About APO

For over 80 years, the Alpha Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Omega has sustained its commitment to the Boy Scouts of America and the principles they maintain. Originally founded in 1925 on these ever-important principles, Alpha Phi Omega has long valued its scouting tradition. The Alpha Rho chapter at The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1935.

Alpha Rho’s Merit Badge program began in Spring 2001 by then Service Vice President Tim Francis. Our first Merit Badge University was a great success — 47 scouts attended and many earned their badges. After Tim graduated, the Merit Badge Program was passed down to Billy Russell. Our second year had over 600 scouts and 60 volunteers. The third year the event was put on in February of 2003 with more than 1000 scouts and 100 volunteers. In the fourth year of the program, Aerospace Engineer John VanOverloop ran the program, which hosted over 1300 scouts, 100 Ventures, and 200 adults. In 2004 the Merit Badge University was featured in Scouting Magazine. Merit Badge University has continued to serve the scouts of Texas and surrounding areas ever since.

Other than the obvious benefit of being THAT much closer to an Eagle rank, Merit Badge Universities are a great opportunity for scouts around the United States to visit a neighboring college campus and interact with professionals from around the community. Thank you for helping make this one a great success!

All proceeds of the Merit Badge University go to support the Boy Scouts of the Capitol Area Council and other Scouting programs supported by Alpha Phi Omega.