the first world war, I served as an ensign in the United States Navy aboard a minesweeper in the North Sea. Our ship and its
partner exploded more than 1,000 magnetic mines. My law school background at Boston University led to my appointment
to try court martial cases in our Division. When we reached ports some of the sailors ran wild. Many court martial cases resulted.
I saw young boys in their teens getting into trouble.
Because of these experiences,
I made a firm resolution within myself that if I returned alive, I would try to do two things and do them with all my power.
First, do my best to help young people get the right start in life by holding up before them a "standard of manhood" that
would withstand the test of time! Second and just as important, try to help the nations of the world settle their disputes
in a more sensible and legal manner than by war.
After the war, I became
a student at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. One evening, while attending an American Legion banquet during my
sophomore year, I sat next to an inspiring man named Herbert G. Horton. We were not related but we became fast friends. He,
too, had been a naval officer but was now serving as the local Scout Executive. He helped me to become a Deputy Scout Commissioner.
One of the troops needed a leader, so I became a Scoutmaster as well.
Through these experiences, I found that the
Scout Oath and Law were what I had been seeking - a standard of manhood that would withstand the test of time and a code of
ideals created and accepted by some of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.
The summer of my junior year
was spent as an Associate Camp Director at the Easton Scout Reservation. Here I was impressed with the religious tolerance
in the hearts of the boys. This I have not found so easily among older people. Scouts of the Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant
faiths worked together in everything at camp, and everyone had an opportunity to worship on his Sabbath in his own way.
in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity house, where I lived, who were outstanding for high ideals and clean living, were all
former Scouts. I felt a college organization should be formed that would strengthen men in these ideals, and give them an
opportunity for Leadership experience and for Service to others.
As a senior at Lafayette College, I talked to some of the men with a Scouting background and the response was good. These
men would join an organization based on the ideals of Scouting. I created the name Alpha Phi Omega, the motto and the Greek
words and their meaning and wrote the Ritual. Everett W. Probst designed the pin and drew the Coat-of-Arms. Thane S. Cooley
suggested the handclasp. Ellsworth S. Dobson and Gordon M. Looney helped write the Constitution and Bylaws.
Fourteen undergraduates signed as charter Members. Scouting advisors were Dr. Ray O. Wyland and Herbert G. Horton.
The Lafayette College Faculty approved the petition for recognition. On December 16, 1925, I conducted the Ritual
Initiation at Brainerd Hall, second floor, and Alpha Phi Omega was born.
My purpose was to make Alpha Phi Omega an organization for college men who cooperated with all youth movements, especially
Scouting. I also anticipated that our Service program would expand to help people in need everywhere and to do service on
the campus of each Chapter.
As Scouting is worldwide, so should Alpha Phi Omega be worldwide, gradually in the colleges and universities of all the nations.
Alpha Phi Omega can help bring about, through the future statesmen of the world, that standard of manhood and international
understanding and friendship that will lead to a better, more peaceful world in which to live and in which to make a living
and a life.