Guide to the Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Chapter Records, 1927-2015 UA.55.16.7.2

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Chapter Records
Creator
Alpha Phi Omega. Beta Chapter (University of Pittsburgh).
Collection Number
UA.55.16.7.2
Date [inclusive]
1927-2015
Extent
1.67 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract
Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity was founded in 1925 by Frank R. Horton at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. This fraternity strives to organize and participate in service projects benefiting the fraternity, campus, community, and nation. The Beta chapter was the second chapter to be founded and has served the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh community since 1927, with brief periods of inactivity during World War II and the 1980s. This collection includes Beta chapter membership lists, minutes, project information, and chapter correspondence from the late 1970s and 1990 to present day. Information regarding the national fraternity is also present.

Preferred Citation

Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Chapter Records 1927-2015, UA.55.16.7.2, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity was founded in 1925 by Frank R. Horton at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Originally, the fraternity was to serve as an opportunity for the continuation of ideals set forth by the Boy Scouts of America and to this day the fraternity is recognized in the Boy Scout Handbook. In order for the fraternity to gain full acceptance by the Boy Scouts of America's National Office, Horton was to further develop and expand Alpha Phi Omega. He traveled to the University of Pittsburgh near his hometown of Sewickley to create the fraternity's Beta chapter, which was installed January 11th, 1927, making Alpha Phi Omega a national fraternity. Ten University of Pittsburgh students served as chartering members of the Beta chapter including Grand Master (President) A.A. Booth, Gilbert L. Welch, and A.A. Cutler of the football team, T.M. Rutter, J.K. Mierly, and Howard Linn of the track team, C.R. Wilson and J.T. McMahan of the basketball team, W.J. McGill of the cross country team, and H.C. McKown.

The chapter remained a strong force on campus until the United States entered World War II. Many Alpha Phi Omega brothers throughout the nation served their country during the World War II and many chapters, including Beta, became inactive until the end of the war. In 1976, due to Alpha Phi Omega's open membership policy and compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the fraternity became a co-ed organization and the Beta chapter began to accept female brothers. By the mid 1980s, chapter membership numbers dropped and Beta fell to inactive status for a second time, laying dormant until its rechartering in 1990. In 1993, the Alpha chapter at Lafayette College became inactive, making Beta the oldest active chapter of Alpha Phi Omega.

The Beta Chapter has organized and participated in a variety of service projects since its founding in 1927. Prior to its inactivity in the 1980s, the chapter was responsible for campus elections, book exchanges, ushering at graduation, publishing student directories, and chartering buses to transport students home during breaks in the school year. After the chapter's rechartering in 1990, its primary project was clowning. For this project, brothers would create a clown character for themselves and learn skits to perform at children's hospitals throughout the Pittsburgh area. The longest running service project of the Beta chapter is the annual Run to Pitt. Created in 1970 by Myron Cope and Daniel Torisky, both founding members of the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, this project involves not only the Beta Chapter, but also brothers from the Lambda Omicron chapter at West Virginia University, relaying a football while running the 73 miles between the schools to raise money for the Autism Society.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains documents relating to both the Beta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and the national fraternity. Chapter records include by-laws, membership lists, general brother and executive meeting minutes, correspondence with other chapters, letters from national fraternity staff, and chapter project information from the late 1970s and 1990-2007. Representative samples of some of the Beta chapter's fraternity awards are also present. National fraternity records include publications regarding Alpha Phi Omega's history, officer handbooks, by-laws, and information regarding national conventions. Also present are various newsletters from all levels of Alpha Phi Omega: the national Torch and Trefoil, regional  Three Dots and a Dash, sectional  Section 62/64 Report, and the chapter's  Beta Bulletin.

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Arrangement

  1. Series I. Beta Chapter
  2. Subseries 1. Membership Lists
  3. Subseries 2. Minutes
  4. Subseries 3. Correspondence
  5. Subseries 4. Finances
  6. Subseries 5. Service Projects
  7. Subseries 6. Recognition
  8. Series II. Publications
  9. Series III. National Fraternity
  10. Series IV. 2015 Addition

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, May 2007

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 2015 Addition added to the collection inventory. October 2016

Access Restrictions

The Ritual Books (Folder 66) is restricted to brothers of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.

Copyright

Property rights reside with the University of Pittsburgh. For information about permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Archives Services Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Spring 2007 Beta Chapter Executive Board on April 27, 2007. Additional material was donated in 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Zachary L. Brodt in May 2007.

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Related Materials

Related Material

UA.55.16.7.1 (Folder 3)

UA.55.7.2 (Folder 216 and 252)

UA.55.1-A (Folder 1)

Separated Material

Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity. Edited by Robert C. Barkhurst has been catalogued and is available at the Archives Service Center, University Archives under the call number HS1510.A3A47 1993.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Alpha Phi Omega. Beta Chapter (University of Pittsburgh).
  • Lafayette College (Easton, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh.

Genre(s)

  • Membership lists
  • Minutes
  • Newsletters

Personal Name(s)

  • Cope, Myron
  • Horton, Frank R.
  • Torisky, Daniel

Subject(s)

  • Fraternal organizations -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Greek letter societies -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Chapter Records 1927-2015, UA.55.16.7.2, University Archives, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Beta Chapter 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains information and documents regarding the Beta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. Membership lists include the names of some Beta brothers and often denotes those holding an office within the chapter. Minutes detail the chapter's activity throughout the late 1970s and the years following the chapter's reactivation in 1990, which is also documented. Subseries regarding finances, service projects and recognition can be used to determine what types of projects Beta has participated in.

Subseries  1. Membership 

Scope and Content Notes

Within this subseries are complete and partial lists of Beta chapter brothers. Those lists dating from the 1940s to 1980 were compiled through labeled photographs in the University of Pittsburgh's yearbook The Owl and, therefore, do not list every member and officer position. An exception to this are the lists from 1977-1979, which are originals. The chapter's charter reactivation in 1990 is also detailed with final evaluation papers and correspondence from Alpha Phi Omega national staff. Also included are the most updated version of the Beta chapter's by-laws and information regarding ceremonies and the pledging process. Pages taken from a scrapbook depict many of the chapter's events from the 1996-1997 school year.

  BoxFolder
Beta Chapter Reactivation, 1990 11
  Folder
Chapter By-Laws, 2005 2
  Folder
Partial Membership Lists, 1927, 1948-1960 3
  Folder
Partial Membership Lists, 1968-1980 4
  Folder
Membership Lists, 1990-1999 5
  Folder
Membership Lists, 2001-2007 6
  Folder
Ceremonies, 1970s 7
  Folder
Rush and Pledging Information, 1979, 2000-2007 8
  Folder
"Why I Joined Alpha Phi Omega" Statements, 1978-1981 9
  Folder
Scrapbook, 1996-1997 10

Subseries  2. Minutes 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries consists of minutes from general brother and executive board meetings detailing chapter concerns as well as social and service events. At the 2006 National Convention, Beta chapter was elected to host the 2007 Region V conference and the minutes from the planning committee meetings are also present.

  Folder
Minutes, 1977 11
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 1978 12
  Folder
Minutes, Fall 1978 13
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 1979 14
  Folder
Minutes, 1980-1983 15
  Folder
Minutes, Fall 1993 16
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 1994 17
  Folder
Minutes, Fall 1995 18
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 1996 19
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 1998 20
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 1999 21
  Folder
Minutes, Fall 2006 22
  Folder
Minutes, Spring 2007 23
  Folder
Region V Conference Planning Committee Minutes, 2007 24

Subseries  3. Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

Within this subseries are letters from the national office which include such topics as charter reaffirmation, forms to be filed by the chapter, and the possibility of starting an Alpha Phi Omega chapter at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown campus. Topics of chapter correspondence include a letter regarding stolen money from the book exchange, as well as opportunities for service and fundraising. Other letters request information from the national office regarding an alumni program or ask for the chapter to grant a brother inactive status due to workload or Semester at Sea commitments.

  Folder
Letters from the National Office, 1968, 1972, 1995-2005 25
  Folder
Chapter Correspondence, 1969, 1977-1981, 1996 26
  Folder
Alumni Relations, 1969, 2014 27
  Folder
Letters from Brothers Requesting Inactive Status, 1994-1996 28

Subseries  4. Finances 

Scope and Content Notes

Included in this subseries are requests from the chapter to the university for allocations to fund service projects throughout the year. Within the allocations requests are also reimbursement requests for travel and registration fees for various Alpha Phi Omega conferences. Through the allocations requests and the operating budget, a better understanding can be reached regarding what projects were done by Beta chapter and their costs, as well as how much money the chapter typically had available.

  Folder
Operating Budget, 1968-1969 29
  Folder
Allocations Request, 1995 30
  Folder
Allocations Request, 1996 31
  Folder
Allocations Request, 1997 32

Subseries  5. Service Projects 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries details a few of the Beta chapter’s projects which fall into Alpha Phi Omega’s four fields of service: to the fraternity, to the campus, to the community, and to the nation. The self-evaluation, national convention bid, and regional conference schedule constitute service to the fraternity by outlining the program of the chapter and offering to host the fraternity for its bi-annual gathering. The chapter’s study on student-faculty relations was an attempt to serve the campus by organizing a better understanding of student concerns. The chalk mural contest was for the University of Pittsburgh’s International Week in 2005 in which the Beta mural, a photograph of which is included, won second place. Clowning and other projects helped serve the community by performing for sick children, which was often a large part of Beta chapter’s contribution during the national fraternity’s Youth Service Week. Included are articles about how to create a clown character, skits to perform, and programs from events where brothers had performed. Projects such as the Run to Pitt help spread autism awareness, thus helping those afflicted with the disorder and their families gain a better understanding of the disease and more acceptance from those who were previously ignorant of autism’s effects. Flyers distributed by the fraternity concerning autism are included along with letters from the Run chair regarding donations and public relations, both of which explain the project in detail.

  Folder
Beta Chapter National Convention Bid and Regional Conference Schedule, 1953, 1990 33
  Folder
Chapter Self-Evaluation, 1995-1996 34
  Folder
"Preliminary Study of Student-Faculty Relations at the University of Pittsburgh" by Beta Chapter, 1968 35
  Folder
International Week Chalk Mural Contest, 2005 36
  Folder
Chapter Foster Child, 1968 37
  Folder
A. Leo Weil Elementary School Science Fair 38
  Folder
Clowning, 1990s 39
  Folder
Autism Information and Run to Pitt, 1990-1995, 2006 40
  Folder
Miscellaneous Project Flyers 41

Subseries  6. Recognition 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains information regarding the Beta chapter’s influence within the Pittsburgh community and fraternity. Thank you letters and certificates of appreciation from organizations that worked with Beta detail the impact the chapter’s service program has had on their operations. Also, certificates from the national fraternity recognize the Beta chapter’s 45th and 50th anniversaries and the H. Roe Bartle awards recognize excellence in chapter administration.

  Folder
Certificate of Chapter Anniversary Recognition, 1972, 1977 42
  Folder
H. Roe Bartle Chapter Award, 1975-1978, 2005-2015 43
  Folder
Thank You Letters, 1977 44
  Folder
Thank You Letters, 1991-1993 45
  Folder
Certificates of Appreciation from Organizations, 1992, 2006, 2012 46
  Oversize
Certificate from Autism Society of Pittsburgh, 1993 1
  Folder
Thank You Letters, 1994-1998, 2012 47
  Folder
Recognition from the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 1994-1995 48
  Folder
Newspaper Clippings, 1994-1995, 2012 49

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Series  II. Publications 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains publications from the four levels of Alpha Phi Omega: the national fraternity, the region, the section, and the chapter. The Torch and Trefoil is the national fraternity newsletter which is distributed quarterly to all chapters and lifetime members. The Beta chapter has maintained many issues of the newsletter since its 1990 reactivation. Also included are examples of the Region V newsletter,  Three Dots and a Dash, and the Section 62 and 64 newsletter,  Section 62/64 Report. In the mid 1990s the Beta chapter produced its own newsletter for brothers and alumni and two issues of the  Beta Bulletin newsletter are present in this series along with an issue of Iota Xi's chapter newsletter from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

  Folder
Torch and Trefoil, 1977, 1990-1991 50
  Folder
Torch and Trefoil, 1992-1993 51
  Folder
Torch and Trefoil, 1994-1995 52
  Folder
Torch and Trefoil, 1996-1999 53
  Folder
Torch and Trefoil, 2000-2006 54
  Folder
National Chapter Bulletin, 1996 55
  Folder
Region V Leadership Directory, 1978 56
  Folder
Region V Newsletter Three Dots and a Dash, October 1995 57
  Folder
Section 62/64 Report, 1990-1995 58
  Folder
The Beta Bulletin, 1995, 1998 59
  Folder
Iota Xi Chapter Newsletter, 1994 60

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Series  III. National Fraternity 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains information sent by the Alpha Phi Omega national office to the Beta chapter. Records include national by-laws, a pledging manual, and sample membership forms. Also included is a brief history of the creation of Alpha Phi Omega at Lafayette College written by founder Frank R. Horton. Officer handbooks describe the duties and responsibilities of those holding position in each of the fraternity’s chapters. An Alpha Phi Omega history book published in 1993 outlines the entire history of the organization up to the time of publication and includes a brief story about the founding of Beta chapter. This book has been catalogued at the Archives Service Center.

  Folder
National By-Laws, 1997 61
  Folder
"Alpha Phi Omega: In the Beginning" 62
  Folder
General Information 63
  Folder
Pledge Manual, 2001 64
  Folder
Sample Membership Forms 65
  Folder
Ritual Books [RESTRICTED], 1999, 2001 66
  Folder
Information Regarding the National Convention, 1968 67
  Folder
St. Louis National Convention, 1990 68
  Folder
Officer Handbooks, 1977, 1993 69
  Folder
Leadership Index, 1998 70
  Folder
Chapter President Handbook, 1998 71
  Folder
Service Vice President Handbook, 1998 72
  Folder
Service Project Chair Handbook, 1998 73
  Folder
Membership Vice President/Pledge Trainer Handbook, 1998 74
  Folder
Treasurer's Handbook, 1998 75
  Folder
Secretary's Handbook, 1998 76
  Folder
Alumni Secretary's Handbook, 1998 77
  Other
"Alpha Phi Omega Has Room for Everyone" Pin 1

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Series  IV. 2015 Addition 

Scope and Content Notes

This series includes materials primarily pertaining to Beta Chapter in the early 2000s, such as awards, Chapter Assessment and Planning evaluations, and memoribilia. In addition, alumni donated photo albums dating to the 1990s that document the chapter's rechartering process in 1990 and a pledge class photo album from 1996.

  Folder
Chapter Assessment and Planning, Fall 2013 78
  Folder
Chapter Assessment and Planning, Spring 2014 79
  Folder
Annual Chapter Evaluation, 2014 80
  Folder
75th Anniversary Events, 2002 81
  Folder
Certificate of Chapter Anniversary Recognition, 80th Anniversary, 2007 82
  Folder
Joe Scanlon Awards, 2009-2014 83
  Folder
APO Section 66 Membership Growth Award, 2012 84
  Folder
Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan, Letter of Appreciation and Photo, 2013 85
  Folder
University Recognition, 2014-2015 86
  Folder
Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, Pens For a Purpose, 2015 87
  Other
"Ask me about the Pittsburgh National Convention Bid #pittbid16" Button, 2014 2
  Folder
"Bridging Brotherhood & Service: Pittsburgh 2016," National Convention Bid, 2014 88
  Folder
Thomas Keane, Pledge Class Photo Album, Fall 1996 89
  BoxVolume
Chapter Rechartering Photo Album, 1990-1991 21
  Folder
Hand in Hand Festival Photographs, March 24, 2001 1
  Disc
Alumni Luncheon Flyer, 2006 1
  Disc
Chapter Website, Membership Lists, By-laws and Meeting Minutes, 2005-2006 2
  Item
Light Pitt Up Blue T-shirts, 2014-2015 1-2

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