The legacy of Pi Alpha Phi at the University of Arizona was founded by eight unique and distinct individuals. These eight men came together to form an organization that was greatly needed on the University of Arizona campus. After a long and intensive search for an organization that emphasized Brotherhood, Academic Excellence, Philanthropy, Leadership, and Asian American Awareness, these eight men discovered an organization that stood above the rest: Pi Alpha Phi.
On February 2001, the national council set forth the requirements necessary to create a new chapter of Pi Alpha Phi at the University of Arizona. To charter a new chapter at the University of Arizona was hindered by many obstacles. With perserverance and dedication, the eight strived to achieve their goal and their dream: to successfully create a new chapter of Pi Alpha Phi.
United as one, the eight charters traveled to each chapter of Pi Alpha Phi in the fall of 2002. Each chapter graciously took the time out to teach the charter class members the traditions and virtues of a brother of Pi Alpha Phi. They were taught trust in the strong bonds of brotherhood, courage in the face of adversity, discipline and endurance of strength and the ideals of respect and humility.
Under the guidance of Pledge Master Dwight Lin (UCSD) and Pledge Dad Robert Shopshear (UCSC) the eight friends were molded into brothers and men of Pi Alpha Phi. The names of these distinguished founding fathers are Cheng Chiv, Paterno Cruz, Samreth Heng, Dung Quoc Hoang, Juan Paulo Chan Ocubillo, Adley Peralta, Richard Tran, and Tan Minh Vu.
On November 11, 2002 a new light in Pi Alpha Phi was lit as the eight were officially initiated and a new chapter of Pi Alpha Phi was established. Pi Alpha Phi is the first Asian-American interest fraternity to be established in Arizona.
Our long-established tradition of brotherhood was established in 1929 at the University of California, Berkeley. The fraternity of Pi Alpha Phi was founded by six unique individuals: D. Wing Tom, Wing Chan, Elmer Leong, Chack Chan, Tim Jang, and George Lee. Wing Chan was elected as the first President of the Fraternity. D. Wing Tom served as the Vice President and Elmer Leong as the Secretary. They wanted to establish an organization that would be based on the bonds of friendship, mutual experience, academic excellence and brotherhood.The name Pi Alpha Phi was derived from the initials of the Greek phrase meaning:
“To advance through brotherly ties; the thirst for learning.”
During this era, traditional Greek fraternities legally discriminated against all men of color. Since they were banned from joining a traditional Greek fraternity, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that Asian Awareness would always be an important part of the fraternity.
Pi Alpha Phi is the first Asian American interest fraternity. Since the founding of Pi Alpha Phi, our Fraternity has flourished with active chapters at campuses throughout the nation.
Today, the basic premise of the Fraternity remains largely unchanged. With brotherhood as our immutable asset, the lifelong bonds that we develop extend far beyond the university setting. Although the Fraternity is open to individuals of all ethnic backgrounds, it still retains its Asian American character. The basic goals of brotherhood achieved through shared experience, friendship and academic excellence remain unaltered. Although the organization evolves from generation to generation, the underlying vision and heart of the Fraternity is as solid today as it was for six young Berkeley men in 1929.