Alpha Kappa Psi (ΑΚΨ) is the oldest and largest professional business fraternity to current date. Also known as "AKPsi", the 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.
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. One of the founding members later suggested that it was Frederic R. Leach who first developed the idea for formation of a fraternity. 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, hence their nickname. As the spirit of brotherhood grew stronger 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 St. Denis 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.
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.
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.
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. The chapter proceeded by changing its name to Delta Chi Delta aiming to be completely independent from its former counterpart. 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.
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 inter-fraternity 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.
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.
Even though an expansion to London seemed like just a matter of time, as it is the business capital of the world, it finally happened after 16 years from the date of approval of the Manchester chapter. Thus, on 25.11.2016 the Queen Mary Colony was established at Queen Mary University of London. In March 2017, the Board of Directors approved a new chapter installation, and on 25.03.2017 Queen Mary Colony became Chi Eta (XH) Chapter, creating, therefore, the first chapter in London, while being the second in the United Kingdom. The installations were led by President Alexander Sultan, Executive VP Mike Dickerson, Chief Operating Officer Brian Parker, Regional Director Jason Weinstein and many volunteers and Alumni brothers. On this historic day, 36 Founding Colonists became brothers, starting a new AKPsi chapter, namely XH.
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.
Alpha Kappa Psi is managed by a cadre of Fraternity volunteers, all of which are un-paid and provide their time, talent, and treasure for the Fraternity.
The Board of Directors is the supreme legislative, judicial, and oversight body of the Fraternity outside of meetings of the Chapter Congress (held every 2 years at the Convention). The board was originally known as the Grand Council, and it was made up of the President, Vice Presidents, and Regional Directors. In 1959 the term "Board of Directors" replaced "Grand Council." In 1995 the present-day structure of the board was formed, and the President, Vice President, and Regional Director positions were moved out of the board and over to the National Management Team. The Board of Directors is now made up of 9 alumni, elected for 3-year terms, staggering 3 elected each year. BOD officers are the Board Chairman, Vice Chairman, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The Executive Committee is responsible for supervising the CEO and Heritage Center staff. The Chairman of the Board position is now the highest-ranking officer position of Alpha Kappa Psi, equivalent to the former National President position prior to 1995 and Grand President position prior to 1959. The current Chairman of the Board is Richard Battle.
The Management Team is made up of the elected and appointed executive-level operational leadership of the Fraternity. This body was previously known as the Grand Council until 1959 when it became known as the Board of Directors. In 1995, a separate Board of Directors was formed, so the President, Vice Presidents, and Regional Directors then became known as the National Management Team. In 2005 "National" was dropped from the title to reflect the Fraternity's international scope, even though the Fraternity has actually been international since 1931. Members of the current Management Team include the Fraternity President, Executive Vice President, 4 Vice Presidents, and 16 Regional Directors. The head of the Management Team is the Fraternity President.
The Foundation Board of Directors (FBOD) manages the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. The Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation was established in 1951 as a public, charitable and educational foundation. Its mission is "Providing resources for enhancing the educational experience of future business leaders." Currently, the Foundation distributes more than 30 grants and scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. It also supports educational programs that develop leadership and professional development skills. The Foundation also publishes The Diary of Alpha Kappa Psi. The current Chairman of the Foundation Board is Alison Jennings.
In 1923, Alpha Kappa Psi became the first professional fraternity to have a headquarters facility, and since then, has moved from location to location as the Fraternity grew. Today, AKPsi occupies a 9,400-square-foot (870 m2) building on Indianapolis' northeast side that serves as the headquarters for both the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. The two corporations have been operating from the Heritage Center since April 2005 and dedicated the facility in June 2005. The members of the professional staff of Alpha Kappa Psi are the Fraternity's only full-time paid employees. Working collaboratively with the members of the Fraternity Management Team, the Fraternity Office staff serves as a source of input, advice and feedback to the board of directors; and implements programs in the areas of education, marketing, membership growth, and general Fraternal development for students, alumni and volunteers. C. Steven Hartman was appointed chief executive officer in 2013.
The Principled Business Leadership Institute (PBLI) is an annual weekend program held each February in five cities across the United States. PBLI offers several curriculum tracks, facilitated by a mix of Alpha Kappa Psi alumni and successful business leaders, focusing on the values of principles business leadership. In addition to the educational leadership development tracks, the Fraternity's Case Competition also takes place during PBLI. PBLI debuted in 2009 as a retooled and updated version of the Fraternity's similar Success Institute, which was originally introduced in 1996.
Alpha Kappa Psi began holding the annual Case Competition at the 2008 Success Institutes. Case Competition is sponsored by the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation, and it awards $1,500, $750 and $500 scholarships respectively to the top three teams in each of the five cities where the annual competition takes place. Case Competition is designed to introduce students to the realities of decision making and give them first-hand experience in analyzing business situations to prepare them for future managerial decision making.
The College of Leadership is held every two years in conjunction with the Fraternity's Convention. The College of Leadership is a two-day series of sessions focusing on personal development, professional development, and chapter leadership. Facilitators include Fraternity staff and volunteer leaders, successful alumni members, and special guests from the business community.
The Academy is an all expense paid leadership conference sponsored by the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. The Academy is held each summer at the Waycross Conference and Retreat Center in Morgantown, Indiana, and attendance is limited to 20 exceptional student leaders who demonstrate qualities of future business leaders. The Academy was first held in 2001.
The following numbers include all collegiate initiates, new expansion initiates as well as all faculty and honorary initiates:
The official magazine of the Fraternity first appeared on January 1, 1908, as The Alpha Diary. Howard M. Jefferson chaired the editorial committee that published the original four page monthly pamphlet of the Alpha Chapter. The name was changed in 1913 to The Diary of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity to reflect its new fraternity-wide scope. The format remained the same, although increasing in number of pages, until it became a full-fledged magazine, 6 x 9 inches (230 mm) in size, in 1917. The title was also changed that year to The Alpha Kappa Psi Diary. John D. Sparks was appointed editor in 1928, and page size of The Diary was increased to 8½ x 11 inches (280 mm) with two and three column pages and a different two-color cover for each issue. In 1929 under Sparks, the magazine also adopted its current name, The Diary of Alpha Kappa Psi.
The Diary is currently published three times a year in October, February, and June by the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation. It features information on Fraternity and Foundation news, as well as educational articles focusing on professional development. In recent years, the magazine has earned several College Fraternity Editors Association (CFEA) awards.
The Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi is a comprehensive information source and guide for members and officers of the Fraternity. The publication includes topics such as a detailed history of AKPsi, a directory of notable alumni, organizational structure, awards, emblems, alumni information, chapter administration, finances, public relations, ritual, and a great deal of other useful information. The origin of the handbook is traced to 1926 when Ralph L. Power of Nu Chapter, issued a publication titled Handbook of Alpha Kappa Psi, a Manual for Nu Chapter. The handbook was first published Fraternity-wide in 1934, and it has since been followed by several more comprehensive and revised editions. The last edition published was the seventh edition in 1997, edited by Theodore G. Ehrsam. Ehrsam was also working on the eighth edition before he entered Audit Eternal in July 2004. The eighth edition was to be published in fall 2004 as part of the Fraternity's Centennial Celebration.
Alpha Kappa Psi recognizes that
We live in deeds, not years;
In thought, not breath;
In service, not in figures on the dial.
We count time by heart throbs,
When they beat for God, for man, for duty.
He lives most who thinks most,
Is noblest, acts the best.— Dr. D. Shaw Duncan, Beta Chapter
Members of Alpha Kappa Psi have held almost every major political position in the United States, including the presidency and vice-presidency. Many members have gained notable positions on boards of directors and executive management teams of some of the world's most well known companies. Notable alumni include Ronald Reagan (former U.S. President), Richard Nixon (former U.S. President), Joyce C. Hall (founder, Hallmark Cards), Samuel F. Hinkle, president (The Hershey Company), Harrison Jones (chairman, The Coca-Cola). A complete list of notable alumni can be seen in the Main Article link above.