M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the
RECORDS, 1952-1978


For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518)-437-3935.

Finding Aid Compiled by

Revised and Updated by
Bonnie Soucy
November 15, 2002

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: 13.28 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, in a series of transfers between 2000 and 2002.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Administrative History

Scope and Content Note

Series Description

Box and Folder List

Administrative History

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Alpha Pi Alpha was chartered on September 29, 1952, as an independent non-discriminatory fraternity at the New York State College for Teachers. Alpha Pi Alpha was the successor to the Gamma chapter (founded in 1915) of the national fraternity Kappa Delta Rho.[1] Since it’s founding on May 17, 1905 at Middlebury College in Vermont, Kappa Delta Rho National Constitution contained a discriminatory clause that only allowed “white Gentiles” to pledge the fraternity. At the National Convention in 1950, the organization agreed to remove the clause from the National Constitution prohibiting anyone who wasn’t a ‘white gentile’ from becoming a pledge, but apparently substituted the phrase that pledges must “practice the principles of the Christian faith.” Either because they were unaware of the new clause, or to test it, in 1952 the Gamma chapter of Kappa Delta Rho pledged five Jewish students. The National organization refused to allow this, citing the so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” that prevented chapters from pledging Jews or persons of color, despite the official change in the national Constitution. After a brief struggle with the national, the sixty-two members of the Gamma chapter unanimously resign their national membership in Kappa Delta Rho and formed Alpha Pi Alpha, an independent fraternity, in 1952.[2] Just a year after it’s founding, in the spring of 1953, Alpha Pi Alpha had an unprecedented 23 pledges.

Alpha Pi Alpha appeared to have kept some traditions of their predecessor, Kappa Delta Rho. The crest of Alpha Pi Alpha is similar to the crest of Kappa Delta Rho, having the same general appearance size and shape.[3] The Latin motto adopted by the new fraternity, “Esse Quam Videri,” however, appears to directly address the break with KDR. From a web search, the motto means “To Be Rather Than to Seem.”[4] Alpha Pi Alpha continued to have an excellent record in intramural sports, particularly bowling, but also in football, basketball and softball. Alpha Pi Alpha members were also very involved in the student government. Alpha Pi Alpha flourished by allowing non-Christians into the fraternity and helped to build a better and stronger brotherhood.

Alpha Pi Alpha had several different housing locations throughout the years. In 1953 they purchased a house at 765 Madison Avenue, and in 1958 they moved their house to 135 South Lake Avenue. When fraternities and sororities were forced by President Collins to move onto the new Uptown Campus in 1966, they moved into Clinton Hall on Colonial Quad, and later in 1976, they moved into Hamilton Hall, also on Colonial Quad. By 1978, pledging fell so low that Alpha Pi Alpha lost its dormitory space and the official recognition of the University.[5] The pledges continued to associate with one another informally until the last members of the fraternity graduated in 1981, and the fraternity has continued to function on an alumni basis, funding scholarships, and holding its 50th Reunion in October 2002.


1. The Gamma Chapter was founded on June 10, 1915 and the State College for Teachers.
2. The 1952 Alpha Pi Alpha scrapbook contains much of the correspondence regarding the break-up. See the Alpha Pi Alpha Website (www.alphapialpha.com), and particularly the letter from Donald Wolfe, Executive Secretary, KDR to Leo Bennett, V. P. Alpha Pi Alpha for the national’s interpretation of the “gentileman’s agreement,” and the national’s belief that the local Gamma brother’s had not been told of this clause.
3. The crest of Kappa Delta Rho can be found at their National Website (www.kdr.com).
4. From the original by Sallust on Cato [Sallust, coniuratio Catilinae 45, 5] (http//www.goggle.com/search?as_q=&as_dt=I&as_sitesearch=&safe=images) and also http://lateinserv.de/dicta/inhalt/litterac.htm.
5. Information from this paragraph was taken from the Alpha Pi Alpha website (www.alphapialpha.com).

Scope & Content Note

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Alpha Pi Alpha fraternity records and memorabilia cover the period 1952-1978. Found in the records are 16 scrapbooks, 1952-1978, the fraternities certificate of incorporation, a fraternity paddle, and rug, the fraternity crest, fraternity trivia, and the fraternity hymn. Apparently no minutes of APA meetings survive. The scrapbooks contain the basic record of the fraternity’s activities. The first 1952 scrapbook contains the Gamma chapter’s correspondence with the Kappa Delta Rho national and newspaper clippings documenting the struggle to end official and unofficial discrimination of the Kappa Delta Rho national. The second scrapbook, 1952-56, contains some documentation regarding pledging rituals. Later scrapbooks consist primarily of photographs of fraternity parties, and clipping from the State College News and its successor the Albany Student Press about pledges, pledge parties, and the APA inter-mural athletic teams, as well as notices about fraternity brother who distinguished themselves on athletic teams or in student government of academics. There beyond the early scrapbook entry about pledging there is no material available on the fraternity rituals. Other material that can be found is listed in the Alpha Pi Alpha website at www.alphapialpha.com. All material provided are the originals.

Series Descriptions

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Series 1: Subject files, 1953, 2001-02, .7 cubic ft., Arranged chronologically.

The subject files contain the original certificate of incorporation and audiotapes of the hymns. They also hold CD Rom’s which contain snapshots of APA’s website and photographs. In addition, there are folders, which include information on the fraternities 50th Anniversary Reunion and 50th reunion membership lists.

Series 2: Scrapbooks, 1952-78, 3.0 cubic ft., Arranged chronologically.

The first two scrapbooks contain information on the Gamma Chapter’s break with the Kappa Delta Rho national fraternity and the formation of the Alpha Pi Alpha Fraternity, a local fraternity. The documents hold information on the formation of the fraternity, official certificates, pledging rituals, and news clippings. Other scrapbooks from the years of 1960-1978 contain photographs of pledges, rushing, parties, homecoming, school events, and sports. The scrapbooks also contain newspaper clippings from the State College News, after 1964, the Albany Student Press. The clippings contained information on inter-mural athletics, pledges, parties, distinguished brothers in APA, inter-mural athletics and other mentions of the fraternity. The scrapbooks were gifts of Tony Liquori, John Ewashko and John Vetere, and Terry Haskell.

Series 3: Memorabilia, 1953-77, 4.83 cubic ft., Arranged by type.

Includes fraternity pins, jackets, mugs, crests and paddles, and beer glasses from the fraternities bar, O’Heanys.

Series 4: Photographs, 1953-77, 2001, 4.75 cubic ft., Arranged chronologically.

Consists mostly of composite photos of the fraternity. Includes series of thirty-five blown-up APA pictures from college yearbooks, 1953-1978, and from a 2001 reunion, reproduced for the 50th anniversary party in 2002.

Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Subject Files, 1953, 2001-02

Box 1 (oversized) (.5 cubic ft.)

1. Certificate of Incorporation, May 22, 1953
(from John Vetere)

Box 2 (.2 cubic ft.)

1. CD Rom from preliminary APA website August 10, 2002
(from John Vetere),
2. Photographs CD Rom, 2001
(gift of Dick Bailey)
3.CD Rom from APA website, September 29, 2002
(gift of John Ewashko)
3. Audio Tape APA Music Fraternity Hymn, Aye Aye Aye Aye, Charlotte the Harlot, Let's Go Down and..., Edward Eldred Potter, Fol Di Rol, 1952-1978
(from John Ewashko)
4. 50th Anniversary-Reunion and Banquet handouts, October 18-20, 2002.
Contains programs, attendees list, list of missing members, letter head, schedule of events.
5. 50th Anniversary Membership Lists, October 18-20, 2002.
6. NYS Legislative Resolution Commemorating the founding of Alpha Pi Alpha, June 17, 2002.

Box and Folder List

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Series 2: Scrapbooks, 1952-1978

Box 1 (1.0 cubic ft.)

1. Scrapbook, 1952
Contains original correspondence documenting the break with the Kappa Delta Rho national fraternity: Report of Gamma Chapter on the 1952 KDR Convention (1952) Times Union, Knick New, New York Times articles (1952 53) Correspondence
to and from alumni and KDR (1952 53) Report on the formation of APA (1955 56) Joe O'Heaney newspaper column and letter (1968)
2. Scrapbook, 1952-56
Contains a New York Times article on SUNY President Carlson hailing the APA Brothers for breaking with the KDR national over discriminatory “gentileman’s agreements” to exclude non-gentiles from the fraternity, October 3, 1952.
3. Scrapbook 1958
4. Scrapbook, 1960 61
5. Scrapbook, 1964 65
(compiled by Don Prockup-Historian)
6 . Scrapbook, 1965- 66
(compiled by Alex Krawower-Historian)

Box 2 (1.0 cubic ft.)

1. Scrapbook, 1966-67
(compiled by Mark Straus-Historian)
2. Scrapbook, 1966 67
(compiled by William Pendergast-Historian)
3. Scrapbook, 1967-1968
4. Scrapbook, 1968 69
(compiled by Jon Richardson-Historian)
5. Scrapbook, 1969 70
(compiled by William Meehan-Historian)

Box 3 (1.0 cubic ft.)

1. Scrapbook, Spring 1971
(compiled by Don Buckhout-Historian)
2. Scrapbook, Spring 1972
(compiled by John Pavlis-Historian)
3. Scrapbook, 1972 73
(compiled by Dave Parker and Ken Schnelle-Historian)
4. Scrapbook, 1974 75
(compiled by Russ Craig Fall ’74 and John Vetere, Spring ’75-Historians)
5. Scrapbook, 1976-77
(Gift of Terry Haskell)

Box and Folder List

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Series 3: Memorabilia, 1953-77

Box 1 (.64 cubic ft.)

1. State College varsity “S’ letter and APA pin
(gift of Bob Sinkeldamn ’53)
2. Two 1955 Hedrick’s 10 cent beer glasses from O’Heany’s at 184 Ontario Street
(gift of Thomas Sullivan ’58)
3. 1957 Pledge Class Ceramic Pitcher with a list of the pledge class members (gift of Al Horton ‘66)
4. Charm Bracelet (‘59)
(gift of R. Lloyd & Leatrice S. Murdoch ’59, ’60 B.S., ‘71 Ph.D.)
5. 1953 Ceramic APA Beer mug with words “SINK”
(gift of Robert Sinkeldam ’53)

Box 2 (.6 cubic ft.)

1. Blue and White Felt APA Banner
(gift of Tony Liquori and John Ewashko)

Box 3 (.5 cubic ft.)

1. APA Chamois and crest
(gift of John Vetere ’77)

Box 4 (.6 cubic ft.)

1. Blue and white shag APA banner
(gift of Tom Crowley ‘75)

Box 5 (.5 cubic ft.)

1. APA Fraternity Jacket, circa 1958
(gift of Neil Jurzinski ’60)

Box 6 (.49 cubic ft.)

1. APA drinking jacket, Spring Weekend 1965
(gift of Frank Stamski ’67)

Box 7 (.5 cubic ft.)

1. APA Fraternity Jacket, circa 1968
(gift of Bob (?))

Loose (1.0 cubic ft.)

1. 1958 Pledge Paddle
(gift of Paul Dammer ‘58)
2. 1968 APA Paddle with words “Denny” and Latin inscription “Esse Quam Videri” under the APA shield (gift of Dennis Elkin ‘68)
3. Wooden plaque with APA crest
(gift of Tony Liquori and John Ewashko)
4. 1960 Paddle with APA and APA shield, NYSCT, and words Neil ‘60
(gift of Neil Jurinski ’60)

Box and Folder List

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Series 4: Photographs, 1955-1977, 2001

Box 1 (.5 cubic ft.)

1. Official Composite (11”x 14”, from Deane Cunningham), 1955
2. Official Composite (11”x 14”, from Neil Jurinski),1957
3. Official Composite (11” x 14”), 1958
4. Official Composite (11” x 14”), 1959
5. Official Composite (11” x 14”), 1960
6. Official Composite (11” x 14”, from Jay Curtis), 1961
7. Official Composite (11” x 14”), 1962
8. Official Composite (11” x 14”), 1963
9. Official Composite (11” x 14”, from John Ewashko), 1970
10. Official Composites (11” x 14” (2)), 1971
11. Official Composite (11” x 14”), 1973
12. Official Composite (28”x 20”), 1975
13. Official Composite (11” x14”), 1976
14. Official Composite (11” x 14”)1977,
15. Seven Informal Photograph Collages 1954 1959
From Don Bindrim ’58, the photographer-includes photos of “The First Individuals” (Art Plotnick and Zac Clements), non APA NYSCT students. The black and white photo was an award winner in a photo contest judged by Norman Rockwell.
16. Photo-“enjoy a joke at the APA house” (8” x 10”), [ca 1961-62]

Box 2 (4.25 cubic ft.)

1-35. Blown-up 50th Anniversary posters (35), 2002
The blowups were reproduced from 1953-1978 college yearbooks, and photos of the 2001 Anniversary Party, thirty-three are size 24”x 24”, two are size 24”x 36”. The yearbook photos are of fraternity brothers, the house, paddling, sports, and, parties.

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Last updated August 21, 2007