This fall, Hobart and William Smith Colleges officially established the Upsilon Pi charter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for African American Men.
“Hobart and William Smith are very excited to initiate this charter, and I am particularly proud that the Colleges will be a part of Alpha Phi Alpha’s historic legacy,” says President Gregory J. Vincent ’83, who is a life member of the fraternity and chair of its National Commission on Racial Justice. “These new Brothers serve as leaders on campus, hold 3.0+ GPAs, hail from New York City to Vancouver, and play varsity sports. Their actions, values and character are true to the spirit of Alpha Phi Alpha, the fraternity of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.”
Alpha Phi Alpha was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1906, and has since supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world. The fraternity has been interracial since 1945.
The inaugural Upsilon Pi charter includes 14 students: Timothy Adams ’18, Zachary Bannon ’20, Linden Bascom ’20, Dalton Battin ’19, Almamy Conde ’18, Edens Fleurizard ’20, Robert Lewis ’19, Jamal Lucas ’19, Andrew McFarlane ’19, Craig Phillip ’18, Mouhamed Thiam ’20, Sadeek Walker ’18, S. Joshua Walker ’20 and Christopher Williams ’19.
Upsilon Pi was chartered in June 2014, and although the road to this official incorporation was long, Phillip notes that in the years since then, “the impact that my line brothers and I have had on the HWS campus and Geneva community already has been resounding. I know future members will continue the work of Noble A Phi A; I can only imagine what the future may bring.”
“In the short amount of time since I’ve become an Alpha man, I have been extremely impressed with the growth each of our members have experienced,” says Conde. “We began as 14 individual and ended up becoming brothers throughout the process.”
Battin is “excited to finally be a part of my late grandfather’s fraternity that has so much to do with not only African American history, but also American history.”
Noting the fraternity’s interracial history, he adds that he is looking forward to working with his brothers to sponsor social justice programs on campus.