San Jose Chapter, of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The Silicon Valley Alphas


Our youth and especially African-American males need encouragement, guidance, and support to navigate the challenges of life through to adulthood. Likewise, our young college men face critical personal life choices, educational, career, and professional choices which can significantly affect their health, well-being, and livelihood and those around them for years to come. We need to guide and support them to reach their full potential and contribute to society; and challenge and guide them to ‘give back’ to those who come after them, by being role-models and setting the example ourselves.

So, the presence of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will continue to be a necessity in our community as a beacon of hope and enlightenment. This website is one vehicle to communicate and help facilitate the movement towards this mission.

And in doing all of this, ESL is determined to remain focused on the Alpha Phi Alpha values of honor, loyalty, and commitment:

  • Honor for those who have come before, those who are around us today, as well as those who are yet to come;
  • Loyalty to the true spirit of the Fraternity we revere and to sharing that Spirit and sense of fellowship and goodwill with others;
  • Continual demonstration of our commitment by thought, word, and deed to our Brothers, our Chapter, our Fraternity, the African-American Community, and the Community-at-Large – with a particular focus on the well-being and positive development of young Black Men.

This is what the Silicon Valley Alphas are about. This is what Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is about. We look forward to working with you constructively towards the betterment of the community. And if you are a fraternity Brother, we especially hope that you will find valuable information here regarding the latest programs and activities related to our chapter, and we look forward to your continuing participation in our fraternal spirit and mission.

60 Years of Leadership

The Eta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., was founded on July 8, 1960, by a group of diverse individuals who were pioneers in their respective fields. They were doctors, lawyers, educators, scientists, engineers, and business owners, reflecting the emergence of Black prominence in the South Bay Area.  However, all regularly experienced challenges with racism in housing, employment, and economic opportunity. Despite their noteworthy intellect and career success.

The Founding Members or “Pearls” of Eta Sigma Lambda Chapter: Bros. 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, and Wendel Welch, US Postal Service originally established the chapter in Palo Alto, CA, but chose to move it to San Jose in the mid-1980s. Members of the Eta Sigma Lambda Chapter were also instrumental in the founding of Epsilon Mu, the undergraduate chapter at San Jose State University.

Over the years, members of the Eta Sigma Lambda Chapter have distinguished themselves in many ways. Including but not limited to serving as:

  • Presidents of NAACP – Leo “Vic” English, Maurice Hardeman, James Mosley, TJ Owens, Nate Newman, Rick Callender, and 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 Eta Sigma Lambda Chapter has been honored throughout its history for service and leadership in the community and the fraternity:

  • Hosted several of the most successful Western Regional Conventions (i.e., ’65, ’76, ’84, ’90, ’02 & ’11).
  • Co-hosted the ’87 National Convention in San Francisco and ’95 Western Regional Convention in Oakland.
  • Received the NAACP “Social Justice Award” in 2002.
  • Received the Urban League’s “Award for Outstanding Community Service” in 1989.
  • Won several Western Regional Alumni Chapter of the Year Award in (i.e., ’87, ’88, ’89, ’91, ’94 & ’02).
  • Won the Western Regional Charles Wesley Award in ’04, ’10 & ’11 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

The Eta Sigma Lambda chapter has also supported education through scholarships, mentoring, and other initiatives through the years providing many thousands of dollars to South Bay high school students in the Maurice Hardeman and Tracy Wilson scholarship programs.