Zeta Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was founded on June 7, 1955 in Trenton, NJ by thirteen distinguished college-trained men:
- William Clark
- Thomas Faucette
- Gaylord Howell
- Collins Lewis
- Herman Marrow
- Bryan Moore (Founding Chapter President)
- William Reid
- Thomas Sanders
- Rev. C.H. Shelton
- Jimmy Smith, Jr.
- Maynard Stephens
- William Strother
- Dr. Paul T. Williams
An October 1962 Sphinx Magazine article speaks of the pride shared by not only the chapter as a whole, but also the individual members of Zeta Iota Lambda, as being “a beacon in the capital city for the GardenState and the Eastern Region.” From the onset, our diverse membership included lawyers, doctors, businessmen, government employees — in both high and legislative branches; three PhD’s employed in the Trenton School System, representation on the faculty of Princeton University and dedicated brothers of note at the Army Installations of Camp Kilmer in Piscataway, McGuire and Fort Dix military bases. Bro. Major Thomas Leigh was promoted to Lt. Colonel-U.S. Army Corp, and Bro. Karl Gordon was promoted from the rank of Captain to Major in the U.S. Army Medical Corp. The military bases are mentioned because in 1955, Kappa Iota Lambda Chapter in Burlington would not receive its charter for nearly another 20 years.
A March 1972 Sphinx Magazine article speaks about our Annual State Founders’ Day Celebration held in Trenton in 1971, and our guest speaker was Bro. Harold R. Sims, Acting Director of the National Urban League, (during the tenure of Bro. Whitney Young, Jr.). Earlier that year, the chapter took a busload of area high school students to Delaware State College (Dover) for a “Day of Awareness”, part of Alpha’s “Go To High School, Go To College” National Program. Bro. Everett Mills, former Vice-Principal at Ewing High School and a Delaware State alum, was the trip coordinator. The late Dr. Hubert Byron, a dentist by profession and former Mayor of Wrightstown near FortDix, also served as President of the Chamber of Commerce. To mention just a few of our members of note back then: Tommy Thomas, Woodrow Hayward, George Phillips, Dr. Cyril Evans, Ralph Sims, John Purdy, Clarence Rainer, Herman Kimbrough, the late Rev. Earl Tolbert & Dr. Thomas Cooper.
In 1985, a half page ad in celebration of the Sphinx magazine’s 70th Anniversary, featured a photo of our members. “We support the future by honoring our rich past”. Wherever there are good men, there has got to be some good women not too far away….we did not do it alone! The Alphabettes, a support group of wives and significant others to the men, were there for us (cooking when we held our meetings at different members homes) and whenever we had our social events and fundraisers. I must say “About The Women, God Bless Them!”
The first President of the Alphabettes was Mrs. Ann Stephens, wife of our Charter President, who was honored at our 2003 Black & Gold Scholarship Ball. She is referred to as the “First Lady of Zeta Iota Lambda”. She was our “Rose of A-Phi-A” Award recipient and was also a distinguished educator, community activist, past Basilus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton.
Zeta Iota Lambda has responsibility for oversight and support of Iota Iota Chapter, based at The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College). It has initiated many young African-American male students over the years, including initiates from Princeton and Rider Universities.
Locally, Zeta Iota Lambda has conducted Voter Registration Drives — “A Vote-less People is A Hopeless People” and presented numerous Scholarships/Book Awards to deserving African-American Male students at Trenton, Ewing, Princeton, Bordentown and Lawrence High Schools. Chapter members have served as officers and supported the Mercer-Regional Pan-Hellenic Council activities; sponsored and served Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners to the needy in conjunction with local churches; participated in the Annual March of Dimes “Walk-America” to support healthy babies and supported the Trenton High School Christmas Basketball Tournament. Zeta Iota Lambda is involved in mentoring intitiatives, as well as Tutorial Programs at both the Ewing Neighborhood & Lawrence Neighborhood Centers. In 2000, we were proud to conduct one of our very important National Programs: Project Alpha, at the Ewing Neighborhood Center, which educated young teens about STDs, sexuality and abstinence as a viable option.
The brothers of Zeta Iota Lambda are proud of our legacy of service and we look forward to another fifty years of working in the community!