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Wednesday, 11 November 2009 03:16



Philosophy of Kappa Alpha Order

Kappa Alpha Order is military in organization, religious in feeling and pledged to chivalrous ideals. These ideals add grace to life and inculcate valor, loyalty, truthfulness, and reverence for womankind, courtesy, and modesty of bearing, self-denial, and considerate and thoughtful regard for the feelings of others. The philosophy of Kappa Alpha Order is that the acquisition of knowledge and the development of character are the great goals of life.

Kappa Alpha Order is not just another college fraternity; it is a way of life, a philosophy of living. Its influence and its ideals can neither be weighed nor always felt, but there is nothing more substantial to its members than the bonds of brotherhood they have shared.



          Kappa Alpha Order was originally founded as Phi Kappa Chi on December 21, 1865, at Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. James Ward Wood, William Archibald Walsh, and brothers William Nelson Scott and Stanhope McClelland Scott are generally considered the original founders of the fraternity. Soon after the founding, the local Virginia Beta chapter of Phi Kappa Psi protested the name "Phi Kappa Chi", due to the similarity of the names, leading Wood to change the name of the fraternity to K.A. by April 1866. The popular Kuklos Adelphon society had gone defunct during the Civil War, and it is suspected that Wood selected the letters K.A. to attract those who were familiar with the old society. Within one year, the order's ritual would be expanded upon and given a new vision by "practical founder", Samuel Zenas Ammen. In the years that followed, the Order spread throughout the Southern United States, as well as many other states such as California and New Mexico, a distinguishing factor that separates it from the smaller, northern-based Kappa Alpha Society.
          KA is one-third of the Lexington Triad, along with Alpha Tau Omega and Sigma Nu. Robert E. Lee, whose ideals of chivalry and gentlemanly conduct inspired the founders, was designated the "Spiritual Founder" of the Order by John Temple Graves at the 1923 Convention.



           The members of Kappa Alpha Order pride themselves on a tradition of chivalry and of the values of the gentleman. This is reminiscent of a romanticized version of the Knights of the Crusades. This all culminates into a modern college fraternal experience. A member of Kappa Alpha Order strives to offer reverence to both God and women, as described in the motto. Further, the idea that "Excellence is our Aim" further emboldens members to always apply themselves to self-improvement, realizing that you should always continue to strive for excellence. Finally, being that the organization is an Order, members typically have an idea of the above values before joining. Kappa Alpha does not intend to change anyone, rather bond together those men who have these similar values so that they may experience brotherhood, and pursue improvement, with one another.

Definition of a gentleman

The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.
The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly--the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light.
The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled when he cannot help humbling others.
—Robert E. Lee

Founded December 21, 1865 (1865-12-21) (143 years ago)
Washington College Lexington, VA
Type social
Motto Dieu et les Dames[1]
(For God and the Ladies)

Fratres usque ad aram fidelis
(Brothers faithful unto death)

Colors Crimson and old Gold

Kappa Alpha Order flag.svg

Flower Crimson Rose and Magnolia Blossom
Philanthropy Muscular Dystrophy Association
Chapters 131 (active chapters)

103 (alumni chapters)

Members approx. 6,000 collegiate
approx. 100,000 lifetime
Factoid Mike Duncan is the Knight Commander and

Larry S. Wiese is the Executive Director

Founding Fathers James Ward Wood

William Archibald Walsh
William Nelson Scott
Stanhope McClelland Scott

Practical Founder:
Samuel Zenas Ammen
Spiritual Founder:
Robert E. Lee
Headquarters Mulberry Hill
Lexington, Virginia, United States


Links: National Office www.kappaalphaorder.org

          Kappa Alpha Order Educational Foundation: www.kaoef.org


Last Updated on Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:06
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