternity boasts membership of more than two hundred college trained men dispersed in more than 1,500 college and 900 alumni chapters throughout the United States, Korea, Europe and the Caribbean. Some of its prominent members include Justice Thurgood Marshall, Congressmen William Gray, Charles Rangel, Ralph Metcalf, Emmanuel Cleaver, Al Green; Ebony Publisher John H. Johnson, former PVAMU presidents Alvin I. Thomas, E. B. Evans and Charles Hines, Mayors Lee P. Brown, David Dinkins, Maynard Jackson, Frank Jackson, Raymond E. Carreathers and Jiles P. Daniels, Sr., Texas State Representatives Al Edwards and Sylvester Turner, musicians Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie; Rhodes Scholar, Activist and Leader Paul Robeson, Olympian Jesse Owens, and legendary coaches Eddie Robinson and Lenny Wilkins and to name a few.

The founders’ day observance is open to the public. Several community awards will be presented to outstanding citizens who have made significant contributions throughout the year. The group will also honor several members of the athletic programs at Prairie View A&M University.

The fraternity is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and Mr. Darryl R. Matthews, Sr. is 32nd General President, a position he's held since 2005.

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