Phi Kappa Theta

Phi Kappa Theta
Founded April 29, 1889 (1889-04-29) (Phi Kappa)
October 1, 1919 (1919-10-01) (Theta Kappa Phi)
April 29, 1959 (1959-04-29) (merged into Phi Kappa Theta)
Brown University (Phi Kappa),
Lehigh University (Theta Kappa Phi)
merged at Ohio State University
Type Social
Scope United States
Motto "Give, expecting nothing thereof." - St. Thomas Aquinas
Colors      White
Flower red tea rose
Publication The Temple
Chapters 50+

Phi Kappa Theta (ΦΚΘ) is a national social fraternity, with over 50 chapters and colonies at universities across the United States. Members are commonly referred to colloquially as "Phi Kaps". The fraternity was formed in 1959 from the merger of two older Catholic Christian fraternities. Although Phi Kappa Theta membership is not currently exclusive to any one faith, it was historically a Christian fraternity.[1]


Phi Kappa Theta was established by the merger of two fraternities on April 29, 1959: Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi. In 1889, Phi Kappa was founded by a group of Catholic students at Brown University who were refused entrance to other fraternities because of their faith. Later, on October 1, 1919, Theta Kappa Phi (an acronym for "The Catholic Fraternity") was founded by a similar group of students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The merger of the two fraternities in 1959 was the first of its kind in the history of the American fraternal system. The merger between the two fraternities occurred at The Ohio State University with the first chartered chapter of Phi Kappa Theta located at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. Although historically Catholic, Phi Kappa Theta is open for membership to men of any religion, and many of its members are not Catholic. Phi Kappa Theta is currently the only fraternity in the American Fraternal system that is considered a true "merger" of two separate Greek letter organizations.

The ideals

Phi Kappa Theta is a national social fraternity founded on four ideals: Fraternal Engagement (duty to man), Intellectual (duty to self and parents), Social Impact (duty to society), and Spiritual (duty towards God).

Phi Kappa Theta today

As of 2014, Phi Kappa Theta lists 46 chapters and 6 colonies in the United States,[2] ranking them in the middle, in terms of size, of all national fraternities.

Notable Phi Kaps


Name Fame Ref
John F. Kennedy 35th President of United States (Honorary) [3]
Eugene McCarthy U.S. Senator (1959-1971), U.S. Congressman (1949-1959)
Eligio "Kika" de la Garza, II US Congressman, 15th Congressional District (1965-1997) (Texas)
Richard J. Hughes Governor of New Jersey (1962-1970); Chief Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court (1973-1979)
John J. Barton Former Mayor of Indianapolis (1964-1968)
Joseph M. Barr Former Mayor of Pittsburgh (1959-1970)
Alfonso J. Cervantes Former Mayor of St. Louis (1965-1973)
Paul Hardy Former Lt. Gov. of Louisiana (1988-1992), Secretary of State Louisiana (1976-1980)


Name Fame Ref
Paul Allen Co-Founder Microsoft, Owner of Portland Trail Blazers & Seattle Seahawks
Paul Galvin Founder Motorola
Paul Allaire Former President, Chairman and CEO, Xerox


Name Fame Ref
Ed McMahon Actor: Announcer Tonight Show, Host Star Search
Gene Kelly Actor: Singin' in the Rain, Anchors Aweigh
Bob Hope Actor/Comedian and Famous United Service Organizations Performer (Honorary)
Keegan-Michael Key Comedian: MADtv, Key & Peele.
Brian Baker (actor) Actor: Sprint PCS Commercials


Name Fame Ref
Vince Dooley Former head coach and athletic director at the University of Georgia. Ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win over 200 games. Coached the University of Georgia to the 1980 National Championship and six SEC titles. Member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Dan Devine College Football Hall of Fame. Arizona State University, University of Missouri, University of Notre Dame and Green Bay Packer head coach. Coached Notre Dame to the 1977 National Championship.
Ray Meyer DePaul men's basketball coach, 1945 NIT Championship, Basketball Hall of Fame
Ed Macauley AP Player of the Year, All-American at St. Louis University, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, played for: St. Louis Hawks, Boston Celtics, NBA All-Star
Jim Stillwagon Lombardi Trophy and Outland Trophy winner @ Ohio State University, CFL All-Star
Bob Aspromonte (3rd baseman) Brooklyn Dodgers/ LA Dodgers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, & New York Mets
Paul Giel (Pitcher) New York/San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Athletics
Ed Don George Professional wrestler and promoter, member of Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum


Name Fame Ref
Patrick Ellis Former President of La Salle University (1977-1992) and The Catholic University of America (1992-1998)
William C. McInnes Former President of Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (1977-1989), University of San Francisco (1972 to 1977) and Fairfield University (1964 to 1973)


Name Fame Ref
Pope John Paul II 264th Pope (Honorary) [3]
Theodore Edgar McCarrick Archbishop Emeritus of Washington
John Krol Archbishop of Philadelphia
Donald Wuerl Cardinal, Archbishop of Washington

See also


  1. "XICLONE" (PDF). Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Summer 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. The four ideals of Phi Kappa Theta (fraternal, intellectual, spiritual, and social) resonated with me, as well as its roots as a Christian fraternity.
  2. "Chapters and Colonies - Phi Kappa Theta, Incorporated". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Famous Phikaps". Retrieved 2008-07-30.
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