During the school year of 1926-27, three students at the University of California, Los Angeles met during lunch for prayer and fellowship. E. Harlan Fischer, Frank Young, and James Carter looked forward to the establishment of a Christian Club on campus, and so Fischer sent letters out to 35 students over the Christmas break. A dinner meeting was held for these young men at the Green Dragon Cafe on January 7, 1927, and 16 gathered there to discuss their possibilities.
E. Harlan Fischer
Ray Branson (August Johnson)
Martin Luthor Long
R. Bryant Mitchell
UCLA – Alpha Chapter
K. Arnold Liljegren
When Brother James Goff transferred to UC Berkeley in 1938, he took the spirit of AGO with him, and he became, along with Frank Satterberg and Harold Lindsell, a key man in founding our Beta Chapter. Though the difficulties of WWII forced an adjournment of Beta between 1942 & 1946, the chapter was refounded under Donald Duerr. Thus, on March 4, 1946, representatives from Alpha & Beta declared Alpha Gamma Omega to be a national fraternity.
Robert Pomeroy, as an alumnus of both chapters, was our first national president. However, there was mass confusion as to National’s role in the fraternity.
Organizing National & Expansion
Price Trautwein as our second National President, took control of some issues and worked to bring us the 1948 (first) National Constitution, which established a National Council. By 1961, word of AGO had spread to Cal State Long Beach, where a group of men wanted to open a chapter. Under the leadership of Cal Peterson, the National Council worked with this group. On May 5, 1962, our Gamma Chapter was founded at CSULB.
In 1963, Bill Hoffman, Jr. was elected as our 18th National President. In order to provide a continuity & stability, he became the first president to serve more than one consecutive term. Through a united effort involving Earl Terry, Price Trautwein, Bill, and others, the Delta Chapter was chartered on August 15, 1964, and Epsilon on December 25, 1965.
Hard Times for AGO
Hard times, caused in part by the Vietnam War protest movement, put fraternities, a relatively conservative element on campuses, under attack, and AGO was not immune. The Gamma Chapter closed in 1967, Delta in 1969, & Epsilon in 1974. Even Alpha was down to 6, and Beta clung to life with 2 active brothers.
As our 19th National President, Ken Karlstad worked to turn the situation around, and the Alpha & Beta Chapters rebounded. When Bill Hoffman, Jr. returned as our 20th National President, he continued the work started under Ken, and both Gamma and Epsilon chapters were refounded and chartered in 1978. (Unfortunately, Gamma became the first chapter to go inactive twice when it again closed in 1994.)
A Blessing from the Lord
Since 1987, peace and stability has resulted in an incredible expansion, adding several new chapters, many outside the state of California. We now have nine active chapters and one colony.
The membership of Alpha Gamma Omega has steadily risen in the past few years. Yet as we grow in numbers, we must also grow in faith and our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, since He is the only way we are truly brothers. To this end, we are making progress in an initiative to strengthen the communication, support and accountability between the national organization and the collegiate chapters. But above all else, Alpha Gamma Omega is and must be kept a Christ-Centered Fraternity.