Chapter History


The founders and early leaders of the Fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha’s principles, which resonates in its motto and aims, “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All”, and “Manly deeds, Scholarship, and Love for All Mankind,” respectively. Swiftly, the spirit of Alpha’s brotherhood carried the fraternity to colleges and universities across the nation. Since its inception, Alpha Phi Alpha has held it brothers to the highest of standards in the realms of scholastic achievement, personal development, and community betterment and that legacy has held true and firm at Union College in Schenectady, NY for over 27 years.

Alpha had its undergraduate beginnings at Union College in 1983 when 8 men sought to join the ranks of the distinguished brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. On May 29, 1983 John K. Johnson, Winston Britton, Gregory Bowler, Phillip Gist, Rhinehard Walker, James Mann, Martin Glaze, and Lawrence Romaine realized their goals of becoming brothers of this illustrious fraternity with the assistance of brothers in the Capital District. The chapter known as the “Internationally Renowned” Pi Pi Chapter was officially chartered on January 1, 1985. The brothers of the Pi Pi Chapter have served the Union College and Schenectady community through events, workshops, and volunteerism, as well as through their individual efforts. Alpha’s motto “first of all, servants of all, we shall transcend all,” to the brothers of Pi Pi, is more than a creed. Its meaning to the chapter can best be described in a sentiment expressed by Bro. Etienne:

“It is a way of life. It is a reminder to strive for excellence in everything I do; to stay humble no matter how high I go, and never forget that my actions impact my community, as such I affect the world I live in and will leave behind. Such consciousness requires I remain vigilant that the compass guiding my actions is always pointed toward my values and the legacy I wish to create.”

Over the past 27+ years the chapter has been fortunate to have a wealth of insight and wisdom that has been derived from Brothers with diverse upbringings and diverse ethnic, religious/spiritual, academic and extracurricular backgrounds.  Pi Pi has ushered in brothers who are ethnically Afghani, African American, Dominican, Ghanaian, Guyanese, Haitian, Indian, Italian, Jamaican, Jewish, Italian, Native American, Nigerian, Panamanian, and Puerto Rican. Some of the role’s these men had on campus include, but are not limited to the following:


Academic Powerhouses,

Admissions Office Volunteers,

AOP Tutors and Summer Counselors,

Captain of the Soccer Team,

Captains and members of the Football Teams,

Co-Chair and Social Chair of the Black Student Union (BSU),

Co-Chairs, Parliamentarians,Treasures, and Secretaries of the African and Latino Alliance of Students (ALAS),

Committee Members of the Union’s Strategic Planning Committee,

Kenny Center Volunteers,

Intellectual Elites,

Member of the Dutch Pipers,

Members of the Gospel Choir Member of the Lacrosse Team,

Members of the Basketball Team,

Members of the Track and Field Team,

Members of the Union Schenectady Alliance (USA),

Members of Union EMS,

Presidents of the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC),

Presidents of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE),

Residental Advisors,

Senior Counselors in the Science and Technology Program (STEP),

Social Powerhouses,

Student Interviewers of the Director of Greek Life,

Student Interviewers of the Director of Multicultural Affairs,

Union Admissions Ambassadors,

V.P of Campus Life, V.P. of Multicultural Affairs,

V.P. of the Interfraternity Council (IFC),

V.P. of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and

Volunteers at the Kenney Center to name a few.

The Brothers of Pi Pi are leaders, men who constantly seek the best out of themselves and others; as the chapter grows that legacy will remain steadfast.