This year we celebrated the 45th anniversary of AKPsi allowing women to join the fraternity! But did you know, it took several years before the opposition was finally defeated?
In 1972, President Nixon (and AKPsi brother), signed Title IX, which states that no person, on the basis of sex, can be excluded from participation, or denied benefits, under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
A Title IX exemption was introduced and in 1973, the Fraternity Alliance for Inalienable Rights, a 17 member organization which AKPsi was a member, was formed to oppose Title IX for professional fraternities.
During Convention in 1975, Alpha Kappa Psi initiated a fundraiser to combat Title IX, and a write-in campaign to attempt to sway legislators also began. A committee for female membership was created and proposed the Fraternity should bar women due to the Title IX exception legislation.
However, when it became apparent that non-inclusive legislation would not be approved, it was actually the Board of Directors that voted on August 7, 1976, to admit women into the Fraternity.
“Given the exposure we had to the business community-at-large, we could no longer deny women the same right to learn as we had learned.” John Eppinger Jr, Jacksonville ’75 Life
The Fraternity’s growth is directly linked to the admittance of women and makes up roughly half its membership. Women are chapter Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Pledge Educators. They are Chapter Advisors and Regional Directors. In 1985, AKPsi elected the first Female Fraternity Vice President, in 1991, the first Female Foundation Chairman, in 2003, the first Female Fraternity Chairman, and in 2007, finally, the first Female Fraternity President.