ALPHA RHO

HISTORY

Alpha Rho

The rich history of the Alpha Rho chapter is one steeped in a long-standing tradition of excellence in leadership, scholarship and service. The deep roots of Alpha Rho lie intertwined with that of the distinguished and visionary men of the Eta Lambda chapter. Established May 20, 1920, Eta Lambda was organized to serve the fraternal needs of both undergraduate and graduate brothers at Atlanta University and Morehouse College. Brother Roderick Harris and three of his fellow Morehouse juniors - Charles W. Greene, William E. Anderson, and W.G. Dixon - became four of the twenty-one charter members of Eta Lambda chapter. These four men in turn would introduce Greek life to Morehouse College. Yet, it was not until four years later that Morehouse would have its own chapter.

The President of the College at that time was Dr. John Hope, a distinguished scholar from Brown University. A pioneer in the field of education, he was the College's first African-American president. Hope, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, encouraged an intellectual climate comparable to what he had known at his alma mater and openly challenged Booker T. Washington's view on education. Under his presidency, a new era in academic achievement was underway at Morehouse.

 

Although Hope was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the administration at Morehouse was openly hostile towards fraternities as they were seen to be disruptive to the bonds of brotherhood already being established at the College. Based upon the strong encouragement of a long-time friend and faculty associate, W.E.B. Dubois, President John Hope would make a bold move and accept the call to become a noble member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. through the Eta Lambda Chapter in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly thereafter, all Greek letter organizations were recognized and Dr. Hope stated in Chapel that he had been wrong about fraternities and thereafter all opposition to fraternities had ended.

The rich history of the Alpha Rho chapter is one steeped in a long-standing tradition of excellence in leadership, scholarship and service. The deep roots of Alpha Rho lie intertwined with that of the distinguished and visionary men of the Eta Lambda chapter. Established May 20, 1920, Eta Lambda was organized to serve the fraternal needs of both undergraduate and graduate brothers at Atlanta University and Morehouse College. Brother Roderick Harris and three of his fellow Morehouse juniors - Charles W. Greene, William E. Anderson, and W.G. Dixon - became four of the twenty-one charter members of Eta Lambda chapter. These four men in turn would introduce Greek life to Morehouse College. Yet, it was not until four years later that Morehouse would have its own chapter.

During the early late 20s and early 30s, Alpha men such as Burrell Brown, Hugh M. Gloster, T.M. Alexander, Andrew Generalissimo Lewis, George Key, and Asa Yancey would embody the spirit of Fraternity through their deeds as Alpha Rho men.

 

In the 1940s, brothers such as Charles V. Willie, Albert Wardlaw, Otis Smith, Wendell Whalum, Calvin Brown, Artis White, Noah Wills, Jr, E. Bruce Phillips, Samuel McKinney were initiated at Alpha Rho Chapter. There were more than 50 brothers in the chapter during that time.

 

During the 50s and 60s, Alpha Men such as Charlie Moreland, Otis Moss, Maynard Jackson, Jr, Louis J. Sullivan, Willie “Flash” Davis, James R. Hall, Willis Sheftall, J.K. Haynes, Earl Hilliard, Abraham Davis, Hamilton Holmes and others joined the fraternity during the times when the pro-black, anti-Greek sentiments resurfaced. There were three brothers - Cecil, James and Archibald Brown - who were initiated on the same line.

 

During the late 70s and early 80s, membership in Alpha Rho grew to more than 60 brothers annually, and the chapter commanded a well-respected leadership of the student body. During this era, Alpha Rho was seen as the powerhouse of student leadership. Alpha Men such as Adam Smith, Don Webster, Walter Falconer, Dewayne Tolbert, Henry Goodgame, Terrance Jeter, Noah Wills III, Albert Vivian, E. David Ballard, William Ross, Benjamin Ross, Judge Walter Williams, and Kevin Whalum were initiated here. During this period, Christopher, Edward and David Richardson were initiated. The chapter remained committed to service to humanity through our various community service programs. Quality social events like the Genesis were sponsored during the Homecoming weekend.

Volunteer projects such as St. Anthony's Night Shelter for the homeless, The Harland Boys and Girls Club program, the UNCF Telethon, the race for Sickle Cell, and later the Alpha Literacy Program were all conducted with compassion and attention to detail. 

 

The Honorable Bro. Jerome Farris, who is now a U.S. Circuit Court Judge served in both 1950 and 1951. Bro. Dr. Louis Sullivan, who went on to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bush and later became the President of the Morehouse School of Medicine, served in 1953. Bro. Hamilton E. Holmes transferred from Morehouse to integrate the University of Georgia in 1961 but maintained his membership in Alpha Rho due to UGA’s not having a chapter at that time. Bro. Holmes served in both 1962 and 1963.

Throughout its history, the Alpha Rho chapter has served as the standard for all others to follow. Since 1998, the chapter has produced five valedictorians, five salutatorians, five SGA presidents, two SGA vice presidents, a Rhodes scholar finalist, and countless student-leaders in every facet of campus life. The College’s class of 2014 graduated roughly 450 men, 45 of them receiving Phi Beta Kappa honors; of those 45, nine were fraternity members, each a member of the Alpha Rho chapter. Today, the chapter seeks to continue its strong legacy in leadership, excellence, and service through its many campus events and programs as well as ongoing mentoring service in the Thomasville neighborhood in southeast Atlanta and involvement in a youth leadership program for young men. Men of Alpha Rho strive first to make a positive impact on the student body, campus, community and beyond, staying true to the Fraternity’s motto that challenges them to be “servants of all.”

THE HISTORY OF

ALPHA RHO 

© 2020 The Alpha Rho Chapter

All rights reserved

Website Designed by EasterlinX

  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle