PIKE History Timeline

  • Mar 1 1868

    Founding, Room 47, West Range, UVA

  • May 20 1868
    1868 Founding Commemorative Plaque

    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)

  • 1868-1889
    1868 Preamble

    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.

  • Mar 1 1869
    1869 First Coat of Arms

    Beta Chapter established at Davidson College

  • Feb 27 1871

    Gamma Chapter chartered at the College of William and Mary

  • Dec 1874

    First Official Convention | Richmond, Virginia

  • Aug 12 1876
    1876 Convention 2nd Coat of Arms

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

  • 1886
    1889 Junior Founders

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

  • Dec 20 1889
    1889 Convention commemorated the refounding by placing this plaque at Hampden Sydney College

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

  • 1892
    1892 Third Coat of Arms

    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

  • Dec 19-27 1894
    1894 Iota Chapter Hampden Sydney

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

  • 1895
    1892 Xi Chapter Univeristy of South Carolina

    17 chapters

  • 1889-1909

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

  • 1898
    1898 McCorkle

    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.

  • 1904
    1904 Alpha Zeta Chapter Univ of Arkansas

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

  • 1905

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

  • 1907

    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

  • 1909
    1909 New Orleans Convention

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

  • 1909
    1909 present Coat of Arms adopted

    Present Coat of Arms adopted

  • Dec 1913
    1913 Football

    February issue of the Shield & Diamond becomes the "Football Number"

  • 1915

    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.

  • 1917
    1917 Supreme Council at St. Augustin convention

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

  • 1917-1918
    1917 First casualty World War I

    IIKA 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.

  • 1926
    1926 Robert Adjer Smythe and Howard Bell Arbuckle

    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.

  • 1928

    Convention | El Paso, Texas | Once a Pi, Always a Pi

  • 1930
    1930 Memphis Convention

    Convention | Memphis, Tennessee | National expansion policy established

  • 1932

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

  • 1933
    1933 Troutdale Convention

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

  • 1939

    78 chapters

  • 1941
    1944 Louis H Wilson earns the Medal of Honor

    World War II starts over 15,000 Pikes would participate

  • 1944

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

  • 1949

    Pi Kappa Alpha History - First revision

  • 1950
    1950 Cincinnati Convention

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

  • 1954

    Convention | Council appoints a membership standards committee

  • 1957

    # chapters, 50,000 members (took 89 years)

  • 1968

    Centennial | A new century of service to the nation and to the world by the men of IIKA 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

  • 1972

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

  • 1973
    1973 Presidents Conference

    First Chapter Presidents Conference

  • 1975
    Alpha Chapter at Univ of VA

    # chapters, 100,000 (took 18 years to grow by 50,000)

  • 1988
    Memorial Headquarters Dedication

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

  • 1991

    Operation Desert Storm

  • 1997

    International Work Day established

  • 2000
    2000 Convention logo

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

  • 2001
    9/11 Casualties

    War in Afghanistan

  • 2002

    Convention | Adopted vision, mission, creed

  • 2004
    PIKE University established

    Convention | Adopted True Pike membership program

  • 2011

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

  • 2015

    274,000 members

  • 2016

    280,000 lifetime initiates

  • March 1 2018

    150 years of Pi Kappa Alpha

  • July 25-29 2018

    150th Anniversary Convention in Richmond, VA

For more information, contact Pi Kappa Alpha at (901) 748-1868 or pikeinfo@pikes.org.