Pi Kappa Alpha

Pi Kappa Alpha was founded by six men in 1868 at the University of Virginia, "for the establishment of friendship on a firmer and more lasting basis." Since then, the fraternity’s membership has grown to over 210,000 initiated members and has representation at 215 colleges and universities throughout North America.

Chapter History

The Nu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was chartered at Wofford College by Robert Adger Smythe on February 23, 1891. The Chapter House was built in 1954 and serves as a location for social events, chapter meetings, and other gatherings. Several awards hang in the house, recognizing Nu Chapter's excellence throughout the Carolinas Region of Pi Kappa Alpha Chapters, as well as, amongst the other fraternities on Wofford's campus.

Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity is a Greek letter, secret, college, social fraternity. It is composed of men who share similar ideals of friendship, truth, honor, and loyalty. The Fraternity's ideals are expressed in the written words and symbols of a secret ritual. These ideals and members' ability to maintain the visions of the Fraternity's founders are the great moral legacy of Pi Kappa Alpha.

Pi Kappa Alpha was founded at the University of Virginia on March 1, 1868. At the time, the University of Virginia was the fifth largest school in the United States. Only Harvard, Yale, Cornell and Michigan were bigger. The University of Virginia is considered the first truly American state university because it was the first to be established totally free from religious control.

It all started in Room 47 West Range when Frederick Southgate Taylor turned to Littleton Waller Tazewell, his cousin and roommate, for help in starting a new fraternity. Also present was James Benjamin Sclater, Jr., a schoolmate of Tazewell, and Sclater's roommate Robertson Howard. Those four men voted to add a fifth to their group and chose Julian Edward Wood. Although history is unclear, William Alexander, probably a friend of Sclater, Jr., was proposed for membership and was admitted as a founder. The first initiate was Augustus Washington Knox.

The essence of the Founders' vision for Pi Kappa Alpha can be found in its Preamble. A committee was first suggested by Brother William Alexander "to draw up a statement of the origin and the organization of the Fraternity." The committee was composed of brothers Robertson Howard and Littleton Waller Tazewell. The resulting statement is now referred to as the Preamble.

"For the establishment of friendship on a firmer and more lasting basis, for the promotion of brotherly love and kind feeling; for the mutual benefit and advancement of the interests of those with whom we sympathize and deem worthy of our regard; we have resolved to form a fraternity, believing that thus we can most successfully accomplish our object."

Quick Facts

  • Founded in 1868 at the University of Virginia.
  • Nu Chapter founded at Wofford on February 23, 1891 in the West Bell Tower of Old Main.
  • Composed of 207 chapters and 10 colonies in North America with over 240,000 members.
  • Governed by International Convention composed of mostly undergraduate chapter delegates.
  • Guided between conventions by a volunteer board of directors known as the Supreme Council.
  • Publishes a quarterly magazine, the Shield & Diamond.
  • Upholds one of the largest average chapter/colony size of any international fraternity.
  • Has maintained the largest average chapter and pledge class size for most of the past 20 years.

Learn more at the Pi Kappa Alpha national website.