About Tau Phi Tau Fraternity, Inc.
The Tau Phi Tau Fraternity, a non-profit social fraternal organization, was founded November 14, 1968 at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. The fraternity was established because the founders felt the need for a fraternity oriented towards black men in a college or university environment should be more connected to and involved with members in the black community. A pivotal part of the fraternity's charter was voter registration drives, helping with tutoring high school and middle school kids and participating in rallies and protests for social and racial justice.
The founders felt that this would help strengthen the bonds between the university and community by bridging the gap between the campus and community through service. The founder's believed that existing fraternities were not as actively involved in the community as they should be.
The founders felt that if fraternity brothers were not involved in community activities during the college years that they would not be likely to do more after graduation. Tau Phi Tau brothers considered themselves activists and champions of social and racial justice.
Sixteen undergraduates along with several advisors founded Tau Phi Tau Fraternity’s Grand and Alpha Chapter. Thirteen were students at North Carolina Central University and three were adult advisors. The founding officers were as follows: Effenus Henderson, president; Don Jackson, vice president; Cleo Murphy, secretary; Richard Jones, treasurer; Elton Stanley, parliamentarian; and Gary Palmer, dean of pledgees. Other founding members included: Joseph Burrage, Junious Sneed, Andre Watson, Aundel Wilson, Roosevelt Horne, and Willie Harrison. The adult/faculty advisors included: Vinston Burton, William Harris, and Robert Heard.
The initial meeting of Tau Phi Tau was held on November 21, 1968, and was held in the lobby of Chidley Hall Annex on the campus of North Carolina Central University. Effenus Henderson, who was elected the first president of the Tau Phi Tau Fraternity, opened the meeting. The other officers were elected at this time as well. The founding membersto the objectives of the fraternity, the fraternity colors, of which several options were suggested: pink and gray, jasmine and lime, and black and baby blue. Black and baby blue was selected. Also discussed was business pertaining to fraternity pins, sweaters, jackets, and related matters. Don Jackson volunteered to head the advertising committee.
The faculty advisors who helped with incorporation and related matters included Dr. Vincent Burton, William Harris, and Mr. Robert. Heard.