Alpha Phi Delta Foundation

Chapter Histories - Eta Chapter

Eta Chapter in General

Eta Chapter is Founded: 1921

On June 18, 1921, our Eta Chapter was installed at City College of New York in New York City, New York. City College was the crown-jewel of New York's city university system. Pictured above are the brothers of our Eta Chapter in 1921. Eta Chapter would remain active for 47 years until its closure in 1968. It also was the first of many New York City public colleges that would become part of Alpha Phi Delta; later additions: Brooklyn College, Queens College, College of Staten Island, Baruch College, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Eta in 1959

Eta was one of the four single-letter chapters from the  pre-World War II era in New York City (along with Beta, Delta, and Theta). As the New York City area made its way into the 1960s, only Eta and Delta were left of the original four. The image above shows the Eta Chapter brothers following a meeting in April of 1959. Sadly, while Eta would make it into the 1960s, it would not make it into the 1970s -- closing in 1968.  The Chapter gave Alpha Phi Delta two of its National Presidents: Peter Sammartino (1929-31) and Francis Pagano (1935-37).

Eta Chapter - Individuals

Hon. Alfred E. Santagelo

Eta '28

Alfred Edward “Fred” Santangelo, was born in New York City on June 4, 1912 to Michael and Josephine Santangelo. A member of Eta Chapter, he graduated from City College of New York and Columbia University Law School. He was admitted to the Bar in 1939. He served as Chapter Consul of Eta and, later, as Third District Pro-Consul (1935-1937).

Following a stint as an assistant district attorney, he was elected to the New York State Senate (1947-56) and to Congress (1956-62). Among his accomplishments in Congress, Santangelo was instrumental in the naming of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, as well as in the appointment of the first Italian American Presidential cabinet member, Anthony Celebrezze.

Returning to law practice, he was involved in defending the civil rights of Italian-Americans. He served as the President of Americans of Italian Descent, was a member of the Sons of Italy, and a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. 

In terms of the Fraternity, his older brother Robert V. Santangelo, was a Past Grand Consul, while his younger brother George was also a brother of Eta Chapter. He and his wife Betty raised four daughters and one son. They were frequent attendees at National conventions. Santan-gelo passed away on March 30, 1978 at age 65.

Joseph R. La Porta

Eta '44

Born on June 30, 1926, Joseph R. LaPorta was initiated into Eta Chapter (City College of New York) in 1944. La Porta wrote two of our most beloved Fraternity songs, “Our Fraternity” and “ Fraternity Sweetheart” — both were approved as official songs of the Fraternity at the 1950 National Convention, in addition to the established official song, "Alpha Phi Delta Rose."

A veteran of World War II, La Porta worked for many years at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and after retiring became a television consultant. A founding member of the Long Island Alumni Club, he passed away on November 14, 1998 at the age of 72.