Delta Kappa Alpha (ΔΚΑ) is a national gender-inclusive cinematic professional fraternity founded in 1936, at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, United States.

According to USC's cinema website, "Recognized by the School of Cinematic Arts as the official professional cinema fraternity at the University of Southern California, DKA engages the community through philanthropic, social, and professional events. The goal of this gender-inclusive fraternity is to establish meaningful relationships and camaraderie between students highly committed and interested in the film industry and in the cinematic arts."[1]


Delta Kappa Alpha was founded on March 13, 1936, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, originally as a group for cinematographers. Soon the Alpha chapter encompassed all undergraduate divisions at the School of Cinematic Arts, including Film & TV Production, Critical Studies, Writing for Screen & Television, Animation & Digital Arts, and most recently Interactive Entertainment.[2]

Ten men are honored as Delta Kappa Alpha's founding members:[3]

  • Allen K. Dallas
  • William A. Halpern
  • John W. Findlater
  • Donald Fischer
  • Jack H. McClelland
  • Terry Bissinger
  • Robert V. Rogers
  • Louis Tarleton
  • Robert Turner
  • Peter Kinnel

Allen K. Dallas served as the first President of Delta Kappa Alpha.

The Alpha chapter had considerable influence in its first incarnation from 1936 until the mid-1980s. The fraternity had its own office within the School of Cinematic Arts building, equivalent to the current Student Production Office in today's SCA complex.

The fraternity also held annual banquets to honor notable contributors to the cinematic arts. Film legends such as Alfred Hitchcock and Fred Astaire were inducted into the fraternity as honorary members.[4] Hollywood heavyweights such as Sophia Loren, George Cukor, and Judy Garland were known to attend these events.[5]

The fraternity was in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, when Dirty Dozen members George Lucas and Howard Kazanjian were among its members. There were five national chapters with a membership of 1500 in 1965.[6] However, by the mid-1980s the Alpha chapter as well as other chapters in the United States and South America had disbanded.[7] Despite no longer being on campus, USC still held a "DKA film series" of screenings from 1982 until the late 2000s at the Norris Cinema Theater on campus, drawing hour-long lines every Friday.[8][9]

All of the chapters deactivated because the national fraternity lacked an executive office, keeping it from surviving the anti-establishment period that shut down chapters and Greek organizations across the country. Former National President and National Secretary Herbert E. Farmer protected the fraternity’s history through his well-preserved archive.[citation needed] This made it possible for the fraternity to be resurrected at the University of Southern California in 2009 by Grace Lee and Hillary Levi. With the help of leading fraternity experts and consultants, the fraternity now thrives with its overhauled and significantly improved national structure, growing expansion projects, passionate membership, and close-knit alumni.


In the spring of 2009,[10] a group of students at USC re-established the Alpha chapter. It has since grown to be the largest undergraduate student group at the School of Cinematic Arts,[11] again encompassing all divisions of study and bringing guests such as Alan Myerson,[12] John Landis,[13] and John C. McGinley (on behalf of Spread the Word to End the Word)[14] to campus as part of its DKA Speaker Series. In 2012, the national organization was revived and improved to allow for structure for organization and growth, continuity, national identity, expansion to other campuses, and much more.

Delta Kappa Alpha chapters are organized into Resident Councils, which include the current student members of a chapter, and Graduate Councils, made up of all members who have graduated or left school. Each council of a chapter is entitled to a vote at the National Convention, which meets every two years and is the highest level of authority in the organization. The convention elects National Council members who serve as a board of directors for the fraternity and governs between conventions. In the off-year when National Conventions are not held, a convention called "Conclave" is held. Its purpose is to further create community between the chapters and share ideas.

The national organization is made up of multiple corporations, including the Delta Kappa Alpha Foundation. The Delta Kappa Alpha Foundation was created in 2013 as a separate charitable organization. As a public, charitable, and educational foundation, the mission of the Delta Kappa Alpha Foundation is to ensure the development of philanthropic support necessary to sustain high levels of educational programming by fostering lifelong relationships and commitment to the fraternity's ideals. The key functions of the separate organization are rooted in the idea that the foundation must provide vehicles for members to fulfill their lifelong commitment to Delta Kappa Alpha and to fellow brothers and sisters.

The Chief Executive Officer executes the National Council's plan and serves as a mediator between the Council and Foundation Board. The Fraternity Executive Offices staff assists with implementing said plan. The staff is divided into four departments: chapter services, education (career support), finance, and communications.

Delta Kappa Alpha's national partner is SeriousFun.[15]

  • Type of fraternity: national, honorary, values-based, professional, gender-inclusive
  • Fraternity colors: deep royal blue and old gold
  • Fraternity symbol: film camera
  • Fraternity mascot: dragon
  • Fraternity flower: white carnation
  • Verbal fraternity nickname: DeKA (pronounced ˈdekə), meaning: "10" / "ten" in Greek, representing the 10 founders and the 10 jewels of a Delta Kappa Alpha member. (Ex.: "I am a DeKA. DeKA's having a screening tomorrow.")
  • Public slogan: "Cinematic Artists of Character"
  • Open motto: "ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΑΙΣΘΗΣΗ"; "Truth in Illusion"
  • Meaning of fraternity letters: Delta (dramatic), Kappa (kinematic), Alpha (aesthetic)

Collegiate chapters

Greek Chapter Established University City State Region
Α Alpha 1936 * University of Southern California Los Angeles California Pacific
Β Beta 1949 * Boston University Boston Massachusetts New England
Γ Gamma 1950 * New York University New York New York Mid-Atlantic
Δ Delta 1953 * University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles California Pacific
Ε Epsilon 2010 San Francisco State University San Francisco California Pacific
Ζ Zeta 2013 Chapman University Orange California Pacific
Η Eta 2013 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley California Pacific
Θ Theta 2013 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles California Pacific
Ι Iota 2013 George Mason University Fairfax Virginia Mid-Atlantic
Κ Kappa 2013 University of Tampa Tampa Florida South Atlantic
Λ Lambda 2013 University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas West South Central
Μ Mu 2013 Columbia University New York New York Mid-Atlantic
Ν Nu 2014 American University Washington D.C. Mid-Atlantic
Ξ Xi 2014 University of Miami Miami Florida South Atlantic
Ο Omicron 2014 Syracuse University Syracuse New York Mid-Atlantic
Π Pi 2014 Ithaca College Ithaca New York Mid-Atlantic
Ρ** Rho 2016 Emerson College Boston Massachusetts New England
Σ** Sigma 2016 University of Arizona Tucson Arizona Mountain
Τ** Tau 2017 Depaul University Chicago Illinois
Υ** Upsilon 2017 University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara California Pacific

* Previously inactive
** Colony

Notable alumni

Delta Kappa Alpha dinners and honorees

Delta Kappa Alpha had an annual banquets in January/February which honored figures in the Cinema industry and presented them with honorary membership in the fraternity. Honorees include:

Additional honorary members


  1. ^ USC School of Cinematic Arts website
  2. ^ SCA Undergraduate Programs
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ DKA Alpha chapter website
  5. ^ "USC President Rufus von KleinSmid, Sophia Loren, George Cukor, and Judy Garland at a DKA event circa 1959."
  6. ^ a b USC's El Rodeo Yearbook 1965 p178
  7. ^ DKA Beta chapter website
  8. ^ Daily Trojan article, "DKA movies a Friday tradition"
  9. ^ "Oct 2, 2007 ... Friday, DKA Film Series is showing Pirates of the Caribbean."
  10. ^ [2] "Delta Kappa Alpha (DKA) is the resurrected cinema fraternity..."
  11. ^ DKA Alpha chapter website
  12. ^ DKA Presents a Q&A with Alan Myerson
  13. ^ A Question and Answer Session lead by USC’s Cinema Fraternity
  14. ^ Daily Trojan article, "Spread the Word to End the Word’ comes to USC"
  15. ^ SeriousFun
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz Delta Kappa Alpha History
  17. ^ a b Skywalking: the life and films of George Lucas
  18. ^ George Schlatter and Arthur Schneider, Jump Cut: Memoirs of a Pioneer Television Editor, McFarland & Co Inc (31 Jul 1997), ISBN 978-0-7864-0345-5
  19. ^ Lensman to Be Honored by Fraternity
  20. ^ Fraternity to Induct
  21. ^ Fraternity to Honor Gene Kelly
  22. ^ a b Tierney Film return set
  23. ^ Greer Garson and Kirk Douglas with Awards
  24. ^ America's Sweetheart remembered
  25. ^ Past, Present Merge for Mutual Love of Movies
  26. ^ Realistic Locales Seen Aiding Actors
  27. ^ USC Fraternity Cites 3 Film-TV Personalities
  28. ^ Hollywood Celebs Send Second String for Awards
  29. ^ Nostalgia was the keynote, Mae West stole the show
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^ Bouquets for Notables at Film Banquet
  32. ^ Film Notables Receive Honorary Tribute
  33. ^ Journal of the University Film Association Vol. 24, No. 1/2, 1972
  34. ^ Paul Newman joins Ingmar Bergman Cult
  35. ^ Fraternity Fetes Stanwyck, Green, Castle
  36. ^ Tributes to Fred
  37. ^ Glen Ford's Delta Kappa Alpha Certificate
  38. ^ The late Albert Whitlock was one of movie history’s most skilled illusionists.
  39. ^ Chronology of the Walt Disney Company
  40. ^ Neil Simon to Move Back to New York
  41. ^ Russ Meyer--the life and films: a biography and a comprehensive, illustrated
  42. ^ [4]
  43. ^ [5]
  44. ^ Journal of the University Film Producers Vol. 11, No. 4, SUMMER, 1959

External links