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Lambda Chi Alpha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lambda Chi Alpha
Lambda Chi Alpha Coat of Arms.svg
Founded November 2, 1909; 108 years ago (1909-11-02)
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Type Social
Scope United States and Canada

Per Crucem Crescens
(Crescent through the Cross)
Χαλεπά τά καλὰ
(Naught Without Labor)

Vir Quisque Vir
(Every Man a Man)
Colors      Purple
Symbol Cross and Crescent
Lambda Chi Alpha flag.jpg
Flower White Rose
Mascot Rampant Lion
Publication Cross and Crescent, Paedagogus, Zeta Zephyr, Purple, Green and Gold
Philanthropy Feeding America
Chapters 194 active, 322 chartered[1]
Members ~11,000[citation needed] collegiate
280,000+[citation needed] lifetime
Nicknames Lambda Chi, Lambda, LCA, LXA
Headquarters 11711 N. Pennsylvania Street Suite 250
Carmel, Indiana

Lambda Chi Alpha (ΛΧΑ), commonly known as Lambda Chi, is a college Fraternity in North America, which was founded in 1909.[2] It is one of the largest social fraternities in North America, with more than 280,000 lifetime members and active chapters and colonies at 195 universities.[3] The youngest of the fifteen largest social fraternities, Lambda Chi Alpha has initiated the third highest number of men ever, based on NIC statistics. Lambda Chi's International Headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its members are referred to as "Lambda Chis", "LCAs", "Lambdas", and "Choppers". It was a member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) until October 2015.[4]



Lambda Chi Alpha was founded by Warren A. Cole, a law student at Boston University. There are two different accounts of this founding.[5]

The official story adopted by Warren A. Cole and Albert Cross, now considered[by whom?] apocryphal, is that on November 2, 1909, Cole, Percival C. Morse, and Clyde K. Nichols reorganized the Cosmopolitan Law Club, a society of law students of Boston University, into Alpha Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha.[6] All were close friends and had been members of Alpha Mu Chi, a prep school fraternity. The Greek letter name is thought[by whom?] to have been used from the beginning, but is not recorded in the Alpha Zeta minutes until April 27, 1910.[5]

A second account of the founding, based on interviews with contemporaries, relates that Cole and others did belong to a loose group known as the Tombs or Cosmopolitan Club, but this was not related to the founding of Lambda Chi Alpha. Cole shared an apartment with James C. McDonald and Charles W. Proctor, who later joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Cole established his own fraternity with Ralph S. Miles, Harold W. Bridge, Percival C. Morse on November 23, 1911. The group issued a charter for itself back-dated to November 15.[5]

Cole approached many local groups at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast looking for others willing to join his new fraternity. He had corresponded with or visited 117 institutions by the time a group at Massachusetts Agricultural College accepted a charter to become Gamma Zeta, in 1912.[7] The first General Assembly, laying down a structure for a national fraternity, was held in Boston on April 13, 1912.

The fraternity held its second general assembly in Boston on March 22, 1913. There the organization adopted its secret motto, ritual insignia including the badge and coat of arms, and the basic organization; it virtually replaced the fraternity Cole had established outside of its name.[8] The 14th General Assembly, in 1931, recognized March 22 as Lambda Chi Alpha Day, in recognition of these achievements. In 1942, the board of directors renamed it Founder's Day. November 2, 1909 is also still recognized, so Lambda Chi Alpha celebrates two Founders Days each year.[8]

In the years that followed, a divide opened between Cole and a group of young alumni led by Mason, Ernst J.C. Fischer of the Cornell University chapter, and Samuel Dyer of the University of Maine chapter, the latter supported by Albert Cross of the University of Pennsylvania chapter and Louis Robbins of the Brown University chapter.[8] In 1920, Cole was ousted and Fischer was elected national president. In 1927, he became international president when Epsilon-Epsilon Zeta at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada was chartered.[9] Cole was expelled from the fraternity he founded, and not restored to good standing until 1957.

Theta Kappa Nu

The Theta Kappa Nu fraternity was formed by 11 local fraternities on June 9, 1924 in Springfield, Missouri.

With the help of the National Interfraternity Conference in identifying local groups, and Theta Kappa Nu's policy of granting charters quickly to organizations with good academic standards, the fraternity grew quickly, and had approximately 2,500 initiates in 40 chapters by the end of 1926.[10]


During the Great Depression both Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha saw membership decrease and chapters shut down. In 1939 The two fraternities merged.[11] The merger ceremony was held at the Howard College (now Samford University) chapter of Theta Kappa Nu in Birmingham, Alabama. The merger increased the number of chapters from 77 to 105[12] (or 78 to 106)[13] and the number of members from 20,000 to 27,000. At the time, this was the largest merger in fraternity history.[12] All Theta Kappa Nu chapters became Lambda Chi Alpha chapters and were given chapter designations that began with either Theta, Kappa or Nu.[14] At schools where chapters of both fraternities previously existed, the two merged and retained Lambda Chi's Zeta recognition.

Membership in the North American Interfraternity Conference

The fraternity was a member of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) from its earliest days. In October 2015 the fraternity left the NIC, citing in-fighting and dysfunctional governance. The fraternity's exit coincides with NIC lobbying for the Safe Campus Act, which is opposed by both the fraternity and sexual assault advocacy groups.[4][15]

2018 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Appeal

Bi-annually, the fraternity holds its international General Assembly (GA), where each chapter elects a delegate to represent their zeta in the legislative process of Lambda Chi Alpha. The General Assembly is the Supreme Body of Lambda Chi Alpha[16] and convenes to vote on amendments to the Constitution and Statutory Code of Lambda Chi. While the General Assembly is not in session, legislative power is held by the Grand High Zeta (Board of Directors). The ability for alumni and undergraduates to influence the future and direction of Lambda Chi Alpha is unlike any other international fraternity and places power in the hands of the many brothers across the world.

In 2018, the 57th General Assembly in Jacksonville, FL convened once again. The Epsilon-Sigma Zeta at the University of California, Los Angeles attempted to be the first chapter to overturn terms of probation through an appeal at GA. Citing slow, unfair, and biased investigative proceedings/findings, the chapter appealed for a reduction in their limited operations probation period. With the support of UCLA Administration, UC Police Department, UCLA IFC, and alumni brothers nationwide, Pierson Marks[17] (EΣ 1669) spoke to the General Assembly on the Chapter's behalf, hoping for a simple majority of votes to overturn the IHQ terms of probation.

The UCLA chapter received over 91% of votes in their favor, and in the first time in Lambda Chi Alpha history, an undergraduate chapter successfully overturned terms of probation from the International Headquarters of Lambda Chi.

Pledging and hazing policy

Beginning in August 1969, the concept of "fraternity education" replaced "pledge education."[18] The fraternity education program was designed to integrate all new members into the chapter equally.[19]

In 1972, Lambda Chi Alpha officially abolished the "pledge process" and replaced it with Associate Membership. Associate Members within Lambda Chi Alpha to this day have all of the same rights as initiated brothers, can hold officer positions, wear the letters, and can vote on all issues except for those involving the Initiation Ritual. This status as an Associate Member allows new members to enter the fraternity with respect, and helps to combat the issues that arise from the abuse of "pledges." Lambda Chi Alpha was the first fraternal organization to abolish pledging. "Pledge implies a second-class membership, indentured servitude, hazing, class officers, and extensive memorization. Pledge implies a fixed length of menial membership that is used as a gateway to full membership, with often significantly lower expectations"[20]

Lambda Chi Alpha formally prohibits hazing of any form, on or off campus, by any of its members. The fraternity's constitution defines hazing as "any action taken or situation created intentionally to produce physical discomfort or mental discomfort by embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule."[21] The fraternity first condemned hazing at a 1928 North-American Interfraternity Conference meeting by Bruce McIntosh.


In 1988, James Callahan, an associate at Rutgers University, died of an alcohol overdose participating in a drinking hazing ritual. Fifteen members of the chapter were indicted for his death.[22]

In 2007, Remy Okonkwo, a member at Georgetown College, was found hanging in the fraternity house on campus. The coroner ruled his death a suicide but his family still believes foul play was involved.[23][24] Nine years later (2016), Colson Machlitt, a football player at Georgetown College, died after allegedly jumping down a flight of stairs. Alcohol was suspected to be involved in his death.[25]

In 2008, the chapter at San Diego State University was suspended by the university for four years for hazing and alcohol violations.[26]

In 2009, the chapter at University of Southern California was suspended after three women accused members of sexual assault. In 2011, the chapter was disciplined again for hazing new members.[27]

In 2012 the University of Nevada, Reno chapter was suspended by the University and the fraternity's board of directors. The chapter had been on probation for alcohol-related violations.[28][29]

In 2013, the chapter at Vanderbilt University was suspended as a result of hazing and alcohol related violations.[30]

In 2014, following a yearlong investigation, seven members at the University of Illinois were arrested and charged with using and distributing illegal drugs. Police found in the fraternity house MDMA pills, 40 grams of MDMA powder, cocaine residue, Adderall pills, suspected LSD, cannabis, a large tank of nitrous oxide, as well as drug paraphernalia.[31] As a place to purchase drugs, the fraternity had gained the nickname "the candy shop".[32]

In 2015, the chapter at East Tennessee State University was suspended for five years for hazing associate members, accepting ineligible members, and hosting unauthorized parties with alcohol present.[33] The chapter at Sam Houston State University was suspended until 2019 for multiple alcohol violations.[34]

In 2016, the chapter at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville was shut down after repeated hazing violations and disorderly conduct reports.[35] The same year, the chapter at Southern Methodist University was given a five-year suspension for hazing and code of conduct violations. The fraternity was previously suspended in 2009 for similar infractions which then resulted in 1/3 of members being removed.[36]

Also in 2016, the national office of the fraternity suspended the chapter at the University of Oregon after a Lambda Chi Alpha cooler was discovered among a half-mile-wide swath of trash left behind at Lake Shasta. An estimated 1,000 students had docked houseboats over the weekend, but a photo of the cooler decorated with the phrase "Do you wanna do some blow man?" had gone viral.[37]

In 2017, the chapter at Butler University was suspended by the school without citing a specific reason, although local news reported that alcohol violations played a part. The university said it would not consider reinstating the chapter until 2021.[38] Following the suspension, a woman filed a civil rights complaint against the school, saying that it grossly mishandled her allegation that she was raped by a member of the fraternity during a fraternity party. The fraternity member had previously been accused of sexual misconduct by another student.[39]

In 2018, the chapter at California Polytechnic State University was placed on interim suspension after social media images surfaced depicting members dressed up as gang members and one wearing blackface during the school's multicultural celebration weekend.[40]


From 1993 to 2012, Lambda Chi Alpha's philanthropy was the North American Food Drive (NAFD). As of 2010, NAFD had collected around 33 million pounds of food for food banks.[41] In 2012, NAFD was discontinued under that name and rolled into an ongoing partnership with Feeding America.[42]

In 2017, Lambda Chi Alpha announced a trial partnership with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. Chapters were encouraged to host or participate in head-shaving events to raise money for the foundation.[43]

Notable members


Chapter locations

Chapters of Lambda Chi Alpha exist in most U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.

Chapter naming

Lambda Chi Alpha is atypical in its naming scheme. Unlike most fraternities, the order in which chapters are named is not strictly based on the Greek Alphabet. Instead, chapters of Lambda Chi Alpha are known as "Zetas". Thus, the Alpha-Beta chapter is designated Alpha-Beta Zeta. In addition, at the fraternity's inception, Cole assigned Greek letters to petitioning groups that had not yet been chartered. Not all of these groups were chartered, as a result, the first twenty-two chapters were designated Α, Γ, Ε, Ζ, Ι, Λ, Β, Σ, Φ, Δ, Π, Ο, Μ, Τ, Η, Θ, Υ, Ξ, Χ, Ω, Κ, Ν, Ρ, Ψ. After the twenty-fourth chapter, the sequence was continued with a prefix following the same sequence (Α-Α, Α-Γ, Α-Ε, ... Γ-Α, Γ-Γ, Γ-Ε, ... Ε-A, etc.)

When Theta Kappa Nu merged with Lambda Chi Alpha in 1939, the former Theta Kappa Nu chapters were all given chapter designations prefixed with Θ, Κ, or Ν. The second letter of their chapter name was assigned in the order mentioned above and applied to the chapters in order of their precedence in Theta Kappa Nu. On campuses with chapters of both Lambda Chi Alpha and Theta Kappa Nu, the chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha kept its original designation.

A singular exception, the chapter at Georgia Tech, Β-Κ Zeta, was named in recognition of its existence as a chapter of the national fraternity Beta Kappa, whose other existing chapters merged with Theta Chi in 1942.[44]

Headquarters locations

Lambda Chi Alpha's founding in Massachusetts in 1909 lead to the location of its first headquarters outside of Boston until after World War I. Later it was moved by members to northeastern Pennsylvania and eventually to Indianapolis, Indiana, where many other fraternity and sorority national headquarters are located.[45]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha Chapter Directory, accessed January 13, 2014.
  2. ^ fuelvm. "Home". Lambda Chi Alpha. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
  4. ^ a b Kingkade, Tyler (October 27, 2015). "Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Leaves National Umbrella Group Amid Controversial Lobbying". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Our Founding, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
  6. ^ Raymond, Michael J (2017), Our Story: A History of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
  7. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha History Timeline: The Founding of Lambda Chi Alpha Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b c Jones, Kyle (March 2007), "Happy Founders Day", Cross & Crescent
  9. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha History Timeline Archived 2008-01-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha History Timeline: Theta Kappa Nu Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha History Timeline: The Union Archived 2006-02-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ a b Bly, Betsy K. (Ed.) (2005). The Paedagogus (50th ed.), p. 146. Indianapolis, Lambda Chi Alpha. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Bly, Betsy K. (Ed.) (2005). The Paedagogus (50th ed.), p. 11. Indianapolis, Lambda Chi Alpha. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Bly, Betsy K. (Ed.) (2005). The Paedagogus (50th ed.), p. 102. Indianapolis, Lambda Chi Alpha. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Lambda Chi Alpha Resigns Its Membership in the North American Interfraternity Conference (press release)". PR Newswire. October 27, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  16. ^ fuelvm. "57th General Assembly & Stead Leadership Seminar". Lambda Chi Alpha. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  17. ^ "Lambda Chi Alpha | UCLA". Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  18. ^ Bly, Betsy K. (Ed.) (2005). The Paedagogus (50th ed.), p. 147. Indianapolis, Lambda Chi Alpha. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Bly, Betsy K. (Ed.) (2005). The Paedagogus (50th ed.), pp. 19–20. Indianapolis, Lambda Chi Alpha. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ ["The Paedagogus" (53rd edition), p. 15]
  21. ^ Constitution and statutory code of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Code VI-10
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Reno Fraternity House Closed After Alcohol Violations". KOLO8 News. ABC News. November 20, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  29. ^ "Lambda Chi Alpha Suspends Operations at University of Nevada" (Press release). KTVN. November 20, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  31. ^ Schenk, Mary (May 9, 2014). "Seven UI fraternity members arrested after yearlong drug probe". The News-Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  32. ^ Toledo, Adalberto (March 11, 2018). "Frats nationwide under microscope, including at UI". The News Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "University of Oregon Frat's Massive Party Leaves Lake Shasta Island Trashed". Tribune Media Wire. May 24, 2016.
  38. ^
  39. ^ Wang, Stephanie. "'I am beyond angry': Ex-Butler student says school mishandled her rape allegation". Indianapolis Star (January 29, 2018). Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  40. ^ Haag, Matthew (2018-04-11). "Blackface Leads to Fraternity Suspension at Cal Poly". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  41. ^ 2010 North American Food Drive Results Cross & Crescent. December 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-04. Archived December 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ Jones, Kyle (August 17, 2016), "In partnership with Feeding America, Lambda Chi Alpha raises more than 4.4 Million pounds of food in the past year", Cross & Crescent
  43. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha, St. Baldrick’s Foundation
  44. ^ Leonard, Edward F., George W. McDaniel, Charles S. Peyser (Eds.) (1987). Ritual: What and Why, p. 28. Indianapolis, Lambda Chi Alpha. Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  45. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha Headquarters Locations Archived 2006-03-05 at the Wayback Machine. Cross and Crescent, December 2005.
  46. ^ Location of Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters in Swansea, MA
  47. ^ Location of Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters in Kingston, PA
  48. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Wilkes-Barre, PA
  49. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Indianapolis, IN
  50. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Indianapolis, IN
  51. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Indianapolis, IN
  52. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Indianapolis, IN
  53. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Indianapolis, IN
  54. ^ Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters location in Indianapolis, IN

External links

This page was last edited on 1 November 2018, at 16:41
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