• The Founders of Pi Kappa Alpha

  • Take a Virtual Tour of Memorial Headquarters

March 1, 1868

Founding, Room 47, West Range, University of Virginia.

May 20, 1868

Alpha Chapter designated as the Grand Chapter, and by consent of all members of the Grand Chapter, a Charter may be furnished to any one or more members who desire to form a new chapter. (Original expansion policy).


Alpha Chapter (mother chapter rule) would struggle to extend, to govern and to enforce the life in Pi Kappa Alpha while, as a chapter, it fought for its survival at the University of Virginia.

March 1, 1869

Beta Chapter established at Davidson College.

February 27, 1871

Gamma Chapter chartered at the College of William and Mary.

December 1874

First Official Convention | Richmond, Virginia.

August 12, 1876

Convention | Yellow Sulphur Springs, Virginia – First ΠKA Song was written by Robert M. Hughes (Gamma).


Convention (Louisville, Kentucky) | delegates stated “We do not limit the latitude nor longitude of places where we may establish chapters.”

December 20, 1889

Refounding Convention, (Iota’s Chapter Hall) | Hampden-Sydney, Virginia: Grand Council system of government established. Expansion limited to south of the Mason Dixon line.


Convention (Knoxville, Tennessee) | Pi Kappa Alpha Journal became the Shield & Diamond | Grand Council assumed financial responsibility; named Smythe as editor and business manager committee appointed to write songs

December 19-27, 1894

Convention | Nashville, Tennessee | A secret publication was started, known as The Dagger and Key, which is published after each convention.


17 chapters established.


A significant development in ceremonial aspects of the Fraternity. The growing role of Pi Kappa Alpha on the campus encompassed academic activities, student activities and the general public. Twenty-two alumni groups established.


Henry L. McCorkle (Tennessee, Zeta 1888) first Gold Star hero | First Chapter House, Nu Chapter, Wofford College. It was a cottage with four rooms housing eight men on the first floor with a chapter hall on the second floor.


Convention | Atlanta, Georgia | Decided to enter the West and Southwest, making the first break in sectional lines.


Alpha Kappa chartered | Missouri School of Mines, first chapter outside of the South.


Convention | Richmond, VA | (first bi-ennial convention) Chapter involvement in the struggle for well-rounded campus-wide involvement and for campus honors; further extended expansion boundaries | Permanent chapter house loan fund, to encourage ownership of chapter homes, established; taxed each undergrad $1 annually.


Convention | New Orleans, Louisiana | Pi Kappa Alpha becomes National – geographic limits on expansion abolished. Thirty active chapters out of 36 charterings. 346 active brothers.


Present Coat of Arms adopted.

December 1913

February issue of the Shield & Diamond becomes the “Football Number.”


Convention | San Francisco, California | National Scholarship Cup established | Songbook authorized by Convention; caused the composition of the Dream Girl of PI Kappa Alpha by B. E. Shields.


Convention | Jacksonville, Florida | Horseplay forbidden 24 hours prior to initiation | Robert K. Massie’s Convention address became required reading for members.


ΠKA determined to carry on in spite of the difficulties of the World War period and the temporary suspension of many chapters under Students’ Army Training Corps regime. Somewhere around 2000 Pi Kappa Alpha’s were in the armed forces, representing 20 percent of the total membership at that time.


Convention | Atlanta, Georgia | Robert M. Riculfi Jr. presented a cup to be awarded on a point system to that chapter which, each year, had been most active in college activities, scholarship and participation in athletics counting highest.

Convention | El Paso, Texas | Once a Pike, Always a Pike.


Convention | Memphis, Tennessee | National expansion policy established.


Manuscript of Pi Kappa Alpha History submitted to convention by National Historian Dr. Freeman H. Hart.


Convention | Troutdale | Radically revised the Fraternity’s governance and structure | Smythe retired from active service and was elected honorary life president.


78 chapters established.


World War II starts, over 15,000 Pikes would participate.


Normandy Landings (D-Day) | General Courtney Hodges leads ground forces.


Pi Kappa Alpha History – First revision.


Convention | 1st National Leadership School held, elected first national dream girl.


Convention | Council appoints a membership standards committee.


50,000 members (took 89 years).


Centennial | A new century of service to the nation and to the world by the men of ΠKA should, among other things, see them striving to help create
1. love for and truth in knowledge
2. depth and breadth of understanding
3. purpose and energy for accomplishment
4. friendship and brotherhood toward all men Pi Kappa Alpha History | Hart and Blount Centennial Edition


Convention Guidelines for establishing Little Sister Organizations were voted into the laws; Ritual Ceremony for “Little Sister” initiation was adopted.


First Chapter Presidents Conference.


100,000 members (took 18 years to grow by 50,000).


Convention | Adopted standards for retention of membership and chapter charter in good standing. Motion calling for the abolition of female auxiliary groups defeated 1988, 150,000 members (took 13 years to grow by 50,000).

Operation Desert Storm

Operation Desert Storm.


International Work Day established.


200,000 members (took 12 years to grow by 50,000).


War in Afghanistan.

Convention | Adopted vision, mission and creed.


Convention | Adopted True Pike membership program.


250,000 members (took 11 years to grow by 50,000).


274,000 members.


280,000 lifetime initiates.

March 1, 2018

150 years of Pi Kappa Alpha.

July 25-29, 2018

150th Anniversary Convention in Richmond, VA.


COVID-19 global pandemic, 300,000 lifetime initiates, MHQ releases PIKE Place resources to assist chapters in navigating the challenges of operating during COVID-19.

Jan 7-8, 2021

First Virtual Chapters Executives Conference, CEC title dedicated & renamed “Marvin and Nancy Dennis Chapters Executives Conference.”