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Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity (ΦΚΨ, Phi Psi) is an American collegiate fraternity.


Phi Kappa Psi was founded in 1852 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvaniamarker, on the campus of Jefferson College by William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore. Through long nights of caring for a sick friend during an outbreak of disease, the founders grew to appreciate their service, and decided to form an organization that would ensconce these ideals, and on the dreary night of 19 February 1852, the brotherhood of Phi Kappa Psi was born.

The Pennsylvania Beta Chapter at Allegheny College has been on Allegheny's campus since May 5 1855, a span of 153 consecutive years, the longest continuous chapter within the fraternity. The Virginia Beta Chapter at Washington and Lee University was founded before the Pennsylvania Beta chapter, however it suspended operations during the Civil War.

A historical time line of the fraternity can be found at Two volumes of fraternity history have been written and printed each covering fifty years of Phi Psi's first 150+ year history. A third volume covering the most recent fifty years is due to be completed in 2008-2009.


The following Phi Kappa Psi Creed was written by John Henry Frizzell of the Massachusetts Alpha Chapter and Kent Christopher Owen of the Indiana Beta Chapter. It was adopted by the fraternity's national convention, the Grand Arch Council, in Denver in 1964.

I believe that Phi Kappa Psi is a brotherhood of honorable men, courteous and cultured, who pledge throughout their lives to be generous, compassionate, and loyal comrades;
I believe that I am honor bound to strive manfully for intellectual, moral, and spiritual excellence; to help and forgive my Brothers; to discharge promptly all just debts; to give aid and sympathy to all who are less fortunate;

I believe that I am honor bound to strengthen my character and deepen my integrity; to counsel and guide my Brothers who stray from their obligations; to respect and emulate my Brothers who practice moderation in their manners and morals; to be ever mindful that loyalty to my Fraternity should not weaken loyalty to my college, but rather increase devotion to it, to my country, and to my God;

I believe that to all I meet, wherever I go, I represent not only Phi Kappa Psi, but indeed the spirit of all fraternities; thus I must ever conduct myself so as to bring respect and honor not to myself alone, but also to my Fraternity;

To the fulfillment of these beliefs, of these ideals, in the noble perfection of Phi Kappa Psi, I pledge my life and my sacred honor.


The fraternity flag is in the proportions of eight and one-half feet wide by six feet high; the colors are the official fraternity colors; the design is three vertical stripes of equal width, a hunter green in the middle, flanked on either side by a cardinal red stripe. A smaller version is available with proportions roughly three and one-half feet wide by two feet high.

The Order of the S.C.

The Order of the S.C., formed in 1920 at the Grand Arch Council held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is regarded by Phi Kappa Psi as a "fraternity within a fraternity" and has no peer in the men's fraternity world. Entrance can only be gained by attending at least seven Grand Arch Councils and performing, to the satisfaction of the Order, one or more acts of benefit to the Fraternity. The Order meets every two years, during Phi Kappa Psi's biennial Grand Arch Council. The words which the initials "S.C." represent are held secret by its members, and there are currently more than one hundred living members of the Order who guard its traditions and carry out its work.

Endowment Fund

Like many fraternal organizations, the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity maintains an independent endowment for the educational benefit of its members. The Endowment Fund of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., organized in 1914, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational foundation. As of December 31, 2004 the Endowment Fund had net assets of $18,928,712. In 2004 the Endowment Fund spent $1,085,515 on scholarships, grants and other educational activities for the fraternity's members.

Although established in 1914, it was not until the mid-1990s that the Endowment Fund began to flourish. In 1994, net assets totaled a mere $620,503. Ten years later, that amount grew to almost $19 million. In 2004, under the leadership of Tom Pennington, Director of Development, and Wayne Wilson, a probate attorney who serves as volunteer Chairman, the Endowment Fund of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity became the largest educational foundation of any American or international collegiate fraternity or sorority. Gifts from wealthy alumni have helped Phi Kappa Psi reach this goal. The fund also relies heavily on smaller contributions to its "Chapter Scholarship Foundation" program, whereby 90% of a donation can be ear-marked for the benefit of a specific chapter. This has spurred giving among those who have a strong connection with the chapter at their collegiate alma mater. The California Epsilon Chapter at the University of California, Los Angeles has the largest Chapter Scholarship Fund, with $1.9 million in 2008.

In 2006, the Endowment Fund and the Fraternity Headquarters moved from its downtown Indianapolis location into its new acquisition, Laurel Hall. Complete with Ruth Lilly Conference Center and public access for special events, this property has enabled Phi Kappa Psi to host national conferences and board meetings as well as gain revenue from rental of the facility to other Indianapolis area citizens. Its website is


Grand Chapters

The Grand Chapter was created to be the governing body of the Fraternity during its early years. However, it was later changed when Grand Arch Councils were formed to create a national governing body which consisted of representatives from all chapters and alumni associations. The Fraternity recently started awarding an award for the Grand Chapter, as a way for chapters around the country to compete to be representative of an ideal chapter. Although winners of this award no longer are the governing body of the Fraternity, it is a high honor for any chapter of the fraternity.

This award is given out each year, either at the Woodrow Wilson Leadership Academy or The Grand Arch Council. In 2009 the award was given to the Ohio Mu[14231]] chapter at the University of Dayton.

Chapter controversies

University of Virginia

As a result of his apology in 2006 it was alleged by the state of Virginia that 22 years earlier on the morning of 5 October 1984, student William Beebe raped seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Schimpf, and that investigators believed that Schimpf had been gang raped by members of the fraternity. The victim reported that, prior to the rape, some of the men gave her a drink that they called the “house special”, and that, shortly after sipping it, she felt “like my arms and legs didn't work well.” Beebe was arrested, charged with aggravated sexual battery, pled guilty, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, serving about six months prior to his parole. In July 2007 officials told the Associated Press they had exhausted all leads regarding gang rape and that that case was stalled. Although he lived at the house, Beebe was never an official member of Phi Psi, according to Shawn Collinsworth, Executive Director of the national fraternity.

San Diego State University

On 6 May 2008, four members of Phi Kappa Psi at San Diego State Universitymarker were among 96 individuals, including 75 students, arrested as the result of an undercover investigation into drug trafficking on the University's campus after multiple overdose deaths around the campus.

University of Arizona

After a police blotter report of a drugging and date rape at a Phi Kappa Psi party in the 8 October 2009 issue of the University of Arizona Daily Wildcat, approximately 10,000 copies of the edition were stolen in the early morning from their dispensers located across the University of Arizona Campus in a coordinated effort. Later, several thousand papers were found dumped in the desert along with the homework of 2 Phi Kappa Psi members. However, the UA Police Department did not interview the 2 members in question, and an inter-fraternity board later found in favor of Phi Kappa Psi.

Notable Phi Psi's


Public service




Arts and entertainment





Popular culture


  1. – provides an overview of the University of Virginia incident up to the time Beebe was extradited from Nevada. Includes Collinsworth's statement that Beebe was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi.
  2. – (which is separated into 5 pages on website) includes Beebe's denial that there were other men present, Beebe's sentencing, investigators' allegation of gang rape, and the Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney's statement that investigation continues.
  3. – describes Beebe's prison sentence, time served, and release, and regarding alleged sexual assaults by others says, "In July, officials told The Associated Press they had exhausted all leads and the case had stalled."
  4. Merriman, Michael; “Police Beat: Oct. 8 — Woman claims to have been drugged at Phi Kappa Psi party”, Daily Wildcat, 7 October 2009.
  5. McDonnell, Tim, and Shain Bergan; “Phi Kappa Psi homework found with stolen Wildcats”, Daily Wildcat, 9 October 2009.
  6. Bergan, Shain; “UAPD closes paper theft case; Frat members were never questioned”, Daily Wildcat, 3 November 2009.
  7. anonymous; “Phi Psi found not responsible for theft of newspapers”, Daily Wildcat, 9 November 2009.
  8. Editorial Board; “Phi Kappa Psi newspaper caper”, Minneapolis Daily, 9 November 2009.
  10. ACME Animal House Filming Locations - College as it should have been

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