Pi Kappa Alpha

Pi Kappa Alpha
Founded March 1, 1868 (1868-03-01)
University of Virginia
Type Social/Secret
Scope International
Vision statement "To set the standard of integrity, intellect, and achievement for our members, host institutions, and the communities in which we live"
Colors      Garnet      Old Gold
Symbol The Oak Tree, Shield & Diamond, White Horse, Dagger & Key
Flower Lily of the Valley
Jewel Diamond
Publication Shield and Diamond
Chapters 225[1]
Members 15,590 (2014)[2] collegiate
270,000[1] lifetime
Nicknames Pikes
Headquarters 8347 West Range Cove
Memphis, Tennessee
United States
Homepage http://www.pikes.org

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. Originally a white-only southern organization, the fraternity became a national fraternity in 1909, and removed its racial restrictions in 1964.[3][4]


Pi Kappa Alpha was founded on March 1, 1868, at 47 West Range (The Range) at the University of Virginia by six graduate students: Robertson Howard, Julian Edward Wood, James Benjamin Sclater Jr., Frederick Southgate Taylor, Littleton Waller Tazewell Bradford and William Alexander.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] It remained a southern fraternity until the New Orleans Convention in 1909 when Pi Kappa Alpha officially declared itself a national organization.[8]

Like many other Social Fraternities at the time, Pi Kappa Alpha's membership limited its membership to white men. The race restriction was removed in 1964.[3]


Its rituals are based on Independent Order of Odd Fellows.[9]

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.[8]

Foundation and educational programs

Pike University

Pike University is the name used for all of the fraternity's leadership programs. The program is administered by the fraternity's professional staff.[10] Founded in 1948 as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization for charitable, literary & educational purposes. Events held by the university include International Convention, the Academy, the Chapter Executives Conference, and several regional Leadership Summits. Pike University grants more than $100,000 in scholarships each year.

The Pike Foundation

In 1948, Pi Kappa Alpha established and chartered the "Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Foundation" as a 501(c)(3) organization.[11] 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.[8][12] 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.[13] The building is a war memorial built in 1988 to recognize the military services of members who died in the line of duty.[13] A Gold Star Memorial was dedicated on August 1, 2008.[13][14][15]


Pi Kappa Alpha's move to start a chapter at the historically black Howard University in 2006 was opposed by some students and alumni.[4]

In 2014, the leaders of the fraternity's University of Arkansas chapter were asked to resign following an unauthorized Martin Luther King, Jr. Day party that incorporated racist stereotypes.[16][17]

Misconduct allegations

In November 2016, the chapter at Louisiana State University was placed on voluntary suspension after a woman reported to authorities she was a victim of sexual battery by an unidentified white man in the backyard of the fraternity house during a "PIKE's Peak" party.[18]

In March 2015, the chapter at the University of South Carolina was suspended after a PIKE member was found dead in a private home near campus that had beer kegs and St. Patrick Day decorations on the porch. The Richland County Coroner's Office called it a "suspicious death".[19]

In 2015, one member and four pledges of Pi Kappa Alpha from the University of Mississippi were arrested and charged with assault for leaving a Sigma Pi fraternity member with a concussion, broken ear drum, and broken teeth after a violent beating.[20] The Pi Kappa Alpha member and pledges were trying to steal a donkey statue from a Sigma Pi house as part of fraternity initiation task before the fight. The students involved were dismissed/expelled from the fraternity.[21]

In 2015, the former fraternity chapter president at Utah State University was charged with forcible sexual abuse, a felony, after allegedly inappropriately touching a female fellow student passed out at a party.[22]

In 2015, the fraternity at the University of Maine was suspended from campus after being found guilty of excessive underage drinking and multiple code of conduct violations.[23]

In April 2014, the fraternity lost its charter at the University of Virginia due to hazing pledges,[24] however the school and the national fraternity agreed to let the chapter return for fall 2014 under an agreement that moved most Juniors and Seniors to early Alumni status and appointed a board of local fraternity alumni to oversee the group.[25]

In 2012, Pi Kappa Alpha pledge David Bogenberger died of a cardiac arrhythmia triggered by alcohol poisoning. According to police, Bogenberger and other pledges at an unsanctioned Northern Illinois University event were pressured into drinking large quantities of alcohol in a two-hour time.[26] Bogenberger and 18 other pledges drank to unconsciousness. Five fraternity officers and 17 other members were convicted of misdemeanors in one of the largest hazing prosecutions in U.S. history. The chapter was suspended by the fraternity.[27]

In October 2012, the fraternity was suspended indefinitely at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville following the hospitalization of a member for alcohol poisoning due to alleged "butt-chugging".[28]

The UNC-Charlotte chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was suspended after student placed in IC for alcohol-related hazing in 2013.[29] In 2014 a county judge dismissed charges against three members, and found the fourth not guilty. The university found the fraternity guilty of hazing, and suspended its charter for eight years.[30]

Florida International University suspended the fraternity in 2013 after the discovery of photos on Facebook of hazing and drug deals, as well as sexually explicit photos of women taken without their consent.[31][32][33]

In 2008, 10 Pike members were arrested at Tulane University for pouring boiling hot water on pledges. The chapter was also accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several female students at the fraternity's annual bacchanal.[34]

In 2007, the chapter at the University of Central Florida was shut down after the fraternity racked up more than 20 misconduct and hazing violations.[35][36]

In 2002, Albert Santos, a pledge at the University of Nevada at Reno, drowned in a lake participating in a hazing ritual. He and several pledges were told to swim in a lake in their underwear but Santos couldn't swim. The fraternity was banned from the campus after his death. Santos' family sued the university and fraternity for negligence.[37][37]

In 1988, four Pi Kappa Alpha members at Florida State University were arrested for gang-raping a freshman student.[35] The case received national headlines.[38] The fraternity members pleaded no contest or guilty to lesser charges,[39] and the fraternity was banned from the school for twelve years following the rape. Pi Kappa Alpha was allowed to return to the school in 2000.[40]

In 1976, Samuel Mark Click, a pledge at Texas Tech University, was killed participating in a scavenger hunt as part of a hazing event. He was trying to collect a letter that was under a railroad tie when he was hit by a train.[41]

List of Pi Kappa Alpha brothers

See also


  1. 1 2 https://www.pikes.org/ShowNews.aspx?pid=9&nid=1323
  2. "2013-2014 Year in Review". Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  3. 1 2 Hughey, Matthew W (Winter–Spring 2006). "Black, White, Greek...Like Who?: Howard University Student Perceptions of a White Fraternity on Campus" (PDF). Educational Foundations. 20 (1-2): 9–35. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. 1 2 Craig LaRon Torbenson, Gregory S. Parks (2009). Brothers and Sisters: Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororities. Associated University Presse. p. 261.
  5. Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. "Founding History". Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  6. Beta Chapter, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. "A History of Beta". Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  7. Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, 1920 Edition, page 306
  8. 1 2 3 Garnet & Gold Pledge Guide (15th ed.). Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. 1970.
  9. Conspiracy Theory & Secret Societies
  10. Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. "About Pike University". Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  11. https://www.pikes.org/EducationalFoundation.aspx?pid=10
  12. Folmsbee, Stanley (1960). History of Tennessee , Volume 4. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 838.
  13. 1 2 3 Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. "About Memorial Headquarters". Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  14. Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. "Fast Facts". Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  15. United States of America Congressional Record 111th Congress, Vol. 155 - Part 7. Government of United States. 2009. p. 9673.
  16. Maher, Emily (26 February 2014). "Frat president reacts to accusations of racially-themed party". KHBS Ft. Smith/Fayetteville. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  17. Leyenberger, Kyle; Gilleece, Erin (27 February 2014). "UA Frat Sanctioned After 'Disrespectful' MLK Party". NWAHomepage.com. Nexstar Broadcasting. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  18. http://www.lsunow.com/daily/update-pike-fraternity-voluntarily-suspends-upcoming-activities-after-report-of/article_04a99a1e-b0f1-11e6-a8e2-ff2839fba94c.html
  19. http://www.ibtimes.com/pi-kappa-alpha-fraternity-suspended-usc-member-found-dead-after-st-patricks-day-party-1851906
  20. http://college.usatoday.com/2015/10/23/5-ole-miss-students-disciplined-for-involvement-in-alleged-hazing/
  21. Amy, Jeff (October 23, 2015). "Ole Miss: Fraternity brother, pledges charged in assault were trying to steal donkey statue". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  22. "Fraternity chapter ceases operations at USU after former president accused of sexual abuse". fox13now.com. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  23. http://bangordailynews.com/2015/04/09/news/bangor/umaine-fraternity-suspended-for-violating-national-standards/
  24. http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/two-uva-fraternities-lose-charters-in-wake-of-hazing-one/article_4d2f650c-c747-11e3-8726-001a4bcf6878.html
  25. Pi Kappa Alpha takes steps toward reinstatement at UVa
  26. Burnett, Sarah (2012-12-18). "Hazing At Fraternity: 22 Pi Kappa Alpha Members Charged After Student Dies". Huffington Post.
  27. Vitello, Barbara (May 8, 2015). "Father of NIU frat hazing victim tells 22 convicted, 'You left him alone to die'". Daily Herald. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  28. "Fraternity known for butt-chugging is 'suspended indefinitely' at Tennessee". Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  29. Becker, Mark (30 September 2013). "UNCC fraternity accused of hazing after teen lands in intensive care". WSOCTV. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  30. Becker, Mark. "Judge dismisses charges against 3 UNCC frat members". WSOCTV (August 12, 2014). Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  31. Miller, Michael E. (29 August 2013). "FIU Suspends Frat After Facebook Posts Reveal Drug Deals, Hazing, and Creep Shots". Miami New Times. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  32. Vasquez, Michael (21 August 2013). "FIU suspends Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity over Facebook posts". Miami Herald. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  33. Chen, Tina (24 August 2013). "Fraternity Probed for Alleged Drug Dealing on Facebook". ABC News. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  34. http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/05/suspended_tulane_frats_reputat.html
  35. 1 2 http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/pi-kappa-alpha-has-a-history-of-suspensions-in-florida-including-for-alleged-rape-6521158
  36. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2006-11-09/news/HAZING09_1_1_sigma-alpha-epsilon-ucf-police-hazing
  37. 1 2 http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/631347.html
  38. Basu, Moni (November 16, 2014). "Ghosts of rape past: Can a survivor find solace in return to the crime scene?". CNN. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  39. Davidson, Tom (May 17, 1990). "As Trial Starts, Man Pleads No Contest In Fsu Sex Attack". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  40. Hauserman, Julie (February 26, 2000). "Banished FSU fraternity invited back". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  41. Hank Nuwer (2001). Wrongs of Passage: Fraternities, Sororities, Hazing, and Binge Drinking. Indiana University Press. pp. 320–. ISBN 0-253-21498-X.
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