Throughout the history of the Fraternity, the Alpha Phi Omega Board of Directors, from time to time, would consider a permanent National Office; however it had never been a felt need of the Fraternity. At one time the vision was to construct a building like a service station. Another drawing looked like a “double-wide.” Another artistic rendering was a building in the shape of a Service Pin mounted on a central column with covered parking under each arm of the pin. Some of this art can be seen in the basement archives of the National Office.
In August of 1985, Patrick W. Burke became the fifth National Executive Director of the Fraternity. On his third day of employment, National President Earle M. Herbert, Chi ’59, called him and after short remarks and a brief welcome, emphatically noted that it was time to find a permanent National Office for the Fraternity. A national building committee was formed. National Board Member Chuck Bowen, Iota Mu ’76, was named chairman of the building committee. It was determined that the general Kansas City area would be the location because of the history of the National Office being there since 1931, and the full-time staff all lived in the Kansas City area.
The search was initially aimed at finding an existing building suitable for our needs. The committee looked at old mansions, a funeral home and office buildings. Ultimately, the decision was made to purchase land and build a permanent office. In November 1989, land was purchased in Independence, Missouri, for the Alpha Phi Omega National Office building project. The building was complete and ready for business in November 1990.
As the Fraternity continued to grow and expand to more campuses across the nation, the need for more resources and support from the National Office grew as well. The building that was once thought to be the Fraternity’s forever home became too small to meet the needs and demands of the evolving programs and services available to our members. Eventually, a secondary office location was leased in order to provide work space for the 17-member National Office staff. It became apparent that a new building was necessary to keep up with the Fraternity’s impressive growth.
With the help of the Leaders in Service Campaign and the sale of the office building in Independence, the Alpha Phi Omega National Office purchased a larger, better equipped building located at 1441 East 104th Street in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved in September 2016. Now, housed in one location, the National Office staff is able to better serve the Fraternity with approximately 13,000 square feet of office and meeting space that will accommodate the needs of the Fraternity as it continues to grow into the future.
If we aim to put more students on more campuses providing more service, we must be able to support their needs today as they develop into tomorrow’s servant leaders.
The Alpha Phi Omega National Office has had the following locations: