Alpha Phi Omega (ΑΦΩ) or APO Fraternity (Philippines)
Alpha Phi Omega (ΑΦΩ) (commonly known as APO, but also A-Phi-O and A-Phi-Q) is the largest collegiate fraternity in the United States, with chapters at over 350 campuses, an active membership of over 25,000 students, and over 400,000 alumni members. There are also 250 chapters in the Philippines, one in Australia and one in Canada.
Alpha Phi Omega is a National co-ed service fraternity organized to provide community service, leadership development, and social opportunities for college students. The purpose of the fraternity is “to assemble college students in a National Service Fraternity in the fellowship of principles derived from the Scout Oath and Scout Law of the Boy Scouts of America; to develop Leadership, to promote Friendship, and to provide Service to humanity; and to further the freedom that is our national, educational, and intellectual heritage.” Unlike many other fraternities, APO’s primary focus is to provide volunteer service within four areas: service to the community, service to the campus, service to the fraternity, and service to the nation.
Being primarily a service organization, the fraternity restricts its chapters from maintaining fraternity houses to serve as residences for their members. This also encourages members of social fraternities and sororities that have houses to join APO as well.
Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines)
The founding of Alpha Phi Omega in the Philippines in 1950 was preceded by an APO service project conducted just after World War II. Manila, the capital of the former Commonwealth of the Philippines, had been devastated during the war. Many universities, utilised for military purposes, were in ruins. Knowing that the education of young people was a vital necessity for the country to get back on its feet, a number of Alpha Phi Omega members in Texas and the Pacific Northwest, having served as soldiers in the Philippines, organised book drives on their campuses. The successful project gathered hundreds of textbooks, used but usable, from libraries and students and sent to the Philippines to help re-stock the many burnt-out college libraries in Manila.
A few years later, in January 1950, Sol George Levy (Gamma Alpha chapter @ University of Washington 1947), a professional Scouter, an Alpha Phi Omega brother at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a friend of APO National President Dr. H. Roe “The Chief” Bartle who served as president of Alpha Phi Omega from 1931 to 1946, went to the Philippines to generate interest among Scouts there. One evening, Levy spoke to a group of people about APO, Scouting’s national service fraternity in the USA, and its service project which donated books to Philippine schools. He also distributed copies of three APO publications: Questions and Answers, National Constitution and By-laws, and Ritual, Rites and Ceremonies. In the audience was Librado Inocencio Ureta, then taking his MA in education at the Far Eastern University in Manila.
Ureta and a group of former Scouts founded Alpha Phi Omega in the Philippines on March 2, 1950 at Room 214, Nicanor Reyes Hall, Far Eastern University, Manila.
Alpha Phi Omega grew rapidly in the Philippines. In its third year, it became a national organization with seven chapters chartered in Manila and Visayan campuses. It was registered October 21, 1953 with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock, non-profit, non-dividend corporation with a registered name of Alpha Phi Omega International Collegiate Service Fraternity. The registration was renewed on June 8, 1981 with the SEC Registration No. 0099381 under the name of Alpha Phi Omega International Philippines Incorporated.