Phi Kappa Psi
PA Lambda | 403 Locust Lane, State College | Penn State

Phi Kappa Psi History


The Pennsylvania Lambda Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity has a colourful and eventful history at Penn State. The Year 2012 marked the 100th anniversary as a chapter of Phi Psi. Since its inception, nearly 1,500 men have been initiated as members. And to think, it almost didn't happen.

A group of young men formed the Cresco Club at Penn State in Spring 1905 with the hopes of joining a national fraternity. They approached John Henry Frizzel, a professor of speech communications at the University, about the idea of securing a charter from his fraternity: Phi Kappa Psi. Admiring their tenacity, John Henry agreed to help the young men get a charter.

The young group organized under the name of Theta Psi and began its seven-year journey toward "charterhood." Under the guidance of John Henry, Theta Psi became a strong local fraternity and forged a legacy of campus leadership by the time it was granted a Phi Kappa Psi Charter. Through the years Theta Psis and later Phi Psis have held top leadership leadership posts on campus and were standouts on Penn State athletic teams. Three of the six founding members of Lion's Paw, a senior society, were Phi Psis.

After four petitions to National, a charter was finally granted in June of 1912 at the Grand Arch Council in Chicago. The tenacious spirit of these young men, many of whom were alumni, captured the Phi Psi national leadership. Theta Psi became the Pennsylvania Lambda Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi on October 11, 1912.

The Pennsylvania Lambda Chapter strives to influence the lives of numerous men and cultivate lasting friendships and experiences. While many of our Brothers have pursued successful and careers in business, law, medicine, and countless other endeavours, the common bond of our Brotherhood remains, along with our shared principles and values. Most of us can trace at least some of our roots and success to Phi Psi. The early training we received through our Fraternity, including our leadership skills, organizational skills, social skills, teamwork, and character, played an integral role in our personal success.

While there may be some differences in today's Chapter compared to the one you knew, there is an unbroken chain of Phi Kappa Psi Brothers at Penn State that has endured nearly 100 years. All Penn Lambdas can be proud of the legacy we have helped create and the historical quality of our Chapter that carries on today. The Chapter plays a significant role in the personal and professional development of its members, and this growth is crucial in today's competitive world.

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