Chapter History


Xi Lambda Chapter, the alumni chapter authorized at the 1923 general convention, the seat of which is to be the City of Chicago and vicinity, was installed on May 15, 1924 at the Theta Chapter house and set up at a banquet given at the Ideal Tea Room in this city, Friday evening May 26th, 1924.

The following brothers were taken in as charter members: Brothers William M. Tate, Walter S. Grant Jewel Henry Arthur Callis, L. A. Mahone, Lloyd A. Hall, Frank V. Plummer, Edward W. Beasley, Julius C. Greene, Henry Trammel, H. Reginald Smith, Louis R. Middleton, William H. Benson, Oscar Randall, William L. Dawson, Julian H. Lewis, Clarence A. McCoy, J. Mayo Williams, Thomas A. Boger, Norwood A. Thorne, Samuel H. Rosenburgh, Nathan K. McGill, and Roscoe C. Giles. The new chapter was set up by Brothers Charles Greer, Homer P. Cooper and Nelson Glover of Theta Chapter. Brother Dr. George C. Hall acted as toastmaster.

In its first mission statement recorded in the October 1924 edition of the Sphinx, the chapter states:

“We are hoping that the creation of this new graduate chapter in the City of Chicago to work in cooperation with the undergraduate chapter (Theta) will be the means of reviving the old Alpha spirit around Chicago, and bringing back to active participation in fraternity affairs all of those brothers who because of new and added responsibilities after graduation had drifted away from the fraternity. It is the hope of Xi Lambda to really put Alpha Phi Alpha back in its rightful place of first and foremost among fraternities in the city of Chicago.”

To this lofty goal Xi Lambda more than succeeded. The chapter moved into the house with Theta Chapter, and grew to be one of largest chapters in the fraternity. The chapter would to go on to provide powerful leadership in Chicago political life with election of three United States Congressmen, William L. Dawson, Ralph H. Metcalf and Bennett M. Stewart. One United States Senator, Roland Burris. Brother Eugene Sawyer became Mayor of Chicago. Twelve Brothers served on the City Council and ten Brothers served in both houses of the Illinois State Legislature. In the world of business Brothers from Xi Lambda have been known nationally and internationally for their major contribution to entrepreneurial excellence including John H. Johnson, Jesse Binga, Anthony Overton, Thomas J. Burrell and Paul J. King. In the fields of medicine, religion, law, military and civil rights Xi Lambda has led the way. In the city of Chicago there are twenty three public buildings named in honor of Xi Lambda Brothers including schools, parks and the downtown Federal Court house named for Ralph Metcalf.

The first summer convention of the fraternity was held in Chicago in 1934, hosted by Theta and Xi Lambda chapters. In 1954 Theta and Xi Lambda chapters sold their palatial three story house to the general organization to provide a permanent home for Alpha Phi Alpha to which they occupied with both chapters until 1989.

Xi Lambda continues its historic role of providing leadership in Chicago and holding true to its pledge of service to our community through its support of the Xi Lambda Educational Foundation which gives thousands of dollars annually in scholarships to deserving students. Xi Lambda has old traditions that bind the brotherhood to excellence in all that the chapter endeavors. Some of the notable brothers that have served Alpha in Xi Lambda are Jesse Owens, E. Franklin Frazier, John Hope Franklin, Claude A. Barnett, Sydney P. Jones, Sidney A. Jones,Jr., Henry Arthur Callis and many, many more.

Chapter Presidents

  • Louis R. Middleton 1924
  • William Tate 1925
  • Frank V. Plummer 1927
  • Reginald Smith 1928
  • William H. Benson 1930 – 1933
  • Howard B. Shepard 1934 – 1935
  • Luther S. Peck 1936 – 1938
  • William R. Thompson 1939 – 1940
  • K. McDonald 1941 – 1943
  • Thomas M. Clarke 1946 – 1948
  • William H. Benson 1949
  • Charles F. Lane 1950
  • Charles Proctor 1950
  • David L. Daniel 1952 – 1954
  • Charles F. Lane 1955
  • Harold Langrum 1955 – 1960
  • Bennett M. Stewart 1960 – 1971
  • Sidney A. Jones, III 1971 – 1975
  • Ronald Flowers 1975 – 1979
  • Leon Hendricks 1979 – 1980
  • Thomas S. Jackson 1980 – 1984
  • Edgar J. Hamilton 1984 – 1988
  • Allen W. Knox 1988 – 1989
  • Odell Hicks 1989 – 1991
  • Ellsner F. Marchbanks 1991 – 1995
  • Hulon Johnson 1995 – 1998
  • Arndell D. Ricks Jr. 1998 – 2002
  • Eric R. Clark 2002 – 2004
  • Keith R. Garrett 2004 – 2008
  • Joel K. Johnson 2008 – 2012
  • Steven R. Wolfe 2012 – 2016
  • Steven Minter 2016 ~