Alpha march

One of Alpha Phi Alpha's signature events is the Silent March on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hundreds of people participate each year.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

MLK brunch

The annual MLK Jr. Day Brunch is always sold out each year. The event is a celebration of the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

Alpha Phi Alpha Phi Chapter

Alpha Phi Alpha's Phi Chapter celebrates the Regional Chapter of the Year award in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Photo courtesy of: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

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Alpha Phi Alpha Phi Chapter named Midwest Regional Chapter of the Year

Ohio University’s Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Phi Chapter was named Regional Chapter of the Year on April 14 at the 86th Midwest Regional Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The judges for this award selected Phi Chapter because of its philanthropic efforts, community development, organizational programs and overall impact at Ohio University and in the surrounding community.

The Phi Chapter, which is made up of undergraduate students, is now ranked among the five-best Alpha Phi Alpha chapters in the world and will compete for the national Chapter of the Year award in July at the fraternity’s national convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The chapter had a 3.0 GPA this year.

This year's Phi Chapter members include: senior Douglas Avery; junior Yohannes Berhane; sophomore Tyrell Carter; junior Elijah Cohen-Denson; senior Austy Hines; junior Earl Hopkins; senior Matthew Kinlow; sophomore O’Neal Saunders; junior Trey Tate and senior Reggie Williams.

"We’re honored to represent Ohio and the Midwest Region of Alpha as Chapter of the Year. We sincerely thank our advisers, Bro. Dale Gresson and Dr. Winsome Chunnu, for their constant support," said Phi Chapter Secretary Matthew Kinlow. "I know I speak for all brothers of Phi when I say I am immensely proud and humbled to have played a role in maintaining the heart of OHIO. I am glad to leave this semester knowing that the legacy of Phi will live strong."

Gresson said the award is a testament to the chapter's dedication to serving others and to the education the students are receiving at Ohio University.

"Alpha Phi Alpha and Ohio University are producing dynamic future leaders! They did a phenomenal job as members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.," Gresson said. "The brother's of Phi Chapter have exhibited their works and their impact to the Athens community, which enabled them to set themselves apart from other Alpha chapters. Their ability to tell the story of the Phi Chapter's programs was a collective effort, which was methodically illustrated through the highest standard of portfolio, narrative and video presentation."

The Phi Chapter hosts several signature events each year, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Silent March and Brunch and the Miss Bronze Scholarship Pageant, which showcases the talented women at Ohio University.

Phi Chapter President Elijah Cohen-Denson said programs like the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Silent March and Brunch allowed the chapter to stand out among their competition for awards. He said there were many great Alpha Phi Alpha chapters representing their states at the Convention and the competition was fierce.

"The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Silent March and Brunch program shows our appreciation for community building and incorporating the whole Athens community," Cohen-Denson said. "Not only did it allow us to win an award at the 2018 Ohio University Leadership Awards Gala, but it also helped us win 2018 Midwest Regional Chapter of the Year." 

The Phi Chapter qualified for the regional award when it won the District of Ohio’s Chapter of the Year award earlier in the year.

“Congratulations to the men from the Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for being named Regional Chapter of the Year,” said Ohio University President Dr. M. Duane Nellis. “The fact that they were chosen for this prestigious award is a testament to the quality of the young men that make up the Phi Chapter. I am extremely happy that their hard work and dedication to community service has been publicly recognized and rewarded.”  

The Midwest Regional Convention attracted more than 1,000 Alpha Phi Alpha members from alumni and undergraduate chapters in 12 states and Canada. Throughout the week, newly initiated fraternity members were exposed to additional information regarding the fraternity guidelines. All members participated in personal, professional and leadership development workshops while strategizing new ways to make global progress in the fight for change.

The Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. became the first African-American student organization and fraternity on the campus of Ohio University when it was chartered on Saturday, May 17, 1919.

In 1999, Alpha Phi Alpha Day (Feb. 10) was created during the 80th annual celebration of the chapter by former Athens, Ohio, Mayor Sara Hendricker. It is the only Ohio University fraternity that has received this honor.

Alpha Phi Alpha’s mission is to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for its communities. It was founded at Cornell University on Dec. 4, 1906, as the first intercollegiate Greek fraternity for African Americans.