Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity: A Centennial Celebration

The “Seven Jewels”: Students, Then Brothers

We Students breathed the ideals of Ezra Cornell whose brainchild it was to regard the University as a seat of learning for anyone who desired a college education.

Henry Arthur Callis, 1950

Henry Arthur Callis, 1887-1974

Birthplace: Rochester, New York
Cornell Attendance and Degree: Attended Cornell from 1905-1909; earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1909
Occupations: Physician, medical professor, and author
Role in Fraternity: Jewel; co-creator of the fraternity’s name; Secretary of Alpha Chapter; General Vice-President, 1909; Sixth General President, 1915

The Henry Arthur Callis papers, Collection 192, are held at Howard University, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

Senior Portrait of Henry Arthur Callis Bachelor of Arts 1909. Cornell Class Book 1909. [view]

In 1950, Callis recalled his early educational influences, “I had determined to become a physician before ever I had entered school. My inspiration came from our family physician, Dr. William Conkling. I had selected Cornell University by the time I was six years old. I first toured the campus in 1893 [and on a later campus visit] I met ...a student in the law school. I learned he was there on a State Scholarship and I made up my mind to have one also.”

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