Epsilon Iota History

The Epsilon Iota chapter, first began as a social club in the Fall of 1957, under the name Alpha Upsilon Tau, which was organized by several members of Alpha Phi Alpha. This group, known as the “Chapter Organizers,” consisted of Andrew Jefferson II, Walter C. Jones, Reuben Sherman, Curtis McDonald, Charles Urdy, John Hargis and Alvin Reynolds. All had previously become members of the Fraternity at different universities and were continuing their education at the newly integrated University of Texas. Each valued his memberships in the organization and felt that it was essential that they start a chapter at the University for themselves and for undergraduates.

Thereafter, the Chapter Organizers initiated plans to secure a chapter. On April 24, 1958 , the General Organization granted Alpha Upsilon Tau recognition as a colony. During the fall of 1958, in conjunction with Austin graduate chapter, Gamma Eta Lambda, the club organized its first pledge class. On December 12, 1958 , the twelve men in this group were duly initiated into the fraternity and appropriately designated as the chapter's “Charter Line.” Finally, on March 5, 1960 , at a special ceremony, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated presented the colony with its Charter, proclaiming it the Epsilon Iota Chapter, giving it official recognition as an integral part of the national organization.

Since its birth, Epsilon Iota has initiated the founding of chapters at Prairie View A&M University (1970) and at Texas State University (1977). Over 200 men have been initiated through the chapter into the Fraternity. The chapter has played an integral part in both campus and community awareness of minority needs. The chapter was responsible for the founding of the Innervisions of Blackness Choir and the Black Greek Council. Currently, among some of the many activities of the chapter, Epsilon Iota conducts voter registration drives in the fall and provides scholarship funds for academically gifted minorities attending the University.

John Hargis Hall
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