The local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity honored Wilbert Motley and his wife, Gloria, recently at the fraternity’s annual Christmas dinner held at Brady’s Restaurant in Cheraw.
Motley, a retired public school music instructor, education administrator, jazz musician and magistrate judge, was one of the founding charter members of the local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity almost 50 years ago in Chesterfield and Marlboro counties.
Motley, along with seven other local educators and professionally trained men, had the vision to establish the Theta Phi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in Chesterfield and Marlboro counties in 1966, which are two of the smallest and economically deprived counties that have chartered Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities in the United States.
Since the founding of the local chapter, thousands of dollars have been donated to students to assist them to attend an accredited college or university of their choice.
The fraternity has donated to community organizations and its members have contributed numerous volunteer hours to the community events.
The local chapter is one of 156 chapters located throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa with more than 100,000 members
Founded in 1906 on the campus of Cornell University at Ithaca, New York, the fraternity was America’s first college fraternity founded by African-American men to promote scholarship, leadership and community service during the decade of the 1900s, and during a time when African-American men were entering predominantly white educational institutions.
Such notable members were Dr. Martin Luther King, Justice Thurgood Marshall and Cornell Brooks, the national president of the NAACP.
Members say the local chapter is active in providing mentoring and leadership workshops to middle and high school students, as well as promoting scholarship and community service in Chesterfield, Marlboro and surrounding counties.
Annually, the fraternity provides a leadership forum on the last Saturday in February in partnership with Northeastern Technical College and the Chesterfield County Magistrates’ Office.
The Alphas’ Leadership Forum provides training in proper dress, parliamentary procedure, public speaking, bullying prevention and information on how a bill becomes a law in the S.C. Legislature, financial literacy and other topics.
Through the fraternity’s annual fundraiser, the Scholarship Beautillion held each spring, funds are donated to students to assist in their quest to attend the college of their choice.
The Theta Phi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha provided information for this story.