The origin of Alpha Theta Omega Alumni Chapter begins in September 1999. Through the vision of alumni brothers in the Chicagoland area, the paperwork for colony status was filed in November. Brother Smith Jr. received colony status from Bro. Ralph Robinson (Midwest Regional Polaris). Colony status approval came from the National Executive Board of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated. The rationale for forming the Chicago Metropolitan South Alumni Colony was based on the following:
“With over 150 initiates residing within the area and due to the geographic size of metropolitan Chicago, it is apparent that there is a need for an additional alumni chapter. The area with the greatest need is in Southern Cook County and Northwest Indiana. The establishment of this colony is based upon the premise of reclaiming inactive brothers who reside within the area and performing additional acts of community service. As well, establishment of the chapter will allow for the expansion of Iota on both an alumni and collegiate level.”
The brothers involved in the initial colony effort were: Bro. Daryl Anderson, Bro. Brian Green, Bro. Ramier Waters, Bro. Reginald Collins, Bro. Michael Owens and Bro. Cato Brooks. Bro. Ramier Waters served as the first Polaris. Later Bro. Peter P. Jones, Bro. Will Maynie Jr. and Bro. Edrick Harris joined. The first meeting was held in November 1999 at the Law Office of Hester & Waters, LLP.
In February 2001, Bro. George R. Smith, Jr. was elected Colony Polaris and Bro. Peter P. Jones, Colony Vice-Polaris. During the 28th International Conclave (2001) in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Friday, August 10, 2001, the Chicago Metropolitan South Alumni Colony was chartered as Alpha Theta Omega (ATO) Graduate Chapter. The first meeting place as the ATO Chapter was the South Shore United Methodist Church located at 7350 South Jeffrey Boulevard.
The chapter’s vision is to serve as positive role models and provide opportunities for personal and spiritual growth to its members and the Chicagoland community at large. We denounce negative images and stereotypes of men of color and aim to uplift positive images and self esteem of not only men of color but also women of color by being supportive and devoted fathers, brothers, husbands and significant others.