Theta Nu Chapter History
In the Fall of 1972, William Harriford, a faculty member of the University of South Carolina, and W.J. Davis, South Carolina District Director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., began petitioning the University and National Office of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for permission to establish a Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at USC.
In January of 1973, permission was received from Robert Alexander, Dean of Students at USC, and W. Mingo Clark, Southern Regional Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, to begin organizing the chapter. On March 30, 1973, the chapter was officially chartered and the Theta Nu legacy began.
Fourteen men were in the initial group: Norman Banner, James Cooper, Willie Gordon, Harrison Heller, David Hudson, Raymond Jordan, Alex Kinlaw, Bendon Livingston, Daniel McRae, Ben Powers, Atlee Prince, Richard Reed, and Anthony Williams. Before the initial process was completed, Willie Gordon, who had been elected president of the group, withdrew because of a hazing incident that occurred on the campus of Benedict College. For a while, it looked as if there would be no charter of Alpha Phi Alpha on the campus of USC; however, the problems were resolved and the thirteen men were initiated. Willie Gordon graduated from USC and later joined Alpha Psi Lambda graduate chapter in Columbia, SC.
Atlee Prince became the first president of the chapter. Banner and Reed (freshmen when initiated) both went on to be Chapter President before graduation. In the fall of 1973, Phillip Berry, Edward Gray, Samuel Jackson, and Norman Thomas became the first men to be initiated by members of Theta Nu.
Theta Nu had continuous growth on the USC campus. In the past four decades, members of the chapter have excelled and earned all the individual awards available at USC. Kelvin Stroble, James Franklin, Patrick Wright, and Jamel Franklin have all be President of the Student Body. The most prestigious award given by USC to an undergraduate student, the Algernon Society Award, was bestowed upon Jackie Parnell. Dennis Wilson was the first and only black commandant of the Naval ROTC program. In addition to individual accolades, the chapter has earned numerous awards for highest GPA amongst both NPHC and IFC organizations. Brothers have held leadership positions in numerous campus organizations, such as the Association of African American Students, NAACP, Minority Assistance Peer Program, Residence Hall Association, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board Honor Society, Student Christian Fellowship, Brothers of Nubian Descent, and several other organizations. Many Brothers have been in the Honors College, and several Brothers have received scholarships to attend graduate and professional schools.
Dean William L. Harriford,
Theta Nu and its members have received awards from all levels of the Fraternity including the National Step Contest and Brother Ennis Fant was the National College Brother of the Year. In addition, Theta Nu held the distinction as the largest college chapter in the nation for several years.
The members of Theta Nu are excelling in their chosen professions. These include doctors, lawyers, ministers, politicians, businessmen, educators, journalists, military officers, college administrators, school superintendents, public administrators, and other professions too numerous to mention. All of these men share a common bond—they are members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and were initiated into the Theta Nu Chapter.
We, the Sons of Theta Nu, are committed to ensuring the legacy of this 387th House of Alpha is always protected.