Alpha Kappa Psi (ΑΚΨ) is the oldest and largest professional business fraternity.[2][3][4][5] Also known as "AKPsi", Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity was founded on October 5, 1904 at New York University, and was incorporated on May 20, 1905. It is currently headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

History[edit | edit source]

During the winter months of the 1903-1904 academic year at New York University, the idea of starting a business fraternity was first brought up. Howard M. Jefferson, one of the founding members, later suggested that it was Frederic R. Leach who first developed the idea. Leach and Jefferson, along with Nathan Lane, Jr. and George L. Bergen, came to be known as the "Brooklyn Four." These four men grew to be close friends while attending night classes, and they walked home together each night over the Brooklyn Bridge. As the spirit of brotherhood grew strong in the hearts and in the minds of the men from Brooklyn, they decided to suggest to the other members of their class that something be done to perpetuate it. They received hearty support from the men approached regarding their idea, and by the latter part of April 1904 things were beginning to take definite shape. Before the academic term came to a close, a date was set for a meeting to take place at the Hotel Saint Denis, in which a plan for the organization would be outlined.

On June 9, 1904, The Brooklyn Four were joined at the Hotel Saint Dennis by Robert S. Douglas, Irving L. Camp, Daniel V. Duff, Morris S. Rachmil, and Herbert M. Wright. William O. Tremaine was to be invited, but he was not in attendance at the meeting, as he later stated that the invitation had never reached him. The nine men in attendance were all strongly in favor of forming a fraternity, and many points worthy of being incorporated into a constitution were suggested. The Brooklyn Four were appointed to draft a constitution and present it the next time all of the men met. On July 16, 1904, a group of them traveled by steamer to Sea Cliff, Long Island, and at this meeting the draft of the constitution was presented. The social aspect of the fraternity was emphasized early on, as Jefferson later recounted, "The greater part of the day, however, was spent in having summer fun, and although the party did no real work on the constitution, yet the friendships were strengthened."

After school resumed in the fall, a meeting was held on October 5, 1904 in the Assembly room at 32 Waverly Place. All ten men, including Tremaine, were present at the October 5 meeting, and the decision was made to officially organize the fraternity along the lines of the constitution that had been presented by the Brooklyn Four. On written ballots, Robert Douglas was elected president, Howard Jefferson was elected secretary, and Nathan Lane, Jr. was elected treasurer.

In the spring of 1905, formal application was made to the State of New York for a charter of incorporation for Alpha Kappa Psi. The application was approved and the charter of incorporation for our Alpha chapter was officially issued in the name of Alpha Kappa Psi on May 20, 1905.[6][7]

International expansion into Canada[edit | edit source]

Alpha Kappa Psi became an international fraternity on Saturday, April 18, 1931 when the Beta Kappa Chapter was installed at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. The ceremony was held at the Hotel London, and it was conducted by Grand President O. Arthur Kirkman, Grand Secretary-Treasurer J.D. Sparks, District Councilor J.R. Gabell, and members of Phi Chapter of the University of Michigan, Beta Theta Chapter of Detroit College, and Beta Iota Chapter of Buffalo.

Restrictive membership clause[edit | edit source]

Membership in Alpha Kappa Psi was originally restricted to men who were "of the Christian faith and Caucasian race." By 1950, the restrictive clause in the fraternity's constitution was beginning to stir controversy on some college campuses. At the 1950 Alpha Kappa Psi Convention in Minnesota, delegates voted 66-44 in favor of dropping the restrictive membership clause from the national constitution.[8]

Women in ΑΚΨ[edit | edit source]

In June 1972, Title IX of the "Education Amendments Act of 1972" was passed, and it brought the beginning of the most significant change in the history of Alpha Kappa Psi. Title IX prohibited sex discrimination in federally assisted educational programs and amended parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While social fraternities and sororities were exempt from the provisions of Title IX, professional fraternities were included in Title IX. Around this time, the brothers of the Delta Chi Chapter at Clarkson University introduced legislation to amend Alpha Kappa Psi's Constitution to include women as brothers. While this move did gain the support of a few other chapters, the proposed amendments were easily defeated. In the fall of 1973, the Delta Chi chapter admitted four women into their Chapter and soon granted females full rights and privileges, including participation in ritual. Delta Chi went on to elect a female president and attempted to send her to the 1974 national convention as their voting delegate. As a result, Alpha Kappa Psi revoked the charter of the Delta Chi Chapter. During the same year, the Alpha Kappa Chapter at the University of Idaho also admitted women to membership. As a result, Alpha Kappa Psi also moved forward with disciplinary action against the Alpha Kappa Chapter. Upon having their charter revoked, the former Alpha Kappa Chapter continued on as an independent organization known as Pi Beta Sigma, and the organization's advisor remarked "My sentiments are that if we are being excommunicated from the national because we failed to discriminate against women, then it's a pleasure to get kicked out of that organization.[9][10][11]

In December 1973, a complaint was filed with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare against thirteen colleges and universities which recognized professional business fraternity chapters. In March 1973, representatives of several organizations formed to push for legislation that would exempt the groups from Title IX as it applied to professional fraternities. Out of these meetings, the Fraternal Alliance for Inalienable Rights (FAIR) was formed, which included Alpha Kappa Psi. FAIR was an interfraterity organization designed to seek legislative relief from Title IX. In October 1975, Alpha Kappa Psi initiated a fund drive to combat Title IX. A write-in campaign was also started as an attempt to sway legislators. At the national convention, the Committee on Female Membership moved that the fraternity should bar women, advocating a continuance of the struggle to secure legislation. Such legislation was eventually introduced in 1976, when Senator James McClure sponsored an amendment to S. 2657 of the Education Amendments of 1976 that would have limited the meaning of "education program or activity" to "the curriculum or graduation requirements of the institutions." Senator Birch Bayh led an opposition that defeated the amendment. The 1975 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," if no legislative recourse could be achieved. When it became apparent that legislation would not be approved, the Board of Directors voted, August 7, 1976, to admit women into the fraternity.[12][13][14]

International expansion into the United Kingdom and Hong Kong[edit | edit source]

In March 2000, the Board of Directors of AKPsi approved expansion of the Fraternity into the United Kingdom. As a result, in 2001, new chapters were installed at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. The installations were led by National President M.C. Moore, Chairman of the Board David P. Wendroff, Foundation Vice President R.K. Lee, CEO Gary L. Epperson, and five other brothers. This expansion prompted the creation of the 14th region of the Fraternity. In 2004, UMIST merged with University of Manchester, and around the same time, the chapter at Manchester Metropolitan closed, leaving only one college chapter remaining in the UK. As a result, the United Kingdom Region was dissolved and the remaining chapter was moved under the authority of the Mideast Region.

In March 2013, a colony of Alpha Kappa Psi was established at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. On May 18, 2013, it was chartered as the Chi Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi. Then-Foundation Chairman David Wendroff served as Chief Installing Officer, assisted by Convention Chair Wendy Wendroff and local AKPsi alumni.[15]

Members[edit | edit source]

Main article: Category:Alpha Kappa Psi members

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
  6. Power, Ralph L. Alpha Kappa Psi Handbook: A Manual for Nu Chapter. 1917. pp 22-30.
  7. Sparks, John D.The Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi, Sixth Edition. 1971. pp 14-20.
  8. "Discrimination Clause Removed By AKPsi Nat'l". Penn State Daily Collegian. October 17, 1950.
  11. "Fraternity abandons parent organization". Tri-City Herald. May 10, 1974.
  12. Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities. 1977. p 841

External links[edit | edit source]

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