Phi Kappa Theta (Phi Kap)
The story of true brotherhood and working together for the greater good begins with not one, but two groups of students, separated by a great distance in both miles and years. The Phi Kappas, founded in 1889 at Brown University, and the Theta Kappa Phis, founded in 1919 at Lehigh University, were both groups formed by young men with initiative, young men that when faced with rejection from the existing fraternities at their institutions, based upon their Catholic faith, banded together in friendship and founded their own societies. As the years passed, the two brotherhoods, realizing their common backgrounds and viewpoints, decided that it was in the best interest of all for the two to become one, and on April 29, 1959 at The Ohio State University, the world was introduced to Phi Kappa Theta (Phi Kap).
Phi Kappa Theta today has over 50 chapters and colonies across the United States, with more than 1,500 men are actively involved in its undergraduate chapters and over 50,000 alumni Brothers worldwide. Much like the perseverance demonstrated by their founders, Phi Kaps never back down in a difficult situation, and many have gone on to great accomplishments, like Paul Allen (Co-founder of Microsoft; Owner of Portland Trail Blazers & Seattle Seahawks), John Krol (Archbishop of Philadelphia), Ed McMahon (Actor; Announcer for Tonight Show), Bob Hope (Actor), and John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States). With Brothers like these, no wonder so many men want to wear the Phi Kap white, gold, and cardinal purple!
As an organization founded by men of faith, it is no surprise that service to others plays a large role for Phi Kap, and in 1997, they chose to make the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) their national philanthropy. Founded in 1983, the aims of the CMNH are to help as many children as possible by raising funds for children’s hospitals and keep funds in the community in which they were raised to help local children. By organizing fund-raising events and gathering support, the men of Phi Kap are able to help further the goal of the CMNH to treat a variety of illnesses in children, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
As a Fraternity created out of discrimination, the founders of Phi Kap knew the sting of rejection, and therefore stressed the importance of welcoming all worthy men, regardless of their backgrounds. Today, Phi Kappa Theta is a brotherhood known for its diversity and charitable service to others, fulfilling its motto, the words of St. Thomas Aquinas instructing them to, “Give, expecting nothing thereof.”