A Brief History of Phi Kappa Psi
Founded over 150 years ago, Phi Psi boasts a rich
history at many of the nation's top colleges and universities.
William H. Letterman and Charles P.T. Moore founded
Phi Kappa Psi in the
little college town of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, when they were nursing their
stricken friends during an epidemic
typhoid fever at their college. It was through these long night vigils that an
appreciation of the great joy of serving others came into their lives.
Calling a number of others to join them, a Brotherhood was founded on
February 19, 1852. It flourished, and gradually extended to other colleges and
universities throughout the country. Idealists all, these founders of Phi
Kappa Psi taught a new fraternity - a Fraternity that would complement the
work of the university by cultivating those humanities without which the
educated man fails of his greatest usefulness.
At the time of our founding, Jefferson College was considered one of the
"Big Three" in what was known as the "Jeffersonian
Cradle." The other two institutions comprising this group, Harvard and
Princeton, were of very nearly equal size and equal high esteem. These
institutions all graduated predominantly ministers, lawyers and physicians
from an academic curricula based in classical literature, religious doctrine
and basic sciences.
Phi Kappa Psi recognizes the need and value of the best and broadest
education possible and encourages that goal within our membership. But unless
actuated by a proper love for and service to mankind, the educated man may
often waste his talents. It is to counteract this tendency that Phi Kappa Psi
was founded to encourage the best in men, to inspire and assist them to reach
their potential as students, brothers, men and citizens.