The history of Alpha Gamma Rho reflects the character of a brotherhood coming together from all walks of life, sharing a common bond in their pursuit of excellence as leaders in agricultural sciences, natural resources, and similar industries.
Alpha Gamma Rho can trace its roots back to 1903 at the Ohio State University College of Agriculture. It was there that the college's top students met in secret and first began talks of forming a Greek letter society. Plans developed slowly as seven students decided to bind together their cords of friendship and organize a fraternity. Brothers F. L. Allen, Rudo L. Fromme, W. A. Martin, E. S. Poston, G. T. Snyder, B. L. West, and R. C. E. Wallace founded Alpha Gamma Rho (ΑΓΡ) Fraternity in Oct. 10, 1904.
Our reason for binding ourselves together was to help each other in every way we could and defend one another if it should ever be necessary.
While the agricultural group at Ohio State University was developing a fraternity, a similar vision was taking shape at what is now University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. During the fall of 1905, Brothers R. E. Chambers, R. E. Taylor, E. E. Stultz, J. J. Martin, M. E. Greenleaf, and E. E. Chester discussed forming an agricultural club. By spring, the idea blossomed, and the men established the fraternity Delta Rho Sigma (ΔPΣ) on Feb. 6, 1906.
The first encounter between the two fraternities occurred by chance during the 1906 International Live Stock Exposition in Chicago. Men, serving on their respective university's livestock judging team, met and discovered they shared a common bond, forming a near-instant kinship. A correspondence ensued, leading to two delegates visiting Champaign, Ill. in April 1907. Members of both fraternities were face-to-face one year later at the Claypool Hotel Indianapolis.
On April 4, 1908, upon the unification of Alpha Gamma Rho and Delta Rho Sigma, the National Fraternity was born.
In an agreement known as, "The Great Compromise," Delta Rho Sigma relinquished its name in return for the distinction of Alpha Chapter going to Illinois, making the group at Ohio State University the Beta Chapter.
According to Brother A. B. Sawyer, Beta (Ohio State), at the inaugural National Convention, November 30, 1908, the minutes were written on two paper placemats bearing the name of The Hofbrau in Chicago. Brother Sawyer recorded the first official officers of the new National Fraternity.
First National Officers
- Grand President: Charles A. Stewart, Beta (Ohio State)
- Grand Vice President: S.S. Hart, Alpha (Illinois)
- Grand Secretary & Treasurer: A. B. Sawyer, Beta (Ohio State)
- General Registrar: C. P. Trotter, Beta (Ohio State)
These two groups, which formed a fraternity To Make Better Men, are responsible for cultivating the social, physical, spiritual, academic, and professional development of thousands of young men who share a common bond. This great Fraternity has grown far beyond expectations and continues to grow, for there is real work to be done and real good to accomplish.
Let us then go forward bearing in mind that the history of tomorrow is but the act of today. Let us make the history of our future as full of achievement as is that of the past.