The historically African-American Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity officially became active at Belmont with the initiation of sophomore Jordan Taylor Patrick and junior Justin Lang Monday night.
Lang and Patrick were officially welcomed into the Upsilon Tau chapter of the fraternity in a neophyte presentation. Filled with dancing, singing and greetings to the Belmont Greek community, the ceremony ended with a joining of hands as both initiates and attending APA alumni reciting the fraternity hymn.
Associate Provost and Dean of Students Dr. Jeffery Burgin spoke before the presentation. An APA alumnus himself, Burgin called Monday’s event the beginning of a wonderful opportunity.
“This has been an arduous process, but it has been a wonderful process to have the university and the fraternity partner in creating such a wonderful opportunity,” Burgin said.
Alpha Phi Alpha was founded in 1906 at Cornell University, the first Greek-letter intercollegiate fraternity to be established for African-American men. Several notable figures were brothers in APA, including W.E.B DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr., William Gray and Thurgood Marshall.
The new Belmont chapter was sponsored by the Tau Lambda chapter. Tau Lambda President Charles Sueing said he was extremely proud of the new chapter, and APA’s values align with those of Belmont.
“This is the birth,” Sueing said. “Now our goal is to have a viable presence over the next several semesters.”