December 4, 1906!

Today we celebrate the founding of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Cornell University. One of the things I have loved about the fraternity is that it has a great legacy of brothers serving as college presidents. In fact, we boast more college presidents than any other historically Black fraternity (but shout out to the men of Omega Psi Phi- they have a lot too, including the legendary Dr. Benjamin E. Mays).

However for college presidents, especially HBCU presidents, Alphas set the standard for leadership.

Frederick Patterson. Benjamin Payton. Luther Foster. Fred Humphries. M. Lafayette Harris. Norman C. Francis. Earl Richardson. Henry Ponder. Walter Washington. Julius Chambers. Charles Johnson. James Cheek. And of course, the author of the Alpha Phi Alpha history book, Charles Harris Wesley.

By my count, there are currently 19 HBCU leaders that are members of Alpha Phi Alpha. So allow me to introduce you to the COLDEST HBCU leaders in the land. Those with Twitter handles are listed so that you can follow them.

Two brothers get special recognition.


Dr. Everett Ward, President, Saint Augustine’s University (2015 — ), current and 35th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.


Dr. Michael Lomax, President, UNCF (President, Dillard University, 1998–2004)

Here are the other brothers listed by seniority as president.

Dr. Harold Martin Sr, Winston-Salem State University (2000–2006), North Carolina A&T State University (2009 — )


Dr. George French, Miles College (2006 — )

Dr. Dwight Fennell, Texas College (2008 — ), Paul Quinn College (2002–2005)

Dr. Harry Williams, Delaware State University (2009–2017). Becomes president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund January 2018


Dr. David Wilson, Morgan State University (2010 — )


Dr. Kent Smith, Langston University (2012 — )


Dr. Laurence Alexander, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (2013 — )


Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr., Alcorn State University (2014 — )

Dr. Logan Hampton, Lane College (2014 — )


Dr. Roderick Smothers, Philander Smith College (2015 — )

Dr. Edward Wheeler, Interdenominational Theological Center (2015 — )


Dr. Makola Abdullah, Virginia State University (2016 — )

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, Voorhees College (2016 — )


Dr. M. Christopher Brown, Kentucky State University (2017 — ), Alcorn State University (2011–2013)

Dr. Jerry Hardee, Paine College (2017 — )


Dr. Hakim Lucas, Virginia Union University (2017 — )

Judge Hubert Grimes, Interim, Bethune-Cookman University (2017 — )

Dr. Clarence Armbrister, Johnson C. Smith University (2018 — )


And of course, yours truly. Dillard University (2012 — ), Philander Smith College (2004–2012)

7th president of Dillard University