Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) is the first intercollegiate fraternity established by African-American men. Founded on December 4, 1906, on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Alpha Phi Alpha has initiated over 175,000 men into its organization and has been open to men of all races since 1945.
Alpha Phi Alpha evolved into a primary service organization and provided leadership and service during the Great Depression, World Wars, and the Civil Rights Movement. Our fraternity addresses social issues such as apartheid, AIDS, urban housing, and other economic, cultural, and political issues affecting people of color.
In addition, the fraternity partners with philanthropic programming initiatives to include March of Dimes, Head Start, Boy Scouts of America and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.
In the Pikes Peak Region, ten men with tenacious foresight and incredible resolve embraced the need for expanding the international borders of Alpha Phi Alpha. On December 22, 1969, the Iota Omicron Lambda Chapter of our fraternity was established and formally recognized in January 1970. Alpha Phi Alpha Iota Omicron Lambda Education Foundation is the non-profit 501 (c)3 charitable arm of the chapter and focuses on educational programs, training,
youth leadership development, and the awarding of several scholarships annually to deserving students. Moreover, the foundation has oversight for the planning and implementation of special projects, fundraising, and scholastic excellence activities.
Iota Omicron Lambda Chapter Historical Overview
Inspired by the legacies of hard work and determination left by those who came before them, and consistent with ΑΦΑ’s original blueprint, ten Brothers—Alton A. Arnold, Clinton W. Austin, Thomas J. Connage, Med D. Cullins, Danny P. Davis, Robert W. Dews, Melvin C. Hall, Bobby E. Lewis, Phillip L. Mallory, and Sylvester L. Shannon—envisioned what a Chapter in the Pikes Peak Region could be.
After being assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado, July 29, 1968, Brother Sylvester Shannon immediately solicited the help and cooperation of other Alpha Brothers in the area. A nucleus group of 10 was assembled, and Brother Shannon was elected president. These gentlemen did the hard work and heavy lifting necessary for an Alpha chapter to be established in Colorado Springs. As a result, their efforts went forward on November 15, 1969, for recognition as a chapter.
Their resolve was answered when on December 22, 1969, the General Organization of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., “ordered, granted, ordained, and established a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, said chapter to be known as Iota Omicron Lambda of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.”
Immediately the charter members started recruiting professional men of integrity that vowed to spearhead and support events that benefited individuals and communities. Since then, Iota Omicron Lambda has welcomed into its fold over 300 Brothers dedicated to strengthening the Chapter’s foundation and expanding its positive influence and support.
Iota Omicron Lambda Brothers personify dedication, honor, and adherence to a code of values-centered on charitable acts and providing direction, support, and leadership assistance to others. We participate in citywide committees, commissions, business organizations and, groups that focus on social issues and other economic, cultural, and political matters; and mentor and advise youths and adults on a variety of personal and professional topics.
From the onset, Iota Omicron Lambda has been actively involved in the community. We also promote and support academic opportunities for students through our scholarship program that has, as of 2019, awarded more than $235,000 in scholarships to college bound students.
Other former and current philanthropic initiatives, fundraisers, and social and community programs or events, from 1970 – 2019, that our Brothers established, led, participated in, supported or contributed to have included: