WHO WE ARE
Alpha Phi Omega is a gender inclusive service fraternity -- the largest in the nation! There are 360 active chapters in the U.S., as well as chapters in the Philippines. Our cardinal principles are leadership, friendship, and service, and our brothers strive to embody those principles every day.
WHAT WE DO
Our goal is to help our brothers grow into strong leaders, friends, and community servants. Brothers are required to complete 45 hours of service each semester, but the opportunities to serve are endless. Some of our regular projects include Stadium Woods Cleanup, playing with animals at local shelters, and community events like Kipp's Elementary School Fall Festival. Larger projects include traveling to new cities for weekend service immersion projects, participating in philanthropies like Mock Rock, and fixing up homes with Roanoke Renovation Alliance.
We have as much fun serving our community as we do with our friendship events. There's no shortage of fun events to attend with brothers, like hiking, movie nights, making it out of an escape room, and a formal banquet for brothers and alumni that we host every spring!
Zeta Beta was founded in 1948, but interest first sparked in founding an APO chapter at Virginia Tech in 1934. Professor Marion Buford Blair, District Scout Commissioner and Director of Physical Education at Tech, then known as V.P.I., kept the interest alive through the Great Depression, and he sent a letter of interest to APO's national office in 1940. By 1941, 25 men had signed applications to start the new chapter.
World War II halted the founding brothers' efforts, but on January 20, 1948, Richard Snedegar sent invitations to Boy Scouts at V.P.I. to form a petitioning group for the new chapter. Three honorary charter brothers were elected: Paul N. Derring, secretary of the YMCA; Joe Gutheridge, advisor to civilian students; and Dr. Walter S. Newman, president of Virginia Tech. On February 14, 1948, the petitioning group elected Snedegar to be their president.
On April 5th of that year, the group's efforts paid off. They received a telegram that their chapter, the largest new chapter in APO history, was to be named Zeta Beta. They held an installation ceremony on May 30, 1948 in the William Preston Hotel, and APO National Treasurer Frank D. Wood presided. Four representatives from our sponsor chapter, Ohio State University's Alpha Iota, initiated 82 pledges and the petitioning group's three honoraries into Zeta Beta's first-ever pledge class. Decades later, Zeta Beta continues to be a strong brotherhood and serve the Virginia Tech community.