Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) is a North American Greek letter college fraternity founded in 1868 at the University of Virginia. The fraternity has over 220 chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada with over 14,000 undergraduate members and 250,000 lifetime initiates. Originally a whites-only Southern organization, the fraternity became a national fraternity in 1909, and removed its racial restrictions in 1964.
History — Founding
The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia on March 1, 1868. At the time, the University of Virginia was the fifth largest school in the United States, and was considered the first truly American state university, because it was the first to be established totally free from religious control.
It all started in Room 47 West Range when Frederick Southgate Taylor turned to Littleton Waller Tazewell, his cousin and roommate, for help in starting a new fraternity. Also present were James Benjamin Sclater, Jr., a schoolmate of Tazewell, and Sclater’s roommate, Robertson Howard. Those four men voted to add a fifth to their group and chose Julian Edward Wood. In addition, William Alexander, probably a friend of Sclater, was proposed for membership and admitted as a founder.
The essence of the Founders’ vision for Pi Kappa Alpha can be found in its Preamble. A committee was first suggested by Brother William Alexander “to draw up a statement of the origin and the organization of the Fraternity.” The committee was composed of brothers Robertson Howard and Littleton Waller Tazewell.
The resulting statement is now referred to as the Preamble.
For the establishment of friendship on a firmer and more lasting basis; for the promotion of brotherly love and kind feeling; for the mutual benefit and advancement of the interests of those with whom we sympathize and deem worthy of our regard; We have resolved to form a fraternity, believing that, thus we can most successfully accomplish our object.
History — Expansion
Before the end of Spring 1868, the brothers had decided that they wanted more than a Virginia society; they wanted to become a national fraternity. The following 21 years would prove to be some of the most troublesome times, nearly shattering the dreams of these young men. With universities making it nearly impossible for fraternities to exist by placing bans on the presence of secret societies, the Fraternity was still able to expand.
Pi Kappa Alpha first expanded to Davidson College, where Beta Chapter was formed. Nearly two years later, the third chapter, Gamma Chapter at William & Mary, was established. During the years that followed, until 1889, there would be a total of ten charters granted; however, only five remained active. This was the year of a most important convention.
Its rituals are based on Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Shield & Diamond
Shield & Diamond is the official quarterly publication of Pi Kappa Alpha. It was first printed in December 1890 by Robert Adger Smythe, the then Grand Secretary and Treasurer, under the name The Pi Kappa Alpha Journal. The name was changed to Shield & Diamond in 1891.
Foundation and Educational Programs
Pike University is the name used for all of the fraternity’s leadership programs. The program is administered by the fraternity’s professional staff.
The Pike Foundation
In 1948, Pi Kappa Alpha established and chartered the “Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Foundation” as a non-profit organization. The Pike Foundation provides funding to the fraternity and its chapters for leadership programs, scholarships, and chapter house facilities. The Pike Foundation also maintains and operates the Memorial Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. This facility houses professional staffs, the Harvey T. Newell Library, and the Freeman Hart Museum. The building is a war memorial built in 1988 to recognize the military services of members who died in the line of duty. A Gold Star Memorial was dedicated on August 1, 2008.
— Read More History on Pi Kappa Alpha on Wikipedia
Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ)
- Founded On: March 1st, 1868 – University of Virginia
- Type: Secret/Social Fraternity
- Colors: Garnet and Old Gold
- Flower: Lily of the Valley
- Nicknames: Pikes-Pikas
- Chapters: 220 Chapters
- Website: www.pikes.org
- Motto: Μόλις ένα Pike, πάντα ένα Pike — “Once a Pike, Always a Pike”