Our History

History of Pi Alpha Chapter

Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina)

Chartered Feb. 23, 1983

Since being chartered on Wednesday, February 23, 1983, the Pi Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has excelled in the service, scholastic, and social aspects of college life. What some may not realize, however, is that the light of Alpha has been being held high on the campus of Clemson University since 1981. That year, M.I.A., or Men Interested in Alpha, was founded for the purpose of chartering a chapter of Alpha at Clemson, and to help young men learn more about Alpha Phi Alpha. 

Under the tutelage of late Professor Clarence L.B. Addison, a former member of the Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter in Greenville, now a distinguished brother of our Omega chapter, initiated numerous community service projects and laid the foundation for the annual Martin Luther King celebration. During the Fall Semester of that year, Brothers Anthony Bird and Kenneth Gandy, the Golden Knights Premier, were initiated through the Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter. 

The following semester, the men who would become known as the Royal Octad, Brothers William Keith McCall, Kenneth Robinson, Michael Ferguson, Norman D. Hall, Charles P. Hill, Don Weston, and Antonio Pinckney, followed the lead of Bird and Gandy and were also initiated through the Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter. These trailblazers, along with Brother Neil Phillips, a graduate student from Tuskegee College, would become the charter members of the Pi Alpha Chapter.

Since then, fifty lines have been initiated through Pi Alpha, starting with the Pi Debut of Spring 1983 and, most recently, N.W.A. (notoriously withstanding adversity) in Spring 2022. 

The 730th House of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has exemplified the high standards of the fraternity at every level, winning numerous awards from the Clemson community, and competing and winning at every level of competition among undergraduate chapters of Alpha, most recently winning the fraternity’s District Scholar’s Bowl Championship and Debate Competition. The brothers of the Pi Alpha Chapter, both past and present, have continued to make an indelible impact in every way imaginable and will continue to light a path for others to follow as first towards excellence.

We continue to track Pi Alpha history with our historical log, which is available to PANAC members by request

The Origin of Alpha Phi Alpha  

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY by the seven visionary founders known to us as the Seven Jewels:

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 developed at other colleges and universities; many of them historically black institutions, soon after the founding at Cornell. While continuing to stress academic excellence amongst its members, Alpha recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices faced by African-Americans. 

More on Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity is available on the Fraternity's National Website

Updated December 6, 2020