Leadership Friendship Service
History of apo Beta sigma
Alpha Phi Omega at Texas Tech began in the late 1930's. In 1937 John Gillespie was enrolled at Texas Tech and putting himself through school by working in the President's office. Tech President Bradford Knapp knew of the need for a service organization on the Tech campus and was familiar with the values of the Boy Scouts of America. Knowing that Gillespie was an Eagle Scout, Knapp called a meeting between the two and encouraged Gillespie to form a service group of former Boy Scouts. Gillespie gathered a group of Eagle Scouts and in the Fall semester of 1938 they organized themselves as the Texas Tech Eagle Scout Club. Shortly thereafter the Eagle Scout Club petitioned Alpha Phi Omega to grant their club a charter.
The club began its long history of service to Texas Tech with two projects: patrolling for litter and parking control. The members would walk around campus, carrying with them trash bags and citation books, and while picking up litter would also issue citations for any illegally parked cars. Gillespie has noted that during his years at Tech he probably ticketed every faculty member there, since faculty were about the only ones who had cars to park, legally or illegally.
In March of 1939 the Supreme Grand Council of Alpha Phi Omega approved the club's petition. At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 30, 1939, in Room 205 of West Hall, along with members of the Alpha Rho chapter from the University of Texas, Dean Arno "Shorty" Nowotny installed the 33 members of the Texas Tech Eagle Scout Club as members of Alpha Phi Omega. Nowotny also presented an Alpha Phi Omega charter to the new Brothers, making them the 66th chapter of the national fraternity and granting them the name Beta Sigma. Just to the left of the fireplace in Room 205, West Hall (now commonly known as the P.A.S.S. center) there is a plaque commemorating the founding of the Beta Sigma Chapter.
Today we are known around campus for our work with the Texas Tech Homecoming Parade, Football Program Sales, Carol of Lights, University Days, and Double T Days. In the Lubbock Community, we regularly perform service for the Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Club, Women's Protective Services, Habitat for Humanity, the South Plains Food Bank, and the Haven Animal Shelter, just to name a few. We are actively seeking new members to pledge the organization and help us spread the spirit of service at Tech, throughout Lubbock, and across the US. Alpha Phi Omega provides the opportunity to make life-long friendships, develop leadership skills, and serve the Texas Tech campus and the community.
The Beta Sigma Chapter at Texas Tech University currently resides in Region D, Section D-1