Alpha Eta Rho (ΑΗΡ) is an international professional college aviation fraternity that serves as a contact between the aviation industry and educational institutions to foster, promote, and mentor today's college students towards successful careers in any aviation field. Alpha Eta Rho serves to actively associate interested students of aviation with leaders and executives in the industry. This close association, strengthened through the bonds of an international aviation fraternity, establishes opportunities for all members in their relation to aviation and inspires interest and cooperation among those in the profession who are also members of Alpha Eta Rho.
Established in 1929, and the oldest professional aviation fraternity in history, Alpha Eta Rho has had over one hundred thirty five chapters both domestically and internationally. The Eta chapter at San Jose State University is the oldest active chapter, being founded April 27th, 1940. Currently over seventy chapters are active on campuses throughout the United States. The alumni of the fraternity are found in all facets of the aviation industry and related management fields. These include airline captains, military aviation Flag Officers, corporate CEO's, NASA engineers, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, aviation museum directors, aerospace engineers, and pilots. There are currently over 45,000 Alumni of Alpha Eta Rho, with over 1,000 new members pledging each year.
Led by Professor Earl W. Hill, who was teaching aviation at USC and with the assistance of others on the faculty, Alpha Eta Rho was organized on April 10, 1929, and after receiving official recognition by the university, the first election of officers was held May 23, 1929. Under the leadership of Hill, founder and National President for 21 years until his death in 1950, Alpha Eta Rho continued to grow in stature within the college and the aviation industry.
Marshall Benedict, an employee of United Airlines, became the second National President of the fraternity in 1950. Except for a 16 month period from June 1951 until October 1952 while he was recalled to active duty with the Air Force and John Goodwin took over the Presidency, Benedict served in this capacity until 1963. Benedict at this time was associated with the FAA.
Benedict resigned in 1963 and was replaced by Ray Mertes, a great supporter of aviation education while with United Airlines. Mertes, who died unexpectedly in 1965, was followed by Gene Kropf, Public Affairs Officer of the Western Region of the FAA. Kropf, also know as the “Red Baron”, served as national president until 1981 at which time he resigned to accept the position of Chairman of the Board of Alpha Eta Rho. At that time Harold S. Wood, who had been the National Secretary-Treasurer for almost 20 years while at Parks College, accepted the position of the National President.
July 1, 1988, Harold Wood resigned as National President to accept the position of Chairman of the Board of Alpha Eta Rho. Wayne E. White, retired from Boise State University, accepted the position of National President.
Through the leadership of these six dedicated men, Alpha Eta Rho has grown internationally. The alumni membership of the fraternity is large, and is distributed throughout the aviation industry both in the United States and abroad. Currently there are about sixty active chapters of Alpha Eta Rho. Another fifty chapters have been established over the years, but have become inactive. Approximately 1,000 new members are being initiated every year.
The fraternity serves as a contact between the aviation industry and educational institutions. It bands into one organization: outstanding students, interested faculty and industry leaders for the purpose of studying the problems of everyday life as influenced by this modern industry - - aviation.
Joe Leonard - AirTran Airways CEO
|Α||Alpha||Southern California University||ΛΨ||Lambda Psi||Jacksonville University|
|ΑΑ||Alpha Alpha||University of Alaska||MΑΧ||Mu Alpha Chi||Fairmont State University|
|ΑΔ||Alpha Delta||Wilmington College||ΜΗΣ||Mu Eta Sigma||University of Maryland Eastern Shores|
|ΑΠ||Alpha Pi||Texas State Technical Institute||ΜΚΤ||Mu Kappa Tau||University of Minnesota at Mankato|
|ΑΣ||Alpha Sigma||Arizona State University||ΜΤ||Mu Tau||Middle Tennessee State University|
|ΑΧ||Alpha Chi||Averett College||Ν||Nu||Mt. San Antonio College|
|Β||Beta||Purdue University||ΝΑ||Nu Alpha||Southern Illinois University Carbondale|
|ΒΒ||Beta Beta||Henderson State University||ΞΤ||Xi Tau||Central Texas College|
|ΒΓ||Beta Gamma||Bowling Green State University||Ο||Omicron||Southeastern Oklahoma State University|
|ΒΕ||Beta Epsilon||San Juan College||ΟΣΥ||Omicron Sigma Upsilon||The Ohio State University|
|HP||Eta Mu||Spartan School of Aeronautics|
|ΒΣ||Beta Sigma||Vincennes University||ΟΥ||Omicron Upsilon||Ohio University|
|Γ||Gamma||Auburn University||ΟΨ||Omicron Psi||Louisiana State University at Monroe|
|Δ||Delta||University of North Dakota||ΔΔ||Delta Delta||San Jacinto College|
|Π||Pi||St. Louis University||ΔΠ||Delta Pi||Northwestern Louisiana University|
|Σ||Sigma||Southern Illinois University||ΔΣ||Delta Sigma||Delaware State College|
|ΣΑ||Sigma Alpha||Florida Institute of Technology||ΔΦ||Delta Phi||Mercer County Community College|
|ΣΔ||Sigma Delta||Daniel Webster College||ΔΨ||Delta Psi||Delta State University|
|ΣΝ||Sigma Nu||Cypress College||ΕΡ||Epsilon Rho||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach|
|∑Φ||Sigma Phi||ΣΦ||Sigma Phi||Metropolitan State College of Denver|
|ΣΞΩ||Sigma Xi Omega||Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology|
|ΕΤ||Epsilon Tau||Ivy Tech|
|ΣΧ||Sigma Chi||Eastern Michigan University||Ζ||Zeta||Dowling College|
|ΣΧΥ||Sigma Chi Upsilon||St. Cloud State University||Η||Eta||San Jose State University|
|ΤΣ||Tau Sigma||Tennessee State University||ΗΚΥ||Eta Kappa Upsilon||Eastern Kentucky University|
|ΥΔ||Upsilon Delta||University of Dubuque||ΗΠ||Eta Pi||Broward Community College|
|ΥΝΟ||Upsilon Nu Omicron||University of Nebraska at Omaha||Θ||Theta||Western Michigan University|
|Φ||Phi||SUNY-Farmingdale||ΙΡ||Iota Rho||Indiana State University|
|ΦΒΣ||Phi Beta Sigma||Bridgewater State College||ΚΑ||Kappa Alpha||Kent State University|
|ΦΚ||Phi Kappa||St. Francis College||ΚΝ||Kappa Nu||University of Nebraska, Kearney|
|ΦΛΥ||Phi Lambda Upsilon||Utah State University||ΚΣΥ||Kappa Sigma Upsilon||Kansas State University|
|Π||Pi||Saint Louis University - Parks College|
|Χ||Chi||University of Illinois||ΛΠ||Lambda Pi||University of Central Missouri|
|ΧΟ||Chi Omicron||College of the Ozarks||ΛΡ||Lambda Rho||Lewis University|
|ΧΡ||Chi Rho||Central Washington University||ΛΤ||Lambda Tau||Louisiana Tech University|
|ΧΣ||Chi Sigma||Chattanooga State Technical Community College|