About Phi Chapter
Phi Chapter is conducted as a service fraternity under the policies, principles and provisions set forth by the National Articles of Incorporation; please see Phi's Bylaws and Standing Rules. Phi Chapter is open to students of both Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. All fifteen founders of Phi were associated with scouting, which was a requirement of membership at the time. Most of these men were seniors at SUNY-ESF.
Early History (1931-1980)
October 2, 1931 - The first meeting was held at Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house.
March 17, 1932 - The charter was received. The charter now resides at Alibrandi Catholic Center.
Instead of wearing a pledge pin, the brothers chose to have the pledges wear the A Phi O Key.
Phi's first president was Richard Francis Grant, and the first advisor was Dr. Gurth Whipple of SUNY-ESF.
April 11, 1934 - Phi started the tradition of initiating each of SU's chancellors as honorary members. Chancellor Flint was the first to be initiated. Chancellor and Mrs. Shaw were initiated in Fall 1994. In the Spring of 1995, President Whalley and his wife were initiated as honorary members as well.
1935 - The idea of having an annual banquet was born.
The Camp Woodland service project was started.
1937 - Phi was awarded the Wallace O. Lee trophy as the outstanding chapter in the nation. Dr. H. Roe Bartle, “The Chief,” made his third trip to Phi to present the trophy.
1938 - The first blood drive was held. The infirmary had APO brothers on call at all times.
1938-1939 - The Eta chapter from Northern Illinois won the Lee Trophy. In '39, Phi won the trophy again, but the Eta brothers refused to give it back. In the seventies, Fred Pollack said that if any brother of Phi could get the trophy back, then he would award them a keg of beer. GO FOR IT!
A lot of information from this decade is missing due to the war. Eleven active or alumni brothers were either killed or M.I.A. A plaque was made for these brothers after the war.
1946 - The President's Gavel was made. The one the current president uses is believed to be the original.
1947 - Phi's Newsletter, “Philings,” was born.
1948 - Phi started the ride board which worked until a student was hurt by a driver who was not a student. After this, safety precautions were taken to prevent this from happening again, and eventually the University took over the board.
There were 71 active brothers and pledges.
Brothers visited the infirmary and brought small gifts or soup to ill students. This helped Phi's image and helped recruit possible pledges.
Phi started The Book Mart which sold and exchanged books. This later became known as the Book Exchange taken over by the University, but has recently been restored to APO with the help of NYPIRG and SGA. It is in 126 Schine on the wall.
1960 - The chapter participated in Ugly Man on Campus which was fairly successful. The name has been changed to Ugly Person on Campus to include sororities in this fundraising effort.
Phi brothers invested in a cottage in which they held a lot of their activities.
1967 - Phi brother Brian McLane focused his attention on the lack of handicap accessible buildings on campus. Fellow Phi brothers also found this inaccessibility a problem as they helped Brian around campus. Brian initiated a national campaign, Architectural Barriers, in an attempt to correct this problem. In 1969, Phi received support from the national office. As a result, Phi received the Arno “Shorty” Notowny National Service Award for 1968-1970. Dr. Bartle suggested this award.
Phi started hosting Christmas parties for handicapped and under-privileged children.
1968 - Women became unofficially involved in chapter activities. They were known as little sisters and figured they'd become a Gamma Sigma Sigma chapter after a year. Gamma Sigma Sigma was a service sorority for women. The women opted to remain little sisters of Phi.
1970: At the APO national convention, architectural barriers became a national service project of approximately 550 chapters that made up the national fraternity
1973 - Phi began participated in Dance Marathon and raised $1,740 which put them in fourth place. In '74 they raised $3,248. In '75 they raised $3,400.
1975 - Phi banned drinking from chapter meetings because brothers were too drunk to get anything accomplished.
1976 - Phi membership drastically declined. They remaining brothers felt they had nothing to offer SU and considered disbanding. Thankfully, this never happened. Membership increased from a morale boost that occurred during a project at the Jaycees Haunted House, which was held at the Fairgrounds. This event helped brothers work together again and refocus themselves on the purpose of Phi chapter.
1976-1977 - Phi traditions were recorded:
After chapter Sunday nights, everyone went to Chucks for 15 cent beers.
Pinball and Frisbee were the official Phi sports.
Brothers entertained themselves in the office by playing poker.
Brothers often road tripped to Blazer hockey games.
A spring banquet was held.
There was an annual softball game.
Galuppi's was the fraternity bar.
1976 - At the national convention in Atlanta, it was decided that if an APO chapter was going to accept the women into the fraternity, they must be treated as equals!!! The U.S. Congress ruled that service fraternities and sororities were not exempt from the Dept. of Health Education and Welfare's resolution to equal education.
1977 - In February, Phi voted to accept women as brothers. On April 23, the first pledge class was initiated of both women and men.
In the Spring, Fred Pollak graduated from SU's Law School. He was an active brother and advisor for eight years. In recognition of his work, the brothers established the Fred Pollak Service to Phi Chapter Award. This was given to an active brother or sister (as they were referred to then) who put time and effort to better Phi chapter.
The most memorable pledge prank took place when the APO office was located in Archbold. Word had drifted to brothers that the pledges were thinking about giving the brothers Ex-lax as their prank and due to the warped thinking of the VP Fellowship, this idea was incorporated into the chapter's prank. The highlight of the prank was when a couple of brothers threw pies in the pledges' faces as the PA system from a nearby van played “The William Tell Overture.” The pledges retaliated by stealing all of the furniture form the office, except the phone, master locator book, and the charter. They locked everything in the balcony overlooking the gym.
Original National Alpha Phi Omega Charter
(Tune: "Field Artillery Song")
A. P. O. give a cheer as we go on through the year,
Spreading goodwill throughout all the land,
We will strive with our might for the cause we know is right,
Giving each man a firm helping hand.
For as you see, our fraternity,
Is guided by friendship old and new,
To succeed in this task, we must always ask,
For the help of our brethren so true.
-by Phi and Beta Iota Chapters
1987-Leaders of the National Eagle Scout Association proposed an alliance with the fraternity
(Tune: "Notre Dame Victory Song")
Here's to you, brothers, loyal and true,
You'll be a friend whate'er we go through.
You'll stand up through thick and thin,
Keep up your spirit, and strive to win;
Friendship and service - leadership, too,
Those were our guides as we grew and grew.
So all you men of A.P.O.,
Keep up the good work - Let's go.
-by Phi and Beta Iota Chapters
1980's - According to past president Steven Burd (1985-86), there are few historical facts from the 80s. Steve arrived here in 1985 as a transfer brother and student from Lebanon Valley College (Nu Delta). In late September, Bonna Burtt, a Phi alumni, contacted Steve saying that she was working with the sectional and regional staffs to reestablish Phi chapter. Apparently, for reasons unknown to Steve, the chapter had died a slow death in the early 80s. By '85, there was nothing left. Acting as members of the E-Board, Steve and an eight person pledge class took on the responsibility of rebuilding Phi Chapter. They acted as brothers and pledges at the same time and focused on service to members. In the Spring of '86 they grew slowly by initiating five new brothers. The next pledge class had between ten to twelve people. The last thing Steve recalls was being told that Phi would have to leave its office in Archbold Gymnasium. The thing that was most upsetting about this move was that the APO crest which had been painted on the wall by Judy Saita would be lost in the move. After Steve graduated in '87, he became chair of Section 92 in Northeastern PA for two years.
1987-Leaders of the National Eagle Scout Association proposed an alliance with the fraternity
1989-1990: Phi received the Joe Scalon Membership Award "for its efforts in attaining new members for the 1989-1990 school year and for furthering the fraternity ideals of Leadership, Friendship, and Service"
BBBBBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGG History Gap!
1990-April 20-22 Phi Chapter won the Banner Contest at the Section 88/89 conference at the State University College at Geneseo
1991-1992: Phi Chapter earned the "Joseph Scalon National Certificate of Merit" due to a net membership growth of around 15%
1991-Spring, The Pledge Fundraiser: Golden screw award given to Professor William D. Coplin, a professor of policy studies, who "put the screws to them"
1993 - In the fall, Father James P. Lang was initiated as an honorary brother and is one of our advisors to this day.
Phi hosted a sectionals conference in the Spring under the theme “World of Service.”
Spring 1995 - The office of Alumni Secretary was added to the Executive board.
1996 - The Spring pledge class pulled off a prank that now competes as the most memorable prank. Each pledge took something from the big brother and left a note telling them where and when to get it back. When the brothers arrived, the pledges had set up a game show similar to “Let's Make a Deal” where brothers had to win their stuff by answering A Phi O trivia or doing goofy things. The pledge class closed it off by singing “Lean on Me” to the brotherhood.
Six Phi brothers went to Washington, D.C. to help with the AIDS quilt while it was on display on the Mall. This may have been the last time the quilt will be displayed in its entirety.
A New York state proclamation was signed by Gov. Pataki calling for November 2, 1996 to be Officially Alpha Phi Omega National Service Day (we did that!).
The chapter had its first baking day at Alibrandi Catholic Center. It was a huge success with over 2,000 cookies made which were donated to the Rescue Mission for the winter holidays.
1997 - Phi held a blood drive in the Schine Student Center and it was the largest success of any blood drive on campus that the Red Cross could recall.
Phi received a Youth Grant of $250 from the National Office to put together a program for area youth at the Westcott Community Center.
Phi hosted a sectionals conference in the Fall under the theme “All Roads Lead to Service.” This was one of the most successful conferences ever as 300 people attended the banquet.
Phi received many national awards including one for leadership, one for their National Service Week projects, and one for their work with the Youth Grant.
Phi is featured on the cover of T&T for their work with the Youth Grant.
1998 - The chapter tied for second place in the NY region for most blood attained by a sponsor of blood drives.
Phi was the only chapter in our region to be awarded pins for our participation in National Service Week.
Jenni Hoffman and Father Jim Lang were awarded Distinguished Service Keys for their outstanding service
At the 8th annual Comstock Kidfest, Phi devoted their time to helping local children and celebrating the kids in the Syracuse community. They worked together with Habitat for Humanity, Black Professional Women's Club, and Sadler Alive.
Phi Chapter added the ESF relations coordinator to the executive board.
1999 - Lynne Mowers becomes an advisor for Phi Chapter
2000 - Joanna Adler was awarded a Distinguished Key Award for her outstanding service to the chapter.
In the fall, VP Service Scott Adams set a challenge for the chapter. He said he would shave his head if the active brothers, and only active brothers, performed 1200 cumulative hours of service. The chapter met his challenge, and Scott kept his promise. If you look at old scrapbooks, you can see Scott at CPPC in the Spring with a buzzed head.
Phi brother Ben Reimer was elected SA President.
At the national convention in Philadelphia, Phi received a bid for 2001 regional conference as well as a Region Service Award.
2001 - Phi received a Youth Service Grant to be used for a Girl Scout badge-training day. Girl Scout Day was held in March 2002. Both scout leaders and Phi considered it a huge success with a wonderful turnout.
In the Fall, Amy Mowers, advisor Lynne Mowers' daughter, was initiated as an honorary brother. Amy began attending APO functions with her mother in 1999 while she was still in elementary school.
Spring 2001 - In the Spring, Scott Adams was awarded a chapter Distinguished Key Award for his service to the chapter.
September 11, 2001 – With the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania, Phi Chapter responded with great efforts. Many brothers donated blood, signed up to volunteer at local hospitals, and we donated our money from a recent fundraiser to the Red Cross.
December 2001 - Phi hosted a regionals conference with the theme of “Crossroads of Service.” Phi brother Kate Reeder acted as conference chair. She worked really hard to make the conference come together and run smoothly, and because of her hard work the conference was certainly a success.
March 2002 - Phi celebrated its 70 th anniversary with a huge Spring Banquet at the Sheraton. By all means it was considered a huge success. Former Phi President Franklin Powell as well as SU Chancellor Shaw were among the keynote speakers. Almost the entire current chapter attended as well many alumni and a couple brothers from Chi Pi chapter at SUNY Fredonia.
Spring 2002 - With over 15 graduating seniors and the threat of a shrinking chapter, Phi worked hard to recruit new members to replace the seniors and increase membership. The result was 40 new brothers initiated, which more than doubled the size of the chapter. A picture of the newly expanded brotherhood was featured in T & T that semester.
Fall 2002- Phi initiated 27 very eager pledges in November as we bid farewell to 3 graduating seniors in December. Several brothers and pledges attended the Secionals Conference held at SUNY/Plattsburgh where they won the roll call. (Creation of a short song/skit and presented at their banquet).
Two successful and tasty meals were held at the Spaghetti Warehouse for the big/little dinner and a banquet on December 7.
December 2002 Many members and phi alumni made the trek to New Orleans for nationals held December 27-30. There they reunited and attended several workshops and fellowships.
Congrats to one of Phi's advisors Lynne Mowers for her participation as well as working to develop a dialogue between the National Boards of Alpha Phi Omega and sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma. Phi was also recognized for its 70 th Anniversary and its participation in the National Service Week.
Spring 2003 -
- Phi received 35 new pledges in early February and 29 were initiated on April 26, 2003 with phi alumna Marilyn Mims Dow as the pledge class name-sake.
- In March a successful Boy Scout Merit Badge Day was hosted by and responsible for teaching nine different badges to over 130 local Boy Scouts.
- Syracuse also held the first workshop called “Launch” in the new APO Leads Program.
- The first weekend in April, 8 brothers and 8 pledges made the trek to Alfred University for Sectionals. There was certainly enough orange pride brought with them as Phi chanted “Lets Go Orange” throughout most of the weekend surrounding the Orangemen's advancement to the National Championship. At the banquet Phi was honored with the H. Roe Bartle Award For Outstanding Achievement In Chapter Administration and Program During 2002-2003. The chapter wore their orange t-shirts over their dress clothes and were allowed to take Gamma chapter's place in roll call in order to watch SU basketball.
- On April 11-12, more than 40 teams participated in SU's first American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The event was sponsored by the brothers of Phi and raised over 48,000 dollars to help fight cancer.
- Three new advisors were elected and welcomed into the chapter: brothers Kate Bell, Alan Bridgewater, Kathy Hughes and ESF professor Paul Hopkins.
- Former Phi President Franklin E. Powell Jr. was awarded with a Distinguished Service Key Award and presented to him at the spring banquet. A plaque was bought by the chapter to display all past present and future DSK holders.
- Over a dozen alumni returned for a super successful Alumni weekend centering around initiations. That night the first life-time membership award was given honoring the decided “most outstanding” pledge to Chris Czekanski.
- In early May we bid farewell to 20 seniors.
- November 9, 2004: Phi sponsored the Relay for Life Kick-Off
- Pledge Class hosted Mr. APO Pageant as their fundraiser
- Advisor Lynne Mowers was awarded a Distinguished Service Key
- Phi President Jeffy K created the President’s Award. The first two President’s Awards were given to Lauren McNally and Amanda Wiltsey; their names were engraved onto a new plaque in the office.
- Phi President awarded the President’s Award to Kristen Vescera
- Phi initiated 30 new pledges.
- Thanks to the hard work of Aaron Knight, PhiServ launches and brothers can now log their hours and sign up for projects online!
- October 4, 2006: Phi hosted a Senior Citizen’s Prom at Van Duyn Hospital and Home. For all the hardwork, Phi’s project was featured on the National Website.
- October 14, 2006: Phi hosted the second Girl Scout Badge Day
- October 15, 2006: Phi won the top college fundraising team at the First Frost AIDS Walk by raising over $300
- October 25, 2006: Phi played a very large role in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On this day, brothers and pledges joined with the campus to form a human ribbon on the steps of Hendricks Chapel to increase awareness.
- Brother Alex Askew won Homecoming Queen
- President Sarah Christiansen awarded Aaron Knight the President’s Award for his work with PhiServ
- Phi won the Joseph Scanlon Award for registering a net membership of 15%
- Six brothers attended APO’s National Convention in Louisville, KY from 12/27-12/30
- Phi gave Alpha Zeta Lambda Chapter at SUNY Cortland a tapestry when it officially received its charter on December 10, 2006
- Three Phi Brothers were honored as Remembrance Scholars
- Phi celebrates its 75th Anniversary!
- President Kristen Vescera awarded the President’s Award to Christopher Robin Luczkowiak
- President Kristen Vescera and former President Adam Ritchie were awarded Distinguished Service Keys
- September 22, 2007: Phi headed up to visit the Gamma Chapter and spent the day at the Ithaca falls
- October 20-21, 2007: Phi heads to the Cayuga Nature Center near Ithaca for ropes courses and trust building activities. At night, they played games, built a bonfire and had a talent competition. After a pancake breakfast, they headed back to Cuse, stopping for a quick hike along the way.
- November 17, 2007: Phi hosted the 3rd annual Girl Scout Badge Day with help from brothers from Gamma and Kappa Lambda for over 100 local Girl Scouts. After the badge day, brothers from Gamma and Kappa Lambda played Phi Chapter in kickball. Phi walked away with the title of Champions, while the Binghampton team walked away with the Blue Balls consolation prize!
- November 2-4, 2007: Eleven Phis (3 brothers and 8 pledges) headed to University of Albany for the Sectionals conference. They stayed with Phi alumni, Brad Wood. Phi had the best pledge attendance of all the chapters at Sectionals. Phi also dominated the Penny War, raising the most money for a local AIDS resource center
- Brothers completed a total of 3536 hours
- December 1, 2007: Phi initiated 26 pledges from the Action Phi News Team Pledge Class.
- Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast at Alabrandi Center: Saturday, February 2nd
- Rush: Monday, February 4(ice cream social at HOL) The end of Rushing for Spring 08 Semester and the beginning of the Phi Phunkiest’s Pledge Class were celebrated with the Ice Cream Social at HOL.
- Inductions: Friday 8th at Grant Auditorium
- 55 pledges were inducted into Alpha Phi Omega’s Phi Chapter
- Pledge class name: Phunkiest Pledge Class
Phi changed the wording of chapter's terms
- Pledge -> Potential New Member
- Rush -> Recruitment
- Pledge Class -> Phi Class
- Pledgemasters -> New Member Educators
March 5, 2016: 27 potential new members inducted into Phi Chapter; Class theme: Philms Noir
March 2016: Phi attended the Professional Fraternity Council Gala in Schine where Avery Witzel got an award for her leadership and dedication to the PFC.
April 15-17, Phi Chapter successfully hosted Sectionals 87/88/89 with a Murder Mystery/Clue theme and fellowships, leadership workshops, and keynote award ceremony. Followed by banquet at the Museum of Science and Technology downtown.
February 2016: Mafia and Phalcons merged to become The Legends family