Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (1879)/Phi Kappa Psi

The fraternity of Phi Kappa Psi was founded at Jefferson College, February, 1852, by Wm. H. Letterman and Charles P. T. Moore. The former graduated from Jefferson Medical College, and in 1862 was appointed United States Surgeon-General. The latter entered the senior class at Union for the purpose of founding a chapter there. Finding it impossible, he subsequently entered the Law Department in Virginia University, where he was instrumental in establishing the first branch chapter of the fraternity, the Virginia Alpha. It has been largely due to his efforts that the fraternity has been so widely extended. He is now a judge of the Supreme Court of West Virginia. In 1855 a large number of chapters were established, and since then the fraternity has grown rapidly. The roll is as follows:

  1. Pennsylvania Alpha, Washington-Jefferson College, 1852.
  2. Virginia Alpha, Virginia University, 1853.
  3. Virginia Beta, Washington-Lee University, 1855.
  4. Pennsylvania Beta, Allegheny College, 1855.
  5. Pennsylvania Gamma, Lewisburg University, 1855.
  6. Pennsylvania Delta, Washington Co11ege (consolidated with Alpha).
  7. Pennsylvania Epsilon, Pennsylvania College, 1855.
  8. Virginia Gamma, Hampden Sidney College, 1856.
  9. South Carolina Alpha, South Carolina University, 1857 (died 1873).
  10. Mississippi Alpha, Mississippi University, 1857 (died 1861).
  11. Virginia Delta, Bethany College, 1859.
  12. Pennsylvania Zeta, Dickinson College, 1859.
  13. Tennessee Alpha, La Grange College, 1859 (died 1861).
  14. Pennsylvania Eta, Franklin and Marshall College, 1860.
  15. Tennessee Beta, Cumberland University, 1860 (died 1879).
  16. Mississippi Beta, Mississippi College, 1860 (died 1861).
  17. Ohio Alpha, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1861.
  18. Illinois Alpha, Northwestern University, 1864.
  19. Kentucky Alpha, Kentucky University, 1865 (died 1866).
  20. Indiana Alpha, Asbury University, 1865.
  21. Illinois Beta, Chicago University, 1865 (died 1869).
  22. Ohio Beta, Wittenberg College, 1866.
  23. Iowa Alpha, Iowa University, 1867.
  24. District of Columbia Alpha, Columbian University, 1868.
  25. Iowa Gamma, Cornell College, 1868 (died 1872).
  26. Pennsylvania Theta, Lafayette College, 1869.
  27. Indiana Beta, Indiana University, 1869.
  28. New York Alpha, Cornell University, 1869 (died 1877).
  29. Missouri Alpha, Missouri University, 1869.
  30. Indiana Gamma, Wabash College, 1870.
  31. Ohio Gamma, Wooster University, 1871.
  32. Virginia Epsilon, Randolph Macon College, 1871
  33. Illinois Gamma, Monmouth College, 1871 (died 1877).
  34. Tennessee Gamma, Nashville University, 1871 (died 1875).
  35. New York Gamma, Columbia College, 1872 (died 1877).
  36. Wisconsin Alpha, Wisconsin University, 1875.
  37. Kansas Alpha, Kansas University, 1876.
  38. Michigan Alpha, Michigan University, 1876.
  39. Wisconsin Beta, Racine Col1ege, 1876 (died 1878).
  40. Pennsylvania Iota, Pennsylvania University, 1877.

There have been eight or ten students who were Phi Kappa Psi's at Princeton for a number of years, nominal1y belonging to Pennsylvania Iota and Theta; they form the New Jersey Alpha. There is a graduate chapter at Johns Hopkins University, which would be in the same Way the Maryland Alpha.

There are graduate chapters at Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Pittsburg.

The first meeting of the Grand Arch Conncil, as the general convention of the fraternity is called, was held in Washington in 1856, and since that time it has met regularly every three years. At the outbreak of the Rebellion in 1861, eight of the ehapters in Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee became extinct, five of which were subsequently reorganized. In 1853 propositions were made by Delta Phi that the two fraternities unite, but without result. The council which met in Pittsburg in 1865 formulated the policy which has since governed the fraternity, and its extension from that date has been rapid.

The Pennsylvania Delta was consolidated with the Alpha when the colleges were united. South Carolina Alpha died a natural death from the decadence of the college. Mississippi Alpha and Beta, and Tennessee Alpha were not reorganized in 1863. Tennessee Beta has become defunct from lack of members. Kentncky Alpha, Illinois Gamma, and Wisconsin Beta have been killed by anti-fraternity laws. Illinois Beta, New York Alpha, and New York Gamma were killed by internal dissensions. Iowa Gamma was withdrawn. Tennessee Gamma became extinct with the university. New York Beta was to have been established at Syracuse University, hut no active steps were taken in the matter. Iowa Beta was likewise never established. The living chapters are generally in a good condition, except those in Indiana.

The government is carried on by means of the Grand Arch Council, composed of three delegates from each chapter, one of whom must be a graduate. A Grand Chapter is appointed to act as the executive during the recess of the G. A. C., and the Alpha Chapter of each State has jurisdiction in its own territory. Pennsylvania Theta is now the Grand Chapter. The fraternity claims to exercise the usual functions of the Greek-Letter fraternities, hut insists on a large literary element in its exercises. The catalogue has been issued several times, and an edition is now in press. In 1875 the fraternity began the publication of a monthly journal called the “Phi Kappa Psi Monthly”; in 1877 it was changed to a quarterly. It contains the usual matter in such periodicals. A songbook is now in press, and the “Phi Kappa Psi Grand March” was pub1ished some years since.

Honorary members are admitted by some of the chapters, and among them are the late Charles Sumner, Carl Schurz, Burdette, of the “Burlington Hawkeye,” etc. Among the eminent graduate members are Hon. C. P. T. Moore, Judge, West Virginia; Hon. Geo. A. Jenks, ex-M.C.; Brig.-Gen. Henry H. Bingham, U.S.V.; Rev. S. J. Nichol1s, of St. Louis; Hon. Jas. A. Walker, Maj.-Gen. C.B.A.; Ron. Boyd Winchester, of Kentucky; Hon. Jas. W. Phillips, Judge Missouri Supreme Court; Rev. Robert Lowry, musical composer; Hon. Geo. P. Wilson, of Minnesota; W111. S. Shallenbarger, M.C.; Brig.-Gen. John P. Jones, U.S.V., and Rev. F. F. Hoyt, editor “Western Christian Advocate.”

The original badge was a monogram of the letters “ΦΨ”; this was discarded in 1854, and the present one adopted. This latter is a shield of gold, displaying at the top an eye, on each side of which is a star; about the middle are the letters “ΦΚΨ,” and beneath is an antique lamp. The recognized fraternity color is blue.

The whole number of members is now 3200.