I have seen and learned a lot through my nearly 36 years of service to our dear Fraternity. Over these years, I have served in various chapter, district, regional and national roles including tenure as the 24th Executive Director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
As such, I have given much thought and consideration to those campaigning to become our 36th General President. Knowing all but one very well, I have enjoyed interacting with each as Brothers, committee members or in their various fraternal roles. That said, qualification for leadership of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., must be about more than friendship or camaraderie.
To take our fraternity to the next level of efficiency and effectiveness, we need a leader who will be first among equals and who is able to muster the engagement of the Brotherhood with a clear vision and set of values to which we can ascribe. We need a leader who has the experience and the leadership background to guide the fraternity beyond the recurring conversations about membership intake, national program development and the financials. That Brother needs to possess the ability to convert those conversations into measurable actions.
I am convinced that the Brother who is prepared to lead the fraternity to the next level is Brother Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., Ph.D.
As President of Philander Smith College, which has been awarded 501c3 tax status, he has a keen understanding of how institutions and foundations such as the Alpha Phi Alpha Education Foundation function under the rules of that status. Having served on the Fraternity’s Board of Trustees as a Southwest Region Assistant Vice President along with two terms as a Regional Vice President, he also understands the function of organizations that have 501c7 tax status.
Brother Smothers is also a successful fundraiser through his experiences as a Vice President for Institutional Advancement at two universities. Furthermore, he has served our country in the Air Force and has proudly raised two sons who are now Alpha men.
As those who know me can attest, I am very particular about giving official support to candidates for national and regional elections in our Dear Fraternity. As someone who is blessed to be comfortable and independent enough to not be beholden to anyone when it comes to my well-being, I am not compelled to offer an endorsement of anyone who has not earned my confidence and respect.
Such is not the case with Brother Smothers—someone whose growth I have watched from his days as a College Brother to his current role as a College President. I strongly believe that Roderick L. Smothers, Sr. is the right Brother to lead us at this time, so I am honored to endorse and support him for 36thGeneral President with my time, talent and treasury. I ask that you support him as well.
Brother Zollie Stevenson, Jr., Ph.D.
24th Executive Director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Retired Director of Title I and Title III Programs
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education