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Pi Kappa Alpha

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Garnet      Old Gold


March 1, 1868; 149 years ago (1868-03-01) University of Virginia

Vision statement
"Pi Kappa Alpha will set the standard of integrity, intellect, and achievement for our members, host institutions, and the communities in which we live."

The Oak Tree, Shield & Diamond, White Horse, Dagger & Key

Pi Kappa Alpha (ΠΚΑ) or Pike is a college fraternity founded at the University of Virginia in 1868. The fraternity has over 225 chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada with over 15,500 undergraduate members and 280,000 lifetime initiates.



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. 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.


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.

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. 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. 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.


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

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.

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.

In October 2015, the chapter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was sued for $1 million after a woman visiting from Alabama was sexually assaulted and raped in the fraternity's house. In the lawsuit, the woman stated she temporarily lost consciousness after being peer-pressured into over-consuming alcohol by fraternity members and once she did she was taken to private rooms in the house where she states she was eventually sexually assaulted and raped by several members.

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".

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. The Pi Kappa Alpha member and pledges were trying to steal a donkey statue from the Sigma Pi house as part of a fraternity initiation task before the fight. The students involved were dismissed/expelled from the fraternity.

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.

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.

In April 2014, the fraternity lost its charter at the University of Virginia due to hazing pledges, 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.

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. 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.

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".

The UNC-Charlotte chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was suspended after student placed in IC for alcohol-related hazing in 2013. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In 1988, four Pi Kappa Alpha members at Florida State University were arrested for gang-raping a freshman student. The case received national headlines. The fraternity members pleaded no contest or guilty to lesser charges, 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.

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.


Pi Kappa Alpha Wikipedia

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