Quick Phi Kap Facts

Becoming a Phi Kap means being part of one of the oldest fraternities in existence, one that has blazed a trail for others to follow. Here are some historical highlights of which we are particularly proud:

We were founded at the University of Pennsylvania on October 19th, 1850. 

In 1857, we became the first fraternity to publish a magazine, starting a tradition that continues en masse among fraternities and sororities today. 

The Phi Kappa Sigma Male College was the first institution of higher learning in the state of Arkansas and made us the first and only fraternity to have had a college named in its honor.

We were the first fraternity to include an anti-discriminatory clause in our Constitution. In 1860, Phi Kaps voted against being an all-white fraternity, so when you read our motto “Brotherhood is more than skin deep,” understand  we have lived by those words since before the Civil War. 

In 1869, we became the first Fraternity to organize a national convention and establish a democratic system of government based on chapter representation.

In 1888, we became the first fraternity to offer a scholastic award in any American college or university. The Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell Prize in English Composition was created at the University of Pennsylvania and awarded to the sophomore who carried the highest average in English composition.  

We were among the first fraternities to become an international organization with the establishment of the Alpha Beta Chapter at the University of Toronto. 

We became a charter member of the National Inter-Fraternity Conference (NIC) in 1909. 

We celebrated our sesquicentennial (150 years of operation) in 2000. 

We held the first Men of Honor Leadership Institute, designed to help our members become more effective leaders and officers within their chapters, in 2001. 

Our members raise tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, our international charity, every year.

We have 40 active chapters operating today, with 1,300+ active undergraduate members and 40,000+ alumni members. 

We’re known colloquially as “Phi Kaps” or “Skulls.”