Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Last month, the Omicron Upsilon chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha celebrated the 30th anniversary of the chapter’s founding at Rensselaer.
As part of the anniversary weekend, more than 50 fraternity members hailing from states as far away as California and cities as far away as London returned to campus to connect with each other, serve the community, and pay tribute the fraternity’s long-standing motto: “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All.”
Activities planned for the weekend included holding a community service day at Joseph’s House and Shelter, located in downtown Troy. Members participated in various projects at the house, including cleaning, cooking, and serving lunch.
The partnership with Joseph’s House has lasted for nearly 20 years. The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has organized an annual “Sleepout for the Homeless” event to collect monetary donations for the organization. Each spring, fraternity members leave the comfort and warmth of their residence halls to participate in the fundraiser. Their goal is to raise funds and awareness of the homeless in the city of Troy and beyond.
“Joining Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity was one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life,” said Matthew Dixon ’13, chapter president, who received his bachelor’s in civil engineering and is now pursuing his master’s in financial engineering and risk analytics.
“The friendships and experiences have been life-altering, and have made me a better scholar, leader, and person,” Dixon added. “A large part of who I am today is due to this brotherhood. This 30th anniversary is very exciting because nearly 70 percent of the chapter is returning to campus, an astonishing number for any group. It is particularly special because many brothers are meeting for the first time and generations will be able to bond over their experiences at Rensselaer.”
To provide students with tips and strategies for planning for future careers, the fraternity hosted an interactive Alumni Career Panel led by Timothy Sams, vice president for student life. The program, titled “Playing the Career Game to WIN!,” focused on providing practical viewpoints on a range of topics.
The fraternity also hosted the Black & Gold Ball, an annual dinner event and scholarship pageant that provides students with an opportunity to network with faculty, staff, and alumni.
“The Omicron Upsilon chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha was founded at RPI on Feb.19, 1983, with the help of brother Dr. Paul Zuber, RPI’s first black tenured professor; seven men known as our ‘Mini Jewels’ brought Alpha Phi Alpha to the campus community,” said Scot Spencer ’83, who studied architecture. “Since then, the Omicron Upsilon chapter has grown to nearly 80 lifelong brothers. For a group of men firmly rooted in the notion that progress is forward-moving, this weekend’s celebration offers a reflection of our rich history, dynamic spirit, and the connections needed to be stewards for the advancement of a new generation.”