History of Phi Kappa Psi

What is Phi Kappa Psi?

Phi Kappa Psi (Phi Psi) is a social fraternity founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on February 19, 1852 under the motto of "The great joy of serving others". The brothers of Phi Kappa Psi strive to represent this motto everyday for the rest of their lives.

How was Phi Kappa Psi founded?

In the winter of 1850, a typhoid fever epidemic hit Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.  William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore were a few of the students that did not leave the college when the epidemic hit. They chose to care for their classmates who were stricken with the contagious disease, and a strong bond was formed. A few years later, on February 19, 1852, Letterman and Moore decided to found a fraternity based on      "the great joy of serving others" that they experienced during the epidemic. They decided to have a meeting to found Phi Kappa Psi in the dead of winter. It was near impossible to travel in the snow, so only two men were present at the meeting, Letterman and Moore. Together, on February 19, 1852, Letterman and Moore decided to found a fraternity based on "the great joy of serving others" that they experienced during the epidemic, they formed Phi Kappa Psi and in the spring they expanded.

What makes Phi Kappa Psi stand out?

Many key factors make Phi Kappa Psi one of the most predominate fraternities, one of the unique factors is undergraduate control. Since 1886, the Phi Kappa Psi has been controlled by undergraduates. This unique system of governing is made up of a majority of elected undergraduates that serve on an Executive Council. These undergraduates, known as Archons, represent the six Districts of Phi Kappa Psi, which divide the nation into roughly equal parts. There are also four alumni that are on the Executive Council to help guide the undergraduate members. Archons are elected during meeting at Woodrow Wilson Leadership Schools, which every active fraternity must send members too, held during odd-numbered years. The alumni are elected at Grand Arch Councils, which every active fraternity must send members too as well, held during even-numbered years. This unique system gives college students the rare opportunity to govern and guide a huge network of chapters and alumni in a path that follows the creed, motto, and helps to better Phi Kappa Psi as a whole.

Cool facts!

There are over 100 chapters and colonies at accredited four year colleges and universities throughout the United States. 

More than 119,000 men have been initiated into Phi Kappa Psi since its founding. Many accredited men are a part of Phi Kappa Psi, they include  U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Woodrow Wilson, over a hundred members of Congress (including 18 senators and Speaker of the House Warren Keifer),  over a dozen state governors, two directors of the Peace Corps three-term New York City Mayor and Bloomberg L.P. founder Mike Bloomberg and many other great men.