Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)/Phi Kappa Alpha
In 1870 a movement took place at Brown University to found a society which, while partaking of the nature of both the open and secret societies, should side with neither. The organization which resulted was termed the “Wayland Literary Society,” its founders being Messrs. H. S. Babcock, H. W. Parker, Thomas Seymour, Charles Sterne, V. F. Horton, Charles A. Caldwell, A. Scott, William G. Brown, and others of the classes of ’72, ’73, ’74.
Soon after its organization it was thought best to change the name to one which would be more in accordance with the chaptered fraternities. Accordingly, when a union was effected with the “Literary Union” of Rochester University, the name was changed to Sigma Phi, with its Alpha Chapter at Brown. When it was discovered, however, that another fraternity bore the name of Sigma Phi, the designation was changed to Phi Kappa Alpha, in 1874, which is still retained.
The Beta became extinct in 1879. The badge of the fraternity consists of a three-sided shield, displaying the letters “ΦΚΑ,” and below an open book. The shield is bounded by circular arcs, the upper one of which bears the name of the college.
The total number of members to date is about 200.