Founded at Indiana University on January 5, 1911, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity was America’s second historically African-American fraternity, but welcomes men of all races.
During a large portion of the twentieth century, African-American men and women faced racism and racial isolation due to various laws and social practices that had been a part of American culture for decades.
However, as more and more African-American men and women gained admittance to colleges and universities across the country, sororities and fraternities founded for and by African-American students began to form across the country.
History of Kappa Alpha Psi
Kappa Alpha Psi was originally founded as Kappa Alpha Nu by ten men at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, on Januay 5, 1911. The fraternity became known as Kappa Alpha Psi after an unanimous resolution was adopted by the organization’s membership in December 1914.
The organization recieved its articles of incorporation from the state of Indiana on May 15, 1911, creating a permanent organization.
Since its founding Kappa Alpha Psi has been an organization that has welcomed men of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. In the organization’s constitution, the writers of Kappa Alpha Psi’s governing document stated that the organization was founded on the principles of achievement by being a “truly democratic Fraternity.”
Two more chapters were established in 1913. The first was installed at the University of Illinois on February 8 of that year. The second chapter established that year later became the Illinois Alumni Chapter and was chartered on December 29, 1913.
As Kappa Alpha Psi and other black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) were founded and growing across the country, representatives from Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority met at Howard University on May 30, 1930, and formed the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the umbrella organization of the “Divine 9” or America’s nine national and international historically African-American fraternities and sororities.
At Kappa Alpha Psi’s national convention in 1947, an auxiliary organization for wives and widows of Kappa Alpha Psi members called the National Silhouettes of Kappa Alpha Psi. The Silhouettes, which have been recognized by Kappa Alpha Psi as an official organization since 1980, support fraternity activities at all levels and sit on the fraternity foundation’s board of directors.
Kappa Alpha Psi Today
Today, Kappa Alpha Psi maintains over 150,000 members from 700 undergraduate, graduate, and alumni organizations in the United States and seven other countries.
Kappa Alpha Psi supports various philanthropic projects and social initiatives, such as Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Guide Right, Kappa League, and the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation.
Kappa Alpha Psi can be distinguished from other fraternal organizations by various distinct insignia adopted throughout the organization’s history.
- Colors: crimson and cream
- Symbol: diamond
- Flower: red carnation
- Social Initiatives / Philanthropies: Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Reserach Hospital, Guide Right, Kappa League, Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation
- Motto: Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor
Founded in 1911, Kappa Alpha Psi because the United State’s second fraternity founded by African-American college men. Since then, Kappa Alpha Psi has continued to meet the needs of men of all races who seek fellowship, leadership, and a chance to serve their communities.