ato charter
Posted by Philip Poole on 2015-04-01

By Bailey Fuqua

After a 379-day colonization process, Samford University’s Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) has received its charter to officially become the Kappa Rho chapter. ATO is the first new Interfraternity Council (IFC) colonization at Samford since 1925.

On March 28, alumni and active members of neighboring ATO chapters from Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, UAB and University of North Alabama assisted in initiating the 53 Samford members and later joined the founding fathers in a celebration ceremony of their charter and of the 150th anniversary of ATO.

“As alums and advisers, we loved seeing the enthusiasm that the young men showed when they finally received their charter,” said Teddy Champion, chapter adviser. “It's been a long process, but they have earned it, and we are optimistic that the chartering process itself will be the basis for a strong work ethic in the future.”

The members of Samford’s ATO chapter already are making their mark on campus, participating in several service projects, Homecoming and Step Sing, Samford’s student-produced talent show.

“I am overwhelmed by finally reaching the end of this process, but I know that receiving our charter is only the beginning of what is to come from our chapter,” said William Hargrove, Kappa Rho president. “Though in many ways this could be an opportunity for us to sit back and be content with what we have done, we will continue to push forward and progress as leaders in [Samford’s] greek community.”

ATO was founded at the Virginia Military Institute in 1865 upon Christian values and ideas of peace and reconciliation throughout the country after the Civil War. According to the organization's website, it is widely recognized for both service and leadership initiatives and has more than 250 active and inactive chapters with more than 6,500 undergraduate members and 200,000 total members.

Other current IFC organizations include Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Chi and Sigma Nu. Samford also has National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities, including Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi.


Bailey Fuqua is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.