The Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was chartered on April 5, 1928 at the home of Brother Royal Taylor in Pittsburgh, PA. This initiative established an alumni chapter in Western Pennsylvania. The Fraternity had maintained a strong presence in the region since the chartering of Omicron Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh on January 30, 1913.
Founding members of AOL included the following Brothers;
• Wilbur Douglass, Sr; Attorney and Assistant Solicitor for Allegheny County
• Donald C. Jefferson; a Pharmacist practicing in East Liberty and an Army Lieutenant assigned to the 351st Field Artillery Corps during World War I
• Dr. James C. G. Fowler, Physician
• Dr. Charles Carroll; North Side Physician
• Dr. John Cottam, Hill District Physician
• Dr. Leonard Honesty, Washington County physician
• Richard Jones; an Attorney active in civil rights issues
• Dr. Royal W. Taylor; a Dentist
• Thorne B. “Slim” Hamilton; attorney
• Dr. C. Voyle Butler; dentist
• Dr. W Roderick Brown; Physician specializing in pulmonary medicine.
Other Brothers signing the charter
were as follows; Harry Brown, Levi Claggett, William Edwards, Garrett Fish,
Frederick Hawkins, Larney Hardy, Lacey Johnson, William Randolph, Robert Seel, R. Thomas Smith, Harry Webber, Charles
Webster, Fred West, Albert Wooten, Harry Webber, Charles Webster, Fred
West, & Albert Wooten.
Dr. Charles Carroll was elected the first President. Wilbur Douglass was elected secretary and Royal Taylor agreed to serve as treasurer. The Chapter provided a focus for the acute and ongoing interest of its members in social and civic affairs. As young men of Alpha
graduated from the University of Pittsburgh or immigrated to the area as professionals, they affiliated with Alpha Omicron Lambda.
Seven of the first eight presidents of the Pittsburgh Branch of the NAACP, spanning the first fifty years of the existence of the branch, were members of Alpha Omicron Lambda. Those presidents were Brothers Homer S. Brown, Richard Jones, Joseph Givens, Charles Foggie, Leroy Patrick, Byrd Brown, and Harvey Adams. When the Pittsburgh Branch hosted the National NAACP Convention in 1997,
Brother Tim Stevens was serving as Branch President and Brother Clarence Curry served as convention treasurer. Alpha men, led by the example of Brother Don Jefferson and later by Brother Jim Jordan were instrumental in establishing the presence of African
Americans in political affairs within Allegheny County.
Three of the first four men elected to Pittsburgh City Council were Alpha men. They were Brothers James Jordan, George Shields, and Tom Barton. Brother Jake Milliones was also elected to serve on the School Board, then later
Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter April 5, 1928 Key 136 Pittsburgh, PA on City Council. Brother Homer S. Brown was elected Common Pleas Judge and to the state legislature. Brothers Leroy Patrick,
Lawrence Moncrief, and John Cundieff served as appointed members of the Pittsburgh Board of Education.
Alpha men played key roles in the effort to desegregate faculty for the Pittsburgh Public School system. Homer S. Brown sponsored key legislation. Legal briefs were prepared by Brothers Richard Jones and Joseph Givens. The first teachers hired were Brothers Lawrence
Peeler and Jim Miller, both graduates of Carnegie Mellon University. Most of the first male African American principals serving the city were also Alpha men. Those principals included Brothers William Fisher, Arthur Outen, Ed Ray, Ted Vasser, James Robinson, Robert
Nicklos, and Paul Williams.
Efforts to desegregate swimming pools and other public facilities were led by Brothers Leroy Patrick and Wendell Freeland. Rev. Patrick also worked closely with Brothers Harvey Adams, Byrd Brown, and Henry “Pro” McCullough as the supported Mr. Nate Smith in developing the Pittsburgh Plan to integrate the trade unions.
The Pittsburgh Courier, under the leadership of Brother Robert L Vann, became a national voice on issues of concern to the Negro community. During the 30s, 40s, and 50s the Courier published 20 regional editions. Its’ editorials crusaded against lynching and for such issues as voting rights and integration of the military forces.
The editorial staff of the Courier included Sports Writer, Brother Chester Washington and Brother Frank Bolden.
The coverage of Negro League baseball by Chester Washington provided invaluable information to major league scouts as they recruited Jackie Robinson and other Negro League players. Brother Frank Bolden served the Courier as an accredited correspondent during World War II. He covered the accomplishments of the 10th and 11th Calvary, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers, throughout Europe and Asia. He also interviewed Winston Churchill, Jarwarhar Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Jenna and Chiang Kai Shek. Later in his career, Brother Bolden served as City
Editor for the Courier.
In 1948, the chapter purchased the former Coleman home at 3428 Centre Ave to serve as the venue for meetings and other chapter functions. Each of the Brothers was assessed $100 and several Brothers made larger donations. A new car was also raffled as part of the
effort to raise $50,000. The fund raising effort was chaired by Brother Maxwell Thompson.
The chapter has initiated scholarship funds in memory of two of its departed brothers, Howard Hairston and Paul Williams. In addition to supporting its own scholarship programs, AOL has provided consistent ongoing support to NEED and the United Negro College Fund. The scholarship activated tie the chapter into the national fraternity program, Go to High School, Go to College, which encourages young
people to further their education. The chapter also supports Project Alpha in conjunction with the March of Dimes. Under the leadership of Brother Harlan Ware, Scoutmaster, the chapter sponsored a Boy Scout Troop in the East Liberty section of the City.
Alpha Omicron Lambda hosted Regional Fraternity Conventions in 1953, 1962, 1983, 1997, and 2005. The 1997 convention faced the challenge of a major Ku Klux Klan rally planned for the same weekend in the city. The chapter responded with two published editorials and encouraged all of the visiting Brothers to participate in an anti-Klan rally.
The chapter has sponsored annual tributes to Brother Martin Luther King, Jr. and to our Jewels via Founders Day programs. Speakers have included Brothers Charles Foggie, Judge James Williams, Fred Humphries, Paul Simmons, and Eric Springer. Current activities of the Fraternity include support of the Josh Gibson Foundation, the NAACP, the African American Heritage Parade, Pittsburgh Dilworth Pk-
5, and Second Saturday Food Bank at Mount Ararat Baptist Church.
Copyright © 2023 Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by GoDaddy