Monday, July 28, 2008

FAMU’s Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Receives College Chapter of the Year Award

The Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Florida A&M University (FAMU) was named the College Chapter of the Year during the fraternity’s 88th General Convention held in Kansas City, MO.

The Beta Nu Chapter, chartered at FAMU on April 23, 1932, competed on behalf of their region of the fraternity against four other country-wide regions after having been selected as the college chapter champions at the Southern Regional Conference held in Jacksonville, Fla. in April of this year.

Thaddeus Payton, Jr., whose term as president of the Beta Nu Chapter concluded this past April, was at the helm of the chapter throughout much of the activities and accolades highlighted in the winning display board.

“To work with such an outstanding group of gentlemen has been as taxing as it has been rewarding, yet I regret not a second of it,” said Payton, a FAMU alumnus from Mitchellville, MD. “I am proud of this chapter’s membership and its many successes both collectively and as individuals.”

The current president of the Beta Nu Chapter, James Nero, is a graduate professional MBA student from Detroit, MI in the School of Business and Industry.

“Winning an award like chapter of the year may come once in a lifetime for some chapters or not at all, so we cherish this moment in time,” said Nero. “We have worked tirelessly to accomplish this amazing feat and we owe it to those brothers that came before us, the nurturing of Florida A&M University, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for creating programs of action that have exemplified manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind for over 100 years.”

As part of the national competition, chapters of the fraternity document their exceptional community service, campus involvement, and leadership. The members of Beta Nu accomplished this under the leadership of Eric O’Rear and Chise Nicholson through the use of an elaborate board design, extensive artistry, scrapbooks, and videos.

A native of Stone Mountain, GA and recent graduate of FAMU, O’Rear felt that among many, there was one component of creating the board that he found most arduous.

“The most difficult aspect of the construction of the board would have to be finding the articles for the events that we felt properly displayed our service to the university and community,” said O’Rear. “When your organization has executed as many successful community and university service-related events such as this, it is very difficult to determine which among them to highlight.”

“It is truly an overwhelming experience to be recognized as the top Chapter of Alpha,” said Chise Nicholson, a fourth year architecture student from Sacramento, CA. “As a chapter, we endure long nights, endless days, and oftentimes negative criticism despite our best efforts. Nevertheless, in this day I am truly happy and honored to be a member of the Beta Nu Chapter of this historical fraternity.”

A few of the highlighted activities that were presented in this year’s winning board included Beta Nu’s Rock the Vote Campaign; volunteer efforts with homeless shelters; Capitol City Youth Services; involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; and fundraising efforts with Relay for Life. They also emphasized the myriad of accomplishments of their individual members.

Among Beta Nu’s current membership include the FAMU Student Body President and University Trustee; the president of the Student National Alumni Association; president of the FAMU NAACP; president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council’ 6th Year pharmacy class president, and FAMU strikers president.

"From a national standpoint, Beta Nu has always served as a shining light for our fraternity,” says Everett Ward, Southern Region vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “This award underscores their commitment to uphold the precepts that define our fraternity. As leaders within and outside of academics on campus, they epitomize what Alpha men have always been about. We are extremely proud of our Beta Nu brothers, and look forward to the continued leadership they will provide throughout all of Alpha, especially for college brothers.”

According to Ward, the first Southern Region Board of Directors meeting under his leadership was hosted by Beta Nu at FAMU and that he feels a strong attachment to the chapter.

“I am extremely pleased about the Beta Nu Chapter being named Chapter of the Year for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,” said Henry Kirby, dean of students at FAMU. “I would like to applaud all of the members of the Beta Nu Chapter.”

The Leadership Development Committee chairman for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alex DeJarnett, was equally impressed.

“The College Chapter of the Year is the highest award a college chapter can receive,” said DeJarnett. “We are proud of them and wish them more success in the future.”

Notable members of the Beta Nu Chapter include Fred Humphries, the eighth president of FAMU; Will Packer and Rob Hardy, producers of Stomp the Yard; and Marcus Knight, the recently-elected first black Mayor of Lancaster, Texas.

The first black Greek letter fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University by seven men or “Jewels”: Henry A. Callis; Charles H. Chapman; Eugene K. Jones; George B. Kelley; Nathaniel A. Murray; Robert H. Ogle; and Vertner W. Tandy.

Jewel Charles H. Chapman later founded the Beta Nu Chapter of the fraternity on the campus of then FAMC in 1932. The aims of the fraternity are manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind. Its motto is: “First of all; Servants of all; We shall transcend all.”

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