The story of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity begins at New York University…
The story of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity begins at New York University. After the passage of the Certified Public Accountants Act of 1896 in New York State, an increasingly urgent demand arose for adequate education in all branches of higher accountancy. An important calling known as the profession of administration also developed. To meet this need for higher commercial education and a college of accountancy, the Council of New York University decided to establish a school on a broad basis of advanced instruction in political economy, accounting, and commercial law.
On July 28, 1900, Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, the chancellor of New York University, authorized the opening of the new evening School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance on the same basis as the seven other traditional schools and colleges of the university. The Financial Record for Sept. 12 asserted, “the new school raises accounting from an avocation to a profession and places the accountant on the same plane as the lawyer and the physician.” The school’s establishment on Oct. 2 could be traced to the forceful insistence of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants for university instruction in the sciences connected to practical life. The Oct. 13 issue of the Post (New York) indicated that the setting up of this school is “generally regarded as one of the most significant signs of the times … It is recognized that a specialized higher education … is inevitable, because more and more demanded.”
The official announcement of the School of Commerce stated it was developed “to elevate the standards of business education and to furnish a complete and thorough course of instruction in the higher professional accountancy.” At first, there was a roster of 62 matriculates. The study extended over a two-year period with classes held from 8-9 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. Monday through Friday for eight months per year. At the start, it was uncertain whether a university degree would accompany the diploma offered by the school. The School of Commerce at New York University became the first to offer a degree in night school in business.
Prime movers behind the school included Charles Waldo Haskins, senior member of Haskins & Sells and president of the State Society of Certified Public Accountants; Leon Brummer, secretary of the society; and Dr. Charles Ezra Sprague, president of the Union Dime Savings Bank. All three men joined the faculty of the school. Haskins was appointed its first dean, but he lived only long enough to see the institution fairly well established on the road to success. In the beginning, the school was burdened with the various problems of organization. The 14-member faculty offered 14 courses to enrolled students. Proper college textbooks as we know today had not yet been written.
In fall 1902 after the university had awarded the first of the new business degrees, a stronger basis for instruction was introduced, more faculty members were added, and the curriculum was enlarged and reorganized. The group entered in 1902 and was the first three-year class working toward a bachelor’s degree in commercial science. At the time, all students took the same subjects. The first year had demonstrated the need for a strong administrator to concentrate his full time and energy on the development of the school. Joseph French Johnson was selected for the position. He had previously been a professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for eight years. In 1901, he accepted the position of secretary of the faculty at the NYU School. In 1903, he became its second dean and professor of political economy and finance. At this critical time, some members of the class of 1905 came forward to reassure the new dean they had complete faith in his policies, and they would, in every way possible, endeavor to promote the success of the school and work to make the new degree respected and valued.
These same eager, serious-minded students later became the founders and the first elected members of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. From the start, the group had firm support from the dean. In addition, Cleveland F. Bacon, professor of law at the School of Commerce, acted as the group’s attorney and legal advisor. The students occupied the same seats in class five nights per week in the eighth-floor classrooms of the new University Building on Washington Square. Since they all worked by day and had school work too, they had little time for any social activities. The early members managed to get together on Friday nights but spent most of their time talking about school. The four met each night after classes to take advantage of the quietness of lower Broadway to walk 25 minutes south to City Hall and then across the Brooklyn Bridge to their homes. They soon were widely heralded as the Brooklyn Four. Their names were George L. Bergen, Howard M. Jefferson, Nathan Lane Jr., and Frederic R. Leach.
But too little has been said and not enough generally known about two other outstanding men of the class of 1905 who likewise exercised and talked over their various problems while walking from class but in the opposite direction, north toward midtown Manhattan. They were Robert S. Douglas and Daniel V. Duff.
Between the second and first year of school, Frederic R. Leach suggested the organization of a fraternity, which all the men approved. For some time, Leach and the other members of the Brooklyn Four (Lane, Bergen, and Jefferson) mulled over the idea of fraternity. In winter 1903, much further work was accomplished. In the beginning, several informal meetings of those students who were the founders of Alpha Kappa Psi were conducted in conjunction with banquets held at various hotels in Manhattan. By late April, plans had assumed a definite shape. At the close of the academic year, a date was set for a meeting in the Hotel St. Denis.
On June 9, 1904, Douglas, Duff, Lane, Leach, Bergen, Jefferson, Irving L. Camp, Herbert M. Wright and Morris S. Rachmil met at this hotel. All were strongly in favor of forming a fraternity, and they suggested many points they thought worthy of being incorporated into a constitution. The men realized that the BCS degree then was of relatively little or no commercial value in the community. They firmly believed, however, that it could hold as much significance as the CPA and that this change could be accomplished through the united efforts of men of strong character from the school. They were convinced that higher education for businessmen was a vital need in America, and they were willing to dedicate themselves to encouraging such college training.
The group appointed the Brooklyn Four in charge of drafting an acceptable constitution to be presented at the next gathering. After agreeing to meet on an excursion trip during the summer, they parted. The committee conferred several more times, incorporating their ideas into a tentative constitution, which they presented at a meeting held on July 16, 1904, in Sea Cliff, Long Island. The traveled there by steamboat, but due to vacations and other unforeseen events, only five of the men were present: Douglas, Lane, Rachmil, Leach, and Bergen. The constitution was read, and new plans were also suggested and considered.
Nothing more was accomplished until after school reopened in the fall. The plan of organization, though, was still quite alive. On Oct. 5, 1904, the charter members met in the Assembly Room, 32 Waverly Place, with all ten present. They decided to set up a professional fraternity at once along the lines of the constitution, which had been presented by the Brooklyn Four Committee. They also decided to choose a president, secretary, and treasurer, and these officers would assume similar positions under the constitution when it was finally adopted. On written ballots, Douglas was elected president; Jefferson, secretary; Lane, treasurer; Tremaine, vice president; and Rachmil, financial secretary, a choice made unanimous by acclamation. A committee of three, Rachmil, Tremaine, and Camp, was appointed to study the constitution draft, criticize and revise it, and report recommendations as soon as possible. This marked the founding date of the fraternity on Oct. 5, 1904.
A meeting was called on Oct. 21 when this committee presented a commendable report and reviewed the constitution and bylaws presented in it, clause-by-clause. With only slight alterations, this first constitution was accepted. Discussion as to dues and initiation fees followed. Annual dues were set at $1, but a decision on initiations was postponed. Lane, Leach, and Bergen were then asked to study the eligibility and desirability of admitting men from the junior class. On Nov. 11, the committee selected five men as suitable for election from the juniors: Paul H. Hudson, Robert Meyer, George W. Myer, Jr., William B. S. Winans, and Walter S. Witte. Fifteen members were on hand at a meeting one week later, and a report of the Membership Committee recommended E. C. Smith and Robert C. Jeffrey, both of whom were unanimously elected to membership. A committee composed of Jefferson and Rachmil was appointed to promptly compose and post a notice on the bulletin board revealing the organization of the fraternity. The committee began work at once but decided to ask for the official sanction of the chancellor of New York University before posting such a note. The two men sent this letter to the chancellor on Saturday morning, accompanied by a statement from Dean Johnson:
New York, November 18, 1904
Dr. Henry M. MacCracken
New York University
University Heights, NY
The senior class of the School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance have organized a Greek-letter fraternity to be called Phi Psi Kappa. “The object of this fraternity shall be to further the individual welfare of its members, to foster scientific research in the fields of commerce, accounts and finance, to educate the public to demand and appreciate higher ideals in these walks of life, and to promote and advance in our great institutions of learning courses leading to the degrees in commercial sciences.” This fraternity is founded in memory of Charles Waldo Haskins, and this chapter is to be known as the “Charles Waldo Haskins Chapter of the Phi Psi Kappa Fraternity of the School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance of New York University.”
We are especially desirous of having only the very best men in this School of Commerce as members of this fraternity, and have arranged in pursuance therewith to admit only those whose intention it is to graduate, and have passed their first-year examinations successfully, and in addition thereto have at least twenty-four of the requisite Regents’ counts or their equivalent.
We hope in some measure to be able to give value to the degree of BCS by reason of our united efforts, and respectfully request that you give us your official sanction at as early a date as possible in order that we may feel fully organized before Thanksgiving Eve, when we are to have our first annual banquet and installation of officers.
Signed: H. M. Jefferson
The following letter was received from the chancellor in reply:
November 21, 1904
Dean Joseph French Johnson
32 Waverly Place
New York, NY
Accept my thanks for your letter respecting the new fraternity in your school. I see no objection to the faculty approving of this organization. I return the paper since it ought to go on record upon the minutes of the faculty.
- M. MacCracken
There was great satisfaction as a result of the permission extended to the fraternity.
At the Nov. 22, 1904 meeting, the secretary was ordered to cast one ballot ratifying the election of Douglas, president; Tremaine, vice president; Jefferson, recording and corresponding secretary; Rachmil, financial secretary; and Lane, treasurer. The Membership Committee recommended juniors Frederick H. Clark and Harry A. Hopf, and both were unanimously elected members. The first Annual Banquet was held in the College Room of the Arena, 31st Street near Broadway, on Nov. 23. with 18 members in attendance.
The festivities began with the singing of “The Violet” with everyone standing. The members sang college songs between courses. After the meal, Douglas asked Jefferson to recount portions of the fraternity’s history. The Constitution and Bylaws were read aloud by Rachmil and then discussed. Certain revisions were suggested, but were left for more scrutiny at another meeting. Tremaine was asked to present ideas for a suitable and dignified initiation, so a Committee on Ritual and Initiation composed of Tremaine, Rachmil, and Hudson was appointed. An application to incorporate was filed, but another fraternity with a similar name had already been granted a charter, so the petition was rejected by the State of New York. A committee of Hopf, Leach, Tremaine, Rachimil, and Jefferson was chosen to identify a new name and ready the organization for the process of incorporation.
On behalf of the newer members, Hudson thanked the charter members for the honor shown in allowing juniors into the fraternity. He was grateful for the confidence that had been expressed, but he was also mindful of the heavy responsibilities assumed by accepting the invitation to join. He asserted that the juniors would have entrusted to them, to an extent, the selection of suitable candidates from the freshman class. The greatest discretion would have to be exercised in excluding from membership any who failed to appreciate the high ideals of Alpha Kappa Psi.
On Jan. 10, 1905, a meeting was held at which Harry Hopf reported the organization’s progress on identifying a new name. He had conferred with Dean Johnson and, following the dean’s suggestion, made this motion: “In view of the fact that no name has heretofore appeared in the constitution as the name of the fraternity, I move that the name Alpha Kappa Psi be adopted as the name of the society.” The motion passed. The name chosen was symbolic due to the A, the K, and the Psi being the first letters of three Greek words which mean “I honor pure accounts” or “I honor accounts which exactly balance.” Progress was reported in setting up a ritual and an initiation procedure. The notice submitted by Rachmil and signed by Jefferson was posted on the bulletin board on Jan. 19, 1905, stating that the fraternity had been officially sanctioned by the chancellor, the dean, and faculty of the school. On the same evening at midnight, the unexpected extinguishing of the lights by the landlord caused a groping exit for all without the formality of an adjournment.
A new committee was appointed on Feb. 9, 1905, consisting of Hopf, Tremaine, Jefferson, Jeffery, and Meyer, for revision of the Constitution and Bylaws to be completed in one month. On March 11, a special banquet and meeting was held at the Arena with the goal of receiving the report of the Constitution Committee. Hopf first read the Constitution and Bylaws of the fraternity and then those of the Alpha Chapter. The first constitution was so carefully constructed that, despite thorough scrutiny, only a minor revision was needed; a substitution of “or” for “and.” When Hopf read the constitution of the Alpha Chapter, it too was accepted after only a few changes. The secretary was instructed to cast one ballot for the present officers to elect them officers in Alpha Kappa Psi. Then, two administrative groups were to direct the affairs of the fraternity. A body of administrators was provided, consisting of the president, vice president, financial secretary, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, and treasurer, to hold office for one year.
The second body, the Board of Governors, was made up of the president as officiating chairman, the vice president, the three secretaries, treasurer, and six other members, three of whom were to be seniors chosen at annual elections. The board was to investigate and report on applications for membership, to have a committee of its members audit the accounts of all officers once yearly, to report thereon, and to designate a depository for fraternity funds and any possible investments.
This constitution radically altered the concept of the government of the fraternity. The emphasis shifted from the arrangement and supervision of the affairs of one chapter of a local fraternity to a dual provision for the regulation of local affairs together with central control and collective action in the interest of potential brother chapters of Alpha Kappa Psi.
To carry out this new double function, two constitutions were accepted at the March 11 dinner; one for the general or national fraternity (shortly to become a membership corporation) and a second for the Alpha Chapter, chartered in turn by the national group. Now, the fraternity and the Alpha Chapter each had its own laws and officers. Navy blue and gold were adopted as the official fraternity colors, chosen by Paul Hudson. Years later, Jefferson explained the significance of these colors. Blue stands for the ocean over which the commerce of the world passes, and gold is the basis for the financing of the trade. At a special meeting on March 17, a pin with the design of a Phoenician galley outlined on a Greek coin with the letters AKY on the sail was selected as the official emblem of the group. The ship, representing the earliest vessels that sailed the seas far from home, is set upon a Greek coin, one of the earliest pieces of money known in the world.
On March 20, 1905, a formal application was made to the State of New York for a charter of incorporation, this time for Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. It was then that Leach suggested to the juniors that they also sign the petition to become charter members. Paul Hudson, for the class, generously declined the offer.
The document, in the handwriting of Leach, was signed by nine of the ten founders: Robert S. Douglas, Howard M. Jefferson, Daniel V. Duff, Irving L. Camp, George L. Bergen, Nathan Lane, Jr., Morris S. Rachmil , Herbert M. Wright and Frederic R. Leach. William O. Tremaine’s signature is missing from the application, but he is still considered one of the ten founders. The application was approved, and the charter of incorporation was officially issued to Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity on May 20, 1905. At the graduation exercises at New York University on June 8, 1905, five of the ten founders received special academic recognition. Camp and Douglas graduated summa cum laude; Leach, magna cum laude; and Bergen and Jefferson, cum laude.
Now the fraternity needed to set up regularly scheduled meetings, particularly professional business get-togethers. A program of activities was mapped out, affording members opportunities to present their favorite research projects. However, without a home, the fraternity was handicapped and forced to hold some outdoor gatherings. On July 29, 1905, a special meeting occurred at Rockaway Park, New York, where 15 members met at the beach. At 7 p.m., the business session was called to order. Afterward, the group went to the Park Inn for dinner and then back to the beach. Alpha had been chartered nine weeks earlier; the semester had closed almost at once, and, though many difficult problems had been solved, no suitable home for the fraternity had yet been found. They had no meeting place in the school where they could be private, so during the week, they used a carpenter’s workroom to which they had found a back door. It was there that the new men were interviewed and introduced.
A committee of three, with George W. Myer, Jr. as chairman, was appointed to secure a meeting room near the School of Commerce. An outdoor meeting was held on Sept. 16, 1905, at Midland Beach, Staten Island, when two more men, Orrin R. Judd and Howard B. Cook, were admitted into membership. Only nine brothers were in attendance, one short of a quorum. In fall 1905, it was arranged that the chapter could meet at 28 E. 11th St. in the room where Myer, the committee chairman, lived at a weekly rental of $1. A meeting place was finally found. With the exception of the first meetings, held in conjunction with banquets or at swimming parties on Sunday afternoons, all business sessions for many years were held on Saturdays, usually at 8 p.m. A night gathering on Oct. 6 elected John Koch, Charles MacDonald and F. H. Smith as members. Later that month, a committee was appointed to work for the establishment of the MCS degree in the School of Commerce. In November, Tremaine reported difficulty in framing a suitable ritual, which, he said, might take a year to complete.
Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity’s second annual Convention was held on Nov. 17, 1905, in New York. Howard M. Jefferson presented to the brotherhood a detailed report on the status of commercial education in the United States, using tables and charts taken from various reference sources.
From 1905 to 1908, the fraternity did not expand territorially, but it did internally. It was this slow growth, clear-sightedness, keen judgment and careful selection of new members that laid the firm foundation upon which the organization was to grow. Interest was maintained between members by social gatherings, dinners, monthly professional meetings and camp life. The get-togethers cemented the friendships that already bound them.
On Jan. 13, 1906, Leach presided at the annual banquet at the Hotel Victoria, with 32 members present. The Committee on Ritual was discharged with thanks, and a new group was appointed, which consisted of Hopf as chairman, Tremaine, Hudson, Koch, Hug, and Keep. In May, the chapter rented a cottage on Lake Mohegan, near Peekskill, New York, for three months at $15 per month. Hopf reported that he hoped to have a ritual ready by the fall. When the class of 1906 graduated in June, the chapter had to move. The June 13 meeting was at the home of Clare L. Rotzel. There, a committee of five was appointed to seek a new location for the new semester. Edward C. Smith, chairman of the group, proposed the rental of two rooms and bath on the ground floor rear of the Benedict, 80 Washington Square East, at $31.25 per month. This was approved in October 1906, and the chapter remained there for four years.
At the third annual Convention and banquet on Nov. 17, 1906, at the Hotel Victoria, the Executive Committee of Duff and Hopf was authorized to take appropriate steps for the organization and chartering of a second chapter. On Dec. 1, an amendment to the Alpha Chapter’s constitution was adopted, which set up three standing committees: Membership, House, and Auditing.
In June 1907, Howard Jefferson received the first MCS degree conferred by New York University. That summer, a camp located between Edgemere and Arverne, Long Island, was leased for chapter use, and a total of 126 people participated in this seasonal activity. The same camp was used in 1908 and again in 1909, but a violent storm on Aug. 16-17 brought the 1909 season to an abrupt close.
On Aug. 11, 1907, Mr. and Mrs. John Lane, Sr. invited the fellow members of Nathan Lane, Jr. to their home in Woodmere, Long Island. Outdoor games took up the afternoon, followed by a special meeting to consider housing. As a result, the chapter leased two additional rooms at the Benedict for $51.50 per month.
On Nov. 16, Alpha had its annual banquet and fourth Convention at Healy’s Restaurant. On Dec. 7, Jefferson spoke of the practicality of issuing a journal for the fraternity. “The Alpha Diary,” edited by E. Marshall Kinsey, R. Franklin Horst, and Howard M. Jefferson with Daniel V. Duff as business manager, was published on Jan. 1, 1908. In the same month, Myer led a conference on accounting.
Leach had worked for the previous six months on a thorough revision of the accounting practices of the City of New York. On June 20, a special meeting was called to determine whether the constitution should be amended to permit the establishment of chapters of the fraternity in universities that did not grant a degree for the completion of a commercial course, but the vote was against such a change. Later that year, Nov. 16, Bergen addressed the Alpha Chapter on “budget making,” a talk so popular that on request he gave it again the following two years.
The fifth Convention and banquet on Nov. 21, 1908, at Healy’s had 36 members present. In December, a new Constitutional Committee was appointed, made up of A.C. Upleger, Everett, Bergen, and Lane. Duff reported that “The Alpha Diary” was financially embarrassed but was in no way discouraged. He continued efforts to put the journal on a permanent basis.
Despite crowded conditions in the poorly ventilated rooms at the Benedict, when the lease expired on April 1, 1909, it was renewed for six months. In the same year, the sixth Convention and banquet was held Nov. 20 at the Hotel Victoria. The scheduled election of officers was postponed until Dec.4 because of the many activities at the banquet. No action was taken on letters received from the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania asking to establish chapters because neither institution gave the degree in commerce courses required by the constitution.
A petition was received in February 1910 from Phi Delta Kappa, a local fraternity at the University of Denver, for admission into Alpha Kappa Psi. Hopf undertook a special trip to that city, where he worked out a plan for the organization and chartering of this group. As a result, on March 19, 1910, Beta Chapter was installed. This expansion enabled Alpha Kappa Psi to practice a primary objective, to promote and advance in collegiate institutions courses leading to the bachelor’s degree in business administration. A welcome housing change came about when Alpha obtained its first chapter house on Oct. 24, 1910, at 113 Waverly Place, New York. It held a gala housewarming party on Nov. 12.
The seventh Convention on Nov. 19, 1910, was at the Alpha house. A. E. Hamilton, Beta, was elected vice president and was the first officer who was not a member of Alpha Chapter to be elected. There, the formation of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity House, Inc. was reported, and the yellow chrysanthemum was adopted as the official flower of the fraternity.
The provision in the general constitution for the extension of the fraternity to other campuses stipulated that any six students at an American university who were working for a degree in commercial science and had passed the first year of examinations could undertake to organize a chapter of the fraternity provided that they first applied to and secured approval from the Executive Committee. The efforts of Charles MacDonald and Harry Hopf in 1907 to establish a chapter at the School of Commerce, University of Pennsylvania, were unsuccessful because the fraternity’s requirements were not met. Likewise, in 1909, the application from the University of Illinois was rejected. A constitutional amendment was passed Feb. 19, 1910, allowing the Executive Committee, by unanimous vote, to grant to chapters in universities that did not fully comply with these rules the right to apply for membership in the national fraternity. It was, however, continued in the force as a rigid understanding that any addition to the chapter roll must tend to promote the success of the fraternity.
In October 1911, Roy C. Kemmerer spoke to the Alpha Chapter during his trip to the Pacific coast. The Executive Committee granted its third charter to Gamma Chapter, which was installed Nov. 4 at the School of Commerce, Northwestern University, Chicago. Though no degree in business was offered then by this school, it was specifically understood that this new chapter should undertake to bring about the granting of a degree similar to that of a bachelor’s in commercial science, then given by the University of Denver and New York University.
The Alpha Chapter house was the site of the eighth Convention, now called the National Convention, on Nov. 18, 1911. After business, the group dined at the Banquet Hall of the Broadway Central Hotel. In December, it was suggested that the “Diary” should be the main channel for all chapter information.
At an Executive Committee meeting Sept. 30, 1912, the Constitution was amended to have first, second and third vice presidents in place of one. The University of Pittsburgh was admitted as Delta Chapter on Oct. 29, a result achieved through the efforts of Eddy and Bacas, who had gone to Pittsburgh and had helped with the correspondence. These first four chapters formed a chain from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity had become national in fact as well as in name, yet for the 11 years after the founding of the fraternity, no national constitution was in place. The practice followed during this period was to allow each chapter to write its own constitution that was then studied to see that it did not violate any of the rules established by the general fraternity.
A determination was made to hold a Convention to plan for the future. On Nov. 16, 1912, the first National Convention and banquet to have in attendance delegates from two chapters other than Alpha gathered at the Alpha Chapter house. Gamma and Delta were there, but the Beta Chapter wrote that it was unable to send a delegate to the Convention. A change in the design of the fraternity pin was recommended. A resolution passed that the management of the “Diary” should be placed in the hands of the general fraternity. A banquet at Cavanaugh’s completed the evening. “The Diary,” Volume VI, Number 2, January 1913, was the last number under Alpha Chapter’s jurisdiction. This issue included pages which featured all four chapters. The February number, listed as Volume I, Number 1, had Prior Sinclair as editor. Thereafter, as other chapters came into the fraternity, the journal had a section on each. Some months later at the April 29, 1913 meeting of the Executive Committee, it was ruled that thereafter, general fraternity officers should be selected from various chapters rather than from Alpha only. Until 1913, the officers of Alpha Chapter were elected at the Annual Meeting in October and installed at the Annual Banquet in November.
In 1913, Hopf proposed June dates for future yearly elections of officers. The 10th National Convention on June 28, 1913, held in the Hotel La Salle, Chicago, was the first outside of New York City. Fifteen delegates from five chapters, including newly-chartered Epsilon, attended. The first non-Alpha member elected president was A. W. T. Ogilvie, Gamma. A new pin, as submitted by Gamma Chapter, was adopted.
An amendment to Article I of the Bylaws assigning one vote to each chapter at annual Conventions was passed, subject to later ratification by all of the chapters. An improved Ritual Committee, composed of the presidents of all the chapters, was appointed. The bylaws were changed to allow two days for Conventions. “The Alpha Diary” was renamed “The Diary of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity.” A committee was appointed to revise the constitution and bylaws.
The 11th National Convention, the first two-day gathering, occurred on June 26-27, 1914, at the Alpha Chapter house. Members discussed revising the ritual and the design of the pin. The unit rule of voting had been passed by all chapters. The Committee on Manual and Directory suggested an annual supplement to the “Diary” to include the history of the fraternity, officers of the general fraternity since it’s beginning, and a list of charter members of each chapter.
The 12th National Convention, the first held west of Mississippi River, was at the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, on June 25-26, 1915. The practice of having three vice presidents was abandoned in favor of one. A Committee was appointed to consider revision of the ritual. An official pledge button was adopted.
In late spring 1916, Schiffer appointed a Ritual Committee made up of Douglas, Jefferson, Lane, Duff, Hudson, Hopf, and Myer. The 13th National Convention on June 23-24, 1916, was at the City Club, Chicago. Discussions were held concerning the wisdom of having two-year terms for national officers.
The Creed of Alpha Kappa Psi was in the October 1916 “Diary.” The first Constitution was adopted and remained in force until 1921. “The Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi,” edited by Ralph L. Power from the Nu Chapter, was published in 1916.
In 1917, at the 14th National Convention on June 29-30 at the William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, nine chapters were represented. A new organizational plan set up four districts, each supervised by a district vice president. The Ritual Committee reported that work had begun, but that completion would take more time. The fraternity journal was renamed “The Alpha Kappa Psi Diary.”
With the onset of World War 1, Alpha Kappa Psi continued, but with problems. The “Diary” for October 1917 asserted of that year’s Convention that it “was held in one of the most critical years in the world’s history. That it was a crisis in the affairs of our country and the life of our fraternity was not for a moment forgotten.” Still, no chapter discontinued, and most groups held meetings despite difficulties. Publication of the “Diary” was suspended between May 1918 and May 1919, and the 1918 Convention was omitted.
The 15th National Convention on June 27-28. 1919, was held in the Shirley Hotel, Denver. The need for a handbook containing the ritual and a history of the fraternity was noted. The idea of having biennial, rather than triennial, Conventions was discussed, but no action ensued. The four district vice president officers were eliminated in favor of a national vice president.
The 16th National Convention was held in the Assembly Room of the Boston City Club on June 25-26, 1920. A fee of $50 for the issuance of charters was instituted. Biennial Conventions were again discussed, along with the election of national officers for two-year terms and employment of a permanent paid secretary. The office of master of rituals was established, and a new ritual was promised for the fall. Publication of an Alpha Kappa Psi handbook was discussed.
The 17th National Convention, held June 23-25, 1921, at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, Atlanta, was the first such meeting held in the South and also the first three-day Convention. Legislation providing for the establishment of alumni chapters in the fraternity appeared in Article Six of the Constitution and Statutes. The enabling articles stated “Ten (10) or more members in good standing, none of whom are active members of a collegiate chapter, may forward a petition to the grand president for the issue of a charter for such chapter … Upon ‘affirmative vote of three-fourths of the Executive Council such charter shall issue … Each alumni chapter shall be designated by the name of the city or town where located, and shall be assigned a number seriatim.” Two alumni chapters were chartered in 1921; the first in New York City and the second in Atlanta. The Constitution and Statutes were revised. The Executive Committee was renamed the Grand Executive Council, composed of the officers and one member from each district.
The 18th National Convention was held at the Sinton Hotel, Cincinnati on June 22-24, 1922. A new ritual, adopted by the Convention after minor changes, was submitted. A resolution was introduced thanking Rev. Ray Petty, New York, for his invaluable service rendered to the general fraternity in preparing this useful work. The new design of the coat of arms was altered slightly, and then formally adopted. A Convention fund was established to lessen transportation costs for college chapter delegates to attend Conventions. Grand President Kester suggested a move to biennial Conventions in the future.
At the 19th National Convention on June 28-30, 1923 at the Hotel McAlpin, New York, seven districts were created, and national Conventions were voted to occur biennially with district conferences in alternate years. The formerly separate offices of grand secretary-treasurer and editor of the Diary were combined and made appointive with Dwight F. Bedell, Zeta, chosen for the post. A central office of the fraternity was set up in Indianapolis led by the full-time secretary-treasurer. Alpha Kappa Psi’s “Its Aims and Ideals” was published in 1923. Seven district conferences were held, for the first time, in 1924.
The Radisson Hotel, Minneapolis, was the site of the 20th National Convention on June 19-22, 1925. The offices of grand justice, grand auditor and deputy councilor were instituted. Provision was made for a Grand Council consisting of the officers and district councilors, with an Executive Committee to handle routine matters and supervise the operation of the national headquarters. A revision of the Ritual, compiled by Ralph E. Kimball, Grand Master of Rituals, was published. “A Few Alpha Kappa Psi Songs,” edited by William H. Koenig, was printed in January 1925.
The 21st National Convention at the Palmer House, Chicago, was held June 22-25, 1927. The office of grand director of education and research was created. A new constitution, compiled by Grand Justice John B. Nicklas, was adopted. In April, the Directory of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, edited by the Grand Secretary-Treasurer Bedell, was issued. A second edition of “Songs of Alpha Kappa Psi” was published in June. In July 1927, Bedell resigned, and Dedaker was appointed grand secretary-treasurer until the vacancy could be filled.
On Jan. 16, 1928, John D. Sparks, Pi, was appointed grand secretary-treasurer and editor of the “Diary.” The Creed of Alpha Kappa Psi appeared again in the March 1928 “Diary.” The journal underwent improvements and enlargements during the year.
At the Silver Anniversary 22nd National Convention on June 19-22, 1929 at the Troutdale-in-the-Pines, Denver, the official gold badge was adopted. “The Diary of Alpha Kappa Psi” was made the official journal of the fraternity, alumni dues were instituted, and freshman pledging was authorized. In addition, annual efficiency ratings for college chapters were established and the election of district councilors at Conventions was provided.
The celebration of Founders’ Day was set for Oct. 5, and that of the anniversary of Alpha Kappa Psi’s incorporation for May 20. The Diary Endowment Fund, funded by Life Memberships, and the District Visitation Fund were established.
Chapter Anniversaries (100 Years)
4/10/1920 Oklahoma State University (Tau)*
4/10/1920 University of Missouri (Upsilon)
5/1/1920 University of Michigan (Phi)
5/22/1920 Columbia University (Chi)
5/29/1920 University of Kansas (Psi)
“The Pledge Training Manual,” 1st edition, was published in 1930, the same year in which official ritual robes were made available for all chapters.
The 23rd National Convention, July 2-5, 1931, at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina, was the first which had no host chapter. The official flower of the fraternity was changed from chrysanthemum to the yellow rose. A bronze and white gold medallion was adopted as the official design of the Alpha Kappa Psi Scholarship Award. The initiation fee was reduced to $15. A change was made in the design of the recognition pin from the coat of arms to a gold Phoenician galley. For the first time, the Court of Honor was presented at a Convention. It was recommended that a handbook be produced.
The first non-US chapter was installed in 1931. The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, was installed as the Beta Kappa Chapter, the 55th chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity.
The 24th National Convention was held in the Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago, on June 28-30, 1933. The Grand Council consisted of the grand president and the six district councilors. The grand vice president was to be elected by the Grand Council from the district councilors. A district conference fund was created. The district councilors were to be elected at district conferences. The office of division councilor, appointed by the district councilor, was created. The offices of grand master of rituals, grand auditor, grand justice, and grand director of education and research were abolished. The fraternity was redistricted, with six districts instead of seven. Triennial National Conventions and triennial district conferences were adopted. The title of grand secretary-treasurer was changed to executive secretary-treasurer. To reward meritorious service to the fraternity, the Alpha Kappa Psi Service Award was established. A general code was printed in the January 1934 Diary.
The first “Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi” was published as the March 1934 issue of the Diary, which printed the Creed on its inside front cover page. This had been created by Dr. D. Shaw Duncan, former three-term president of Alpha Kappa Psi, who had included four lines taken from Festus, a long, unrhymed religious poem by Philip James Bailey. All chapters were visited by district or division councilors. In 1934, 30 years after the founding of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, the fraternity had 57 college chapters, 14 alumni chapters, and a membership of approximately 10,000. On Dec. 1, “The Pledge Manual of Alpha Kappa Psi” was issued.
The 25th National Convention, Sept. 3-5, 1936, was held at Lake Wawasee, Indiana, with a detailed report in the November issue of the “Diary.” The coat of arms recognition button was adopted, as was an official fraternity ring. The charter fee for new chapters was reduced to $150.
In 1937, the Court of Honor, a pre-ritual ceremony for Alpha Kappa Psi chapters, was instituted. The AKPsi Alumni News, an annual bulletin, was issued in October. “The Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi,” 2nd edition, was published in November. Triennial district conferences were held in 1938.
The 26th National Convention, Sept. 5-7, 1939, at Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania, enacted legislation permitting chapters to initiate one honorary member per year without paying the national initiation fee. Members voted that the grand vice president should be elected by majority vote at national Conventions, assigning to him the duties of supervising extension activities and directing professional programs. They also voted to require student pledges to maintain the scholastic average needed for graduation at the school in which the chapter is located, and provided that Convention sites be chosen by preferential vote at district conferences.
The student loan fund was set up in 1940. “Alpha Kappa Psi, A Brief Outline of the Fraternity’s Development, Organization, Activities, and Membership” was printed as a supplement to the “Diary” in January 1941, 1947, 1948, 1950 and 1952. A new simplified accounting system was installed in all college chapters.
Milwaukee’s Schroeder Hotel was the site for the 27th National Convention, Sept. 3-5, 1942. Legislation established the requirement that chapters give standard examinations to all pledges. The Executive Committee and the Grand Council were granted extraordinary powers for the duration of the war to cope with emergencies. In 1943, a war status plan, adopted for college chapters that might become dormant during the conflict, provided for the appointment of a faculty member or an alumnus as a controller to retain records, rituals, and robes, and to have authority to reactivate the chapter when deemed possible. College chapters declined to 18 in number. In 1944, district conferences were postponed indefinitely. The return of students to the colleges began in 1945, but the National Convention and conferences were not held. “A Song Number,” the March 1945 issue of the Diary, was published.
At the 28th National Convention, Sept. 3-6, 1947, at the Biltmore Hotel, Atlanta, members voted to hold district conferences in each of the years between triennial Conventions. The Scholarship Award was changed from a medallion to a key that was awarded to seniors. Annual college membership dues were raised to $8, and alumni chapters were exempted from national dues. A special Handbook number, 3rd edition, made up the November 1948 issue of the Diary.
The 29th National Convention in Minneapolis on Sept. 5-9, 1950, set annual alumni chapter dues at $50 and increased the number of districts from six to nine. An alumni Convention and conference reserve was established. College membership dues were raised to $10, the initiation fee was increased to $20 and a monogram pin was adopted. The Constitution was amended to remove the requirement that members were required to be “Christian” and “of Caucasian race.”
The fraternity decided to incorporate the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation in the State of Illinois in 1951. In the same year, Alpha Kappa Psi became the first professional business fraternity to have its own headquarters building. The Directory of Business Personnel Available for Employment, published in 1952, was distributed to 2,500 business firms in the United States.
The Golden Anniversary 30th National Convention was in the Commodore Hotel, New York City, on Sept. 9-12, 1953. Three of the founders, Bergen, Lane, and Wright, were awarded special certificates acknowledging the fraternity’s great debt of gratitude to them. Awards were established for faculty members who have taught for 25 years or more, for recognition of civic service and achievement, and for service to colleges of business. The charter fee for alumni chapters was raised to $50. A new life membership button was authorized. The January issue of the “Diary” included “Careers in Business,” a series of 23 articles.
The 31st National Convention, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 1956, in Detroit, established the office of grand vice president-alumni to oversee alumni activities and authorized a subscription to Life Membership by student members at $15. The Grand Council was authorized, at its discretion, to transfer the student loan fund, accounting award, marketing award, and the award for service to higher education from the fraternity to the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. A new edition of the Ritual was published. “The Handbook,” 4th edition, was in the winter 1956 issue of the “Diary.” “Songs of Alpha Kappa Psi,” 4th edition, was published. An alumni chapter manual was issued in 1958.
In Seattle on Sept. 2-5, 1959, the 32nd National Convention was held. Legislation changed the title of Grand Council to the Board of Directors; grand president and grand vice president to national president and national vice president; district councilor to regional director; district conference to regional conference; division councilor to district director; and deputy councilor to chapter advisor. The initiation fee was raised to $25.
Redistricting of the fraternity was completed by July 1, 1961. The number of regions was increased to 12 and round-trip first-class air fare was adopted as the basis for reimbursement of chapter delegates in attendance at National Conventions. The alumni activity fund was established, and alumni chapters were authorized to initiate honorary members. On July 1, the student loan fund was transferred from the fraternity to the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation.
The 33rd National Convention at the Schroeder Hotel, Milwaukee, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 1962, empowered the national vice president to act as chairman and director of the expansion committee, responsible for the creation of new college chapters. College membership dues were increased to $14. “The Pledge Manual”, revised edition, was issued in 1963. “The Handbook,” 5th edition, was in the autumn issue of the “Diary.”
The 34th National Convention at the Hilton Hotel, Denver, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 1965, transferred the student loan fund from the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation to the national fraternity, increased Life Membership fees for students to $20 and for alumni to $35, and authorized the initiation of one faculty member each year without paying the national initiation fee. In 1965, the J. D. Sparks Fellows program was instituted. This was given to members for their outstanding service to the Convention.
The 35th National Convention on Aug. 21-24, 1968, at the Robert Meyer Motor Inn, Orlando, increased annual alumni chapter dues to $75 and allotted $.50 out of each $5 paid in national alumni dues to the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. On July 1, 1969, John D. Sparks, executive secretary and editor of the “Diary” since 1928, retired. Frank J. Brye was appointed his successor as executive secretary-treasurer.
The first Alpha Kappa Psi filmstrip, “Gateway to Success,” which illustrated historical scenes and chapter activities, was distributed in 1970. “The Alpha Kappa Psi Alumni Chapter Manual,” 4th edition, was issued. “The Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi,” 6th edition, edited by John D. Sparks, was published in January 1971.
The 36th National Convention on Aug. 23-26, 1971, was at the Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas. Legislation included a change from two vice presidents to three. It also separated the Southeast Region into two regions — the Southeast Region consisting of Florida and Georgia, and the Southern Region consisting of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. The title of executive secretary-treasurer was changed to executive director, and Frank J. Brye was appointed to serve in that capacity by the executive committee. Triennial Conventions were changed to biennial ones and national alumni dues were increased to $10.
On March 1, 1972, the Alpha Kappa Psi group life insurance program was instituted. In June, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibited sex discrimination in federally assisted educational programs and amended parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Professional fraternities were included in Title IX. The Ritual of Alpha Kappa Psi was issued in January 1973.
The 37th National Convention, Aug. 13-16, 1973, was in the Sheraton-Peabody Hotel, Memphis. South Carolina was moved from the Mideast Region to the Southeast Region. Life Memberships increased to $25 for student members and $50 for those out of school for more than one year. The spring-summer 1973 issue of the Alpha Kappa Psi Alumni News was distributed to alumni.
In December, a complaint was filed with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare against 13 colleges and universities that recognized chapters of a professional business fraternity. In 1973, the Fraternity Alliance for Inalienable Rights, a 17-member organization that included Alpha Kappa Psi, was formed to oppose Title IX as it applied to professional fraternities.
The 38th National Convention was in the Radisson South Hotel, Minneapolis, on Aug. 20-24, 1975. “The National Convention Song Book,” edited by Richard M. Slavett, was issued. An alumni activities handbook was published. In October, Alpha Kappa Psi initiated a fund drive to combat Title IX. A write-in campaign to attempt to sway legislators also begun. At the Convention, the committee on female membership moved that the fraternity should bar women, advocating a continuance of the struggle to secure exceptive legislation. Such a law was introduced in Congress in May, but it was defeated. The Convention voted the Board of Directors the authority to change Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution by deletion of the words “must be men and.” When it became apparent that exceptive legislation would not be approved, the board voted to admit women into the fraternity on Aug. 7, 1976.
The 39th National Convention was held in Atlanta on Aug. 17-21, 1977. Airfare reimbursement for delegates to Conventions was changed from round trip first class to round-trip coach fare. Annual alumni chapter dues were increased to $125. During this period, the fraternity initiated its 100,000th member.
The diamond jubilee 40th National Convention was held at the Biltmore Hotel, New York City, on Aug. 22-26, 1979. It was voted that one vice president should be designated vice president-alumni beginning in 1981. The finance committee recommended implementation of a standardized accounting system for college chapters, voted to increase semi-annual national college dues to $17.50 and increase the initiation fee to $30. The Regional and National Organization Committee requested that all college and alumni chapters establish permanent mailing addresses.
Chapter Anniversaries (50 Years)
4/4/1970 Point Park College (Theta Upsilon)*
5/3/1970 University of Southern Indiana (Theta Phi)
5/16/1970 University of West Georgia (Theta Chi)*
12/5/1970 University of Memphis (Theta Psi)*
12/5/1970 Pfeiffer College (Theta Omega)*
A revised Ritual was issued in April 1981.
The 41st National Convention was at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, Houston, on Aug. 19-23, 1981. Second and third presentations of the Distinguished Service Awards, bronze, and silver (second only for bronze), were established. It was recommended that new brothers should be informed as to the importance, purpose, aims, and ideals of alumni chapters. Annual dues for alumni chapters were set at no less than $150 nor more than $500. The Ritual of Alpha Kappa Psi, 5th edition, was published in 1982.
The 42nd National Convention was in the Book Cadillac Hotel, Detroit, on Aug. 23-27, 1983. Life Membership for student members and those out of school for less than a year was raised to $40, and for those members out of school for more than a year to $80. It was voted that the minimum pledge period should be five weeks, except for freshmen, whose pledge period was also to be three months unless the regional director saw fit to shorten it because of special local conditions. Twenty-five-year awards were authorized for meritorious service rendered to the fraternity, and 50-year awards, to be conferred for the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation by a chapter on members in the fraternity for that period. The Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity Alumni Directory, 80th-anniversary edition, 1984, was published.
The 43rd National Convention was in the Clarion Hotel, St. Louis, on Aug. 20-24, 1985. Carol R. Carter was the first woman elected a national officer of Alpha Kappa Psi. National alumni dues were raised $5 per year. During this period, the national headquarters became fully computerized.
The 44th National Convention was in the Hotel Fort Des Moines, Des Moines, on Aug. 11-15, 1987. The alumni newsletter resumed publication. The Committee on credentials recommended that organizers of Conventions secure corporate sponsorships to help cover Convention costs. The Committee on Finance recommended that an inflow-outflow statement be included with the reports prepared by the independent auditors and made generally available. It was voted that henceforth candidates for national vice-presidential posts indicate which office they were seeking as the national president would no longer assign areas to vice presidents. A rush video, called “Ask An Alpha Kappa Psi,” was issued.
The 45th National Convention was in the Grand Hotel, Milwaukee, on Aug. 15-19, 1989. The initiation fee was increased to $35 and college membership dues to $22 per semester. Life Membership fees were raised to $45, and $85 to include a Life Membership pin. It was voted that members of the Executive Committee, excluding the national president, should not serve for more than two full consecutive terms.
The Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity Alumni Directory, 85th-anniversary edition, was published in 1989. Professional enhancement programs regarding planning and management of projects or fundraising events within Alpha Kappa Psi, or elsewhere, were instituted. Chapter management workshops were held to help chapter officers perform their duties. Professional consultants in business, general promotion, and Conventions were engaged by the fraternity to enhance its quality of services and corporate image. A new logo was designed. The fraternity assumed the management of the John D. Sparks Fellows program.
The 1990 annual report in the winter 1990-91 Diary had articles by each national officer and the executive director, an audit, and a column about the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. The Alumni Chapter Expansion Manual detailed methods for generating new alumni chapters. An Alpha Kappa Psi placement office was approved. The alumni marketing plan was distributed, and the College Chapter Expansion Manual specified how new chapters could be attracted into Alpha Kappa Psi. A pledge manual that covered aspects of fraternity life, including history, traditions, customs, awards, and parliamentary procedures was issued as well as a rush kit to help chapters bring in new members. A “Volunteer Officer Policy and Procedure Manual,” a guide for national and regional officers, and the “Speakers Resource Handbook” were distributed. The Management Action Plan replaced the Performance Evaluation Report for college chapters.
On Jan. 1, 1991, Alpha Kappa Psi took possession of a new location which was dedicated as the John D. Sparks Headquarters building. In addition to the move, the national office added support services of a Convention planner, an advertising agency, computer consultants, a managing editor, and publisher for the “Diary.” The office also added a marketing and telemarketing group to assist with alumni dues billing. At midyear, the 1991 annual report was published with articles by all national officers and the executive director. Eileen L. Howell, Delta Phi, became Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation’s first female president.
The 46th National Convention was at the Sheraton Denver Tech Hotel, Denver, on Aug. 13-17, 1991. Student initiation fees were increased to $45 and student membership dues to $27. Life Membership fees were raised to $80 through the second year following graduation and to $150 after that. Chapter charter fees were set at $5 per petitioner, minimum of $150, payable in advance of installation. Alumni chapter dues were retained at $150 minimum with a maximum of $750 per year. Annual national alumni dues were increased to $25. It was voted that the budget for the general fund must be in balance. The Officers Manual was adopted as the official guide for the operation of college chapters. It was designated that the month of April become “Alumni Awareness Month.”
Frank J. Brye served as executive director of Alpha Kappa Psi from 1969 to 1992. He resigned from that post on Sept. 1, 1992, and accepted the newly created position of executive development director for the fraternity and the foundation to raise funds for both organizations. Brye gave up the fraternity post on Dec. 31, 1993, but continued to serve the foundation until March 1994. Gary L. Epperson was appointed executive director of the fraternity on Sept. 3, 1992, the fourth full-time chief executive the fraternity has had in its history. In August 1993, the “History and Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity” was published.
The 47th National Convention was at the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, on Aug. 17-21, 1993. An amendment that the Alpha Kappa Psi Constitution and Statutory Code be revised was passed. It was voted to transfer the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Eastcentral Region and to transfer the Northcentral’s portion of Wisconsin to the Midwest Region, contingent upon the transfer of the state of Nebraska to the Northcentral Region. Since New York State no longer required a director-at-large of the corporation, an amendment that the post be removed from the Constitution was passed. These amendments were to take effect at the 1995 National Convention. By amendment, the Board of Directors was to consist of the national president, the three national vice presidents, and the five at-large directors, none of whom were to hold office in any other capacity in the fraternity. This change was to take place at the 1993 Convention. For an orderly transition from one board to the next, it was suggested that the newly elected national officers and the regional directors at this Convention elect the five at-large directors for two-year terms. The duly elected leadership could select the Board of Directors for the interim period before the next Convention, when the National Chapter could elect a full Board of Directors. The pledge fee was set at $20 and the initiation fee at $50, effective Sept, 1, 1993. The 90th anniversary edition of the Alumni Directory of Alpha Kappa Psi was published in 1994.
The 48th Convention was at the Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C., on Aug. 14-19, 1995. A resolution was voted to amend the Constitution and Statutory Code to implement the recommendation of the Regional and National Organization Committee to establish a separate Fraternity Board of Directors and a National Management Team to consist of the national president, the national vice presidents, and the 13 regional directors. Members of the National Management Team were to meet annually for planning purposes and, as member delegates, elect the Board of Directors of the fraternity. These directors were to be nine in number and would elect a chairman and such other corporate officers as deemed necessary, to be elected annually from among their own members. Wayne R. Miller, Alpha Phi, was elected the fraternity’s first chairman of the board. The Board of Directors would serve as the supreme executive, legislative and judicial body of the fraternity between meetings of the National Chapter. A dues increase was passed to help fund the position of a full-time expansion coordinator for the fraternity.
The Regional Leadership Conferences, held during non-Convention years in each region, were replaced with annual Success Institutes, which grouped regions for fraternal and educational activities.
The 49th National Convention was at the Pointe Hilton Hotel at Squaw Peak, Phoenix, from July 29 to Aug. 2, 1997. “The Alpha Kappa Psi Official Song Book,” National Convention edition, was issued. A new Constitution and Statutory Code, that of Alpha Kappa Psi-Indiana, Inc., was adopted. Initiation fees were increased from $50 to $55 and pledge fees from $25 to $30. It was voted that the Board of Directors acquire general liability insurance for student and alumni chapters and assess them for its cost. The Life Membership fee structure for members who pay two years or more after graduation was dropped from $150 to $100 in conjunction with a supportive marketing effort for a two-year testing period beginning Jan. 1, 1998. The term “Regional Leadership Conference” was replaced by the term “Regional Meeting.” It was voted that the National Chapter would waive an amount equal to one registration fee for each college and alumni chapter in good standing for attendance at each regular National Chapter meeting. The Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation’s student-level donor club, the Yellow Rose Society, was introduced in July 1998. A new pledge manual, 17 pages, was issued in January 1999.
The 50th National Convention was at the Hilton Hotel at Walt Disney World Village, Orlando, on Aug. 3-8, 1999. A resolution was passed to require two people from each chapter to attend National Chapter meetings and the College of Leadership. The title of executive director of the fraternity was changed to CEO. As recommended by the Regional and National Organization Committee, all responsibility for alumni programming and publication of the “Diary” was moved from the fraternity to the foundation, with an implementation date of July 1, 2000. As part of the move, Life Membership would become a giving level within the foundation, with all previous Life Membership benefits being honored.
During the year, the Management Team’s operational structure was modified. Four vice presidents, elected by the National Chapter, would supervise particular regions rather than perform specific tasks. The regions, at their respective Success Institutes, would every two years elect their regional directors. District directors were eliminated, and every chapter would have a chapter advisor. Regional managers would be appointed to cover designated areas of expertise — finance, membership, technology, expansion, chapter relations, and alumni. That fall, the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation’s All-AKPsi Academic Team debuted.
Chapter Anniversaries (25 Years)
4/8/1995 Shippensburg University (Xi Tau)
5/6/1995 University of Northern Colorado (Xi Phi)
5/6/1995 Centenary College (Xi Upsilon)*
At the March 2000 meeting of the Fraternity Board of Directors, an expansion of the organization into the United Kingdom was approved, and a year later, the 14th region of the fraternity was officially established in the U.K. New chapters were installed at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2000, the Diary was recognized with the Magazine of the Year Award by the College Fraternity Editors Association. With this honor, Alpha Kappa Psi became the first professional fraternity to earn this publication award. In 2001, The Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity Alumni Directory, 638 pages, was published. Also that year, the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation’s Academy debuted.
The fifty-first National Convention was held at the Fairmont Hotel, New Orleans, August 15-19, 2001. Carol R. Carter became the first female recipient of the Gold Distinguished Service Award. The fraternity’s new logo was unveiled and a volunteer recognition program was introduced to honor current and past volunteer leaders. Adopted legislation ammending the Constitution and Statutory Code focused on: Giving authority to Regional Management Teams in making decisions regarding termination of members for financial delinquency among members; providing clear understanding and procedures for the removal of chapter officers for any reason within a college chapter; providing an official step-by-step road map for all areas of member discipline so to alleviate much confusion, disparity and uncertainty between the Constitution and Statutory Code, chapter bylaws and the Board of Directors’ Statement of Policy, and; allowing the best possible training, planning, continuity and successful leadership for the board of directors through the establishment of a succession plan for the chairman position.
The centennial fifty-second National Convention was held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, August 7-10, 2003. Heather E. Allen, Beta Psi, was elected the first female chairman of the board. For the first time since 1997, the National Chapter voted to increase fees. The fee increase was designed to provide financial assistance in support of specific areas identified in the fraternity’s strategic plan, including the hiring of a full-time director of alumni services. The National Chapter also voted to move the election of fraternity directors from the National Management Team to the National Chapter.
In 2004 the Fraternity Board of Directors approved the purchase of a larger office — the Heritage Center — to house the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity and Foundation.
The fifty-third Convention was held at the Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, August 3-6, 2005. Adopted legislation included removing the term “inactive status” from the Constitution and Statutory Code and replacing it with “leave of absence”; the elected officers of the Management Team would be the president and executive vice president, with the authority of the president to appoint a cabinet; an alumni program was instituted including the creation of individual alumni association dues; and local alumni associations could no longer exist, only alumni chapters. Also, in recognition of Alpha Kappa Psi having chapters in three different countries, the word “national” would be removed from all documentation and titles.
The United Kingdom Region, which had been established as the fraternity’s 14th region in 2001, was dissolved by the Fraternity Board of Directors in 2006. Chapters in the United Kingdom were moved to the Mideast Region. The Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation launched a business plan competition in February, 2007. It was held in four locations during the Success Institute weekends.
The fifty-fourth Convention was held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., August 1-4, 2007. After two years of testing, the fraternity launched the new Pledge Education Program (PEP). The Chapter Congress (formerly National Chapter) voted to remove the minimum GPA requirement for pledges so chapters could accept first-term freshmen. The Chapter Congress also modified the selection process of the Fraternity Board of Directors’ Executive Committee and determined that the chairman would be elected annually by the board. Andrea Nemeth, Iota Rho, became Alpha Kappa Psi’s first female president.
The Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation’s Business Plan Competition was revamped and became the Case Competition. The new format debuted during the February, 2008 Success Institutes. To recognize those volunteer leaders who’ve mastered skills and topics focusing on volunteer resource management, the fraternity created the Certified Fraternity Volunteer accreditation program. Alpha Kappa Psi’s first CFV was presented in June, 2008.
In the fall of 2008, the fraternity held regional workshops to help chapters review recruitment and membership fundamentals. To support the fraternity’s vision of developing principled business leaders, Alpha Kappa Psi’s popular Success Institute was renamed. Beginning in February, 2009, it took on the name “Principled Business Leadership Institute” and its curriculum was restructured.
The fifty-fifth Convention was held was held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, August 5-8, 2009. The Chapter Congress approved legislation requiring the terms for a chapter’s president, treasurer and the officer responsible for completing the Annual Chapter Report to all be one-year. The Chapter Congress also approved a fee increase: Initiation fees and student membership dues were increased $5 each to $65 and $47.50, respectively. The Life Membership fee was reduced to $400, and the student/recent graduate rate was reinstated at $200.
The 56th Convention was held at the Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, on July 27-30, 2011. The fraternity launched a comprehensive membership recruitment campaign with related materials that could be utilized by the student chapters. The Chapter Congress approved the Constitution Committee’s recommendations to make updates to the Board of Directors’ qualifications and terms. Also, it was voted that regional directors would no longer be elected, but appointed instead.
An overhauled website with advanced membership reporting capabilities was introduced in late 2011, and a revamped awards catalog was made available beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. In May of 2013, the fraternity chartered a chapter in Hong Kong, making China the fourth nation where Alpha Kappa Psi is represented. That spring, “The Diary of Alpha Kappa Psi” celebrated its centennial.
The 57th Convention was held at the Sheraton New Orleans on Aug. 8-10, 2013. The Chapter Congress approved several updates to the Constitution in regards to membership, including the addition of a ‘suspended’ membership class and a broader definition of what academic areas of study are acceptable for a student to become a member and maintain membership.
Steve Hartman became the fraternity’s fifth full-time chief executive officer after Gary Epperson retired in September of 2013. Epperson had served as CEO since 1992.
Approved by the Fraternity Board of Directors, a new regional alignment plan took effect during the 2014-15 academic year. The new configuration was designed to provide a more effective structure for servicing chapters while allowing for future growth. Under the new structure, the fraternity grew from 13 to 17 regions (one region for alumni chapters and 16 regions for student chapters). Four vice president positions were added to provide leadership for the new regions.
The 58th Convention was held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, from July 29 to Aug. 1, 2015. The Chapter Congress adopted a multi-year dues and fees schedule to provide additional funding for the expansion of fraternity operations, systems infrastructure, and further implementation of Alpha Kappa Psi’s strategic plan. It was the first dues increase in six years. Alexander T. Sultan, Mu Sigma, was elected to his third term as president, making him the first president in fraternity history to be elected to three consecutive terms.
The 59th Convention was held at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on Aug. 2 – 5, 2017. The Chapter Congress did not adopt any Constitutional changes. At this convention, the Fraternity retired the Annual Chapter Report and launched the Chapter Achievement Pathway, a series of events and resources to support chapter growth and success. The fraternity also recognized the 40th anniversary of initiating women into Alpha Kappa Psi.
The 60th Convention was held in Dallas, Texas from July 31 – August 3, 2019. The Fraternity Board of Directors approved a UK expansion plan and AKPsi Abroad Scholarship program. Some of the key objectives of this plan are to install 14 new chapters over the next 10 years in the UK, create a self-sustaining region overseas, create a model for international expansion, and improve the member experience for US and international brothers. After two years of piloting, the Fraternity launched the new pledge education program Bridge to Brotherhood.
Chapter Anniversaries (10 Years)
2/20/2010 University of North Carolina – Greensboro (Psi Sigma)
3/27/2010 University of Connecticut (Psi Rho)
4/10/2010 Stony Brook University (Psi Pi)
5/1/2010 State University of New York – Geneseo (Psi Omicron)
5/2/2010 Grand Valley State University (Pi Xi)
The COVID-19 pandemic caused Alpha Kappa Psi chapters to transition in March of 2020 to a virtual environment for the duration of the 2019-20 academic year and into the 20-21 academic year. As an organization, our brothers’ safety, health, and well-being remained the highest priority, so all AKPsi’s educational offerings were delivered virtually. To promote ongoing connection and education, Alpha Kappa Psi offered several opportunities through the launch of its Brotherhood Unbounded program.
In 2020, the Fraternity Board of Directors approved the purchase of a larger office, but due to the pandemic, Fraternity and Foundation staff did not move locations until 2021. The 2021 Convention in Miami, Florida was also postponed due to the pandemic until 2022, changing the Fraternity’s cycle of Conventions to even years.
History of the Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of Alpha Kappa Psi is its heraldic insigne; it possesses secret significance, and is used on stationery, programs, membership certificates, charters, awards, articles of jewelry, clothing and fraternity publications. It is one of the few coats of arms of professional fraternities included in the authoritative work, “College Fraternity Heraldry,” published by the Banta Publishing Company. The present coat of arms was officially adopted in 1930 and replaced the former one which was not in accord with the rules of heraldry.
BLAZON: The heraldic description or blazon of the coat of arms of Alpha Kappa Psi is:
Per pall (orper pairle), reversed; or, sable and azure; in dexter chief an azure coin bag tied and lined gules, proper; in sinister chief a pair of balances palewise of the fourth; in base a Phoenician galley with sails and ten oars all of the first. On an esquire’s helmet the crest: resting on a chain of four links a radiant estoile of ten or; upon the latter a human eye, sable. Motto, Alpha Kappa Psi in Greek upper and lower case.
SIGNIFICANCE: The estoile, the chain of four links, the coin bag, the pair of balances, the Phoenician galley, and the motto are peculiar to Alpha Kappa Psi; they possess a secret significance with relation to the Fraternity and are exemplified only in the Ritual.
Per pall, means in the manner of a pall. A pall was an heraldic emblem formed by an inverted chevron and an upright piece making an object the contour of which is similar to the letter Y. To state that the shield is per pall indicates that it is in three divisions of this type. Since it is reversed, it is understood to be divided into three parts but in the reverse form of the pall — like the upside down Y.
Or, is the term used for gold. It is deemed a metal and as such may be placed on color or vice versa. It is sometimes shown by the pigment yellow and in monotone drawings is indicated by equidistant dots on a plain surface. It was the color assigned to the sun and symbolizes power and majesty.
Sable, is black. It is considered a fur and accordingly may be placed on color or on metal or vice versa. In monotone drawings it is indicated either by a solidly colored surface or by horizontal and vertical lines cross hatched. Sable symbolizes secrecy and solidity. It is the emblem of the earth and of the night.
Azure, is blue, the color that symbolizes integrity and truth. It is indicated in monotone drawings by horizontal lines.
Dexter, is the right-hand side of a shield when it is being carried. This makes it the left-hand side of the observer.
Chief, this is the term applied to the upper portion of the shield, formed from the word chef or head because it was the portion of the shield that was nearest the warrior’s head. Dexter chief is accordingly the upper left-hand side of a shield as you look at it.
Gules, is red, and is indicated by perpendicular parallel lines. It is emblematic of courage and valor.
Proper, is the phrase used to express a symbol or emblem being drawn in its natural form and contour, with shading, etc.
Sinister, is the left-hand side of the shield when worn, hence the observer’s right.
Palewise, in the direction of a pale. A pale was an emblem formed by making a portion of the shield different in tincture. This portion was formed by two perpendicular lines. This pale represented the upright parts of a palisade or fort. An emblem placed palewise is therefore put in a perpendicular position.
Of the fourth, the science of heraldry hated repetition, particularly of a tincture. Accordingly, they repeated a color by mentioning numerical placement. Fourth in this instance is gules.
Of the first, similarly this is of gold.
HELMET: It was customary to place a helmet or similar device above the shield. This probably came about from a simple habit. When the knight came home from a fray and entered his hall, sometimes mounted on his steed, it is said, his shield was first taken from him and hung away, perhaps on the wall of the room. Then, in the same way that we hang our hats on top of our coats, his helmet was hung on top of his shield. During the centuries the various styles of helmets became simplified, as used in heraldry, until now the best authorities list four kinds. That of the esquire’s is shown facing dexter, and is of steel with visor closed. It makes an excellent symbol of secrecy.
TORSE: Above the helmet is a representation of twisted silk or ribbon. This is shown in six folds in dexter lines of division. It is usually shown in the dominant metal and color of the shield. Its exact origin is not known, some believing it to be a memory of the ribbons or colors which a lady gave to her knight when he went forth to tournament or combat.
CREST: When a leader went into a combat encased in a coat of mail even to his helmet, it was difficult for his men to recognize him. To make himself evident to those who followed he affixed some emblem to the top of his helmet-a feather, a paw of an animal, or some shapen object. This was called the crest. It is always placed on a torse and most authorities maintain that it must be placed on a helmet (or helmet’s substitute, as a bishop’s mitre) unless the instance is such that the existence of the helmet is clearly understood. Sometimes the crest on its torse was shown apart from the rest of the heraldic achievement.
MANTLEING: The decorations that flow out from the top of the helmet and from below the torse are called mantleings. These are given various origins. Likely they were scarves worn about the helmet as an added protection from storm and weather. It is shown in the colors of the torse; the scrolls, etc., represent the tears and tatters of usage.
MOTTO: This may have been originated by the war cry, but likely was just an apt phrase assumed. It was not necessarily hereditary. It usually appeared on a ribbon or scroll beneath the shield unless the phrase had some peculiar application to the crest, when it was placed above the design.
CONCERNING THE CREST: Radiant is a term used to denote that rays of light are indicated as shining from the emblem mentioned. Estoile is a star of more than five points. When it has more than six points the number has to be indicated in the manner here used as, of eight, of ten, etc.
CONCERNING THE MOTTO: The motto of Alpha Kappa Psi is written in upper and lower case Greek letters as is shown on the scroll beneath the shield. These letters have a secret meaning which is explained to members when they are affiliated.