Iotas Celebrate 51st Anniversary

Iotas Celebrate 51st Anniversary

WASHINGTON — Members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. Alpha Tau Chapter take it to The Yard presenting a step show to the audience September 19, 2014, celebrating the 51st anniversary of their fraternity’s founding. (Photo by: Paul A. Holston)

By Paul A. Holston

Members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. Alpha Tau Chapter celebrated the 51st anniversary of their fraternity’s founding with a series of week-long events designed with purpose and their founders’ vision in mind across Howard University September 14-19. 

Events included “Sunday’s Best”, a call to chapel, “Orange Is The New Black”, a seminar to inform participants of knowing their rights when interacting with the police, “Breaking Bad”, an all day mentoring program for future leaders, “The Apprentice”, a entrepreneurship seminar, “Game of Crowns”, the inaugural Miss Brown and Gold Pageant, and concluding with Founders Day 2014 Block Show at The Yard.

“The first 50 years laid out the framework and foundation for Iota,” said Brandon Reece, member of Alpha Tau Chapter Spring 2011 and Howard University 2013 Alumni from Teaneck, New Jersey, “the 51st year and beyond we plan on taking ourselves to the next level abroad and internationally, solidifying our service to the community.”

Alpha Tau Chapter is Howard University’s chapter of the fraternity and is about people, said Marcus Thomas, current polaris (president) of the chapter and also a Howard University junior from Harlem, New York.

“Our events this week helped better the condition of the community in many different ways,” said Thomas, “by helping individuals learn subjects such as that keeping money in the black community is positive and knowing that violence against police officers is the wrong way to approach, this week helped better inform those of our organization.”

Reece said that although he knows that Howard is the birthplace to many of the alpha chapters within the “Divine Nine”, the Iotas wanted to inform and show who they were and what type of men they represented.

“We created this week to outline many different, informative information with also some fun,” he said, “Our goal was to inform those on campus of very important information they can use according to the current times.”

Thomas said that he believes all of the “Divine Nine” were founded on the same principles, purpose, and goal: serving the community.

“When we set these types of examples of relationships between the fraternities and sororities, it creates a positive role across all the organizations,” said Thomas.

According to, “On September 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), 12 students founded what is now the nation’s fifth largest, predominately African-American social service fraternity: The Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated. Today, Iota Phi Theta consists of over 250 chapters located in 40 States, the District of Columbia and the Republic of Korea. The Fraternity is, and shall forever remain dedicated to its founders’ vision of ‘Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One!’”

For more information and updates about the Alpha Tau Chapter, follow them on Twitter: @ATIotas and Instagram: @HowardIotas.

[Story was Published in Howard University’s “The Hilltop” Student Newspaper 22Sept2014]


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