Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed fraternity dedicated to community service. The purpose of this fraternity is to assemble college students in a national service fraternity in the fellowship of principles derived from the Scout Oath and Law of the Boy Scouts of America; to develop leadership, to promote friendship and to provide service to humanity; and to further freedom that is our national, educational, and intellectual heritage.
Alpha Phi Omega is the single most representative undergraduate intercollegiate organization in the United States of America. We take pride in this and want to grow even larger. We are determined to be larger only because, if what we are and what we represent are important and useful to students, then we should share what we have in order to further our common goals more effectively. We want to share with colleges and universities all across this great land the benefits that Alpha Phi Omega gives to students, their campuses, and their communities.
CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF ALPHA PHI OMEGA
LEADERSHIPAlpha Phi Omega develops the leadership skills of its members. You will have the opportunity to serve as a chapter officer or to plan and execute any number of service and social programs, as well as have the chance to participate in a variety of leadership development programs sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega.
FRIENDSHIPAlpha Phi Omega is a fraternal organization. We believe participating in a wide variety of social programs helps build a strong feeling of fellowship. Our social activities, which range from local chapter parties to weekend gatherings involving members from many chapters, provide opportunities to make lasting friendships.
SERVICEIn Alpha Phi Omega, you will be a member of the nation’s largest and most respected service fraternity. Our projects serve young and old, campus and community, the nation and our own members. Each chapter decides its own service program, so members have the opportunity to offer ideas for projects and to see them implemented.
HE STORY BEHIND THE FOUNDING
by Frank Reed Horton, Founder
During the first world war, I served as an ensign in the United States Navy aboard a minesweeper in the North Sea. Our ship and its partner exploded more than 1,000 magnetic mines. My law school background at Boston University led to my appointment to try court martial cases in our Division. When we reached ports some of the sailors ran wild. Many court martial cases resulted. I saw young boys in their teens getting into trouble.
Because of these experiences, I made a firm resolution within myself that if I returned alive, I would try to do two things and do them with all my power. First, do my best to help young people get the right start in life by holding up before them a "standard of manhood" that would withstand the test of time! Second and just as important, try to help the nations of the world settle their disputes in a more sensible and legal manner than by war.
After the war, I became a student at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. One evening, while attending an American Legion banquet during my sophomore year, I sat next to an inspiring man named Herbert G. Horton. We were not related but we became fast friends. He, too, had been a naval officer but was now serving as the local Scout Executive. He helped me to become a Deputy Scout Commissioner. One of the troops needed a leader, so I became a Scoutmaster as well.
Through these experiences, I found that the Scout Oath and Law were what I had been seeking - a standard of manhood that would withstand the test of time and a code of ideals created and accepted by some of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.
The summer of my junior year was spent as an Associate Camp Director at the Easton Scout Reservation. Here I was impressed with the religious tolerance in the hearts of the boys. This I have not found so easily among older people. Scouts of the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths worked together in everything at camp, and everyone had an opportunity to worship on his Sabbath in his own way.
My Brothers in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity house, where I lived, who were outstanding for high ideals and clean living, were all former Scouts. I felt a college organization should be formed that would strengthen men in these ideals, and give them an opportunity for Leadership experience and for Service to others.
As a senior at Lafayette College, I talked to some of the men with a Scouting background and the response was good. These men would join an organization based on the ideals of Scouting. I created the name Alpha Phi Omega, the motto and the Greek words and their meaning and wrote the Ritual. Everett W. Probst designed the pin and drew the Coat-of-Arms. Thane S. Cooley suggested the handclasp. Ellsworth S. Dobson and Gordon M. Looney helped write the Constitution and Bylaws.
Fourteen undergraduates signed as charter Members. Scouting advisors were Dr. Ray O. Wyland and Herbert G. Horton.
The Lafayette College Faculty approved the petition for recognition. On December 16, 1925, I conducted the Ritual Initiation at Brainerd Hall, second floor, and Alpha Phi Omega was born.
My purpose was to make Alpha Phi Omega an organization for college men who cooperated with all youth movements, especially Scouting. I also anticipated that our Service program would expand to help people in need everywhere and to do service on the campus of each Chapter.
As Scouting is worldwide, so should Alpha Phi Omega be worldwide, gradually in the colleges and universities of all the nations. Alpha Phi Omega can help bring about, through the future statesmen of the world, that standard of manhood and international understanding and friendship that will lead to a better, more peaceful world in which to live and in which to make a living and a life.
SYMBOLS OF ALPHA PHI OMEGA
In the early days of our Fraternity our Founders chose recognizable objects that would be representative symbols of the spirit of our guiding principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service. They selected items of historical and traditional value and notability. The meaning and definitions of these symbols have not changed in our lifetimes, and likely will not change in the future.
The most precious of all gemstones representing brilliance, luster, always increasing in value, and an expression of the greatest gift of love when given.
A perennial flower with royal blue blossoms. It is everlasting, always remembered.
We have all heard from a parent or mentor at least once in our lives the story of the sturdy oak tree that grew from a small acorn. The oak is stately, sturdy, and sheltering.
||Blue and Gold|
Our color of blue is a royal blue color. It is elegant, a sign of pure deed and thought. A color in our nation's flag.
Our color of gold is called "old glory" gold. A color also found in the nation's flag (fringe and tassels). It represents the high value, respect, royalty, and a sign of love.
At the 1976 National Convention the delegates chose another symbol to further this richness of our history and traditions. They declared the golden eagle as a new Fraternity symbol. An eagle is often found as a standard or as a part of the seal of a nation. The golden eagle symbolizes strength, gracefulness, keenness of vision, and endurance.