We claim the following firsts:
Since its founding on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African-Americans and people of color around the world.
Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood among African descendants in this country. The visionary founders, known as the “Jewels” of the Fraternity, are Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy.
The Fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially, at Cornell. The Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha's principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character, and the uplifting of humanity.
Alpha Phi Alpha chapters were established at other colleges and universities, many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell. The first Alumni Chapter was established in 1911. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African-Americans. Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community's fight for civil rights through leaders such as: W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and many others. True to its form as the “First of Firsts,” Alpha Phi Alpha has been interracial since 1945.
The effort to organize Beta Lambda Chapter at Kansas City, Missouri began in April 1918. It was launched in response to the request of the graduate members of the fraternity who were gathered in this city. Brothers T.C. Brown, W.H. Bruce, L.H. Norwood, Thomas Taylor, J. Oliver Morrison (brother of past General President Moses Alvin Morrison), and Guy Booker made application to the convention of 1918 held in Cleveland Ohio.
Favorable action was taken by the convention and the chapter was established in January 1919. Beta Lambda Chapter was the second oldest graduate chapter. The charter members were Brothers: T.J. Taylor, T.C. Brown, E. H. Lee, L.H. Norwood, I.F. Bradley, Jr., C.L. Jones, A.O. Mitchell, J.C. Booker, W.H. Bruce and J. Oliver Morrison.
Since its inception, Beta Lambda, and our BLEI foundation, have shown leadership in service, social justice, education and development of mankind.
Copyright © Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Beta Lambda Chapter Kansas City Missouri. All rights reserved.
The Thirteenth Annual Convention met in Kansas City, Missouri from December 27-31, 1920 and was presided over by General President, L.L., McGee. Beta Lambda President was J. Oliver Morrison.
Chronicled Noteworthy Beta Lambda Events
1920 Hosted Thirteenth Annual Convention
1932 Sponsored “Evening with Negro Composers”
1935 Formed a Wives Auxiliary known as the “Alphabettes”
1940 Hosted Twenty-Eighth Annual Convention 1st Tri-Convention**
1945 Won the “McGee Memorial Cup” as Outstanding National Chapter
1946 Won the “McGee Memorial Cup” as Outstanding National Chapter
1947 Won the “McGee Memorial Cup” as Outstanding National Chapter
1950 Hosted Thirty-Sixth Annual Convention 2nd Tri-Convention.
1960 Hosted Midwestern Regional Convention
1975 Hosted Midwestern Regional Convention
1988 Hosted Seventy-Fourth Annual Convention
1991 Purchased Property at 2915 Swope Pkwy, KCMO.
1991 Established BL Education Foundation
1997 Won National Alumni Chapter of the Year Award
1999 Hosted Midwestern Regional Convention
2008 Hosted Eighty-eighth Annual convention
**Both Tri-Conventions were held in conjunction with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.