Alpha Phi Delta Foundation

Chapter Histories - Omicron Chapter

Omicron Chapter in General

Omicron Chapter is Founded: 1923

On June 18, 1923, our Omicron Chapter was installed at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With its installation Omicron Chapter became the furthest west chapter in the Fraternity at the time of its chartering. The newest of 53 campus fraternities, Alpha Phi Delta had a successful first five years, but a struggle last five years. By 1931, Alpha Phi Delta diminished enough to be removed from the campus interfraternity council. On November 26, 1932 the Executive Committee of Alpha Phi Delta placed Omicron on suspension. In spite of a number of visits by the Grand Consul in 1933 to revive Omicron's fortunes, the situation was too far gone. It seems that the morale of the few Omicron brothers left on the campus was poor and the Chapter's alumni in the Detroit area failed to support and encourage them in their hour of need. As a result, the charter was recalled from Omicron in late 1933. Thus, Omicron Chapter attained the singular infamy of being the first Chapter of Alpha Phi Delta to close. By the start of the new year in 1934, the chapter officially ceased to be, after initiating 55 men over 10 years (most between 1925-1928). Nearly 50 years later, a re-activation effort saw Omicron brought back to the University of Michigan campus. Between 1980-1984, the revived Omicron took in 33 members, but only three more members in 1985. Omicron official was shuttered in 1987, after an eight year reactivation.

The Omicron House Fire of 1928

Once Omicron was established, the Chapter attained a campus house at 807 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan (pictured above). However on September 23, 1928 tragedy struck Omicron as its house caught fire and was gutted by the ravages of flames and sooted by smoke damage. The fire was of enough consequence to merit coverage in the St. Joseph Herald-Press, one of the area newspapers. The Chapter got to work on restoring its home, and did so. However, that fire also marked the period that began the decline of Omicron Chapter -- perhaps owing to a lost semester of activity on a competitive campus. What is known is that the chapter, without insurance protection, ultimately lost its house property because of the debts it was forced to assume to restore its home. That debt when coupled with a smaller membership made the maintaining of its house untenable. In 1931, with a greatly diminished roster, the Chapter moved to smaller quarters at 201 N. High Street in Ann Arbor, and soon after closed. The South State Street was torn down a few years later, and a newer house stands on that site; neither the house nor the street where the High Street house existed remain -- due to urban development High Street was truncated, and the area where that house is now a business park.

Omicron Chapter - Individuals

Rinaldo L. Ignelzi

Midwest Alumni Club Founder

Omicron '26

Rinaldo L. Ignelzi (Omicron '26), organizing several other Omicron brothers (notably Humbert Raffin), helped to form the Midwest Alumni Club of Alpha Phi Delta in 1949. The Club was focused on spreading Alpha Phi Delta westward away from its eastern hegemony. 

Three main missions laid out by Ignelzi were both keyed in on Midwest growth. The first was to build up the Midwest Alumni Club. The next two tasks fell in the undergraduate realm. Brother Ignelzi, leading the charge with several other Omicron brothers, sought to reactivate the long-dormant (since 1934) Omicron Chapter at the University of Michigan. Once that was done the next step was to expand the Midwest with the establishment of a Chapter in the city of Chicago, Illinois.

Brother Ignelzi hope of reactivating Omicron fizzled with the interested alumni not able to get a foothold on the campus. However, the Club's intention to found a chapter in Chicago met with success, with the establishment of Beta Mu Chapter at De Paul University in 1950 (it remained active until 1980). Sadly, the Club itself closed by the mid-1950, and was reactivated a few year later as the Chicago Alumni Club.

Ignelzi faded from the fraternity scene, though he had some early activity in the Chicago Alumni Club (formerly the Midwest Alumni Club) in its early years. Brother Rinaldo L. Ignelzi passed away on April 13, 1995 at the age of 88.