Chronicles

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Makes $28,000 Gift

Alumni of the fraternity start a new tradition in giving.

With the 30th anniversary of their founding approaching, members of the Rho Xi Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion.

The chapter was founded at Saint Leo College in the spring of 1989 by a group of 10 students. The organization would provide leadership and a brotherhood experience within the frame work of Greek life to minority students. On November 11, 1989, under the guidance of Terrence Hood, the Rho Xi Chapter became nationally recognized and chartered. 

The fraternity places a strong emphasis on service and helping minorities and disadvantaged individuals achieve success. “Since its founding, the chapter has been providing educational and social opportunities to the campus and the local community,” said Stuart Hart ’98 ’15, who helped reinvigorate the chapter at the university in 1995.

“We wanted to celebrate our 30 years in a special way,” said James Cummings ’09, who was one of the alumni members who helped organize the effort. “We thought, ‘why not create a scholarship to help this group of individuals.’” Working in partnership with the university’s Alumni Engagement and Sustained Giving office, they did just that, establishing the Alpha Phi Alpha Outstanding Leadership Scholarship to benefit student leaders with financial need.

As part of the 2019 homecoming weekend, fraternity members came together and hosted a scholarship ball at University Campus. At the festivities, they presented the university with a check for $28,080, permanently establishing the fund and creating a new philanthropic tradition for the fraternity.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it was exciting, though,” Cummings said. “We were more than excited to start something we felt would leave a legacy at our alma mater.”

Hart said strong fraternities enjoy active engagement from alumni, so it is important for alumni members to stay connected with current students. “Celebrating this milestone reunion and establishing the scholarship would help in this area,” he said.

The reunion weekend brought together Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity members dating back to 1989, including members of the current chapter as well as friends, advisors, and family.

Photo by Renee Gerstein

Marie Cirelli Thornsberry earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from Flagler College (FL). She joined Saint Leo University in April 2018 as director of University Communications.

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