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Published: Wednesday, 4/14/2004

UT's Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to mark 50th anniversary

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The University of Toledo student chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will celebrate its 50th anniversary on campus in front of some 500 regional fraternity members during its Midwest regional convention at the SeaGate Convention Center starting today.

Alpha Phi Alpha is the oldest African-American intercollegiate Greek fraternity in the country, whose members included educator and author W.E.B DuBois, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, former Atlanta mayor and civil rights leader Andrew Young and Ebony publisher John H. Johnson.

"A lot of brothers from the chapter have become very successful," said Andre Page, president of the Toledo area alumni chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. "I think the campus chapter being around for 50 years shows longevity and it's here to stay to continue to help mold new and upcoming leadership for the time to come."

Mr. Page said the alumni chapter is active in working with the student chapters at Toledo and Bowling Green State University organizing the convention. One of the programs the fraternities hope to showcase is its work with teenagers, he said.

"We visit junior high schools on a monthly basis and talk with students ages 13 to 16 on different topics," Mr. Page said. "On Friday, we will give eight awards to students at Robinson Junior High School for their achievements in the classroom. It's one of the things that we do for community outreach and try to make a difference."

The 72nd annual convention is at the Radisson Hotel and SeaGate Center starting tonight with a social comedy night at Jackson's Lounge and Grill, 233 Huron St.

Organizers said they expect members from 12 states and Canada to attend.

Dr. Walter Kimbrough, vice president of student affairs at Albany (Ga.) State University, and a frequent national speaker on African-American fraternities, will speak during a luncheon at the SeaGate Center at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The luncheon will also include a welcome address from Toledo Mayor Jack Ford.

The activities tomorrow will conclude with its Miss Black And Gold Regional Beauty Pageant and regional step show starting at 7:30 p.m.

The convention will hold a college fair for graduate and undergraduates at the SeaGate Center lobby from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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