Alpha Kappa Chapter History

On October 19th, 1850, seven men -- Dr. Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell, Charles Hare Hutchinson, Alfred Victor du Pont, John Thorne Stone, Andrew Adams Ripka, James Bayard Hodge, and Duane Williams -- at the University of Pennsylvania founded the Alpha chapter of the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

Over 52 years later, five men at the University of Alabama came to charter a new chapter of the fraternity on December 31st, 1902 during a convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This chapter was formally chartered as the Alpha Kappa chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma. The five founding fathers of this chapter, all hailing from the state of Alabama, were as follows:

James Oscar Prude,

George Coleman Nixon,

Richard Andrews Dickson,

Willis Marone Etheridge,

and Rowan Emmett Hill.

On the 24th of January, 1903, two brothers of the Mu chapter at Tulane University, M. Clay LeJeune and John Riess, acted as representatives of the Executive Board of Phi Kappa Sigma and formally inducted the founding fathers of the Alpha Kappa chapter into the national fraternity. Said ceremony was performed during the evening of the 24th and within the front room of the second story of the now-relocated First National Bank Building of Tuscaloosa. With that moment, Phi Kappa Sigma became the 11th fraternity to have a chapter call Alabama it’s home.

For the first year of its existence, the chapter put their joint efforts solely into planning for the upcoming Fall rush. Unfortunately, of the five founding fathers, only two returned for the 1903-1904 year, James Oscar Prude and George Coleman Nixon. Fortunately, these two were quickly bolstered by the induction of six new initiates into the chapter. For the next few decades, the Alpha Kappa chapter began to excel in academics with about 50% of the active members being on the honor roll for the university. All the while during this time, the fraternity was only able to live in and maintain a chapter house leased to them by the University of Alabama. At the time of 1923, the chapter was in the process of saving up to construct a house of its own in order to move away from living on a property owned by the University into one under its aegis.

Know some history that we don't? We'd love to hear!

We are constantly working to know the in's and out's of our long history at The University of Alabama. If you have any information or historical knowledge please let us know. Our chapter historian is ready and waiting!

Sam Blackington
+1 (518) 496 0031

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