Greek Life – Brotherhood for Life: Post-Graduate Membership
For some, joining a fraternity is just for college. Whatever the reason may be, some people expect that the good times end once they graduate and that life moves on without their Greek letters. However, this is not the case. Brotherhood in any good fraternity is eternal and extends well beyond the diploma. As an alumni, you have even more reason to stick with your letters. But don’t just take our word on it, trust the word of a dedicated Greek alumni who has kept with the organization for 42 years.
BROTHERHOOD FOR LIFE
by Al Fafara, Past National President of Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity 1988-90
I pledged Alpha Phi Delta in the Spring of 1969 at N.J.I.T. (then known as Newark College of Engineering) and have been actively involved for 42 years. Though this was initially done as an undergraduate experience, it was always implied that activity and involvement in APD did not end upon graduation from college. We have always had alumni clubs (based on geographical area) and in the 1980s added alumni associations (which are chapter based from individual schools). Perhaps because Alpha Phi Delta has always been, and remains today, an all volunteer organization (none of our National Officers draw salaries), we must rely on the influx of young alumni to maintain our existence. When I graduated in 1972, we had a loosely organized and not highly active alumni club in New Jersey. With a stream of recent graduates, we reactivated it and though there have been ups and downs through the past four decades, the North Jersey Alumni Club remains strong and active today, consisting of 45 dues paying members, with a complete social program which is meant to appeal to guys in their 20s as well as guys in their 60s and everywhere in between.
Our young alumni ( as well as older or “well seasoned” alumni) are encouraged to participate on the national level as well. We are especially fortunate in this area, being the largest national fraternity in the New York metropolitan area with approximately half of Alpha Phi Delta’s 30 undergraduate chapters being located within a 50 mile radius of New York City. The interaction between chapters at these schools is encouraged during undergraduate days, and the relationships between brothers continues after graduation. We have always prided ourselves on being a close knit National Fraternity and some of the personal relationships I formed back in the day, remain today. Both locally and nationally, we have always had active social programs such as our annual Summer Convention, which drew 250 people to Hershey Park this past August, as well as dinners, hockey games, beach outings, poker games, and picnics.
I have also met professionally brothers who were from other chapters who I didn’t know as an undergraduate, but learned about while conducting business. There are many who have helped their careers because of fraternity contacts, and these are guys as old as me as well as recent graduates. Once you wear the letters Alpha Phi Delta, it is automatically ingrained in you to help your brother out if possible, no different than when you were on campus. From a personal stand point, I met my wife directly through involvement in APD, at a Christmas party many years ago sponsored by one of our local alumni clubs. A lot of other brothers have had similar experiences
My chapter at NJIT had the most brothers it ever had, before or since, when I graduated in ’72, 57 active members. Had I thought Alpha Phi Delta was only “something I did while in college” that would have been the end of my involvement. However in the past 42 years, I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds, if not thousands of some of the best people you could ever hope to meet in life. Had I stopped being active, that would never have happened. It has truly been an enriching and rewarding experience and one that I would not have had, if I had walked away at graduation, saying that’s it, it’s over. I have today, good relationships with current undergraduates still in school, as well as alumni who were already here when I pledged, and who also have remained active. This is the opportunity awaiting any and all who wish to join and enter the realm of Alpha Phi Delta.
Al Fafara, P.N.P.
Beta Xi Chapter, ‘69