Our fraternity is based on the principles of leadership, friendship and service. Our main activities focus on working service for the campus, community and local scouting units. Additionally, friendship is promoted within the chapter through many fellowship events and outings. Leadership positions change every semester, giving our members the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.
To learn more, visit our UT Volunteer and Service Learning Center page.
The objective of the Alpha Rho Chapter will be to carry out a full program of service as follows: service to the student body and faculty on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, to the community of Austin and the State of Texas, to the scouting movement, to the youth of America and the world, to the nation as fully participating citizens, and to the members of the fraternity.
On March 11, 1935, thirty men met for the specific purpose of forming an Alpha Phi Omega chapter at the University of Texas at Austin. At the beginning of the year, a group of scouts and former scouts interested in forming a group for college men to continue their work in scouting, discussed affiliating with Alpha Phi Omega. Frank Dominguez III wrote to the national office concerning a petition of affiliation and received information about the fraternity and the requirements to establish a chapter. The first meetings were concerned with organizing a chapter, meeting the requirements and becoming friends.
No time was wasted in organizing and establishing what was to become Alpha Rho. Dominguez was elected to correspond with Sydney B. North, national secretary of Alpha Phi Omega, and also to act as "grand master" of the group. The Austin men now began their activities with the local scout council by reorganizing several scattered troops and serving as scoutmasters. They also volunteered to assist with UT freshman orientation and to officiate upcoming track meets. The Alpha Rho chapter made its first public debut during the 1935 Round-Up parade in a car covered with sheets and with the fraternity pin.
On April 1, 1935, the group met at Zilker Park for a barbeque. At this time, they chose the temporary name B.U.S.T.A (Boy Scouts of America, University of Texas). Games, a campfire, and the discussion of the planned formal installation were the order of business. The installation ceremony was to be held on May 25, 1935, and was conducted by H. Roe Bartle, the national president. The minutes of that illustrious night recorded the following:
May 25, 1935
The meal was served and the pictures taken. Roe Bartle, National President, introduced himself and began. The communications authorizing the installation of the chapter were read. The pledges took the Oath. President Bartle explained the purposes of Alpha Phi Omega and pledged the members in groups of five. Each man took another pledge and used the Fraternity handshake. Mr. Bartle presented the charter to the Faculty members and signified this chapter as the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega. Brother O'Neal presented each separate certificate to each member. Then Noel P. Ampstead, Scout Executive, presented each member with his pocket certificate. Mr. Bartle held officers elections.
Officers were elected as follows:
- Vice President: Edward H. Vogel
- Secretary: Robert R. Clark
- Treasurer: Pat Daniels
- Historian/Reporter: W. O. Washington
- Pledge Captain: S. McGee Haley
- Senior Faculty Advisor: Dr. F. J. Adams
Mr. Bartle emphasized that this is a National Service Fraternity and gave a very interesting speech on the aims of the Fraternity. Dean Parlin spoke on the value of consulting the President of the University before any action was taken on different matters. The meeting was adjourned.