National History

The history of Alpha Phi Omega is a story of Leadership, Friendship, and Service. Since the founding at Lafayette College in 1925, more than 255,000 students have participated in this nationwide Brotherhood. From a single chapter in 1925, this National Service Fraternity has grown to 717 chapters.

Following the chartering of Beta Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh, three more chapters were chartered in 1927-Gamma at Cornell University on February 18, Delta at Auburn University on November 8, and Epsilon at the Northeast Missouri State University on December 13. And with the chartering of the sixty chapter-Zeta at Stanford University on May 19,1928, Alpha Phi Omega in its first four years had spread from the East to the South to the Midwest and all the ways to the Pacific Coast. The Fraternity has continued to grow, having chartered more chapters than any other collegiate-organization.

In the very early years, decisions of the National Fraternity were made by mail. The first actual assembly of delegates in convention was in St. Louis, Missouri, March 1 and 2, 1931. By that date the Fraternity had grown to 18 chapters. Seven of the chapters were represented at the convention by a total of 23 students and advisors.

Thirty-eight biennial National Conventions have been held(two were skipped in 1942 and 1944 because of World War II). A special Constitutional Convention was held in 1967.

At the 1931 Convention, the presiding officer was Frank R. Horton. He had served s Supreme Grand Master(National President) from the beginning of the organization until that time. The convention elected Dr. H. Roe Bartle to succeed our Founder as Supreme Grand Master.

For years, Alpha Phi Omega state conventions were held. Today chapters are grouped in “sections” and “regions.” there are 54 sections in 11 regions across the country. Sectional and Regional Conferences are a very important part in our Fraternity operation. They foster good fellowship and helpful exchange of ideas for the advance of our service program.

At the 1976 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, the delegates voted to open the ranks of full membership to women, thereby making the Alpha Phi Omega experience available to all students