A little bit of Phi Kappa Sigma history 

Our fraternity has had a long and noteworthy past. Although many of us finished our new member education many years ago, we thought it was time to share a few more fun facts about the history of Phi Kappa Sigma. 

  • Phi Kappa Sigma was founded by Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell at the University of Pennsylvania on August 16, 1850
  • We were the first fraternity to adopt an anti-discriminatory clause in our Constitution in as early as the year 1860
  • Phi Kap currently has 40 Chapters, 2 Colonies, over 1,500 active undergraduates, and over 35,000 alumni

Want to learn more? Check out our history here.

Here is how the brotherhood benefits if we all stepped up. 

With the beginning of a new school year comes a new class of Phi Kappa Sigma brothers. Needless to say, our brotherhood is constantly growing!   

Thanks to donations of both time and money by our brothers and alumni, we are able to keep the brotherhood strong throughout the years. We have put together a list of benefits that brothers, current and future, are able to enjoy when we choose to give back.  

1) Networking: Fraternities have the ability to form connections like no other group. With members of all ages and stages of life, there is always a brother with the knowledge needed to help in any situation. A good chapter always keeps in touch with their alumni. 

2) Lifelong Friends: Not only are they able to help, but brothers are able to form a special bond through shared traditions. After countless professional and social events spent together, connections like these are often strong enough to last a lifetime.  

3) Professional Skills: Not only does the fraternity help us form bonds, but it teaches us vital skills that will be crucial to future career success. Many alumni site these skills as their top reason for giving back to the fraternity!  

4) Social Events: No matter how old you are, revisiting the old ‘stomping grounds’ to meet up with your old college buddies is always a good time! With the Skull House, there will always be a group back at Penn State to visit. Whether it be homecoming, a football game, or an alumni reunion, Psi Chapter alumni and brothers are present.  

It is time we thank the fraternity for all it has done for us. We give so that future generations can experience the same great benefits of brotherhood!  

Help Connect Us to Brothers from Your Decade

We want to keep each of you in touch with your brothers from your decade, but we need your help! We have some brothers who we have lost touch with over the years, and you can help us get back in contact. 

 

Find which brothers from your decade who we have lost touch with throughout the years HERE. See someone you know? It is easy to update us! Just click their name and send us their email address. 

 

Thank you to those of you who wrote in with contact information when last we asked; we need to bring everyone back to our alumni communications. No brother should be left behind! 

Mark Jones ‘93: I would not be the man I am today without Phi Kappa Sigma

Mark Jones ‘93 ([email protected]) says that he already started forming bonds with Phi Kappa Sigma brothers before he ever pledged. “The guys in the house and the bond I built with them prior to pledging [influenced my choice to join the house].”

He says that the tight connection was what set Phi Kappa Sigma apart. “It was the brothers that lived there and the brotherhood and love we all shared with one another.”

“The memories are endless,” he adds, “But one that truly sticks out is Toga every year.”

He says that being a Phi Kapp influenced him well beyond graduation. “Being a brother at Phi Kappa Sigma had a major impact on my life after graduation. I would say it prepared me for life after graduation more than college itself. Learning to live and function with such a diverse group of individuals, the responsibilities of the various positions I held at the fraternity, and the many incredible experiences I had while being a brother there played such a role in shaping who I am today.”

He says that giving back is crucial. “I give back because Phi Kappa Sigma gave so much to me. I want other Phi Kap’s to have the same incredible experience that I had. I would not be the man I am today without Phi Kappa Sigma.”

“If more brothers gave back,” he adds, “We could continue the wonderful traditions of Phi Kappa Sigma. I believe having Phi Kappa Sigma on campus makes Penn State, and the young men who join, better.”

Without Phi Kappa Sigma, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.

Where in the World Are Phi Kappa Sigma Brothers

Have you used our Psi Chapter directory lately? Our website has a full directory of our alumni – including the people who made your undergrad years so unforgettable. Take some time to reconnect. Here’s some tips on ways to search for other brothers. 

The directory can be found on the menu bar at the top of the page, hit directory and you will be prompted to log in. Once logged in, let your searching begin!  

Search by location:  With our map feature, you can see where Phi Kappa Sigma Brothers currently live. This is a helpful feature for reunions, tailgate plans or an impromptu meetup on your next trip.   

Search by name: Have you lost touch with your old roommate? Use the advanced search feature to find by first or last name.   

Over and over, we hear that being part of a fraternity was a formative part of life at Penn State … and the rest of our lives. Get reconnected to an old friend this year. You’ll be glad you did. 

Friends that have Lasted Lifetimes, All Thanks to Phi Kappa Sigma

When we talk about Phi Kappa Sigma, some of the first things that may come to mind are the connections that were made through your years as an undergrad. We recently reached out to our alumni brothers asking what those connections have meant to them over the years, read on to see what Sam Curry ‘62 had to say. 

My 2 lifetime friends were both Phi Kap brothers. Jim Craft ‘63, was my little brother and we maintained friendship throughout his life. I tried to have him in our wedding, but unfortunately we lost track of each other for a period of time. We spent many subsequent years vacationing in Nags Head and visiting and wine tasting in California. We had a joint property in Duck and were ready to build a vacation home but the recession in the early 80’s lead us to sell before building. Our kids were in college (not PSU) at the same time and we attended many weddings of our families. We even retired within a couple hours of each other and maintained contact and frequent visits. Bob Burns, ‘63 was the other close friend whose friendship stretched through the years. We both were on the Phi Kap Alumni Corporation board and served as both President and Vice President for several terms. We tailgated together for many years at homecoming, reunions, and attended several other Nittany Lion games. Alumni Vacation College with our kids was a real hoot. Nags Head was also a meeting place with many stories told and created. All this was preceded by amazing, crazy, and memorable years in the Skull House which we continued re-enacting though out life. (We never grow up). Unfortunately, both brothers passed on way too soon, but left many lasting stories we continue to share with their spouses, Judy and Ann. Far too many stories for this page. Memories are forever.

 

Interested in sharing your story? CLICK HERE and we will share it in an upcoming e letter! 

Vital Stats of Phi Kappa Sigma

A healthy fraternity is at the heart of everything we strive to be. To keep our fraternity healthy, we keep a close eye on the key statistics and our brothers. With your support we are able to help fund reunions, support the future of Phi Kappa Sigma, and keep our alumni communications strong. Click HERE to see our flash report on Phi Kappa Sigma’s Vital Stats.

Help give us a head start into the new year and CLICK HERE to donate.

Phi Kappa Sigma’s New Year Resolution

How many of us set New Year’s resolutions goals each year, only to forget about them halfway through January? We know we are guilty of that! But this year our goal is to help Phi Kappa Sigma brothers stay more connected. Keep reading below to learn of upcoming events and get some tips on how to stay better connected as we head into 2022.

First things first, will we see you at the Spring football game? Save the date on the calendar for April 23, 2022 and plan an impromptu meet up with a few of your Phi Kap buddies!

Looking for a pal that you lost touch with after graduation, don’t worry, we have you covered! Head to the Directory tab on the home page, use your login in, then from there you can search for all your long-lost pals from over the years. 

Already planning a reunion or small get together this summer? Send us a message by heading to the Submit an Update page on the website. We will share it in our next communications. This is also a great place to share your updates with your brothers!

Finally, it’s never too early to get plans together for some Nittany Lion fall ball. See the schedule HERE and start making your tailgate plans! Want to share your plans with all your brothers for an impromptu reunion? Let us know here and we will share it in the next e letter. 

PSI CHAPTER CHOSEN FOR PKS ED FUND’S FIRST MATCHING GIFT PROGRAM!

We have a very exciting announcement to share about a collaboration that is certainly a win-win-win! We are pleased to inform you that we are now part of a brand new tax-deductible “Foundation to Foundation Matching Grant Program” partnership between our PSI chapter, the Phi Kappa Sigma Education Fund, Inc. (PKS Ed Fund) and the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Housing (SPGH*). The PKS Ed Fund has supplied well over a 1 Million dollars in scholarships and other needed assistance to our Fraternity over the past 20 years. SPGH’s main goal is to help preserve the historical and architecture of historical Fraternity and Sorority houses. The SPGH Foundation has awarded over $34 Million in grants to date for preservation and renovation of Greek chapter houses since 1982.

We all have our personal memories of our time spent living at 234 E. Beaver Ave. Many life-long friendships started there – a common thread among us, along with OUR HOUSE. A constant stream of new members keeps Phi Kap a strong and respected part of the Penn State fraternity and college experience, while a well-maintained house creates a welcome, vital and appealing place that attracts new members and makes the actives

and alums proud. That said, OUR HOUSE is nearing 100 years old and, as is common with older homes, is in constant need of upkeep and repair.

Since 2010, some of the improvements that have been completed include:

  • 3rd Floor Hallway and Renovated Pledge Room
  • New Bathroom Sinks
  • New Oak Hardwood Floors throughout First Floor
  • New Lighting, Wall and Ceiling Fixtures throughout First Floor
  • Repaired Exterior Stucco and Wood Trim
  • Installed New Internet Capability
  • Improved Exterior Landscaping and Parking Lot
  • Replaced All Windows on First Floor with Energy Efficient Glass

Remaining planned renovations include the kitchen area, bathrooms and party room. Our goal is to raise around $350,000 over the next one, two or three years to cover those costs and other renovations.

Here is how the process will work in order for us to take advantage of the PKS ED Fund’s pilot matching gift program.

You would send your donation directly to Russell Hatton, 940 Kilduff Circle, West Chester, PA 19382, write Phi Kappa Sigma Penn State on the memo line. Please also provide your name, address and phone number.

Make the check out to PHI KAPPA SIGMA EDUCATIONAL FUND. Russ will then forward the checks to PKS ED FUND at PO Box 508, Chestertown, MD 21620. Once these Psi Chapter noted gifts reach a total $10,000, the PKS ED FUND will MATCH this amount and cut a check for $20,000 to SPGH (via Foundation to Foundation giving). SPGH will then use the funds for the approved project grants for approved PSI chapter house renovations. This is a great way for all Psi Chapter Brothers to double up year-end giving to help our house. Again, ALL contributions are tax-deductible and you will receive a confirmation letter from the PKS ED Fund for your records.

*The Society was formed to aid in the preservation of historically and architecturally significant Greek houses, to work to have additional houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to fund historical research/writing projects, ad to conduct educational open houses and seminars to educate the public about these Greek-affiliated structures.

To aid in the preservation and rehabilitation of chapter houses, the Society will provide grants for:

  • Health and safety code requirements that do not result in the loss of character
  • Mayor structural rehabilitation or restoration
  • Exterior rehabilitation or restoration
  • Interior rehabilitation or restoration
  • All donations made to the Society may be deducted as provided in Section 170 0f the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Direct gifts of appreciated securities, beneficiary designations under wills and/or living trusts, and other similar gifts are welcome and offer other ways to make a tax-deductible donation towards the House’s future. Bequests, legacies, devises, transfers, or gifts to the Society are deductible for Federal estate and gift tax purposes if they meet the applicable provisions of sections 2055, 2106, and 2522 of the Code. Contact Russ Hatton (484)888-1397 for more information on alternative giving.

Updating Our Psi Chapter Alumni Data Base

 
We have started the process of updating our alumni data base. Active Nick Connolly is leading the effort with support from the Alumni Board.  
 
You may receive an email or a call from Nick, so please take a few minutes to make sure we have the latest contact info for yourself and your pledge class.  
 
If you wish to be proactive and want to contact Nick directly, his email is [email protected]
 
Nick Connolly is originally from Leesburg, Virginia. A junior this year studying International Politics focusing on national security, as well a minor in Mandarin Chinese. He joined the house last spring as a member of the Alpha Beta pledge class. On top of being one of the fraternities’ social chairs, he is also a member of the Penn State Army ROTC program and will be attending a 40-day training exercise this summer in Fort Knox, Kentucky. 

Phi Kappa Sigma is thankful for you

Whether it be through donations or time spent volunteering, we are thankful for your support in more ways than one. Phi Kap is a brotherhood; by definition, “an association or community of people linked by a common interest.” As Phi Kappa Sigma brothers, we share a passion for the brotherhood that contributed to our personal development, our relationships, and our lives as students and far beyond to our roles as husbands, fathers, professionals, volunteers, neighbors, and friends.

 

We can’t overestimate the true meaning of adding your name to the ranks of our alumni donors. Your gift to our annual fund is both a tribute to your own experience and a way to pay it forward to ongoing generations of brothers who will eventually join our alumni ranks and share in our responsibility to keep Phi Kappa Sigma strong.

 

If you feel compelled to give back to Phi Kappa Sigma this giving season, CLICK HERE.

 

Notable Alumni

There is a long list of famous Phi Kappa Sigma brothers, which is not surprising at all considering the values we held that would attract men of character. Here at Phi Kappa Sigma, we have our very own celebrity alumni. 
 
Pedro L. Alvarez, Novelist, author of “Dragon Fire”

Craig Sams, Founder of Green & Black’s chocolate 

Edward Mills Purcell, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics

Stanford Moore, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 
 
Do you know a famous Phi Kappa Sigma at Penn State alum? We want to tell his story! Email us at alumni[email protected]  
 

Donor Spotlight: Sophie Kandler ’89

We want to take this time to say THANK YOU to Sophie Kandler ’89 for her continued support of Psi Chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma over the years. We recently caught up with Sophie and asked her about where life has taken her, Phi Kappa Sigma memories, and what Psi Chapter means to her today. Here’s what she had to say.  

Why have you remained so dedicated to Phi Kappa Sigma? 

I swore an oath to Phi Kappa Sigma in May 1985.  I keep my word, no matter what.  That oath still holds, as we are Skulls for life.  I thought that back then, and I still think that now.  Despite the many changes in my life since graduation, that has been a constant.  

How has being in Phi Kappa Sigma changed your life? 

Skull taught me a lot about many kinds of people that I’d never have encountered otherwise.  I learned a lot about my limitations and strengths, and how to stand up to adversity- even prosper.  It’s funny- I see how time changes some of my brothers, and how many of them grew into amazing people.  Skull changes everyone in some way, thankfully it’s usually for the positive.

 

If you’d like to be featured in an alumni profile, CLICK HERE.

 

Who Still Lives Near Penn State?

Ever wondered how many of your brothers chose to stick around State College a bit longer than you? Many of them still have their roots right in that region, [brothersQuantity] to be exact!  

 

See who stuck around State College by heading to the directory ! Find these brothers via the  directory on our homepage, then make your plans to visit them, or meet up at another tailgate this fall. 

Why Brothers Give, in their own words

When alumni give, they are making a statement about their commitment to Phi Kappa Sigma and its impact. Everyone has their own WHY for becoming a donor. 

 

Here are some personal testimonials from these generous donors to inspire all of us to do our part. Thank you to these Brothers for their contributions and for sharing their thoughts: 

 

 
 

 

Want to share your reason for giving? Email us or CLICK HERE and we’ll share it in our next issue. 

 

If these reasons for giving are meaningful to you, make your gift today. 

 

Why Brothers Give, in their own words

When alumni give, they are making a statement about their commitment to Phi Kappa Sigma and its impact. Everyone has their own WHY for becoming a donor. 

 

Here are some personal testimonials from these generous donors to inspire all of us to do our part. Thank you to these Brothers for their contributions and for sharing their thoughts: 

 

 
 

 

Want to share your reason for giving? Email us or CLICK HERE and we’ll share it in our next issue. 

 

If these reasons for giving are meaningful to you, make your gift today. 

 

1957 Composite Picture

Check out this blast from the past! We dug up one of Phi Kappa Sigma’s old composite pictures, all the way back to 1957! Do you recognize any one in these photos? CLICK HERE And let us know!