Alpha Phi Omega
|Founded|| December 16, 1925 |
|Motto|| Be a Leader, |
Be a Friend,
Be of Service
|Colors||Blue and Gold (color)|
|Symbol|| Diamond (jewel) , |
Golden Eagle (bird),
|Chapters|| 372 Active in the United States (of 733 charters), |
~250 in the Philippines,
1 in Australia,
10 Colony (fraternity)
|Cardinal Principles|| Leadership, |
|Headquarters|| 14901 E. 42nd St. |
Independence, Missouri, USA
Alpha Phi Omega (commonly known as APO, but also ΑΦΩ, A-Phi-O, and A-Phi-Q) is a co-ed service fraternity organized to provide community service, leadership development,  and social opportunities to college students. Chapters of the fraternity exist in the United States, Australia, and the Philippines. The purpose of the fraternity is "to assemble college students in a national service fraternity in the fellowship of principles derived from the Scout Oath and Scout Law of the Boy Scouts of America; to develop leadership, to promote friendship, and to provide service to humanity; and to further freedom that is our national, educational, and intellectual heritage". 
Unlike many other fraternities, APO's primary focus is to provide volunteer service within four areas: service to the community, service to the campus, service to the fraternity, and service to the nation as participating citizens.  Being primarily a service organization, the fraternity restricts its chapters from maintaining fraternity houses to serve as residences for their members. This also encourages members of social fraternities that have houses, to also join APO.
Alpha Phi Omega is the largest fraternity on college campuses in the United States. The fraternity has chapters at over 350 colleges, a current active membership of approximately 17,000 and has over 300,000 alumni.  Chapters range in size from a handful of active members to over two hundred active members, independent of each college's size.
It was founded on December 16, 1925 at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, by Frank Reed Horton and 13 other students who were former Boy Scouts of America|Boy Scouts and scouters as a way to continue participating in the ideals of Scouting at the college level.  The six advisors also inducted were four members of the Lafayette College faculty: President John H. MacCracken, Dean Donald B. Prentice, Professors D. Arthur Hatch and Harry T. Spengler; one local Scouting official, Herbert G. Horton, and one national Scouting official, national director of the Boy Scouts of America, Ray O. Wyland. The founders insisted that all those gaining membership must pledge to uphold the fraternity's three cardinal principles of Leadership, Friendship, and Service.
Typical fraternity projects include blood drives, tutoring, charity fundraising events, Scouting events, used book exchange, campus escort initiatives, and housing construction/rehabilitation. Signature projects are the annual National Service Week, in the first full week of November, and the National Spring Youth Service Day in April. Many of the operations of individual chapters are left to their own discretion, though most chapters have membership requirements which require a certain number of hours of service each semester. Some chapters of APO claim to complete over 5,000 hours of community service in an academic semester.
The official publication of the fraternity is the Torch & Trefoil.  First published as the Lightbearer in February 1927, the name was changed to the Torch and Trefoil by the decision of the Fifth Alpha Phi Omega National Convention in December 1934. The new name was from the Torch as the emblem of Education and the Trefoil as the emblem of Scouting.  A version is published quarterly by the national organization of the United States, as well as a separate version by the national organization of the Republic of the Philippines. The Lightbearer is now published as a separate daily publication during Alpha Phi Omega National Conventions, and distributed to convention attendees.
Before women were allowed to join APO, several sorority|sororities, parallel in ideals but independent in structure, were formed for women who had been Camp Fire USA|Camp Fire Girls or Girl Scouts of the USA|Girl Scouts. These include Gamma Sigma Sigma and Omega Phi Alpha. Also, several chapters had "little sister" groups, some of which (like the Jewels of Tau) formed separate organizations.
The 1980s brought about renewed contact between Alpha Phi Omega (USA) and Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines). Leaders in both organizations, including national presidents Earle Herbert (USA) and Carlos "Caloy" Caliwara (Philippines) concluded there was a need for an international coordinating body to promote the ideals of the fraternity around the world. This resulted in the birth of the International Council of Alpha Phi Omega (ICAPO) at the 1994 Dallas-Fort Worth Alpha Phi Omega (USA) national convention with the signing of the charter document. The first meeting of the council was held in Zamboanga City in the Philippines at the 1995 Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines) national convention. The second meeting of the council was held in Phoenix 1996 at the Alpha Phi Omega - USA national convention. At that time a formal set of operating policies for the council was signed and the first officers were elected. ICAPO meetings now regularly occur in conjunction with Alpha Phi Omega national conventions in the USA and the Philippines. 
As stated in the charter of ICAPO:  "The purpose of the ICAPO is to promote the principles and ideals of Alpha Phi Omega, as originally exemplified by Frank Reed Horton, around the world. To this end, the Council aids in introducing and establishing collegiate-based Alpha Phi Omega organizations in countries where it is not now located and assists in institutionalizing Alpha Phi Omega organizations in countries where it is currently introduced or established. It serves as an official link among the variously established independent national Alpha Phi Omega organizations, and works to promote a deeper understanding and an increased working relationship among the independent national organizations."
While the ICAPO binds both Alpha Phi Omega (USA) and Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines) into one larger international organization, the respective national organizations operate as individual organizations with a high degree of autonomy. Alpha Phi Omega (USA) has committed to the establishment of Alpha Phi Omega in Canada, and Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines) has committed to the establishment of Alpha Phi Omega in Australia. 
- There are over 350 Chapters and a number of Alumni Associations. Each chapter has student brothers who perform service and elect their officers, as well as Faculty, Scouting, and Service Advisors drawn from the college and local communities. Each Chapter usually has a Sectional Representative appointed by the local Sectional Chair.
- There are around sixty Sections consisting of geographically close chapters. Each is headed by a Sectional Chair who is elected to a one year term at each Section's annual Conference. Many Sectional Chairs have a group of volunteer Sectional Staff, usually consisting of alumni of various chapters.
- There are eleven Regions consisting of geographically close sections and chapters. Each is headed by an elected Regional Director who is a member of the National Board, and heads a group of volunteer Regional Staff, usually consisting of alumni of various chapters. Each Director is elected by the chapters in that Region.
- There is the National Board of Directors, comprising the elected National Officers, the Regional Directors, and others. These officers are elected at the biennial National Convention to two-year terms and include the National President, National Vice-President, six National Program Directors. Appointed officials include the International Relations Directors, National Archivist, Legal Counsel and others. Alpha Phi Omega has a National Office in Independenc, MO. Here the employees run the Fraternity's day-to-day operations, including the National Executive Director and others.
- At the top is the National Convention, which meets every two years. It consists of one or two voting delegates from each chapter and all the members of the National Board of Directors. These voting delegates consider changes to the Fraternity's policies, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation for the National Board of Directors to handle between Conventions. All members of the Fraternity are invitied to attend, to participate in leadership development seminars, service projects, and fellowship events.
In 1950, Alpha Phi Omega had 227 chapters in the United States. The first chapter outside the US was organized in the Philippines that year. Many Filipinos were active in the Boy Scouts. Sol Levy, an APO member from Washington State introduced the organization to Filipino Scouts. Librado Ureta, a graduate student at Far Eastern University in Manila, was among the audience. Inspired by Levy's words, he read the publications and shared them with fellow Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of the Philippines)|Eagle Scouts and students on the FEU campus. He asked their opinion about Brother Levy's desire and the response was good. On 2 March 1950, the Alpha Phi Omega International Service Fraternity was chartered on campus. 
Alpha Phi Omega grew rapidly in the Philippines. By its third year, seven chapters had been chartered at Manila and Visayan schools and it was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a nonstock, nonprofit, and nondividend corporation. Alpha Phi Omega (Phil.) Inc. was the first branch of the fraternity to be chartered outside the USA. 
All male chapters and co-ed chapters
At the Alpha Phi Omega 1976 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, the decision was made to formally welcome females as brothers of the fraternity. Although this had been happening at some chapters on an unofficial basis for a number of years, this constituted the first formal recognition on the national level. As with many major changes, this one caused a great deal of concern, especially among older, established chapters.
In order to preserve the unity of the fraternity as a whole, a "gentleman's agreement" was crafted over the years following the 1976 National Convention that, informally, allows chapters that were all-male prior to the 1976 National Convention to remain all-male as long as their current charters remain in effect and they don't go inactive. However, at the July 2005 National Board of Directors meeting, a resolution was passed that ruled that Chapters must practice membership policies without regard to gender. The resolution calls for the formation of a committee to assist the current all-male chapters (on co-educational campuses) in their transition to co-ed status. A decision by the 2006 National Convention on December 30, 2006, has essentially upheld the Board's previous resolution, adding additional clarifications to the transitional process for the all-male chapters, including a timeline for completion of their transition to co-educational status by the 2008 National Convention.
Alpha Phi Omega offers active membership (brotherhood) to be granted to all students enrolled at colleges and universities with active chapters of Alpha Phi Omega.  Individual chapters are granted flexibility in determining the level of activity of Graduate Students at their institution.  Honorary membership may be granted by either active chapters or by the National Board of Directors. 
Until 1967, current or former membership in Scouting was a requirement to become an active brother. For example, in the Alpha Phi Omega National Constitution in 1957: Article III, Section 2: Active membership shall be granted to college students who are or have been previous affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or any Boy Scout Movement recognized by the International Association, and no restrictions as to Scout rank attained shall be imposed as a membership qualification. 
Being a boy scout as a youth was not required. Bill Clinton was a cub scout, but not a scout while growing up and was able to join Alpha Phi Omega as a student, and the bylaws also allowed for men to qualify by registering with their local council in positions such as merit badge counsellor or College Scouter Reserve.
The Fraternity was opened fully to women in 1976. All members are called "Brothers", regardless of gender. The Fraternity views "Brothers" as a gender-neutral term.
At the Alpha Phi Omega 1974 National Convention, the Fraternity allowed chapters to have women as affiliate members of the fraternity. At the Alpha Phi Omega 1976 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, the decision was made to formally welcome females as full members of the fraternity. Although this had been happening at some chapters on an unofficial basis for a number of years, this constituted the first formal recognition on the national level. As with many major changes, this one caused a great deal of concern, especially among older, established chapters.In order to preserve the unity of the fraternity as a whole, a "gentleman's agreement" was crafted over the years following the 1976 National Convention that, informally, allows chapters that were all-male prior to the 1976 National Convention to remain all-male as long as their current charters remain in effect and they don't go inactive.
Before women were allowed to join Alpha Phi Omega, several sororities, parallel in ideals but independent in structure, were formed for women who had been Camp Fire Girls or Girl Scouts. These include Gamma Sigma Sigma and Omega Phi Alpha. Also, several chapters had "little sister" groups, some of which (like the Jewels of Tau) formed separate organizations.
At the July 2005 National Board of Directors meeting, a resolution was passed that ruled that Chapters must practice membership policies without regard to gender. The resolution calls for the formation of a committee to assist the current all-male chapters (on co-educational campuses) in their transition to co-ed status. A decision by the 2006 National Convention on December 30, 2006, has essentially upheld the Board's previous resolution, adding additional clarifications to the transitional process for the all-male chapters, including a timeline for completion of their transition to co-educational status by the 2008 National Convention, and the establishment of a committee consisting of active members and alumni to assist with the process. 
On December 30, 2006, the 2006 National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky elected the first female National President of the organization, Maggie Katz. . It has been a long road.
- Boy Scouts of America
- Girl Scouts of the USA
Notable Alpha Phi Omega members
- Frank Reed Horton and his Frank Reed Horton#Fraternity|Leadership of Alpha Phi Omega
- Harold Roe Bartle|H. Roe Bartle (also known as "The Chief") and his Harold Roe Bartle#Alpha Phi Omega|Leadership of Alpha Phi Omega
- List of notable Alpha Phi Omega members
- ^ a b "About Alpha Phi Omega." Alpha Phi Omega. Retrieved on February 23, 2007.
- ^ a b c d "Pledge Manual." Alpha Phi Omega. March, 2005. Retrieved on February 23, 2007.
- ^ List of Torch & Trefoils Available Online. Alpha Phi Omega(USA). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
- ^ Torch & Trefoil. May,1935. Vol. 10, No. 1. p. 3
- ^ a b "International Council of Alpha Phi Omega." Alpha Phi Omega (website). Retrieved on April 10, 2007.
- ^ "APO Around the World." Alpha Phi Omega (website). Retrieved on April 10, 2007.
- ^ a b c d National Bylaws (2007) Alpha Phi Omega. Retrieved on March 28, 2007.
- ^ a b History Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines). (Retrieved March 28, 2007)
- ^ Alpha Phi Omega Manual of Administration, 1957 edition
- ^ "National Convention Actions: Legislative Assembly of Alpha Phi Omega, December 27-30, 2006, The Galt House Hotel & Suites - Louisville, Kentucky." Torch & Trefoil. Spring, 2007. pp. 12-15.
- ^ "Introducing the Newly Elected National Board of Directors." Torch & Trefoil. Spring, 2007. pp. 3 - 6.
- "The APO History" in "Alpha Phi Omega Torch and Trefoil" diamond jubilee program for the 13th National Biennial Convention, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Mt. Makiling, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines, December 1985.
- Alpha Phi Omega - USA National website
- Alpha Phi Omega - Philippines National website
- International Council of Alpha Phi Omega information
| Alpha Phi Omega (USA)|
|Frank Reed Horton, 1925-1931 | H. Roe Bartle, 1931-1946 | Arno Nowotny, 1946-1950 | Daniel Den Uyl, 1950-1954 | M.R. Disborough, 1954-1958 | William S. Roth, 1958-1962 | Lester R. Steig, 1962-1964 | Tom T. Galt, 1964-1966 | E. Ross Forman, 1966-1968 | Glen T. Nygreen, 1968-1970 | Audrey B. Hamilton, 1970-1972 | Lucius E. Young, 1972-1974 | Lawrence L. Hirsch, 1974-1978 | Lorin A. Jurvis, 1978-1980 | C.P. Zlatkovich, 1980-1982 | Earle M. Herbert, 1982-1986 | Stan Carpenter, 1986-1990 | Gerald A. Schroeder, 1990-1994 | Wilfred M. Krenek, 1994-1998 | Jack A. McKenzie, 1998-2002 | Bobby Hainline, 2002-2004 | Fred Heismeyer, 2004-2006 | Maggie Katz, 2006-current|
| Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines)|
| Librado I. Ureta, 1951-1953 | Ignacio J. Sevilla, Sr., 1953-1968 | Librado I. Ureta, 1968-1977 | Amancio Donato 1977* |Melchizedek Y. Maquiso, 1977-1981 | Francisco P. Brosas, Jr., 1981-1983 | Mama S. Lalanto, 1983-1985 | Geoffrey A. Pungutan, Al-Haj, 1985-1986 | Oscar V. Lazo Jr., 1986-1987 ** | Carlos M.E. Caliwara, 1987-1989 | Jose Antonio L. Dimaano, 1989-1991 | Rolando B. Baluyot, 1991-1993 | Felix J. Marinas, Jr., 1993-1995 | Ismail Michael A. Abantas, 1995-96 | Agaton C. Labrador, Jr., 1996-97 | Mariano R. Alquiza, 1997-1999 | Teddie Elson E. Rivera, 1999-2001 | Blo Umpar Adiong, 2001-2003 | Rodrigo V Mapoy, 2003-2005 | Jimmy De Castro 2005-2007 | Mel Adriano 2007-2009
* Donato was Officer-in-charge.
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