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The rich history of the Alpha Rho chapter is one steeped in a long-standing tradition of excellence in leadership, scholarship and service. The deep roots of Alpha Rho lie intertwined with that of the distinguished and visionary men of the Eta Lambda chapter. There have been 124 initiation periods since Alpha Rho Chapter was chartered on Saturday, January 5, 1924 on the historic campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Established May 20, 1920, Eta Lambda was organized to serve the fraternal needs of both undergraduate and graduate brothers at Atlanta University and Morehouse College. Brother Roderick Harris and three of his fellow Morehouse juniors - Charles W. Greene, William E. Anderson, and W.G. Dixon - became four of the twenty-one charter members of Eta Lambda chapter. These four men in turn would introduce Greek life to Morehouse College. Yet, it was not until four years later that Morehouse would have its own chapter.
During the early late 20s and early 30s, Alpha men such as Burrell Brown, Hugh M. Gloster, T.M. Alexander, Andrew Generalissimo Lewis, George Key, Asa Yancey, William M. Nix, and James E. Nix would embody the spirit of Fraternity through their deeds as Alpha Rho men.
In the 1940s, brothers such as Charles V. Willie, Albert Wardlaw, Otis Smith, Wendell Whalum, Calvin Brown, Artis White, Noah Wills, Jr, E. Bruce Phillips, Samuel McKinney were initiated at Alpha Rho Chapter. There were more than 50 brothers in the chapter during that time.
During the 50s and 60s, Alpha Men such as Charlie Moreland, Otis Moss, Maynard Jackson, Jr, Louis J. Sullivan, Willie “Flash” Davis, James R. Hall, Willis Sheftall, J.K. Haynes, Earl Hilliard, Abraham Davis, Hamilton Holmes and others joined the fraternity during the times when the pro-black, anti-Greek sentiments resurfaced. There were three brothers - Cecil, James and Archibald Brown - who were initiated on the same line.
The Honorable Bro. Jerome Farris, who is a retired U.S. Circuit Court Judge served the fraternity as a regional leader in both 1950 and 1951. Bro. Dr. Louis Sullivan, who went on to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bush and later became the President of the Morehouse School of Medicine, served in 1953. Bro. Hamilton E. Holmes transferred from Morehouse to integrate the University of Georgia in 1961 but maintained his membership in Alpha Rho due to UGA’s not having a chapter at that time. Bro. Holmes served in both 1962 and 1963.
During the late 70s and early 80s, membership in Alpha Rho grew to more than 60 brothers annually, and the chapter commanded a well-respected leadership of the student body. During this era, Alpha Rho was seen as the powerhouse of student leadership.
Throughout its history, the Alpha Rho chapter has served as the standard for all others to follow. Since 1998, the chapter has produced six valedictorians, five salutatorians, six SGA presidents, two SGA vice presidents, a Rhodes scholar finalist, and countless student-leaders in every facet of campus life.
The complete lineage of Alpha Rho Chapter can be viewed on associated pages within this website. You can access the initiation-specific pages from the navigation bar at the top of every page.