Our History: A Legacy of Distinguished Service

  • Grou pic on the StairsAlpha Phi Omega was introduced to the Georgetown University community by John Joseph Buckley, Jr.   Buckley was a Marianna, Florida native and a charter member of the Iota Rho Chapter at Florida State University.   Coincidentally, Reubin Askew, who would become the Governor of Florida, was also a charter member of Iota Rho.

    Shortly after helping to charter APO at Florida State, Buckley found himself studying diplomacy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.  While Florida State had a thriving social fraternity system in the early 1950s, Georgetown's fraternity system was markedly different.  Buckley found a new home with the Alpha Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Service Fraternity in Fall of 1952.  Buckley was a leader in Alpha Chapter, serving as President, Vice President, and Secretary.  He was active in other organizations at Georgetown, including the Glee Club, the Courier, and the Student Council, which he led as President in his Senior year.

    Letter from SFSFor reasons currently unknown to us, it would be several years after his transfer to Georgetown that John Buckley would begin the organization process for a new chapter of Alpha Phi Omega.  Perhaps he enjoyed a certain camaraderie in APO that remained unmatched by any other organization.  Perhaps he wanted to perform even more community service than what was currently available through any other outlet.  Or perhaps, like the founders of Alpha Phi Omega themselves, he wanted to unite men in fellowship with the principles of the Scouting movement.

    What we do know is that in the Spring of 1955, through a word of mouth campaign led by Buckley, over 20 students began a program of service as part of the petitioning process. The Protocol yearbook of the School of Foreign Service notes that John Buckley served as Founder and President of this original group.  Recruitment of students and faculty seemed to come easily to Buckley, who found many initial members from among the rolls of Delta Phi Epsilon.  Dr. Francis Mann served as the lead faculty advisor at this time.  Epsilon Mu Chapter at the University of Maryland at College Park was identified as the Big Brother Chapter.


    On May 20, 1956, the Georgetown Petitioning Group became the 265th chapter of Alpha Phi Omega after proving their worth through a program including fundraisers, work at a local orphanage, and the recruitment of 29 charter members, including Dirck Teller, who served as chartering President.  It is unknown why John Buckley is not listed as a charter member, but he is recognized as such by the chapter due to his guiding leadership and inspiration. 

    The charter was granted to the chapter in a ceremony conducted by the Big Brother Chapter at the University of Maryland at College Park.  The regent of the School of Foreign Service, Father Frank L. Fadner, SJ, was initiated as an Honorary Brother. The faculty members on the charter included the aforementioned Dr. Mann, Fr. Collins, Henry Cunningham as the moderator (advisor), and Dr. James Hunter.

    As was the tradition at other area chapters, Alpha Phi Omega at Georgetown was known as "Alpha Phi" for short, rather than the now ubiquitous "APO."

    Following his stint as Mu Alpha's delegate to the 1956 National Convention in Long Beach, California (August 28-30), Charter Brother Joseph C. Fleig became President of Mu Alpha for the 1956-57 school year.  The chapter's service program included helping with new student registration, conducting student elections, campus clean-ups, collecting funds for the March of Dimes Campaign, collecting clothing for needy families, and the Ugly Man on Campus Contest -- a traditional project found in Alpha Phi Omega chapters across the nation.

    Torch and Trefoil

    The 1958 Protocol describes Mu Alpha as having "A stature unequalled by any other campus organization...and therefore has listed on its rolls of brotherhood the top men from the student body."  Among these men were Charter Brother and chapter president Edward Reynolds, who most notably led the chapter as it hosted its first major event: the Eastern Regional Conference on March 22-23, 1958.  Reynolds (as Conference Chairman), the Executive Committee, and Mu Alpha at large were honored by the National Executive Board for their service.

    Other officers in 1958 were Bernie Ibanez, Vice President for Program; Terry Baroody, Vice President for Membership; Tom Neville, Secretary; and Roy Parker and Tom Carson, both listed as Treasurers.  By this time, Tong Sun Park was also an active Brother of the chapter.

    The service program of 1958 is too detailed to list here, but some notable projects include publishing the student handbook, blood drives, snow removal for neighbors, annual awards at commencement, and aiding the Community Chest.

    The 1958-59 school year found Mu Alpha continuing the legacy it had begun a few short years ago with a refined service program and expanded recruitment, helped at least in part by the elevated profile of the chapter after the success of the regional conference.  Officers during this year were Gene Losa, George Aste, Pat Bray, Lance Burton, John Glasgow, and Charles Kaleta.  Activities included the Miss Foreign Service Contest and Freshman Orientation.

    A most notable event during this school year was Mu Alpha's participation in the September 23 national honorary initiation of Philippine Ambassador Carlos Romulo.  An international dignitary and co-founder of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Brother Romulo was pinned by Edward D. Reynolds, a charter member of Mu Alpha chapter.


    The Chartering Seniors:
    Class of 1956

    Founding Brother
    John Joseph Buckley
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    Marianna, Florida

    Ernesto A. Castillo
    BS, Business Administration
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Wilbur E. Davison
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    Providence, Rhode Island
    Joseph M. DeAguiar
    BSFS. Diplomatic & Consular
    Salem, New Jersey
    Bruce F. Gordon
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    San Francisco, California
    Hugh Herndon
    BSFS, International Transportation
    Loudonville, New York
    Everett L. Kayhart
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    Lincoln Park, New Jersey
    Gerald A. Martino
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    South Hackensack, New Jersey
    Charles P. Sacconaghi
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    Santa Barbara, California
    Louis Schwartz, Jr.
    BS, Business Administration
    Chicago, Illinois
    Dirck Teller
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    Germantown, Maryland
    Gordon J. Trousdale
    BSFS, Diplomatic & Consular
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    Romualdus G. Vildzius
    BSFS, Transportation
    Washington, DC
  • The Chartering Juniors:
    Class of 1957

    John Maurice Conrad
    BSFS, International Affairs
    New York, New York
    Ronald Adolph Davidson
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Elmsford, New York
    Joseph Carey Fleig
    BSFS, International Transportation
    Gloversville, New York
    Paul Lee Garrett
    BSFS, Foreign Trade
    Joplin, Missouri
    Michael Thomas Hartnett
    BSBA, Foreign Trade
    Johnstown, Pennsylvania
    Maurice I. (Maury) Hearne
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Washington, DC
    John Francis (Jack) Herrity
    BSBA, Business Management
    Washington, DC
    John A. Kessler
    BSBA, Public Administration
    Little Falls, New Jersey

    Patrick Kullenberg
    BSBA, Business Management
    Battle Creek, Michigan
    Louis Leroy Lauve, III
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Wilmington, Delaware
    Max Michalke
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Greenwich, Connecticut
    Henry Edward Zimon
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Alquippa, Pennsylvania
  • The Chartering Sophomores

    Christopher Thaddeus Kulpinski
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Arley Joseph Mead
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Arlington, Virginia
    Edward Reynolds
    Joseph L. Rutledge
    BSFS, International Affairs
    Trappe, Pennsylvania

    Anthony John SiSalvo Schmidt
    BSFS, Foreign Trade
    Arlington, Virginia

  • The Founding Advisors and Honorary Brother
    Rev. Frank L. Fadner, S.J., PhD
    School of Foreign Service
    Associate Professor of Russian History
    Honorary Brother

    Primary Advisor
    Henry Cunningham
    Henry Merritt Cunningham
    MA, LL.B, LL.M.
    Director of Business Administration
    Assistant Professor of Economics
    James Hunter
    James M. Hunter
    M. Litt
    Associate Professor of Geography
    Alan P. Jarvis
    Assistant in English
    Francis Mann
    Francis A. Mann
    Assitant Professor of Philosophy

    Other advisors not pictured:

    Rev. Thomas Byron Collins, S.J.
    Physical Plant Administrator

    Sam Scruggs
    William Sunier
    H. L. Rush
    Richard White