Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity

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Kappa Alpha Order

The Kappa Alpha Order, more commonly known as K.A., was founded by James Ward Wood, Wilson Nelson Scott, William Archibald Walsh, Stanhope McClellan Scott in 1865 at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. In addition to the official founders, members of Kappa Alpha consider their order to have two other founders: Samuel Zenas Ammen as their practical founder and Robert E. Lee as their spiritual founder. The Alpha Sigma chapter on Georgia Tech's campus was founded in 1899 and is currently part of the Interfraternity Council at Georgia Tech.

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History of Kappa Alpha

The original Kappa Alpha order was founded in James Ward Wood's dorm room at Washington College, now known as Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Once Wood enrolled in Washington College, he looked at the three fraternities, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Kappa Psi and Alpha Tau Omega, that existed on campus. He did not want to join any of them, so he decided to create his own. Originally known as Phi Kappa Chi, Kappa Alpha's name changed (to avoid sounding similar to Phi Kapa Psi) and was given the nickname "K.A." When the name changed however, the K and the A did not initially stand for Kappa Alpha. The next school year, the new fraternity initiated seven new members, including Samuel Zenas Ammen. Ammen's contributions to the new fraternity proved to be so monumental that he eventually earned the title of the practical founder of Kappa Alpha. However, the new ritual transformed the K.A. fraternity into Kappa Alpha Order, an order of Christian knights pledged to the highest ideals of character and achievement. Ammen and his contemporaries sought to preserve the masculine virtues of chivalry, respect for others, honor and reverence for God and women. Thus, they emulated their college's president - Robert E. Lee."[1] The Alpha Sigma chapter's house in one of the largest fraternity houses on Georgia Tech's campus.

Alpha Sigma History

The Alpha Sigma chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order was founded on October 21, 1899, and was the fourth fraternity founded on Georgia Tech's campus. The Alpha Sigma chapter has received several prestigious awards and recognition from the Kappa Alpha Nationals, including the Ammen award which is annually rewarded to the best chapter in the country. Kappa Alpha at Georgia Tech has regularly maintained one of the highest GPAs on campus and has experienced various successes in intramural sports.

Important Kappa Alpha Symbols and Badges

The Coat of Arms: The crest, also known as the Coat of Arms, of Kappa Alpha Order includes two lions, named Rampart and Regardant. Between the two lions is a knight's armor, proving Kappa Alpha's knightly order. Located under the armor are two flowers, which are the official flowers of Kappa Alpha: the Magnolia and the Crimson Rose. The lions are holding the badge of full membership, which is worn by initiated brothers of the fraternity. Underneath the flowers is the motto of Kappa Alpha: Dieu et les Dames, which translates to God and the Ladies.
The Coat of Arms
Member Awaiting Initiation: A member of Kappa Alpha who is waiting initiation, commonly known as a pledge, is required to wear a special badge until they are elligble to earn the right to wear the badge of full membership.
Badge of the Member Awaiting Initiation
Initiated Member: A member of Kappa Alpha who has successfully completed the necessary requirements of the educational process or pledgeship earns the right to wear the badge of full membership while in any formal dress.
Kappa Alpha Official Badge

Divisions of Kappa Alpha

Kappa Alpha chapters are divided into separate divisions known as provinces which are named after former Knight Commanders who are in charge of the national KA. The Alpha Sigma chapter of Georgia Tech is a member of the John L. Hardmen Province along with eight other chapters: the University of Georgia (Gamma), Emory University (Epsilon), Mercer University (Kappa), Oglethorpe University (Beta Nu), Georgia Southern University (Delta Theta), Valdosta State University (Delta Rho), Georgia College and Sate University (Epsilon Nu), and West Georgia State University (Zeta Kappa).

Important Kappa Alpha Speeches

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 himself when he cannot help humbling others."[2]

Sir, You are a KA

"Sir, you are a Kappa Alpha. You are not just another fraternity man. You are a knight of the most unique organization among the Greek letter societies. You have been made familiar with a ritual and customs which emanated - not by accident, but by device - from the most noble qualities of the Knights of Old.

Into the heritage you have been presented are incorporated the highest ideas of fidelity to God and the esteem of woman. You are a KA. You can never be anything else and cannot do less than aspire to Excellence. You cannot be petty, cowardly, unfair, unfaithful; you are a KA.

You have a serious challenge, indeed a direct obligation, incumbent upon you as a KA. As you are the recipient of so rich a heritage, you are conscience-bound to be ever-anxious to preserve, strengthen, and pass on that heritage to those brothers your Order chooses to entrust with it in the future.

You will never grow taller than when you stoop to help a brother. And you cannot desert him when others do. You can never become wiser by disregarding the sterling ideals of your Order. You can never worship your God more intimately than when you utilize the tools Kappa Alpha has given you.

And if you will do these things, you cannot but realize for yourself the respect for your fellow man, the wealth of mortal happiness, and the salvation by a generous God."[3]

References

  1. Kappa Alpha History Retrieved November 22, 2010 from http://www.cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/kaorder/geninfo.html
  2. Definition of a Gentleman Retrieved November 22, 2010 http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/lee/gentdef.html
  3. Sir You Are A KA Retrieved November 22, 2010 from http://www.abraxis.com/bcarroll/sir_ka.htm
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