Phi Kappa Theta (ΦΚΘ), commonly known as Phi Kap, is a national social fraternity that has over 50 active chapters and colonies at universities across the United States. The fraternity was founded on April 29, 1959 at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with the agreed upon merger of two older Catholic Christian fraternities, Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi. Phi Kappa was founded exactly 70 years prior in 1889 at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, while Theta Kappa Phi was founded later in October 1919 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Phi Kappa Theta
Coat of Arms of Phi Kappa Theta.gif
FoundedApril 29, 1889; 130 years ago (1889-04-29) (Phi Kappa)
Brown University
October 1, 1919; 100 years ago (1919-10-01) (Theta Kappa Phi)
Lehigh University
April 29, 1959; 60 years ago (1959-04-29) (merger to Phi Kappa Theta)
Ohio State University
ScopeUnited States
Motto"Give, expecting nothing thereof"
Colors     Cardinal Purple
FlagPhi Kappa Theta flag.jpg
FlowerRed Tea Rose
PublicationThe Temple
PhilanthropyChildren's Miracle Network Hospital
Headquarters3901 W86th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana
United States

Although Phi Kappa Theta membership is not currently exclusive to any one faith, it and the two fraternities that united to form it were historically Catholic fraternities.[1]


Phi Kappa Theta was established by the merger of two fraternities on April 29, 1959: Phi Kappa and Theta Kappa Phi. In 1889, Phi Kappa was founded by a group of Catholic students at Brown University who were refused entrance to other fraternities because of their faith. Later, on October 1, 1919, Theta Kappa Phi (an acronym for "The Catholic Fraternity") was founded by a similar group of students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The merger of the two fraternities in 1959 was the first of its kind in the history of the American fraternal system. The merger between the two fraternities occurred at The Ohio State University with the first chartered chapter of Phi Kappa Theta located at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. Although historically Catholic, Phi Kappa Theta is open for membership to men of any religion, and many of its members are not Catholic. Phi Kappa Theta is currently the only fraternity in the American Fraternal system that is considered a true "merger" of two separate Greek letter organizations.

The idealsEdit

Phi Kappa Theta is a national social fraternity founded on five ideals: Fraternal Engagement (duty to man), Intellectual (duty to self and parents), Social Impact (duty to society), Spiritual (duty towards God), and Leadership.

Phi Kappa Theta todayEdit

As of 2014, Phi Kappa Theta lists 46 chapters and 6 colonies in the United States,[2] ranking them in the middle, in terms of size, of all national fraternities.[citation needed]

Notable Phi KapsEdit


Name Fame Ref
John F. Kennedy 35th President of United States (Honorary) [3]
Eugene McCarthy U.S. Senator (1959-1971), U.S. Congressman (1949-1959)
Eligio "Kika" de la Garza, II US Congressman, 15th Congressional District (1965-1997) (Texas)
Richard J. Hughes Governor of New Jersey (1962-1970); Chief Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court (1973-1979)
John J. Barton Former Mayor of Indianapolis (1964-1968)
Joseph M. Barr Former Mayor of Pittsburgh (1959-1970)
Alfonso J. Cervantes Former Mayor of St. Louis (1965-1973)
Paul Hardy Former Lt. Gov. of Louisiana (1988-1992), Secretary of State Louisiana (1976-1980)


Name Fame Ref
Paul Allen Co-Founder Microsoft, Owner of Portland Trail Blazers & Seattle Seahawks
Paul Galvin Founder Motorola
Paul Allaire Former President, Chairman and CEO, Xerox
Joseph Perella Co-Founder Perella Weinberg Partners


Name Fame Ref
Ed McMahon Actor: Announcer Tonight Show, Host Star Search
Gene Kelly Actor: Singin' in the Rain, Anchors Aweigh
Bob Hope Actor/Comedian and Famous United Service Organizations Performer (Honorary)
Keegan-Michael Key Comedian: MADtv, Key & Peele
Brian Baker (actor) Actor: Sprint PCS Commercials
Craig Shoemaker Actor/Comedian PA PSI


Name Fame Ref
Vince Dooley Former head coach and athletic director at the University of Georgia. Ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win over 200 games. Coached the University of Georgia to the 1980 National Championship and six SEC titles. Member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Dan Devine College Football Hall of Fame. Arizona State University, University of Missouri, University of Notre Dame and Green Bay Packer head coach. Coached Notre Dame to the 1977 National Championship.
Ray Meyer DePaul men's basketball coach, 1945 NIT Championship, Basketball Hall of Fame
Ed Macauley AP Player of the Year, All-American at St. Louis University, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, played for: St. Louis Hawks, Boston Celtics, NBA All-Star
Jim Stillwagon Lombardi Trophy and Outland Trophy winner @ Ohio State University, CFL All-Star
Bob Aspromonte (3rd baseman) Brooklyn Dodgers/ LA Dodgers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, & New York Mets
Theo Tran (Professional poker player) 4 WSOP final tables, 1.8 million in cash finishes, University of Pittsburgh
Paul Giel (Pitcher) New York/San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Athletics
Ed Don George Professional wrestler and promoter, member of Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum


Name Fame Ref
Patrick Ellis Former President of La Salle University (1977-1992) and The Catholic University of America (1992-1998)
William C. McInnes Former President of Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (1977-1989), University of San Francisco (1972 to 1977) and Fairfield University (1964 to 1973)


Name Fame Ref
John Joseph Wright Cardinal, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
David Allen Zubik Bishop, Bishop of Pittsburgh
John Krol Cardinal, Archbishop of Philadelphia
Donald Wuerl Cardinal, Archbishop of Washington

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "XICLONE" (PDF). Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Summer 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. The four ideals of Phi Kappa Theta (fraternal, intellectual, spiritual, and social) resonated with me, as well as its roots as a Christian fraternity.
  2. ^ "Chapters and Colonies - Phi Kappa Theta, Incorporated". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  3. ^ "JFK honorary fraternity brother at Worcester school". Retrieved 2018-08-05.

External linksEdit