AUC Woodruff Library Books Alpha Rho For Next Archived Chapter In ATL African-American Culture
Artifacts From Morehouse College's Alpha Rho Chapter — THE GREAT 38 — To Be Housed And Digitally Archived Alongside Luminaries Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson (Spring 1956), Dr. Louis W. Sullivan (Fall 1951) and Dr. Hugh M. Gloster (Fall 1930)
By APCAA Staff
For more than 99 years, the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has developed leaders, promoted brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our community during undergrad, and in the greater community afterward. All known artifacts of our storied history which began on Saturday, January 5, 1924 on the campus of Morehouse College will now be assembled for research purposes and preservation at The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.
The partnership to archive items from nearly 100 years of fraternity life was secured in advance of the chapter's Centennial Celebration scheduled for January 5-7, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Archives Research Center’s collections primarily document the African American experience through civil rights, race relations, education, literature, visual and performing arts, religion, politics, and social work. The holdings include books, manuscript collections, digital collections, and materials documenting the Atlanta University Center schools, as well as the African American and African Diasporic experience.
"For more than nine years, members of the APCAA have carefully crafted how THE GREAT 38 will be celebrated during Centennial, and we've designed a scholarship legacy that will impact generations to come," said APCAA President BMaynard Scarborough. "We're extremely mindful that we make our legacy accessible to those same generations that will hopefully build upon what we've accomplished. So, archiving our impact on the world at The Woodruff is just what the Brotherhood ordered."
In addition to the celebratory events planned for AP100, the Chapter has developed a student/parent/mentoring/scholarship program exclusively for high school-aged young men who reside in the neighborhoods surrounding Morehouse College. In 2022, APCAA tapped Brother Robert Percy Williams (Fall 1999) to serve as Chief Scholastic Officer — adjacent to his role as Principal of the M. Agnes Jones Elementary School located a mere two blocks from the Morehouse campus. To date, no other funding organization has earmarked similar financial support to a neighboring college, and installed an active academic leader to direct the program and guide the recipients.
Signing Day At The Woodruff:
Assembled on the front steps of the AUC Library following the gathering of key partners, are front row, AP100 Display & Memorabilia Caucus Co-Chairman Cecil Page Brown (Fall 1962), AUC Library Assistant Director Archives Research Center Sarah Tanner, AUC Library Lead Archivist for Morehouse College Aletha Moore Carter, AP100 Display & Memorabilia Caucus Co-Chairman Kevin P. Smith (Fall 1989), and 2nd row, APCAA General Manager Alzay F. Calhoun (Spring 2000), AP@1924 Centennial Liaison Kamar Montgomery (Spring 2023), and APCAA President BMaynard Scarborough (Fall 1980).
Members of the Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association will have two methods of participation with the Archives Research Center at The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.: "Deed Of Gift" for permanent donation to the AUCTR, and "Loan Agreement" for objects and art for temporary exhibition. The second variable allows for the inclusion of prized private collector items to be included during Alpha Rho's Centennial Week, and then returned to the original owner.
Neighbors At The Woodruff Library Research Center:
AP100s arrival at The Woodruff positions it in close physical and digital proximity to several luminaries and cultural organizations which share timelines in the African American and African Diasporic experience.
The Library's digitized archival collections feature a myriad of subjects and formats including photographs, audio and visual resources, and publications. Scholarly works include Atlanta University Center theses and dissertations, electronic journals, faculty publications, student scholarship, and audio and video recordings of programs and conferences. Collections that share lineage with Alpha Rho Chapter include:
Many digital collections are available from anywhere on the internet, while other collections, such as The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, are available only within the Archives Research Center.
To streamline the process for submitting permanent or loaned donations to the Archives Research Center, Alpha Rho Chapter Members are directed to the link below, and asked to provide a PHOTOGRAPH, along with the following information:
Owner of artifact
Description of artifact
Date/era of artifact
Years prior to the announcement of the partnership with AUC Woodruff Library, archivists there had digitized several editions of the Morehouse College Torch Yearbook (MCTY) which proved to be essential in the identification of all 1,242 initiates of the Chapter dating back to 1924. Yet, several editions were not yet digitized. To that end, APCAA launched what turned into a nine-year vintage MCTY acquisition campaign in-conjuction with a dedicated league of private Morehouse College memorabilia collectors, and the online auction site eBay.com.
One of the first major donations to the APCAA Centennial Archives will be the association's prized collection of MCTYs — a 52-item collection assembled between 2014 and 2023. The oldest artifact in the APCAA's MCTY Collection is a 1925 Morehouse Tiger (later Torch) yearbook from the estate of Alpha Rho Chapter Charter Member Cassander Woodliff Sellers of Macon, Georgia, who is featured alongside six of his fellow Charter members in the 1925 graduating class of Morehouse College. As a result of his vision, determination and leadership, Brother Sellers was elected as the first president of Alpha Rho Chapter. He was also a charter member of the Epsilon Beta Lambda Chapter in Macon, Georgia, founded in 1949.
About The Archives Research Center:
The Archives Research Center’s collections primarily document the African American experience through civil rights, race relations, education, literature, visual and performing arts, religion, politics, and social work. The holdings include books, manuscript collections, digital collections, and materials documenting the Atlanta University Center schools, as well as the African American and African Diasporic experience. The core of our manuscript holdings are built upon the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library's Negro Collection. These resources contain letters, photographs, writings, yearbooks, programs, minutes, and much more. Under the auspices of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, the archival and manuscript holdings continue to develop and expand.
About The AP100 Centennial Display & Memorabilia Caucus:
In addition to co-chair leadership from Brothers Smith and Brown, AP100's Centennial Display & Memorabilia Caucus is comprised of Brothers Whitney L. Cain (Fall 1988), Mark Anthony G. Davis II (Spring 2018), Ralph B. Everett (Fall 1970), Henry M. Goodgame (Fall 1981), Christopher D. Gooding (Fall 2001), Charles J. Johnson (Spring 1980), Gordon L. Joyner (Fall 1969), RM Lathan (Fall 1989), Jalen C. Mathis (Fall 2021), Dwayne C. Toomer (Fall 1982), and Robert L. Williams (Fall 2004).
To assist in the cataloging and acquisition of Alpha Rho artifacts currently stored away in personal work spaces and private storage areas on the Morehouse College campus, APCAA has tapped undergraduate Kamar Montgomery as the AP@1924 Centennial Liaison. A Junior Economics major from Columbus, Ohio, Bro. Montgomery is a member of the Morehouse Business Association, Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Inc. (Student Vice President), Economics Club (President), and Junior Board of Trustees Member for Morehouse College.