Student Organizations

Kansas Iota Chapter

Phi Kappa Theta

Kansas State University

1965 College Heights

Manhattan, KS 66502

 

785-539-7491

phikapexec@gmail.com

History

PKT

It has been said that the study of history is not the study of names, places and dates, but rather, the study of causes.

High school history classes focus on the memorizing of names of explorers and their ships. For the historians this is taken one step further as they focus very little on what happened. The reason for their research is to understand the complicated web of why things happened.

It is for that reason that, as I try to transcribe 108 years of history in a few pages, I will not concentrate on names, places or dates. While they are necessary, they will be kept to a minimum. What is important to us now is the legacy of those men. While their faces only exist as faded pictures, the foundations they created still tangibly exist in Phi Kappa Theta today.

So as we embark on our journey through the turbulent, emotional first century of our organization's existence, we must remember that we chart the past hoping to learn a lesson of sorts, trying to effect changes in the future by our actions.

If only one idea comes out of this exercise, it is that our founders and their progenitors were not slaves to history. They were causes themselves, creating history through their action and non-action, affecting fate's uninterrupted flow.

While each individual's effect may have been minuscule as a twig in the way of a lava flow, their cumulative effort is immeasurable.

But to fully understand the complicated web of Phi Kappa Theta's existence, we must first start, as any good story does, at the beginning.

Genesis

The story of our Fraternity begins not on a cool evening in October in 1889, but more than a century before. It was a series of events, along with ones played out almost 60 years later, that was the earliest influence on the birth, formation and growth of our organization.

The idea of fraternities began even before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The "Flat Hat Club," founded in 1750 at William and Mary, was the first college fraternity. It was secret, literary and social in nature and boasted such members as Declaration writer Thomas Jefferson.

On December 5, 1776, in the "Apollo Room" of the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, Phi Beta Kappa was born. It was the first society to use Greek letters in its name and the first to use those letters to name its chapters. While it is now purely honorary, it resembled, up until 1831, the college fraternity of that time and day. It had, among other things, a secret grip and ritual.

The first college fraternity formed, and still in its original form today, is the Kappa Alpha Society. Its beginnings were at Union College in Schenectady, New York, in 1825. Along with Sigma Phi and Delta Phi, it formed the "Union Triad." Because of the success of these first fraternities, Union College became known as "the mother of all fraternities."

Fraternities flourished in college environments, growing in number, size and strength. They counted among their ranks, and still do, some of the most influential men of their time.

As these societies spread all over the young United States, an unrelated but very important occurrence on the other side of the Atlantic had a profound effect on the foundations of our Fraternity.

In the early 1800s the population of Ireland grew tremendously. The rapid growth put a strain on the country's natural resources and economy, causing it to teeter on the brink of disaster. It was pushed to that brink in 1845. For three years the potato crop, the main staple of the Gaelic diet and foundation of Ireland's economy, failed terribly.

The great potato famine sent the small island country into a state of disarray. Disease and poverty were everywhere. In hope of survival, Irishmen boarded already crowded boats to a country where, they were told, there existed opportunities to start a new life.

When they arrived, they found that not all of these opportunities were open to them. They worked where they could, sometimes barely surviving, sometimes doing very well. But no matter what their status, they all taught their children certain ideals that they should live by.

Two generations later, there still existed the same ignorance in society, but these same desires and ideals this generation's grandparents brought over in the crowded wooden boats still burned in their hearts.

Phi Kappa

They were known as "oudens," a term not specific to Brown University, used to describe young men of Irish Catholic parentage. As college students they were refused admittance to the established social organizations. It was adversity, frustration and a strong belief in the ideals that had been passed to them that brought a group of men together at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in the late 1800s.

Their names screamed their heritage, to some a disgrace, but to them an honor. Sheahan, Gillrain, and O'Connor, joined by six to eight of their friends, met in each other's rooms between 1887 and 1889.

There was no specific organization. Fellowship and the drive to create a permanent legacy out of a seed of an idea kept them together. As they realized that a permanent organization was in their best interest, the idea began to germinate, and on October 1, 1889, in "Old Hope 3" of Hope College at Brown University, Phi Kappa was born.

The original three, Sheahan, Gillrain and O'Connor, met with another group of young men holding the same ideals and desires as themselves. Holland, Killelea, Kiley, Smith, McGinn, Brennan, Cunningham and Murphy filled out the group which began the quest to establish a society with the same social standing as the more established fraternities already on campus.

They chose the name Phi Kappa Sigma, standing for "The Fraternity of Catholic Students" as their moniker. The next spring they added three more to their ranks by initiating three freshmen- Fitzgerald, Corcoran, and Magill from the class of 1893.

Between 1890 and 1892, Phi Kappa Sigma faced the same test encountered by all fledgling organizations. The group had no sustained, substantial financial backing, and as time passed interest vacillated. But because of a genuine commitment to their goals and ideals, adversity strengthened the bonds of their fellowship.

In the spring of 1892, the Fraternity began taking major steps towards permanency. M. Joseph Harson, a Providence merchant intensely loyal to Brown and devoted to the welfare of its Catholic students, became interested in the Fraternity.

Harson called together all the graduate and undergraduate members he could find to meet in his home on April 29 1892. The group submitted a formal proposal to the University to establish a Greek-letter society at Brown. The membership was to be comprised of practicing Catholic men.

Harson wrote the initiation ritual and the organization's first constitution. It was also under his leadership that the new organization was perfected. It was Harson who gave the Fraternity definite form and, as a result, he was elected the first president of the revitalized Phi Kappa Sigma.

In an 1893 letter Harson wrote:

"My plans are aimed to place Phi Kappa Sigma on a higher plane than all other college fraternities. Its motto was -- LOYALTY TO GOD AND COLLEGE. By a chain of graduates and undergraduates throughout the states, I hoped to see Catholic educated men brought together fir their personal benefit. Loyalty is the keynote, loyalty between members as well as faith and college."

The fledgling Fraternity began its journey towards legitimacy on Class Day, 1892. Phi Kappa Sigma held a reception for the University faculty and administration, keeping in the tradition of the other Greek organizations. The reception was so brilliantly conceived that after the University president had made the rounds of the other Greek receptions, he returned to the Phi Kappa Sigma "spread."

From then on, Phi Kappa Sigma grew in esteem. It began bringing prominent men on campus to address the Fraternity. Many occasions found Sayles Hall filled as debates among students were featured.

As the prominence of the young local grew, it began attracting attention outside of Brown. It was brought to the attention of the group that Phi Kappa Sigma was a name already in use by another national fraternity. So, in 1900, the "Sigma" was dropped and the group continued along under the name "Phi Kappa."

On April 29, 1902, Phi Kappa Fraternity was incorporated under the laws of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The purpose of the organization as set forth under the charter was:

". . .promoting social and intellectual intercourse among its members, identifying students and alumni more closely with their college and cultivating a spirit of loyalty to Alma Mater. It is a further object of said corporation to establish subordinate branches in chapters in other seats of learning throughout the United States."

This charter was signed by, among others, M. J. Harson, whose seed of an idea, related in his letter nine years before, was finally coming to fruition.

Many times between 1890 and 1912, the opportunity was presented for Harson's vision of a national fraternity to come to pass. Applications from societies for admission and proposals from fraternities for consolidation were received, but each proposal was unacceptable.

In 1912, Arthur Kiernan, a Sigma Nu from Brown, who had since graduated and become an instructor at the University of Illinois, wrote a letter to Gerald Donovan, a Phi Kappa from Brown. The letter told of a group of men at the University of Illinois holding similar ideals and beliefs as the group at Brown.

A series of correspondence ensued between Phi Kappa president Donovan and John Desmond, President of the Loynla Club in Champaign, and it was decided that the two groups should meet in Providence in the spring of 1912.

The meeting was so successful that a degree team was sent to the University of Illinois, and on May 27, 1912, the Loyola Club became the Beta chapter of Phi Kappa.

The Loyola Club was founded in May 1908, by a group of Catholic students who leased a house from the college. The club had originated, as had Phi Kappa, not as a definite organized fraternity, but as a bond between Catholics at the school.

Jim MeKenna became the first Supreme President. It was McKenna who led the degree team and had promoted the Beta chapter to the point where, without him, the whole event would not have taken place.

While the new national organization had only two chapters, spurred by the vision of Joseph Harson, they doubled their number in the next two years. After the installation of Delta, it was finally decided that a national convention should take place to set up the individual chapters and the national on a sound organizational base.

On June 19, 1914, the delegates from four chapters, along with other members in attendance, met at the Hotel Manhattan in New York City.

In November of that year, the first official publication of the Fraternity, The Yippy-Yappa of Phi Kappa was published. It was only two years later that the name was changed to The Temple of Phi Kappa, the name still in use today.

Phi Kappa grew rapidly through the "Roaring Twenties" and by 1926 it had 20 chapters.

Theta Kappa Phi

Three months after the Phi Kappa concluded their first convention, the school year began at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. As it happened every year, the Newman Club came together. It was expected, just as always, that the club would disband at the end of the school year.

The year of 1914-15 would be different, however. This group of men, bound together by faith, was looking for a solution that would provide continuity for the group. These "enthusiasts" had the notion of forming a social fraternity.

Like the young Phi Kappa Sigma of 25 years before, they believed that through a common social life in a homelike environment, religious and scholarly ideals could be effectively fostered. The idea was even further strengthened by the thought that there was virtue in the mystic rites associated with fraternities.

They were loosely organized, again paralleling the Phi Kap's development. They didn't have a name outside of the Newman Club, but the "old guard" carried on with the vision of someday forming a permanent organization. Of the original band, however, only three went on to form Theta Kappa Phi- August Concilio, Raymond Bobbin, and Peter Cart.

In 1917 a group of men approached the three founders about associating with them for the purpose of living together in a house as a fraternity. But before they could consummate their plans, the United States entered World War I, sending many of them overseas.

When the war ended in 1919, Concilio, the original group spark plug, returned to Lehigh, but he held very little hope of still forming a fraternity.

The idea had been kept alive, however, and had been passed on to a new group of men at the University through the efforts of Peter Cart. This new group gathered in Concilio's room, and upon hearing stories about the prewar "enthusiasts," they resolved to form a social fraternity.

About 30 men attended the initial meeting on October 22,1919, the official founding date of Theta Kappa Phi. For lack of nothing better, they chose the "X Club" as a name to call their association. "X," the unknown quantity, was to serve until their ideas took a more definite form.

Concilio was elected the first president and Theta Kappa Phi was chosen as the name on November 12, 1919. The letters merely stood for "The Catholic Fraternity." It wasn't until later that the letters were given their current esoteric meanings.

In the same year, the group selected Rt. Rev. William McGarvey as chaplain of the organization. As pastor of Holy Infancy Church in Bethlehem, the student parish of Lehigh, his guidance in spiritual, as well as temporal matters, guided the young group through their growing pains.

Concilio once wrote, "To him, Theta Kappa Phi owes its existence and its firm foundations."

While Msgr. McGarvey's deep desire for this group to succeed saw them through turbulent times, at one point his common sense and experience could not supply the necessary information to compose the solemn ritual for this group.

This task was turned over to Rev. Michael Chapman, a former Episcopal priest and member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. The ritual that Fr. Chapman wrote is basically the same one that is in use today.

After two years of struggle, in 1921, Lehigh University finally gave authorization to the club to operate as a fraternity. Under pressure from authorities, though, the constitutional clause requiring members to be Roman Catholic was dropped. In spite of this, the group continued to be known as the Catholic Fraternity.

On March 22, 1922, Theta Kappa Phi became a national fraternity when it amalgamated with Kappa Theta, a local fraternity at Penn State. Kappa Theta had been founded two years earlier by a group of 22 students who were dissatisfied with the existing Catholic fraternity on campus--the Gamma chapter of Phi Kappa.

Theta Kappa Phi grew rapidly. There were eight chapters by 1925, and during this time the Fraternity started to publish an alumni magazine, The Sun, to keep alumni abreast of Fraternity news.

And so the scene was set for the two national organizations, formed out of adversity and faith in ideals, to come together. The elements had been formed, they just waited for the catalyst to spark the reaction.

Depression and War

The Great Depression hit the United States, bringing the prosperity of the 1920s to a halt. The Depression had a profound effect on college enrollment and consequently fraternity membership.

Chapters from both organizations closed their doors during those hard times. Even the Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa fell victim.

The Depression ended with the beginning of the Second World War, and, as with the First World War, young men were called into the service of their country.

During those times, both organizations suffered, with many of the chapters dormant or stagnant. William Zeuger (Penn State '32) kept the Phi Kappa national offices going during the war. He was helped by then chapter consultant and future president of the board, Charlie Meyers, Jr. (Cincinnati '39).

Fr. Edward Weisenberg, S.J. (Kansas State, A'), kept the mid of Phi Kappa alive during the Depression and war, traveling extensively. It is Fr. Weisenberg who, during the 1950s, was responsible for the West Coast expansion of the Fraternity.

The Depression and war had just as profound an effect on Theta Kappa Phi. To the rescue came Edward Kirchner (Ohio State, '35). During the Depression it was Kirchner who traveled around the country on a shoestring budget revitalizing and starting chapters during one of the most difficult times in fraternity history.

In 1939 Theta Kappa Phi hosted the world congress of Pax Romano, an international movement of Catholic students. As students gathered from around the world, Hitler invaded Poland, effectively cutting off many of the participants from their homes. Pax Romano, facing a crisis, found assistance in Theta Kappa Phi as the movement set up their international offices in the United States.

During the war and until he was drafted, Kirchner, along with George Uihlein (WPI, '44), then an undergraduate, ran the national offices from offices next door to Pax Romano at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Later, during the war, the offices were moved to the Worchester Polytechnic Institute chapter house. Even though only three chapters barely stayed open during the war, Theta Kappa Phi adapted.

Even the design of the badge was affected by the war. Since there was a shortage of pearls, the badge took on a new design without pearls. It was that pin that eventually became the neophyte badge.

Out of the ashes came the phoenix of two stronger organizations. During the 1950s, Phi Kappa exploded as young men returned from the war to enter college. The national board set up the Phi Kappa Real Estate Holding Company.

The Phi Kappa Foundation was also set up. Paul Galvin, a charter member of the Beta chapter of Phi Kappa, donated $20,000 worth of Motorola stock, the company he founded. Phi Kappa matched that donation, giving the Foundation a firm financial base.

The time was so ripe for fraternity growth that by the time of the merger Phi Kappa had 39 chapters and 11,200 members. Theta Kappa Phi grew in the fertile environment of the 1950s also. By 1959 it had grown to 26 chapters with 7,800 members.

The Courtship

The actual courtship of the two organizations spanned four decades with overtures by each fraternity toward the other coming at different times. The first formal step toward amalgamation came when a joint committee met after a series of correspondence between leaders of the two nationals. Since dialogue dated back to 1933, prudence dictated that the steps be taken.

They met for the first time on January 16, 1938, recommending that the whole idea should be looked into further. They acknowledged that the merger was feasible, but that many details still needed to be worked out.

The two groups' positive but guarded stance gave impetus to the amalgamation idea. There would still be obstacles, but at least they agreed to agree. At the time of the merger there existed two very different organizations, but it seemed as if they were to be forced by fate and their common vision to inexorably become one.

The Merger

For a marriage to work certain things are essential. Understanding, communication, respect, and sharing are among them.

Through their long courtship, Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi developed the groundwork of their relationship that, over time, developed the essentials for a permanent and true marriage.

Over the years, the lines of communication became clearer and each organization came to the realization that they would have to share part of their identity for a successful union.

At the time of the merger, each group had developed a respect for the other's strengths and weaknesses. Phi Kappa was the larger of the two organizations. It had a sizable net worth with its Real Estate Holding Company and its Foundation. It had more members and chapters on more prestigious campuses.

Theta Kappa Phi, on the other hand, matched Phi Kappa's size and wealth with skill, better organization and youthful enthusiasm.

While talks had commenced before World War II, the climate had changed. As the fraternities expanded and recovered from the war, it soon became obvious that a union at the earliest date would be most beneficial. During the 1950s an intense rivalry had grown up between the two fraternities as they began competing for the same men on the campuses where they both looked to expand.

Forces outside the fraternity world also had a profound effect on the amalgamation process. Movements within the Catholic Church, as well as shifting opinions in society, dictated that the two fraternities display a united rather than divided front.

So, compelled by forces too complex to describe in detail, Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi argued, bartered and fought through their courtship. That it took 25 years was a testament to their honor. Neither one of the groups entered into the marriage hastily.

Theta Kappa Phi's 1955 National Convention authorized its national counsel to begin full-fledged negotiations with Phi Kappa. The same authorization had already been given to the Phi Kappa national counsel.

Negotiations lasted three years, blazing a trail that would probably never be walked again. Two fraternities had never, nor would they ever, be able to accomplish such a true union in the interfratetnity world.

They developed a "package deal." Each group contributed their strongest assets, essentially losing none of their identity in the process.

The first breakthrough came when a name was decided upon. It was a hybrid of the two names--Phi Kappa Theta.

Over time, further agreement was reached concerning the makeup of the badge, pledge pin, coat of arms, constitution, ritual, colors, and national fraternity administration.

The base of the new badge was the Phi Kappa pin with a smaller version of the Theta Kappa Phi badge superimposed over the top. The coat of arms was a split down the middle of the principal emblems of each.

Even though the negotiations were in the spirit of 50/50, it was sometimes grudgingly admitted that one or the other had a superior product. The Phi Kappa constitution was accepted as a working document, and the Theta Kappa Phi ritual was accepted almost entirely, except for a reversal of tableaux.

Two national offices were setup. The one in Worcester, Massachusetts was run by George Uihlein and was in charge of undergraduate affairs. The Cincinnati office, to be run by Frank Chinery (Kansas '16), administered alumni affairs. It was decided that the new board would consist of eight members from each of the two fraternities.

The details of a national color scheme were even an interesting problem. Phi Kappa wanted purple, while Theta Kappa Phi wanted red. It was finally decided that a new color would be the same hue as that of a Cardinal's robe. It would be called "cardinal purple" and it would be made up of two parts red and one part violet.

Beyond the negotiations, there were other problems, such as chartering, real estate legalities and the establishment of new trademarks.

Even bigger obstacles had to be overcome before ratification. On the four campuses where the two fraternities coexisted--the University of Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State and the University of Missouri--there were 10 houses owned between the two organizations. Decisions had to be made over which houses to use and what to do with the proceeds from the sales of the others.

It was decided that April 29, 1959, would be Charter Day of the fraternal union. Instead of replacing the chapters' charters, though, they would be given transitional documents to supplement their original charters.

Finally, in September of 1958, the conventions of both fraternities met on the campus of Ohio State University. The Phi Kap members passed the motion of amalgamation quickly.

At the Theta Kappa Phi convention the debate was more heated. A day of debate stretched to the next as some chapters threatened to pull out of the national fraternity if the merger took place.

Emotions ran high as the inevitable vote approached. Sensing a turning point, Theta Kappa Phi President Frank Flick (Illinois '27) called a luncheon recess. When the convention reconvened with the last of the politicking done, a vote was taken. By a close margin the vote was successful, giving Theta Kappa Phi's consent to the marriage.

On April 29th of the next year, enormous celebrations were held all over the country. They involved alumni and undergraduates alike as the dawn broke on a new age in fraternity existence.

Pierre Lavedan (MIT '20), the last Phi Kappa president, was elected to the position of the first Phi Kappa Theta president. Flick, the former Theta Kappa Phi president, was elected as chairman of the 16-man board.

The 1960s

While the existing union had been successful, an intense rivalry still existed, forcing the new president to walk a fine line during his term. A new board was elected in 1969 that reflected the new brotherhood, although most of the rivalry that had existed had been settled before then.

In 1965 the Fraternity hired its first full-time executive director. Joe Janca (Houston '57) took over the task of administering the Fraternity on a day to day basis.

The post-merger days were also a time for expansion. Ed Kirchner brought Phi Kappa Theta's message to campuses all over the United States and points beyond as Expansion Director. The program was financed through the generosity of Chairman of the Board Frank Flick.

During the program, 25 chapters were chartered. It was during this time that Phi Kappa Theta became an international Fraternity as chapters were chartered at Loyola of Montreal and St. Mary's in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

But it was in the mid to late 1960 that Phi Kappa Theta faced the most difficult decision of its young, joint existence. Forces in the United States and the Catholic Church dictated that the Fraternity look at its roots and decide what its future would be.

The Catholic Church's Vatican II sparked an ecumenical movement stressing less public activity and more personal reflection. The movement also began expanding the Church's relationship with other Christian religions.

At the same time in the United States, federal aid to colleges was increasing and the civil rights movement was sweeping away decades of racial, religious and ethnic discrimination.

In 1965, the idea that the Fraternity should open its doors to men of all faiths was discussed. Phi Kappa Theta, which was born out of discrimination and the commonality of religious belief, was faced with a changing environment where those things seemed less important.

As chapters went ahead and admitted non-Catholics, by 1969 the question was moot. At that year's convention, the Catholic clause was dropped from the national constitution. From then on membership would be open to any young man, regardless of his religious persuasion, as long as he could understand and agree to accept the Fraternity's religious heritage.

The 1970s

This decade was one of consolidation and retrenchment. Antiestablishment attitudes because of the Vietnam War, the birth of the "Me Generation," and the gain in popularity of marijuana and the stress it placed on the relationships within the chapters, caused fraternity membership to drop. Some of Phi Kappa Theta's newest chapters folded because of inadequate alumni support. The national Fraternity's budget was cut and consequently chapter services were also.

Robert Wilcox (Georgia '65) took over for Joe Janca upon his retirement in 1970. It was he who, along with Fr. Raymond Favret (Catholic Universiry 'A), who had served as Treasurer, President and Chairman of the Board during his terms, managed to see the Fraternity through its worst crisis since World War II.

The 1970s did see a revitalization of the Phi Kappa Theta National Foundation under Greg Stein (CCNY '70). It started a scholarship program and began a partial funding of regional management schools as well as other national Fraternity educational programs.

In 1979, after 12 years of service as a chapter consultant and executive director, Bob Wilcox retired. He was replaced by Phi Kappa Theta's third full-time executive director, Kirk Thomas (Iowa State '76).

The 1980s

The 1980s were a period of steady growth in the number of Phi Kappa Theta members, chapters, active alumni and chapter services. The '80s also saw the 1985 relocation of the National Fraternity's Executive Offices from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Indianapolis, Indiana -- the "Greek Letter Capital of the World." This move not only placed Phi Kappa Theta in the heart of the country, but also set the stage for more frequent service to chapters and alumni groups.

With the move to Indianapolis, and the corresponding resignation of Kirk Thomas, the Fraternity hired its fourth full-time executive director, John Bruno (Michigan State '69). Afrer spending a year helping the Fraternity establish administrative operations in our new home town,

John decided to move on to other career opportunities, setting the stage for Phi Kappa Theta's fifth executive director, Doug Dilling (Kansas State '84).

The decide witnessed the return of the National Leadership Conference, which provided a biennial opportunity (in the "off "-convention years) for our undergraduate and alumni leadership to come together for a weekend of education and development. With conferences in 1984, 1986, 1988, and continuing into the '90s, the event has grown to become eagerly anticipated, and has proven to be successful at helping the Fraternity and Foundation to achieve their missions.

In the latter 1980s, the fraternity industry began to focus its attention on the quality of the experience being gained from its undergraduate membership. Terms such as "liability" became increasingly familiar. Resultantly, Phi Kappa Theta, like many fraternities, made changes such as eliminating women's auxiliary groups (a.k.a. "Little Sisters"). It was also at this time that Phi Kappa Theta eliminated the traditionally degrading term of "pledge" and replaced it with a more respectable title of "associate member" to describe our newest members.

The highlight of the '80s, of course, was the celebration of Phi Kappa Theta's 100th anniversary. The Centennial Celebration actually kicked off in 1988 at the National Leadership Conference hosted by our cofounding chapter at Lehigh University. The spring of 1989 saw several successful regional celebrations, all serving as a prelude to the main event, the 1989 Centennial Convention in Providence, Rhode Island. The cornerstone of the Convention was a very special ceremony conducted in Hope Hall, the birthplace of Phi Kappa Theta in 1889.

The 1990s

As we begin our second century, the '90s have served as a turning point for many fraternities. The decade has been marked with declining memberships and increasing questions as to the future vitality of fraternities. Perhaps most significant is the fashion in which all fraternities are bonding together for the sake of the Greek system as a whole.

For Phi Kappa Theta, the early '90s saw a change in administrative leadership as Doug Dilling resigned as executive director in 1992 after seven years of service in that post. Succeeding Doug as the Fraternity's sixth full-time executive director is Mark McSweeney (Northern Illinois '88).

The leadership of the Fraternity has boldly accepted the challenges that lie ahead for Phi Kappa Theta and our peers. While one cannot forecast the future with 100% certainty, the decade of the '90s will likely be remembered for fraternities' return to their roots; to the ideals upon which all were founded. The concept of "fraternity" is, indeed, still needed today --perhaps today more than ever. And Phi Kappa Theta is prepared to answer that call

It is hard to know exactly what James Gillrain and August Concilio envisioned for Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi. However, one thing is for certain; they appreciated that this Fraternity would be far more than simply a four-year institution merely intended to pass the time during one's collegiate days. They knew they were making a commitment that would bond them for the rest of their lives. We owe it to them, and to the Phi Kaps to come 100 years from now, to keep the vision alive and the Fraternity honored.

History is for us to learn. The future is for us to make. What these pages say in the decades to come is for all of us entrusted with the legacy of Phi Kappa Theta to determine.

From the hallowed halls of Hope College at Brown University, to the Newman Club at Lehigh, to the more than 50 chapter rooms across the country today, the vision of a great Fraternity lives on. May we all continue to "Give, Expecting Nothing Thereof," and remember that Phi Kappa Theta is for life.

Recent Awards

2009-2010
National Awards:

Leadership Development Award, Fraternal Development Excellence Award

2007-08
National Awards:

Founder's Cup Recipient, Gold Chapter, John F. Kennedy Award

Greek Affairs:

Gold Division- Outstanding Recruitment Programming, Silver Division- Outstanding Scholarship Programming and Outstanding Risk Management Programming, Bronze Division- Outstanding Alumni Relations Programming

2006-07
National Awards:

Gold Chapter, Social Action Award

2005-06
National Awards:

Founder's Cup Recipient, Gold Chapter, Social Action Award

2004-05
National Awards:

Founder's Cup Recipient, Gold Chapter