Can you believe it’s already December? 2020 is (finally) almost over as the days are getting shorter and chillier. With that comes our monthly Founders Day history! This month we are highlighting all of our partner’s Founders Days this December.
pi kappa phi- december 10th
Pi Kappa Phi has an interesting history as the fraternity was originally founded as Nu Phi, which stood for “non-fraternity”. The founders created this group in order to challenge campus politics within the school’s literary society in favor of fraternities at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. While the group tried to gain leadership within the literary society, they discovered some of the Nu Phis were disloyal, causing the remaining members to regroup and rethink the intention of their society on December 10, 1904. This was the evening where seven men officially founded Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Today, Pi Kappa Phi’s mission is to “create an uncommon and lifelong brotherhood that develops leaders and encourages service to others for the betterment of our communities”. To learn more about Pi Kappa Phi, click here.
Kappa Alpha Order- December 21st
Kappa Alpha Order fraternity began at Washington and Lee University in Lexington City, VA after the Civil War when the school was just starting to rebuild itself from the extreme poverty brought on by the war. The founders of Kappa Alpha Order were among the first students to return for fall and spring post-war sessions. Founder James Ward Wood was walking to school in the fall of 1866 when Practical Founder Samuel Zenas Ammen first met him after overhearing Wood repeating a Latin phrase (which would become the motto of the fraternity’s first ritual). Ammen drew inspiration from that phrase to create the mission of Kappa Alpha Order. In an essay they identified the purpose of the K.A. Fraternity, stating “Let us be just, charitable and good. Let us be great by the prayers of widows and orphans rather than by their tears and lamentations. Let us be of one mind and faith, let us banish all that is evil and cling to all that is good. Let us pull together and pull hard, but above all things let there be no doubt that we are pulling right.” These two men and three others would become the official founders of the fraternity that same year. Today the fraternity’ “seeks to create a lifetime experience which centers on reverence to God, duty, honor, character and gentlemanly conduct as inspired by Robert E. Lee, our spiritual founder”. To learn more about Kappa Alpha Order, click here.
Zeta Beta Tau- December 29th
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity was founded in 1898 when a professor of languages named Richard J.H. Gottheil at Colombia University in New York, NY brought together Jewish Students from universities across the city, forming a Zionist youth society that went by the initials Z.B.T. The society served as a fraternal body for college students who, as Jews, were excluded from joining existing fraternities due to their religious beliefs. Professor Gottheil would later become the inspiration for the founding of the fraternity Zeta Beta Tau in 1903, which structured itself around being an inclusive Jewish organization. Today, Zeta Beta Tau’s mission is “to foster and develop in its brotherhood the tenets of its Credo: Intellectual Awareness, Social Responsibility, Integrity and Brotherly Love, in order to prepare its brothers for positions of leadership and service within their communities”. To learn more about Zeta Beta Tau, click here.