This article was written by Robert Clay ’00 for the summer 2017 issue of Shipherd’s Record, The University of Olivet’s alumni magazine.
In 1993, The University of Olivet embarked upon a transformation to place student learning and experience as a top priority. By echoing the words of the founding fathers, the vision of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility through the Olivet Plan was implemented. The founding of Alpha Phi Kappa (APK) Society in 1997 exemplified the purpose of the new academic vision to embrace and sustain an inclusive and diverse campus community. This year, Alpha Phi Kappa is celebrating 20 years of being part of the fabric of The University of Olivet.
Seeing that there was a need to address the issues of men of color and promote better understanding between cultures, APK was founded by Anzyo Allen, Robert Clay ‘00, Richard Craig ‘99, David Fields, Nikieo Gordon, Alex Miller ’00 and Rodney McGuire ’01 on April 9, 1997. With mentorship from college leadership, the seven young men dared to create an organization that was set apart from other societies already existing at Olivet. The founding of the fraternity transformed campus life and set campus ablaze with new meaning of inclusivity.
At the heart of APK, the ideals of brotherhood, friendship and love to endorse leadership shaped the mission of the organization. The founding brothers focused on high academic achievement, self-awareness and service to humanity, captivated by the motto “Striving for Excellence in Every Endeavor.” In fact, the founders of APK were leaders in the Student Government Association, student media, Black Student Union, Campus Activities Board, and an Alpha Phi Kappa member even became the first African American Intersociety Council President. Additionally, the organization has received numerous campus awards. Several members have continued to serve in community organizations such as the NAACP and U.S. military. While the organization played an instrumental role in many other initiatives, one of its greatest accomplishment was assisting with the founding of Eta Psi Kappa, a sister organization, in 2000.
The organization’s motto is reflected by members’ tireless activity within the community and the classroom. This is evidenced by 86 percent of the membership obtaining a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. In the next 20 years, APK has the goal to create a summer institute for young men of color that will prepare them for college and to become global citizens. The organization also aspires to purchase property for a fraternity house, in addition to founding a scholarship fund for Olivet students.
Since the inception of APK, members have always maintained strong ties to The University of Olivet and its rich legacy of Greek Life. The society has served as a pipeline for developing scholars, servant leaders and cultural enthusiasts that have become social change agents in their respective professions and communities. The organization continues to remain the blueprint of brotherhood, standard of service and social engagement to produce leaders of today and into the future. Here are a few examples of APK brothers reaching high levels of success in their communities and workplaces:
- Shaun Cade – one of the highest grossing realtors and senior property specialist for Promove Realty Group in Atlanta, GA
- Robert Clay – higher education administrator recently published an article for the American Association of Colleges and Universities entitled “Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success”
- Christopher Cook – marketing specialist for ALtr.com Cybersecurity Firm
- Richard Craig – tenured associate professor of communication at George Mason University
- Noel Fegumps – assistant vice president at Bethune Cookman College
- George Hill – principal for Hamtramck School District and secondary education instructional practice and teacher evaluator
- Leon Howard – assistant director of minority student affairs at the University of Michigan
- Alex Miller – serves as assistant dean of students at Harvard College
- DeAndre Lomax – owner of Detroit based Duke Entertainment, the top party promotion and entertainment production company
- Louder Louis – engineer project manager for D Stephenson Construction in Miami, Florida
- Markell Moyeter – founder of Chasing Dreams, Inc., a sports media marketing firm
- Michael Simpson – producer, director and actor who has been in over 40 theater productions, TV shows, films, and commercials including Captain America, Joan of Arcadia and Ground Floor
- Conroy Smith – systems network engineer for Microsoft
- Tyrai Thomas – national social media manager for Verizon
- Antonio Ward – supervisor for the Michigan Department of Corrections
APK will continue the celebration of its 20th anniversary at Homecoming on Saturday, September 30, 2017 immediately following the football game. The celebration will include a cookout and live entertainment, including a comedy show and step show. The cost is $7 per person. For more information or to connect with APK brothers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.