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The Albany area had felt the need for a graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for several years before its actual formation. For some years Jewel Brother George Biddle Kelley was the only Alpha man in the area. Any time he wanted to participate in fraternity activities he had to travel to Ithaca, New York, the site of his undergraduate chapter and the initial chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. In later years when a graduate chapter was formed in New York City, he traveled there.


During the 1930’s, several other Alpha men moved into the Albany area. It was natural that they should seek out Jewel Brother Kelley and visit with him. At this time several Alpha men worked in the area during the summer while attending various colleges.  These men met the brothers in the area, and finally when the required number was reached, it was agreed to petition the National organization for a charter. The charter was granted on July 1, 1939.

The founding members of Beta Pi Lambda Chapter

.Jewel Bro. George Biddle Kelley

Bro. W. Harold Bethel

Bro. William F. Brown

Bro. Granville W. Lee
Bro. Clarence M. Maloney

Bro. Frederick W. Pierce
Bro. James L. Spencer
Bro. Taylor H Thomas


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