Alpha Phi Alpha Service

Brigadier General Jennings describes the Alpha Phi Alpha service requirements, and he talks about Dr. Augustus Witherspoon, one of his most important mentors.

Interview on 2015-03-27


00:00:00.000 I guess one of the things they talked about with Alpha Phi Alpha was the service,
00:00:07.290 and they mentioned the type things they do. They mentioned how they would go out, like when I was-. Back then when you were pledging you were on line,
00:00:18.299 and you had to do x number of service type events. We would go and they would sometimes recommend things and say things they had done,
00:00:27.238 you know, just go to some person in the Raleigh area on a Saturday and clean up their yard and do stuff like that, say some elderly lady that wasn't able to do those type things.
00:00:40.519 So you would go do things like that, which gave me another different view because back in those days the campus was all I knew from Raleigh, North Carolina.
00:00:52.593 I didn't venture out, you know, those gates, that type thing, so that gave me a chance to see another part of it.
00:00:59.652 And then you started learning the history. You learned about other Alphas that had been through like, you know, Dr. Martin Luther King, and you start thinking, wow; I can be a member of an organization that Dr. King was a member of,
00:01:13.049 you know, and you think of other people of renown, and you just start appreciating what the organization's about.
00:01:22.267 Then I met probably the other person that had the biggest influence on me, not only at NC State but probably in my life, and that was Dr. Augustus Witherspoon.
00:01:32.251 He became like a father, mentor, brother, friend, everything. He was just that type of guy,
00:01:43.025 and not just to me and every member of Alpha but to other African Americans on campus, and just with students in general.
00:01:55.145 He was always interested in trying to further the experience here at NC State and encouraging people to do well.