The chapter was founded in July 8th, 1960 by a group of diverse brothers who were each pioneers in their respective fields, reflecting the emergence of Blacks in prominent roles in the South Bay Area. They were doctors, lawyers, educators, scientist, engineers and business owners and they had to deal with racism in housing, employment and opportunity. The chapter seat was originally established in Palo Alto and later moved to San Jose in the mid 1980s. Members assisted in the founding of Epsilon Mu, the undergraduate chapter at San Jose State University.
The founding members were:
- Maurice Hardeman – Attorney *
- James Harlow – Aerospace Engineer
- Dr. Robert Bullock – Veterinarian ?
- Dr. Gerald Hughes – Physician ?
- Dr. Leo V. English – Physician *
- Clay Holland – Patent Attorney *
- Willis Williams – Educator ?
- Wendel Welch – US Postal Service ?
Individual members have distinguished themselves in many ways (a few examples):
- President of NAACP – Leo “Vic” English, Maurice Haerdeman, James Mosley, TJ Owens, Nate Newman, Rick Callender, Jethroe Moore
- First Black Judge, Santa Clara County – Maurice Hardeman
- First Black principal – Willis Williams
- NABSE Marcus Foster Distinguished Educator – Felton Owens
- First Black Naval Commander – Adm. Ben Hacker
- San Jose Vice Mayor Charles “Chappie” Jones
The chapter has been honored throughout its history for community service and leadership within the fraternity:
- Hosted 6 of the most successful regional conventions in 65, 76, 84, 90, 02 & 11
- Co hosted the 87 national convention in San Francisco and 95 regional convention in Oakland.
- Received the NAACP 2002 Social Justice Award
- Received the Urban League’s 89 Award for Outstanding Community Service
- Won Regional Alumni Chapter of the Year Award in 87, 88, 89, 91, 94 & 02
- Won the Regional Charles Wesley Award in 2004, 2010 & 2011 with Epsilon Mu
Innovative programs supporting the needs of the community include:
- First fraternity to provide tutoring for Ravenswood school district
- Provided leadership to numerous community organizations like African American Community Service Agency, Urban League, MLK Freedom Train Ride, NAACP, March of Dimes, and UNCF.
- Project Alpha has served the community since 86 with hundreds of graduates.
- Project Olympus gave underprivileged youth were able to attend the Olympics