Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Upsilon Alpha Chapter

Founded Nationally: Cornell University, December 4, 1906

Chartered at Upstate: February 8, 2009 

Symbol(s): Sphinx

Color(s): Black & Old Gold

Nickname(s): Alpha, YA

National Affiliation: National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)

Minimum National Requirements*

Chapter Instagram:upstatealphas

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. National Website

Eight Alpha Phi Alpha brothers stand in front of a painted rock with Four brothers behind them standing on top of the rock. All brothers are throwing up their hand sign.

Since its founding on Dec. 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 was the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African- Americans. The organization 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.

While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African-Americans. Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through leaders such as: W.E.B. DuBois; Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.; Edward Brooke; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Thurgood Marshall; Andrew Young; William Gray; Paul Robeson; and many others.

The fraternity’s national programs and special projects are community- outreach mentoring initiatives that have been adopted by the organization’s governing body and mandated for implementation by all of its chapters. The organization’s national programs include:

  • Go-to-High School, Go-to-College
  • Project Alpha
  • A Voteless People Is a Hopeless People
  • Brother’s Keeper


* These are the national minimum requirements. Chapters may have higher standards. Please reach out directly to the chapter to inquire about their chapter requirements.


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