Alpha Phi Delta Foundation

Chapter Histories - Xi Chapter

Xi Chapter in General

Xi Chapter is Founded: 1923

It was thought by many in the Fraternity’s leadership, that Kappa, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, being so far away from the nucleus of the Fraternity, would have soon been weakened by the lack of contact. Through the efforts of Grand Consul Joseph Petrelli, this was avoided with the installation of Xi at Ohio State University on April 8, 1923. Pictured above, is the oldest extant photo of the chapter. It shows the Xi Chapter (Ohio State University) as it was in 1928 -- just five years after being chartered. One of Alpha Phi Delta’s western-most Chapters, Xi would continue successfully for 45 years, until its closing in 1968. The Chapter would be briefly reactivated in 1980, but would close again in a few short years (in 1987). From its founding until 1968 closing Xi took in 322 brothers, then from 1981 to 1987 added 32 more for a total of 354. 

See full history of the Founding of Xi Chapter at the bottom of this webpage

The Xi Chapter 1980s Reactivation

The reactivation of Xi Chapter was completed in 1980 by the effort of project manager Dick DiPaolo, a member of the Steubenville Alumni Club. The administration of the University approved Alpha Phi Delta's application in August 1980. Bro. DiPaolo, with financial and fraternal assistance of dozens of Xi alumni living in the Columbus area, brought the project to fruition. On the ground, Perry Chappano, was a mover and shaker in the project as a student who played a major role in the re-activation and was a member of the re-activation class. For his efforts, Brother Chappano was awarded the Frank Cavallaro Third District Endowment Fund Award. During its 1980s period of activity Xi Chapter was host to visiting brothers from many other chapters including Omicron (Michigan), Beta Beta (Manhattan), Beta Xi (NJIT), Beta Sigma (St. Francis), Beta Chi (SUNY Tech), and Beta Omega (Pace). However, by the mid-1980s recruiting became difficult, and the chapter began a period of decline. By 1987, after 32 Xi men had been initiated (between 1981-85), the Chapter again closed it doors.

Xi Chapter - Individuals

Dr. Victor S. Leanza

Grand Consul 1939-41

Xi Founder

Xi '23

Victor Salvatore Leanza was born to Fortunato and Concetta Leanza, in Cesaro, Sicily (Italy), on August 10, 1900. He migrated with his parents to the United States at an early age. In 1919, Leanza enrolled at Ohio State University, where he was instrumental in starting our Xi Chapter. He graduated in 1923, and went on to Western Reserve University Law School, in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1926; there he became active with our Kappa Chapter.

Leanza became a lawyer in Cleveland area. A partner in the law firm of Leanza, Longano, Farina and Mendelsohn, he was also Chairman of the Board of the Fairway Loan Company, Director of the Republic Manufacturing Corp., Electrolizing Corp., and the Resin Research and Development Corp.

Leanza held many positions in the Fraternity including Sixth District Governor, Grand Delegate and Grand HistorianChaplain. As Historian, he wrote The History of Alpha Phi Delta 1930-39, for which this edition is greatly indebted. He helped found the Cleveland Alumni Club in 1928 and was a member there for many years. In 1934, served on the Expansion Committee with Peter Sammartino. He served as Grand Consul 1939-1941.

In 1940, Grand Consul Leanza wrote a beautiful reflection to our undergraduate members, in it he noted the importance of how they represent the Fraternity. In part he wrote: “To you my brother in school a greater responsibility has been entrusted. You are in daily contact with the leaders of tomorrow. Your present conduct; your every act during your school years, is crystallizing an impression upon the minds of your fellow students and your faculty. To each of them you mean Alpha Phi Delta... I trust that none of us will claim perfection, but the mark of a truly cultured modern gentleman is the ability to know which are his less desirable habits, coupled with his stubborn determination to eliminate them from his personality.”

On June 21, 1930, Leanza he married the former Caroline Gugliemi at St. Cecilia's Church, in Cleveland, Ohio. In their 50th year of marriage, He passed away on April 25, 1981, at age 80.

Henry X. La Raia

Chief of Evidence for Dachau War Trials 

(World War II)

Xi '29

Born in New York City on January 8, 1908, Brother La Raia was initiated into our fraternity at our Xi Chapter at Ohio State University in 1929. He graduated from the University and later from Cumberland school of Law In Lebanon, Tennessee with a bachelor of law degree in 1932. As an ROTC graduate, he was a commissioned Lieutenant in the United States Army. His first Army assignment was in the administration of Civilian Conservation Corps camps in upstate New York. 

In 1941 he was ordered to the Philippine Islands but after leaving Pearl Harbor on December 1, his ship was redirected to Australia. There, he served in the Pacific theater of operation until 1944 when he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and returned to duty in the United States. In 1946 he was assigned to the occupation forces In Germany with duty as Chief of Evidence at the Dachau War Crimes trials. 

Returning to the United states In 1950, he continued in various roles for the Army until his retirement in the late 1960s. In 1969, he retired to Cape Coral, Florida, he died the on November 17, 2004. 

Francis Tosi

National Vice President 1958-60 

Xi '29

Francis (Frank) Louis Tosi was born on October 24, 1915, in Weirton, West Virginia to Virginio and Maria Tosi. He attended Ohio State University, and was initiated into Xi Chapter on May 5, 1938. He graduate from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1945. Studying to be a Dentist, in his post-graduate work at Ohio State, he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1948.

Dr. Frank L. Tosi was elected National Vice President at the Young’s Gap Convention in 1958 and served two years in that capacity. Dr. Tosi, was a charter member of the Steubenville Alumni Club; he went on to hold virtually every office in that organization. He served as Sixth District Governor. A staunch supporter of district and local affairs, he received Beta Theta’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1958. He also served as an early trustee of the Scholarship Fund.

Dr. Tosi served in the Army, 1953-55 as Captain in the Dental Corps. Upon his return he resumed his practice in his native Steubenville, Ohio where a familiar sight was his dashing up and down the hills around town on his motorcycle.

Frank Tosi passed away on November 19, 1997, at the age of 82. In 1998, a “Frank L. Tosi Memorial Scholarship” was established at Ohio State University to provide need-based scholarships to students who show great promise in dentistry.

Joseph A. Ricci

World War II Hero

Xi '41

Joseph A. Ricci, Xi '41 -- who was part of a family of brothers, including his uncle of John Salimbene and Brother-in-law of Rocco Salimbene (both, also Xi brothers) -- was a World War II hero. Brother Ricci was killed during the final months of World War II when he was serving his nation as a navy co-pilot.

Born on March 17, 1921, Joseph A. Ricci went on to attend Ohio State University, and was initiated into our Xi Chapter in 1941. His joining into the Fraternity occurred shortly before the United States' entry into World War II, after which many college men -- and many of our brothers -- were called on to serve in the defense of the nation. 

Brother Ricci though, was not drafted. Following his completion of the 1941-42 school year, he enlisted in the United States Navy on May 20, 1942. He was ultimately attached to the 102nd Bombing Squadron serving as a co-pilot. It was in this role, that he became a hero.

In a heroic act, Brother Ricci managed to save the crew of the bomber of which he was co-pilot. He did this when the plane was hit by enemy fire, leaving the pilot temporarily blinded by the flash. Injured and dying from the attack, Brother Ricci was able to use his final moments to make his way to turn on the auto pilot, before he passed away. This bought the pilot and the crew the needed-time to recover from the shock of attack. Soon, the pilot regained his sight and was able to bring the plane in safely. It was only because of the self-sacrificing heroic actions of Brother Ricci that the pilot and rest of the crew survived. Brother Ricci died on that day; June 30, 1945. He was later interred at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Lockbourne, Ohio.

Victor C. Ciancetta

Sixth District Governor 1951-57

Xi '50

Victor C. Ciancetta was born in Steubenville, Ohio on May 5, 1925. Following his graduation from Catholic Central High School in 1943 he entered the Army in which he served for three years. He entered Ohio State University in 1946, graduating with a degree in Architectural Engineering and Business. He was initiated into Xi Chapter on April 26, 1947, holding various offices as an undergraduate.

Active in many civic and social organizations, Brother Ciancetta also found time to serve Alpha Phi Delta serving as Sixth District Governor (Ohio region) from 1951-57. This long standing member of the Steubenville Alumni Club, was the recipient of the 1952 Outstanding Alumnus of Beta Theta (awarded by that chapter), and more significantly, the recipient of the 1958 Outstanding Alumnus Award of Alpha Phi Delta.

Notably, Brother Ciancetta was honored in 1973 with the Alumni Citizenship Award given by the Ohio State University. The Alumni Citizenship Award was presented annually by the University as "the highest forms of recognition which can be extended to an alumnus of the institution" (as per the then-Ohio State University Director of Alumni Affairs, Richard Mall)

Brother Ciancetta was one of the operators of Carlo Ciancetta and Sons, Inc., a building and general contracting firm. He served as chairman of Steubenville's St. John Medical Center board of advisors and was the hospital's project representative. He was also a past president of the Steubenville Area Chamber of Commerce as well as a past chairman of the College of Steubenville's Board of Advisors. He passed away on February 8, 2014 at the age of 88.

Xi Chapter - Photos

Xi Chapter - Special Feature

Special "Xi Issue" of The Kleos from Winter 1946-47 featured "The History of Xi Chapter" as told by Victor Leanza, here is that full history (at right).

The History of the Founding of our Xi Chapter

by Victor Leanza, Xi '23 - Chapter Founder

In the fall of 1919 the freshman class at Ohio State numbered close to two thousand. Vincent Maddalena, a seventeen-year-old protege. who had more confidence than the entire faculty put together, was an outstanding part of the two thousand. The "Pre medical" division of this lucky class was graced by his presence and mine. While on the train from Cleveland to join this large body of knowledge seekers with a firm resolution to change the future of the medical profession, I was entrusted with some very confidential information about fraternities. By the time the name of Vincent Maddalena came to my attention, I was positive! that fraternities existed for the exclusive purpose of causing the downfall of any student who intended to receive and retain any education. Making no secret of our superior knowledge, neither one of us had difficulty in discouraging any person who even entertained the thought of approaching us on the subject of pledgeship.

Our search for a larger medium of expression, together with other students of the romance language division, soon found a forum in the organization of the Amerital Club. Although the main purpose of the club was to learn Italian —which every member was required to be studying— the social events occupied much of the members time during the years 1919-21. Through this medium, a few of us found our acquaintance growing into an intimate friendship, which culminated in the Oath of Brotherhood as founding members of Xi Chapter.

By the spring of 1921, Gust Rubertino, George Marino, Adulphus Marinelli, Samuel Chiccarino and I were living in adjoining apartments; and the idea of establishing a fraternity was ready to become action. First, a national fraternity without a chapter at Ohio State, which was willing to accept the group, was to be found. Second. the university authorities had to be convinced to recognize such a new fraternity on the campus. To better accomplish these two tasks, we needed additional men with the same desire and love for friendship that each of us felt for the other. So, while we pressed along with the first two tasks, we kept an eye out for the men we wanted as our brothers.

During the Christmas vacation o f 1921, I learned from Joseph Larca and Michael Geraci, who attended Western Reserve University at Cleveland, that Brother Hugo Melaragno, who had attended Cornell University, had contacted a national fraternity known as Alpha Phi Delta, and the Western Reserve boys (now Kappa Chapter) had applied for a charter, They were about to he initiated in the earlier part of 1922. 

Burt Post and I went back to Ohio State overwhelmed with excitement. We wrote Ben Marsicano, then Grand Consul of Alpha Phi Delta, and were informed by Ralph DiNaples, then Grand Tribune, of the financial requirements and the minimum membership requirements. Marsicano, as we later learned, had planned to initiate both Kappa and Xi at the same time. But, by the time we selected our other five members, Kappa had been admitted (on April 1st, 1922). 

The spring and fall of 1922 passed before our Xi petition was accepted and we were ready for initiation. Martin Rini and Hercules Paolino, who were initiated at Kappa, had transferred to Ohio State. They assisted us with what little they had learned about fraternity during their short period of membership in it. 

About the 10th day of May 1923, there came to Columbus, Ohio: Ben Marsicano and Ralph DiNaples, the men from the East; with them also came Joseph Larca and Michael Geraci. We respectfully conducted these gentlemen (so we thought until initiation time) to the Elks Club. Anthony Catalano, Vincent Maddalena, Joseph Mastandrea, Adolphus Marinelli. George Marino, Samuel Chiccarino, Gust Rubertino, Burt Post, Martin Rini, Hercules Paolino and Victor S. Leanza passed the test and became the founders of Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Delta. 

The first chapter meeting was held the third Sunday in May. This was my last and first meeting as an undergraduate at Xi. On entering Western Reserve Law School in the fall of 1923, the rest of my school days were spent with Kappa Chapter. Anthony Catalano, a freshman in the medical school, was elected the first Xi Chapter Consul, and under his leadership, Alpha Phi Delta joined the ranks of national fraternities at Ohio State. Alpha Phi Delta had acquired a militant, progressive chapter. While have been some wavering years in terms of finance and morale, Xi has always contributed leaders, contributed a house on the campus, and contributed to the progress of its alma muter and Alpha Phi Delta, by moving forward year by year. 

I am happy I was privileged to make the what little contribution was made to bring this chapter into being. As the chapter has moved forward through these years, we find that our founders are scattered throughout the nation —reaching that age when man curries the responsibility of leadership; the age when he should he returning the wisdom of his acquired knowledge and thus shape the destiny of his community: 

All of us, and those who had the pleasure of having known him during his few years of fraternity life, feel sure that George Marino, having passed to another world during his school career, has aIso made his place before God, who has blessed you and me with this valueless treasure that binds us, fraternalism.