History of Pi Kappa Alpha
Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) or, Pike, is a college fraternity founded at the University of Virginia in 1868. The fraternity has over 220 chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada with over 15,500 undergraduate members and 270,000 lifetime initiates.
Pi Kappa Alpha was founded on Sunday evening March 1, 1868, at 47 West Range (The Range) at the University of Virginia, by Robertson Howard, Julian Edward Wood, James Benjamin Sclater Jr., Frederick Southgate Taylor, Littleton Waller Tazewell Bradford and William Alexander. On March 1, 1869, exactly one year after the Alpha Chapter at the University of Virginia was formed, the Beta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was founded at Davidson College. Theta Chapter, at Rhodes College, took over the responsibilities of Alpha chapter when the Fraternity was in decline in its infancy. John Shaw Foster, a junior founder from Theta Chapter, helped to reestablish Alpha Chapter at the University of Virginia. Theta Chapter is the longest continual running chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha since its inception in 1878. After almost a decade of decline, Pi Kappa Alpha was "re-founded" as part of the Hampden-Sydney Convention, held in a dorm room at Hampden–Sydney College. The four delegates to the Hampden-Sydney Convention are referred to as the Junior Founders. Pi Kappa Alpha was not originally organized as a sectional fraternity, however by constitutional provision it became so in 1889. It remained a southern fraternity until the New Orleans Convention in 1909 when Pi Kappa Alpha officially declared itself a national organization.
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.
In 1948, Pi Kappa Alpha established and chartered the "Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Foundation" as a 501(c)(3) organization. The foundation grants $350,000 in scholarships and grants to undergraduate members each year. It also provides funding to the fraternity and its chapters for leadership programs, scholarships, and chapter house facilities. The foundation grants initiation fee scholarships to undergraduates inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Phi Kappa Phi, and Tau Beta Pi honoraries. 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.
History of Pi Kappa Alpha
Pi Kappa Alpha Epsilon Omicron Chapter History
Epsilon Omicron became an official chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha upon their installation on December 17, 1960 at Stephen F Austin State College. Over 1,150 men have joined our chapter since that time.
Sports were always an important part of college life and the Pikes were at the top of the pack for many years when it came to intramural sports at SFA winning 20 Overall Intramural Championships. The longest streak at the Overall Intramural Championship was from ‘73 to ‘82. Pikes also were the overall champions in ‘62, ‘63, ‘84, ‘85, ‘86, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘00, and ’01.
In the 1960s 243 men were initiated into Pi Kappa Alpha.
The following memories have been provided by Brother Ken Bower who pledged PKA in Spring 1962.
SFA in 1961 was different from today. SFA stood for Stephen F. Austin State College. By then the word Teacher College had been removed from the name. All freshmen had to live on campus unless you lived in town or were a “commuter” from one of the small towns around Nacogdoches. There were a few days before classes began that all freshmen had to come to campus for an orientation of their new surroundings. At that time the only dorms that were available for male students were Units 1, 2 and 3, Ferguson Hall, Wisley Hall and Todd Hall which was under the stadium and reserved only for athletes
On day one all freshmen were told to come to Unit 1 where most of the Delta Sigs (Delta Sigma Phi) lived. We were asked to sit in one of the rooms where big patches of hair were shaved from our heads. We then had to go to the SUB (Student Union Building) and buy an official SFA purple beanie (cap with a small white bill). It had to be worn every day until Homecoming. If SFA won the game we did not have to wear it any longer, otherwise we had to wear it until after the Christmas Holidays.
In the Spring of 1962 I went through Fraternity Rush. Each of the four fraternities (Delta Sigma Phi, Phi Delta Theta, Theta Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha) held “Smokers” in the SUB where we got to meet the active member of each fraternity. After the “Smokers” the active members in each fraternity voted on who to send invitations to join their chapter. I chose Pi Kappa Alpha although I received invitations from the others as well. A week or so later I joined 20 others and we became the Pledge Class of Spring 1962. With anticipation I joined the fraternity that I thought was the best on campus and could hardly wait to be able to wear the red blazer of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Pledging PiKA was an exciting and rewarding experience. I became a member of the third pledge class of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter. We were formally installed in a candlelight ceremony and each new pledge was presented with his PiKA pledge pin. The next Friday the active chapter provided a Welcome Pledge Party at the Angelina Hotel in Lufkin. Music was furnished by the Diboll Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marcelllis and the Marks.
During this period of pledging new words were incorporated into our vocabulary. Some of these were smoker, rally, paddles, pinning, walks, beer bust, chugalug, blackball session, the waterfalls, paddles and curb-painting. Everything was done in good fun and life-long friends were made.
At the time no fraternity had a house. Most of the active members lived on the second floor of Wisley Hall. Fraternity meetings were held in a room in the basement. Initiations were held at night in the sanctuary of the Grace Bible Church on University Drive. The initiation team was led by Bro. Bill Ferguson who gave a quite impressive service!
Some of the parties that we did have were in Shreveport for the annual game between SFA and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana; Homecoming; the Viking Party; the Dream Girl Formal; Showboat; and a swimming party at Crystal Lake near Joaquin, Texas . Later on we would have parties at “The Castle” which was a large rented home by several of the brothers.
All in all being a Pike was a great experience and added enormously to our college experience! Although many of the brothers are no longer with us, we all shared a common bond that has lasted a lifetime through the fellowship with the brothers of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Thank you Brother Bower for these wonderful Memories.
We continued to grow in the 70”s and PKA continued to be the dominate Fraternity on campus while winning the Intermural championship for a record 13 years in a row. 1973-1986. during the 1970’s 236 men were initiated. The annual Dream Girl Formal was held in many places including New Orleans and Galveston.
In 1982 PKA built the “Lodge” off University Drive. Many memories were made there and PKA continued to grow with the 1980 decade 277 men were initiated......if you have more history please email firstname.lastname@example.org , Thank you.
During the 1990’s 252 more men were initiated and they did a lot......if you have more history please email email@example.com , Thank you.
During this decade, 151 men joined PKA and they did a lot......if you have more history please email firstname.lastname@example.org , Thank you.
However, during the latter part of the 2000 decade, the chapter fell on hard times and in 2009 Pi Kappa Alpha (PKA) National decided to close the chapter. PKA National mandated a 4 year period to pass before our chapter could be re-established.
The Road Back
In 2013, we started the road back to having our chapter back on SFA campus. With the help of PKA National who sent Expansion Consultants Tyler Keylon (Georgia Southern, Iota Upsilon ‘09) and Sean Kayes (East Carolina, Epsilon Mu ’10)on campus as the professional staff coordinating the project, many exciting events begin.
These PKA men met with campus administrators, faculty, alumni, key student leaders, and sororities in order to find the top scholars, leaders, athletes, and gentlemen at Stephen F. Austin. Over 175 in-depth interviews were conducted during the five week process and 58 young men were recruited to become the Colony at SFA. In the next 2 years, the colony expanded and completed all required duties and requirements and was officially re-established at SFA May 2, 2015.
2015 - Present
SFA Pi Kappa Alpha, Epsilon Omicron Chapter, was established in 1961. It held steady on campus until 2009. Later it was re-established in 2013. This chapter itself has been around for 5 decades at Stephen F. Austin and is looking to get back to their roots as the top dog on campus!
SFA PIKE, established 1960, rechartered 2014.
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