Alpha Kappa Lambda

Alpha Kappa Lambda

Infobox Fraternity
name=Alpha Kappa Lambda
colors=Purple and Gold
flower=Yellow Rose
symbol=Coat of Arms

motto="Αλήθεια Και Λόγος-Alethia Kai Logos" ("The Truth and the Word")"Men of Character Committed to Making a Difference"
founded= birth date and age|1914|4|22
birthplace=University of California, Berkeley
type=Collegiate fraternity
address=4735 Statesmen Drive Suite F.
factoid=First national fraternity founded on the west coast

Alpha Kappa Lambda (ΑΚΛ) is an American collegiate social fraternity for men founded at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1914. Today, it operates approximately 33 active chapters and colonies and boasts tens of thousands of initiated members.


Alpha Kappa Lambda's cornerstone is its "Five Ideals":

*Judeo-Christian Principles

Alpha Kappa Lambda teaches men that the commitments outlined in the Fraternity's Ritual are not merely remote ideals, but areas of discipline for daily life. AKΛs support, and in turn have the support of, their brothers in living these principles. Through Alpha Kappa Lambda, men with different backgrounds but similar ideals unite with a common purpose: to foster excellence in scholarship, leadership, individual growth, and involvement in community service. AKΛ is dedicated to Men of Character, Committed to Making A Difference.

History and Tradition

Alpha Kappa Lambda was founded on April 22, 1914 by a group of young men attending the University of California, Berkeley. Its birth, however, dates back to 1906 when a group of friends discussed the "need of Christian men for a place to live and study that was within their [financial] means." Thus, Los Amigos was born out of that need of forming a house club where they might live together as men and brothers, helping each other, encouraging each other, and living more economically than they could separately.

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake delayed the formation of the club for a time. However, after assisting in the cleanup of that earthquake, four students re-addressed their desire to organize a house club during a YMCA conference in Pacific Grove, California. It was decided to form "Los Amigos" in 1907, which was a house club named from the Spanish translation of "The Friends." Shortly after, seven more men joined Los Amigos.

Reverend Gail Cleland, one of the original eleven members of Los Amigos, recalled, "When we organized Los Amigos as a house clubs and fraternities were dime a dozen. They came, they lived for a few months or a few years, then they went out of existence again. But Los Amigos did not go out of existence."

He continues, "And seven years response to the suggestion of Benjamin Ide Wheeler, the President of the University of California, we organized our house club as a national fraternity of one chapter."

The founders of Los Amigos were a diverse group, but they shared a common desire for studious living in a college environment and continued integrity after their formal education concluded.

On April 22, 1914, a formation banquet was held in the Hotel Shattuck in Berkley, with members of the new Fraternity and many guests from the community of the University of California in attendance.

Alpha Kappa Lambda became the first Fraternity to be founded on the West Coast. Besides being born in the West and spreading east, Alpha Kappa Lambda was unique in another way.

"Of particular novelty is statement that the Ideals of the Fraternity are to develop the 'social, intellectual, moral, and religious welfare of it members, (and) to foster and encourage among its members Christian principles, service, higher education, culture, and refinement'," reported The Berkeley Gazette (April 27, 1914) a few days following the formal installation of the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Lambda.

The original founding fathers of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity were William Floyd Barnum, Herman "Richie" "Dickie" Bergh, Charles Junius "Charlie" Booth,"Serious Minded" Gail Cleland, Leonard Harrington Day, Alan Holmes Kimball, Harry Levi Osborn, Charles Oscar "Oscar" Perrine, Ludwig Rehfuess, Harold Alonzo Hal Savage, Joseph Leon "Joe" Taylor.

In 1921, several members of Alpha chapter transferred to the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. There they joined the 54 man Bushnell Guild and convinced them to adopt the Alpha Kappa Lambda name. This opened Gamma chapter and spread the fraternity to the Midwest. Today, Gamma is the oldest continuously active chapter. They are currently planning an extensive renovation of the house they have occupied since 1921.

Fraternity Motto

The motto of the fraternity is "Alethia Kai Logos," which in Classical Greek means "The Truth and the Word". Former National President William B. Herms explains, "The motto is a symbolic statement of our Ideals. We are seekers after Truth, the highest Truth, if you please . . . And the Word, which again lends itself to interpretation." AKL's seek through both their words and deeds to advance the spirit of Alethia Kai Logos, as well as strengthen both their individual chapters and their universities by living the ideals of the Motto.

Fraternity Creed

"I believe in the Five Ideals of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity and subscribe to an emphasis on Judeo-Christian Principles, Leadership, Scholarship, Loyalty, and Self-Support."

"I believe in brotherhood as friendship of the highest calling."

"I accept membership in Alpha Kappa Lambda as affiliation that is binding for life."

"I pledge myself to treat others as I would have them treat me."

"I shall respect the opinion of others."

"I shall commit myself to a style of membership in Alpha Kappa Lambda that is an educationally and socially maturing process. The goal of this process is achieving a wholeness of manhood that is prepared to assume leadership responsibility in fulfilling the obligations of life."

Fraternity Badge

The official badge of the fraternity is made of at least ten carat gold. An alpha and a lambda rest in the background (covered with the flowers of a dogwood, representing Christian Principles) and the Kappa is raised, set with eleven whole pearls. The eleven pearls represent both the original founders of the Los Amigos Club as well as the eleven traits that AKL sought to advance in its early years and to this day. The badge is to be worn only on collared shirts, sweaters, or suit vests, and in the traditional position over the heart. The badge may only be worn by initiated members of the Fraternity.

The Yellow Rose

The Souvenir de Claudis Pernet, described as a tantalizing yellow rose, was adopted as the Fraternity's Official Flower at the 6th National Conclave in 1927, because "it was not expensive, and its deep golden color matched well with the colors of AKΛ." The flower was a popular rose in early 1900s. While the Souvenir de Claudis Pernet itself is no longer widely grown, it has many hybridized descendants. The rose was originally bred by a famous French rose-breeder, Joseph Pernet-Ducher, who named the rose after one of his sons who died in World War I.

National Service Projects

These Hands Don't Hurt

Alpha Kappa Lambda realizes that sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses and believes that it can be fought through education, service, and philanthropic projects. The philanthropic fundraising aspect is the most visible of the three. The fundraising is performed via a “Promise Wall.” The Promise Wall is displayed prominently in a high traffic area of campus. Students, faculty, and members of the community are asked to add their “hand” to the Promise Wall for a contribution of $1. By placing their “hand” on the wall they make a promise that their hand will not be used to harm others.

Cystic Fibrosis

The fraternity adopted cystic fibrosis as a national philanthropy at the 1990 National Conclave. Chapters support the fight against Cystic Fibrosis in many ways. Chapter fundraisers provide financial support to local organizations, research, and individuals. Chapters provide manpower to help local organizations' events. Members can have holiday or birthday parties for children suffering from CF. There are countless ways to touch the lives of CF sufferers and their families.


The Adopt-A-School program was endorsed by the National Executive Council during their 1994 Winter meeting. The goal of the program is to provide for the formation of one-on-one relationships between local college students and local elementary students. This program provides an opportunity for college students to give something back to their host communities while devoting time and energy to be a role model for young children.

Active Chapter and Colony List

* Gamma Chapter - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
* Delta Colony - University of Kansas
* Eta Chapter - Washington State University
* Kappa Chapter - Purdue University
* Lambda Chapter - Emporia State University
* Xi Chapter - Truman State University
* Tau Chapter - Pennsylvania State University
* Upsilon Chapter - University of Northern Colorado
* Phi Colony - Oregon State University
* Chi Chapter - California University of Pennsylvania
* Psi Chapter - Iowa State University
* Alpha Zeta Chapter - Northwest Missouri State University
* Alpha Lambda Chapter - Northern Illinois University
* Alpha Rho Chapter - University of Texas at El Paso
* Alpha Phi Chapter - University of Idaho
* Beta Nu Chapter - Virginia Commonwealth University
* Beta Omicron Chapter - James Madison University
* Beta Tau Chapter - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
* Beta Phi Chapter - Auburn University
* Beta Psi Chapter - Missouri State University
* Beta Chi Colony - George Mason University
* Gamma Alpha Chapter - University of Missouri
* Gamma Beta Chapter - University of Alabama
* Gamma Gamma Chapter - Rutgers University
* Gamma Delta Chapter - University of Montevallo
* Gamma Zeta Chapter - University of Georgia
* Gamma Theta Chapter - Boise State University
* Gamma Iota Chapter - Eastern Michigan University
* Gamma Kappa Chapter - Fairleigh Dickinson University
* Gamma Lambda Chapter - Temple University
* Gamma Mu Chapter - Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
* Tennessee Gamma Colony - Middle Tennessee State University
* Indiana Gamma Colony - Indiana University

Notable Alumni


Dan Maloney, University of Illinois, Gamma Chapter, Last Portrayer of Chief Illiniwek (XXXVI)
Derrick Peterson, University of Missouri, Gamma Alpha Chapter, 2004 Olympic Athlete
John Madigan, University of Illinois, Gamma Chapter, Chief Illiniwek (XXXIII)
Matt Veronie, University of Illinois, Gamma Chapter, Chief Illiniwek (XXXIV)
Scott Paffrath, University of Missouri, Gamma Alpha Chapter, Former NFL player
Rian Lindell, Washington State University, Eta Chapter, Current NFL player, Buffalo Bills


Jack Cakebread, University of California Berkeley, Alpha Chapter, Founder and CEO of Cakebread Cellars
Joe Coulombe, Stanford University, Beta Chapter, Founder and CEO of Trader Joe's
Rich Miletic, University of Illinois, Gamma Chapter, CEO of ZK Celltest
Kevin Parrish, Auburn University, Beta Phi Chapter, Founder/CEO Parrish Saddle Co.

Entertainment & Media

Dan Williams, University of Northern Colorado, Upsilon Chapter, Sports Journalist/Emmy Winner
Allen Drury, Stanford University, Beta Chapter, Journalist/Pulitzer Prize Winner
Irving Dilliard, University of Illinois, Gamma Chapter, Journalist/Pulitzer Prize Winner
Frayne Rosanoff, Chi Chapter; Actor, Star of 'Python' (


Gary Sherrer, Emporia State University, Lambda Chapter, Former Lt. Governor of Kansas
Steve King, Northwest Missouri State University, Alpha Zeta Chapter, Member of Congress (2003-present)
Vern Swanson, Emporia State University, Lambda Chapter, Current member of the Kansas House of Representatives


Maj. Gen. Oliver Prince Smith, University of California Berkeley, Alpha Chapter, Korean War Hero


Carl Rogers, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Epsilon Chapter, Influential American Psychologist

External links

* [ Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity]
* [ Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity-Gamma Chapter]
* [ Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity-Beta Nu Chapter]
* [ Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity-Beta Psi Chapter]

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