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Pi Kappa Phi
Pi Kappa Phi crest.svg
Founded December 10, 1904; 109 years ago (1904-12-10)
College of Charleston
Type Social, Secret
Scope United States
Mission statement We Will Lead – Leaders by choice
Vision statement Pi Kappa Phi will redefine fraternity as a lifelong brotherhood of leaders
"Nothing shall ever tear us asunder"
Colors White, Gold, Royal Blue             
Symbol Bell, Star & Lamp
Flower Red Rose
Jewel Diamond
Publication The Star and Lamp
Philanthropy Push America
Chapters 179[1]
Colonies 19[2]
Members 9,892 (as of 2013)[1] collegiate
113,148 (as of 2013)[1] lifetime
Headquarters 2015 Ayrsley Town Blvd Ste
P.O. Box 240526

Charlotte, North Carolina
Homepage www.pikapp.org

Pi Kappa Phi (ΠΚΦ; also Pi Kapp or PKP) is an American Greek Letter secret and social fraternity. It was founded by Andrew Alexander Kroeg Jr., Lawrence Harry Mixson, and Simon Fogarty Jr. on December 10, 1904 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. The fraternity has 179 active chapters (160 chartered chapters and 19 associate chapters),[1][2] and more than 113,000 initiated members.[1][3]

Pi Kappa Phi operates its own philanthropy, The Ability Experience, which works with individual chapters to serve people with disabilities.[4]


Nu Phi[edit]

Pi Kappa Phi was founded in 1904 by Andrew Alexander Kroeg Jr., a 19-year-old senior at the college; Simon Fogarty Jr., a 17-year-old junior; and Lawrence Harry Mixson, a 16-year-old sophomore. All three of the men were from Charleston.

In 1904, the College of Charleston was a small, municipal college. The all-male college was the first to be supported solely by city funds, and the eleventh oldest in the United States.[citation needed] The school had a campus literary society called the Chrestomathics, which held activities such as debates. The college's monthly magazine was staffed by the officers of the Chrestomathics, forming the equivalent of a modern day student government.

The three men set a goal to obtain officer positions within the Chrestomathic Literary Society. At that time, the organization was dominated by the three chapters of national fraternities on campus. All fraternity men were sworn to vote for their candidates, making it virtually impossible for any non-fraternity men to win election.

Kroeg, Mixson, Fogarty, and a group of their friends, all non-fraternity men, began forming an opposition party. Several meetings were held at Mixson's home on Wentworth Street leading to the formation of Nu Phi, which stood for "non-fraternity." The group of 15 men developed an opposing slate and began campaigning. Nu Phi adopted the outline of a hand as its secret symbol. A sketched hand on a classroom chalkboard signified an upcoming meeting. Inside the hand was written the meeting time and the host's last name.

The Nu Phi group assigned a member to kidnap those who might vote for the fraternity ticket on election day. However, the Nu Phi ticket lost the elections. Later, it was revealed that several disloyal members cast their votes for the opposing fraternity slate. Kroeg, determined to see his friends have a chance at winning elections, decided that the only way to gain the influence of the fraternity men on campus was to begin his own fraternity.[5]

Andrew Alexander Kroeg, Jr.
90 Broad St., Charleston, SC


On December 10, 1904, a meeting of the loyal Nu Phis was held at Fogarty's home at 90 Broad Street to establish a new fraternity. There were seven men in attendance at the meeting: Kroeg, Fogarty, Mixson, Anthony Pelzer Wagener, Thomas F. Mosimann, Theodore ("Teddy") Barnwell Kelley, and James Fogarty (Simon's younger brother). All of the original members were students at the college and had grown up together in Charleston.[5]

Wagener, who was a student of Greek and Latin, recommended the letters Pi Kappa Phi and their secret meaning as the official new name of the group. Simon proposed the design of the fraternity's pin, a black enamal diamond with the Greek letters ΠΚΦ engraved in gold with a star and lamp as additional elements. Kroeg was selected as the new chapter's first president, which was termed "Archon", from the Greek term. He then began work on a constitution for chapter. The group quickly set out to recruit new members to its ranks.[5]

On December 10, 1905, the first anniversary of the fraternity's founding, Mixson's mother cooked the men a special dinner in her home to celebrate a successful first year as a fraternity. The fraternity celebrate that date as "Founders Day" with a dinner or a similar ceremony. In 1906 Mixson and Wagener wrote the fraternity's initiation ritual as the "highest ideals of Christian manhood".[5]


That same year, the group was offered a charter from another U.S. fraternity. Instead, they chose to expand and create more Pi Kappa Phi chapters. A second chapter ("Beta Chapter") was formed at Presbyterian College on March 9, 1907. Due to a state law banning fraternities at state supported schools, Presbyterian College and the College of Charleston were the only two South Carolina schools where fraternities were allowed. A third chapter was formed at the University of California, Berkeley, which was the first chapter to obtain a house.

Kroeg developed "Articles of Incorporation" and the name Pi Kappa Phi became legally registered in the state of South Carolina on December 23, 1907.

The interest in Pi Kappa Phi within South Carolina was growing despite laws and policies banning fraternities. In 1909, Delta Chapter at Furman University formed and operated in secret until state laws changed, allowing fraternal organizations. In 1910, a charter was granted to Sigma Chapter at the University of South Carolina and the chapter was operated as the Sigma Club due to the laws banning fraternities.[5]

The Star and Lamp[edit]

The Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Journal was begun in 1909, with Henry Wagener as editor. In 1911, the name was changed to the Star & Lamp.[5]


As part of its membership education process, Pi Kappa Phi uses the acronym C.L.A.S.S., which stands for: Character, Leadership, Achievement, Scholarship, and Service.[6] The national organization adapted this acronym from the original version developed in 1991 by Todd Klines of the Eta Gamma Chapter in Boulder, Colorado. That chapter still recognizes the original acronym which stands for Chivalry, Loyalty, Accountability, Scholarship, and Sportsmanship.[6]



The Omicron chapter at the University of Alabama

As of 2013 Pi Kappa Phi reports having over 113,000 members.[1] Pi Kappa Phi has granted 231 charters, with an average chapter size of 55. There are 160 active chartered chapters plus 19 associate chapters (colonies).[1][2]

Hazing allegations[edit]

A student pledging the California State University, Northridge chapter of Pi Kappa Phi died in the summer of 2014 in what his family alleges was a hazing ritual. Nineteen-year-old Armando Villa died during a hiking trip in the Angeles National Forest. Villa's family reported that other boys on the hike said they were "left barefoot with very little water to share between the boys, and no cellphones, and to find their way out of the forest." The police reported that the fraternity was cooperating with the police investigation and that chapter activities had been suspended until the investigation concluded.[7] In September 2014, the University announced that the national and local chapters of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity voted to withdraw permanently from the university.[8] Another incident occurred in southern California when a Cal Poly Pomona student was severely burned at bonfire ceremony in the desert in 2010.[9]

See also[edit]


  • Sheetz, George; Leake, Howard; Buffington, Perry; Timmes, Mark; Owen, Durward; de Palma, Leonard (2004). The Brotherhood: History of Pi Kappa Phi (1904-2004). Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. 
  • Erickson, Evan; Sullivan, TJ (2002). The White Diamond of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity: A Guide to Brotherhood. Charlotte, North Carolina: Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. 
  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Basic Information: By the numbers". Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Chapter Locator". Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Retrieved 18 February 2013. ; as revised/updated by: "Expansion Calendar". Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Pi Kapp Facts". Archived from the original on 20 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "Journey of hope". Push America. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Non fraternity". Pi Kappa Phi. Archived from the original on 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  6. ^ a b "C.L.A.S.S.". Pi Kappa Phi. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Greig, Alex (July 3, 2014). "'Fraternity hazing ritual' blamed for death of student, 19, who was found without shoes or cell phone in forest". Daily Mail UK. 
  8. ^ Owens, Caitlin; Vives, Ruben (September 5, 2014) "Cal State Northridge fraternity shuts after pledge's death" Los Angeles Times
  9. ^ Quinones, Sam (October 29, 2010) "Fraternity at Cal Poly Pomona suspended for alleged hazing" LA Now, Los Angeles Times

External links[edit]

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217 news items


LA Daily News
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:37:50 -0700

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity's closure on the CSUN campus was based on the results of an independent university investigation into Armando Villa's death after he and other pledges were taken on an 18-mile hike through the Angeles National Forest in July.
Tennessee Tech Oracle
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:15:46 -0700

Fraternity Pi Kappa Phi has been issued a cease and desist order on unnamed alleged risk management violation charges. Events such as philanthropic projects, community service, intramurals, fundraisers and gatherings with and without alcohol are ...
Redlands Daily Facts
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:33:45 -0700

Andrew Carnes, a native of Highland and a senior at Cal State Long Beach, has been honored by the Pi Kappa Phi national office as this year's recipient of the Howard H. Baker Leadership Award, one of the highest honors an undergraduate member of the ...

Anderson Independent Mail

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 03:42:18 -0700

CCU's Director of News and Public Affairs, Martha Hunn, confirmed that the activities of the Kappa Sigma, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Pi Kappa Phi fraternities have been suspended due to reports of "questionable new member education activities." According ...


Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:28:53 -0700

All chapter activities of the Kappa Sigma, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi fraternaties have been suspended by the university's Intrafraternity Council, a Sept. 25 letter obtained by Waccamaw Publishers states. “While the positive experience for ...

Macon Telegraph (blog)

Macon Telegraph (blog)
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:52:30 -0700

This month, California State University at Northridge suspended the Pi Kappa Phi chapter, which later agreed to disband, for hazing violations after a student died on a hike. Last week, Penn State Altoona said it barred a fraternity for six years amid ...
Long Beach Press Telegram
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:33:45 -0700

The 21-year-old senior at Cal State Long Beach has earned the Howard H. Baker Leadership Award from the Pi Kappa Phi Supreme Chapter. The honor is among the highest an undergraduate can receive from the national fraternity and goes to the Pi Kappa ...
Huffington Post
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:03:45 -0700

I'm not a member of a fraternity, but as an ardent mental health advocate, I am impressed with the steps organizations are taking to address this issue. Pi Kappa Phi supports fraternity members with risk management resources and access to free counselors.

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