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."
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.
Ten men are honored as Delta Kappa Alpha's founding members:
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. Hollywood heavyweights such as Sophia Loren, George Cukor, and Judy Garland were known to attend these events.
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. However, by the mid-1980s the Alpha chapter as well as other chapters in the United States and South America had disbanded. 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.
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. 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, 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, again encompassing all divisions of study and bringing guests such as Alan Myerson, John Landis, and John C. McGinley (on behalf of Spread the Word to End the Word) 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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Υ**||Upsilon||2017||University of California, Santa Barbara||Santa Barbara||California||Pacific|
* Previously inactive
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: