Pi Kappa Alpha's History

Fraternity History

Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as Pike, was founded at the University of Virginia on March 1, 1868. They officially started the first Grand Chapter on May 20 of that year. Within 27 years, Pi Kappa Alpha had 17 active chapters in the United States. Pike now has 220 chapters and more than 275,000 lifetime members. In fact, fraternity membership has grown by 51% in the last decade alone. 

Pi Kappa Alpha also hosts Pike University, or Pike U, a “premier fraternity leadership and education program.” Pike University hosts leadership and educational conferences for all fraternity brothers, with the goals of helping them gain higher grade point averages, better handle the stresses of college life, and become well-rounded men who have positive influences on their campuses.

Pi Kappa Alpha Symbols and Insignia

Pi Kappa Alpha’s official colors are garnet and gold; its flower is lily of the valley. The fraternity also has several other symbols, including the oak tree, white horse, dagger and key, and shield and diamond. Their motto is “Once a Pike, always a Pike,” and their Greek letters are emblazoned on a large garnet shield outlined in gold. A lily of the valley branches out from the bottom of the shield, and a gold knight’s head can be seen at the top.

Pi Kappa Alpha Philanthropy

Each Pike chapter has its own community service chairman, who spearheads local service and philanthropic activities. Each chapter usually sponsors one community service event and one philanthropic event each year. 

Pi Kappa Alpha partners with the Taylor Trudeau Cycle for life, a stationary cycling event that honors deceased brother Taylor Trudeau. Trudeau had been battling leukemia and passed away in August 2008. All funds raised in this event go to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where they are then used to research treatments and cures for leukemia. 

Across over 70 chapters, Pi Kappa Alpha has raised more than $2.125 million in philanthropic funds for Taylor Trudeau Cycle for Life and many other causes. The brothers have participated in over 300,000 hours of community service.

Pi Kappa Alpha Magazine

Pi Kappa Alpha publishes a magazine called the Shield and Diamond, which it has published quarterly since 1890. The magazine regularly features articles about chapters and brothers who do exemplary jobs upholding Pike’s values, and it also covers national collegiate issues, such as National Hazing Prevention Week. The magazine is available in print and online editions. One special feature allows brothers to nominate a Pike of the Month for each issue.

For Pikes seeking fraternity-approved gear, contact Houndstooth Press.

Sources:

https://www.pikes.org/about-pike/news-and-media/shield-and-diamond

https://www.pikes.org/pike-u

https://www.pikes.org/about-pike

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Kappa_Alpha#Rituals