Founding History

Lambda Chi Alpha was formed on November 2, 1909 when Warren A. Cole, Percival C. Morse, and Clyde K. Nichols formed a new fraternity by reorganization of the Cosmopolitan Law Club, a society of law students of Boston University, into a Greek letter society. The Greek letter name was not used in the Alpha Zeta minutes until April 27, 1910, the first known time it was recorded.

Cole approached many local groups at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast in hopes of finding others willing to join his new fraternity. Before the acquisition of Lambda Chi Alpha's first functioning chapter, Cole had corresponded with or visited 117 institutions.

Lambda Chi Alpha's first established chapter (Gamma Zeta) was at Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC) in 1912. Additional chapters followed, and in 1927 Lambda Chi Alpha became an international fraternity with the founding of Epsilon-Epsilon Zeta at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Theta Kappa Nu

The Theta Kappa Nu fraternity was formed by 11 local fraternities on June 9, 1924 in Springfield, Missouri.

With the help of the National Interfraternity Conference in identifying local groups, and Theta Kappa Nu's policy of granting charters quickly to organizations with good academic standards, the fraternity grew quickly, and had approximately 2,500 initiates in 40 chapters by the end of 1926.


During the Great Depression both Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha saw membership decrease and chapters shut down. In 1939 The two fraternities merged. The merger ceremony was held at the Howard College (now Samford University) chapter of Theta Kappa Nu in Birmingham, Alabama. The merger increased the number of chapters from 77 to 105 (or 78 to 106) and the number of members from 20,000 to 27,000. At the time, this was the largest merger in fraternity history. All Theta Kappa Nu chapters became Lambda Chi Alpha chapters and were given chapter designations that began with either Theta, Kappa or Nu. At schools where chapters of both fraternities previously existed, the two merged and retained Lambda Chi's Zeta recognition.

Fraternity education and hazing policy

Beginning in August 1969, the concept of "fraternity education" replaced "pledge education." The fraternity education program was designed to integrate all new members into the chapter equally.

Lambda Chi Alpha prohibits hazing of any form, on or off campus, by any of its members. The fraternity's constitution defines hazing as "any action taken or situation created intentionally to produce physical discomfort or mental discomfort by embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule." The fraternity first condemned hazing at a 1928 North-American Interfraternity Conference meeting.

7 Core Values

These values, which were adopted from the United States Army, include Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service & Stewardship, Honor, Integrity, and Personal courage, which come together to form the acronym LDRSHIP. Lambda Chi Alpha is in search of the type of student who already exemplifies these traits and is continually working to better himself as a man.