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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

Thank you to all those who gave to the Day For Saint Leo giving campaign on February 7. A total of 597 donors helped raise $162,356 in just one day for our university! This equates to a 65 percent increase in dollars raised over last year. This success will go a long way to advance Saint Leo University’s life-changing purpose, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Day for Saint Leo - By the Numbers

In December, President Jeffrey Senese represented the university at the Gold Shield Foundation’s annual meeting and announced that Saint Leo University will offer a full scholarship to one student per year through its work. The Gold Shield Foundation provides financial assistance and helps ensure a college education or vocational training for the spouse and dependent children of Florida law enforcement officers and firefighters of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Polk, and Marion counties killed in the line of duty.

On January 27, 2016, the women’s and men’s basketball team celebrated Florida Hospital Zephyrhills Appreciation Night at the Marion Bowman Activities Center. Fans took part in the White-Out, with many sporting special T-shirts created for the event. At halftime of the men’s game, President Bill Lennox and Athletics Director Fran Reidy presented Florida Hospital Zephyrhills CEO Randy Surber with a signed ball, thanking him for the hospital’s recent $100,000 gift. That gift made the Bowman Center’s new scoreboards and video boards possible.