Members of the Tau Omicron chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Davidson's first historically black fraternity, are returning to campus this weekend to celebrate the organization's ten-year anniversary. The fraternity will host a number of events for approximately 40 returning alumni and other friends to remember the fraternity's history of brotherhood and service to the surrounding community.
Davidson's chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha was chartered on November 1, 2003 under the guidance of Dean of Students Ernest Jeffries, who was already a member of the fraternity. Frankie Jones '05, one of the first eight members of Alpha Phi Alpha, recalled the chartering process. "President Bobby Vagt was very supportive of the efforts to bring a historically black fraternity to campus," he said.
Jones also explained how joining the fraternity enriched his college experience. "Because Alpha Phi Alpha is a service-oriented fraternity at a service-oriented college, I was very devoted to service projects," he said.
Alpha Phi Alpha members indeed champion a number of causes, including "Go to High School, Go to College," a program that mentors at-risk high school males by encouraging them to pursue education, "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People," a program aimed at increasing voter registration and "The March of Dimes," a nonprofit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.
Jones, who also served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha his senior year at Davidson, praised the fraternity's national network. "The Tau Omicron chapter at Davidson was the 909th chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha to gain a charter, so the fraternity provided us with an extensive national network to access both during and after college," he said.
Jones also said he is looking forward to celebrating the fraternity's success with old and new friends this weekend. "We have been exited to have a total of 52 men pledge Alpha Phi Alpha thus far, and around 40 of them are returning to campus this weekend," he explained. "We're exited to exchange ideas, for the old members to learn from the new members and vice versa."
Ike Meremikwu '14, the current president of Alpha Phi Alpha, expressed similar enthusiasm. "I'm excited to see the past and present of Alpha Phi Alpha reunite this weekend," he said. "When we are all together, it will help us see how a historically black fraternity was able to thrive at homogenous place like Davidson."
Meremikwu praised the fraternity's creation of a lasting family at Davidson. He said, "All of our members have different ideas and identities, but Alpha Phi Alpha has united us through brotherhood."
Alpha Phi Alpha will host a variety of events for its returning alumni, friends, and faculty this weekend:
Friday, October 25
Welcome Reception at Brickhouse Tavern, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 26
Cookout at Lake Campus, 1-4 p.m.
Anniversary Gala in the Lilly Family Gallery, 6:30-9 p.m.
Pharaoh's Ball, Benefitting the North Carolina Second Harvest Food Bank, Lilly Gallery, 10 p.m.
Sunday, October 27
Worship at Gethsemane Baptist Church, 10 a.m.