On November 3rd, 1946, a group of twelve Michigan State College men met in Lansing, MI for the purpose of organizing a social club. The organization was called “Gentleman of State” and according to Article II, Section 1 of the subsequently adopted constitution, “The Purpose of this organization shall be to provide a medium of the social activities for the male students of Michigan State College.” In the minds of many of the men there assembled, was the idea of using this as a basis for establishing a Negro Fraternity at Michigan State. This is borne out by the fact that at the next meeting, on December 8, 1946, a committee was appointed to investigate three Negro Fraternities, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, and to report on their functions, aims and ideals.
The committee members made their reports at later meetings and on February 23, 1947, an election was held to decide which fraternity was to be chosen. Ten men were present at this meeting. There were two rounds of balloting and on the first ballot Alpha Phi Alpha received six votes, Kappa Alpha Psi received two votes and Omega Psi Phi received one vote. The President did not vote. One the next ballot, Alpha Phi Alpha received seven votes. From then on, the efforts of the majority members of Gentleman of State were directed towards establishing A PHI A on the Michigan State College campus.
On June 6, 1947, nine men were initiated into the sphinx club by Brothers from Epsilon Chapter, assisted by three Brothers from Lansing, MI. At the start of the fall term on October 14, 1947, the first meeting of the Michigan State College Sphinx Club was held on campus. Permanent officers were elected and a Constitution Committee was selected to draw up a constitution. The Sphinx Club adopted Lincoln Community Center in Lansing as its Educational Project and each member devoted an hour a week as a volunteer worker in the roles of supervisory, guidance and counselor personnel.
In the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan on December 7 1947, eight brothers from Michigan State College and four Brothers from the University of Michigan were initiated into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity by the members of Epsilon chapter.
A meeting was held on December 8th, 1947 and temporary officers of the Michigan State College group were elected and a petition for a charter to establish at Michigan State College was signed by the members. The petition was sent to the Epsilon delegate who will take it to the 1947 General Convention for action.
History was made at Michigan State College when Brother William N. Lovelace, National Vice President, assisted by Brother Robert M. Thomas, Regional Officer of Detroit, installed the A PHI A fraternity in East Lansing, MI on Saturday, May 1st, 1948. As usual, Alpha Phi Alpha is the first Negro Fraternity to make its appear on this campus. This fact is the result of unceasing effort and much hard work on the part of its Charter Members at the University of Michigan. The closed installation ceremony was held at the Lincoln Community Center at 2:30 pm. The formal installation Banquet was held in the luxurious East Room of Lansing’s Hotel, the Hotel Olds, at 8 pm.
Thusly, ALPHA PHI ALPHA was the first social fraternity to be established by black students at Michigan State. Organized in May 1948, the fraternity was dedicated to providing service to mankind and the advancement of interracial groups at Michigan State.