Campus Profile: The 6 New Alphas

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (ΑΦΑ), the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American Men, was founded at Cornell University on December 4, 1906 by seven college men. The visionary founders, known as the "Seven Jewels" of this fraternity, are Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelly, Nathaniel Allision Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy. 

Alpha Phi Alpha was initially established at Cornell in order to embrace brotherhood and to provide a support system among African American male college students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially. After its founding at Cornell, other chapters of this fraternity were established at other colleges and universities. The first alumni chapter was established in 1911. Alpha Phi Alpha has served as the forefront of the African-American community's fight for civil rights through leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King, Jr., Federick Douglass, and many of other accomplished and prominent civil rights advocates. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has been interracial since 1945. 

Davidson's chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha was chartered on November 1, 2003, under the guidance of Dean of Students Ernest Jeffries, an Alpha himself. The presence of Alpha Phi Alpha, as well as other historically black fraternities and sororities at a PWI like Davidson, has made this college a better place. These fraternities and sororities provide support systems as well as the brotherhood and sisterhood that black students, as well other minority students, who are subject of social, economic, political, and racial injustices, needed to adjust and navigate their college experience. With the vision to change the world, these Alphas continue to work tirelessly to pursue academic excellence, while providing service and making a positive contribution to the Davidson community. 

Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha have different identities, backgrounds, and interests; however, they are united in their brotherhood. These are the six members of Alpha Phi Alpha this year: 

From left to right: Matthew Kennedy, Bradford Grant, Sawyer Levy, Julian Casey, Shassata Fahim and Maurice Norman 

 

Maurice Norman

Hometown?

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Major?

English and Africana Studies Double Major

What made you want to become an Alpha?

Alpha Phi Alpha exhibits the inclusive, unifying nature of acceptance, opening itself and spreading love, to every color, creed, and ethnicity. There are no hostile dirt roads leading to estranged lands, or classrooms with one isolated seat for the one black boy. The ability to love and accept all is a remedy the world needs, and is a powerful idea to make the backbone of an organization.

What are you most excited about now that you are an Alpha?

I'm most excited about meeting other Alphas! The brothers in this fraternity cover every facet of life, but furthermore, black excellence. From spoken word, to banking, to Congress, each brother brings a unique piece of their life into the fraternity. Each brother possesses a story that I want to hear.

 Best moment at Davidson so far?

My best moments at Davidson thus far has been every FreeWord event I have performed in. I appreciate the ability to connect to people, to crowds, to lives. FreeWord has become the one medium that I can truly call my own.

What do you love most about your line brothers?

Hands down, I love their goofy senses of humor. They're so goddamn goofy. 

How did you feel during the probate?

I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. That probate was my line's space, our space. We practiced months to get there. We put our ambitions and aspirations on our chest, and we owned that space. 

Dream job?

Author maybe... spoken word poet maybe.

Favorite food?

Pasta

What do you look for in a girl? 

I love women that can hold their own. Strong, independent women. Women who don't need a man but allows him to see her flaws, her darker sides. It's a beautiful thing when two people unthread themselves to each other. 

 

Shassata Fahim

Hometown?

Rajshahi, Bangladesh --> Charlottesville, VA          

Major?

Sociology & Africana Studies Double Major

What made you want to become an Alpha?

Becoming an Alpha was part of an inner conviction rooted in working for all mankind and advocating for underrepresented communities across the board. Following in the lineage of big brothers like Jesse Owens, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, etc. is both inspiring and humbling. 

What are you most excited about now that you are an Alpha?

 Getting to work and spreading the mission of Alpha in local, national, and international contexts.

 Best moment at Davidson so far?

My neophyte presentation ceremony of 3/21/17. My family and best friend came down from Charlottesville, VA, and sacrifice and struggle culminated in forever bathing in the light of Alpha.

What do you love most about your line brothers?

How different we are - of course, the line is diverse in our intersectional identifiers but there is also a diversity of thought. My brothers are always there for me and we push each other continuously to do and be better. 

How did you feel during the probate?

 Blessed

Dream job?

Activist & Public Policy Implementer

Favorite food?

Rice with chicken and spinach 

What do you look for in a girl? 

An educated baddie

 

Julian Casey

Hometown?

Houston, Texas

Major?

Mathematics

What made you want to become an Alpha?

I saw that the Alphas shared similar values that I was brought up with and I wanted to put myself in a culture with those values.

What are you most excited about now that you are an Alpha?

 I am excited to see the lives that we can touch and the change we can make.

Best moment at Davidson so far?

Getting to take a picture with Stephen Curry and the Larry O'Brien Championship trophy.

What do you love most about your line brothers?

I love how they are not afraid to be themselves and show their true colors.

How did you feel during the probate?

I felt overwhelmed and excited because of all the people in the crowd. I was glad that it was finally our time to shine!

Dream job?

I want to be either an Engineer or a Data Analyst (Sports).

Favorite food?

Lasagna

What do you look for in a girl? 

I look for a girl who is intelligent and has a sense of humor. I like a girl that will not judge me because of how goofy I am but joins in and shows her goofy side. She has to have a fun side but can also be serious and have an intellectual conversation.

 

Sawyer Levy

Hometown?

Los Angeles, California

Major?

Economics

What made you want to become an Alpha?

 I was fortunate enough to find an organization that idealizes manhood in the same manner I do. That’s my draw to Alpha Phi Alpha. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. encourages the “highest and noblest form of manhood.” I chose Alpha to earn the status of an Alpha Man and step up to a platform from which I can accentuate responsibility, maturity, accountability, and excellence.

What are you most excited about now that you are an Alpha?

Becoming an Alpha opened so many doors. I look forward to meeting Brothers outside of Davidson’s campus. Since all Brothers share the common bond of Alpha Phi Alpha, we immediately have respect for and desire to help out one another should someone need it. So, I look forward to networking and expanding my horizons through Alpha.

Best moment at Davidson so far?

When I first came to school, I was incredibly nervous with regards to not knowing anyone and being away from home. So, I wrote on the walls of Rich and said “I’m looking for friends, write your name and number. Love, Sawyer.” When I came back a couple hours later, there was a huge list of names and numbers. People could have looked at what I wrote on the walls and ignored it (because it was kind of strange), but they didn’t. People were good-hearted. Seeing that list was my favorite moment at Davidson and some of those people are my closest friends today.

What do you love most about your line brothers?

They’re not afraid to say or do anything. They’re real, they’ll tell you how it is even if you don’t like it.

How did you feel during the probate?

As soon as we stepped onto that probate stage, I felt like nothing could stop us. We had all the energy in the world on our side.

Dream job?

CIA secret agent

Favorite food?

Favorite food… I have to go with whatever my mom makes. She’s the best cook. I like her roasted chicken and lamb chops.

What do you look for in a girl? 

I love it when a woman is confident in her natural beauty. That confidence will always get my attention. Confidence paired with charm will capture my heart.

 

Bradford Grant

Hometown?

Lilburn, Georgia!!

Major?

Hispanic Studies / Neuroscience Minor (pre-med)

What made you want to become an Alpha?

What made me become an Alpha was the sense of humility that I saw displayed by the Alpha Men during my freshmen year and how down to Earth they were. Not once did they mention being Alpha, but there was something about their aura that drew me toward them. Also, my father has constantly exhibited characteristics that, upon my reflection, are in alignment with the standards of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was the example of the man that I wanted to become, so with that knowledge, I knew Alpha was for me.

What are you most excited about now that you are an Alpha?

Strolling and throwing up the Phi!! Duuhhhh lol. Just kidding (maybe), but aside from having brothers anywhere I go, I am really excited about starting initiatives with like-minded individuals who share a spirit of servitude and compassion for others.

 Best moment at Davidson so far?

Best moment at Davidson was performing our first Live Thursday event as NXT LVL! #tbt to when Victor-Alan was on campus!!

What do you love most about your line brothers?

Love that we are goofy as hell and can flame each other, but at the end of the day, it's all love!!

How did you feel during the probate?

 I don't remember anything. It's really all a blur. Kind of like I blacked out. I watched some of the raw footage and I could barely recognize myself. I was definitely in a heightened state of mind!! All I know is that it flew by like nothing!!

Dream job?

Physiatrist (Physical medicine and Rehabilitation: Spinal and Back Injuries)

Favorite food?

Jerk Chicken (da real ting done right!!)

What do you look for in a girl? 

If I am attracted to a young lady, the next thing I look for is a relationship with God, but that usually reveals itself over time. But obviously intelligent, kind, funny/quirky/weird, can dance, bake, and is down to just chill and surf SoundCloud for dope music and just kick it. Chill may or may not include Netflix!

 

Matthew Kennedy

Hometown?

Winston-Salem, NC

Major?

History

What made you want to become an Alpha?

I wanted to join Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated for the sense of brotherhood and closeness of the brothers, as well as the lifelong commitment to service and advocacy. And looking to the future beyond Davidson, I wanted a community to be a part of to push me to my fullest capabilities and to be a platform to serve others.

What are you most excited about now that you are an Alpha?

I am excited to start working in Davidson and the community to make positive changes as an organization.

Best moment at Davidson so far?

My best moment at Davidson so far probably was last year when they brought in those huge inflatable bubbles that you get in and play soccer because all my friends were doing it with me and it was so much fun.

What do you love most about your line brothers?

I love my Line Brothers because they like to have a good time, but can also get serious when needed and get things done. And the fact that they will be there for me whenever I need them because I’ll do the same for them.

How did you feel during the probate?

I don’t really know how to express it. It was exhilarating to say the least, but there was that background nervousness because you want everything to go perfectly.

Dream job?

Maybe being a professor. I don’t really know, though, I’m still figuring my life out.

Favorite food?

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

What do you look for in a girl? 

I look for someone who I can just really be myself around, who makes me laugh and who laughs at my dumb jokes without judging me. Someone who I would be happy spending all day around and who I don’t second-guess myself around, and who when I’m having a rough day, being around them makes everything seem like it’s going to be okay.

The Davidson community cannot wait to see these six wonderful men emerge and flourish as future leaders of the world. 

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