Theta Kappa Nu

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Theta Kappa Nu
Theta Kappa Nu crest.png
Founded June 9, 1924
Type Social Fraternity
Scope National
Motto Vir Quisque Vir Est
(Every man a man)

     Argent      Sable

Symbol Syriac numeral eleven
Flower White Tudor Rose
Chapters 55
Members <1,000 collegiate
~7,000 lifetime
Union Merged in 1939 with Lambda Chi Alpha
Headquarters 422 Engineers' Building
Cleveland, Ohio

Theta Kappa Nu (ΘΚΝ) Fraternity was founded on June 9, 1924 when delegates from eleven local fraternities in nine different states united to form the new fraternity. The meeting took place in Springfield, Missouri. Theta Kappa Nu became the fastest growing fraternity ever, chartering forty chapters with almost 2,500 initiates by the close of 1926.[1]

Most of Theta Kappa Nu’s chapters had been previously established at small, private colleges as local fraternities. The fraternity placed great emphasis on academics, offering graduate scholarships throughout its history, even during dire financial crises.

The Great Depression hit small colleges, and thus Theta Kappa Nu, very hard. Expansion nearly ceased and chapters began closing in the early 1930s. By the end of the decade fraternity leaders realized that a merger with another fraternity was needed to continue.

Throughout its lifetime, leaders of Theta Kappa Nu had established numerous friendships with those of Lambda Chi Alpha, which had preferred chapters at larger institutions. Initial informal talks quickly led to a formal merger committee. In 1939, Lambda Chi Alpha merged with the Theta Kappa Nu Fraternity in what was regarded as the largest fraternity merger. The ceremony was held at the Howard College, now Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, chapter of Theta Kappa Nu, where the documents were signed.

The union of Lambda Chi Alpha and Theta Kappa Nu was the largest ever in fraternity history, resulting in 105 active chapters and over 27,000 initiates. Theta Kappa Nu’s heritage entered that of the united fraternity with additions to the coat of arms, the white tudor rose as the fraternity flower, a new pledge pin design, a new pledge ceremony (a condensed version of Theta Kappa Nu’s ritual), and the Latin open motto Vir Quisque Vir, or “Every man a man.” It also brought talented leadership to Lambda Chi Alpha that helped steer the united fraternity through the very end of the Depression Era and World War II.


The following chapter list is taken from VIR QUISQUE VIR EST (1936/37), the pledge manual of Theta Kappa Nu. It is augmented with the chapter designation assigned by Lambda Chi Alpha at the time of the union in 1939. Where chapters of both fraternities had been chartered at a single institution, the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter designation was retained by the merged chapter and the Theta Kappa Nu designation was reserved in honor of the former chapter. Added to the 1937 list is the Mississippi State chapter, chartered at the last Grand Chapter one day before the merger with Lambda Chi Alpha took effect.

Number Name Institution City Chartered Became Inactive L.C.A Designation Merged With
Alabama Alpha Howard College Birmingham Founder Theta-Alpha
Florida Alpha Rollins College Winter Park Founder Theta-Gamma
Florida Beta University of Florida Gainesville Founder Theta-Epsilon Epsilon-Mu
Indiana Alpha Hanover College Hanover Founder Theta-Zeta
Iowa Alpha Iowa Wesleyan College Mount Pleasant Founder Theta-Iota
Iowa Beta Simpson College Indianola Founder Theta-Lambda
Kansas Alpha Baker University Baldwin City Founder 1932 Theta-Beta
Missouri Alpha Drury College Springfield Founder Theta-Sigma
North Carolina Alpha North Carolina State College Raleigh Founder Theta-Phi Gamma-Upsilon
Oklahoma Alpha Oklahoma City College Oklahoma City Founder Theta-Delta
Pennsylvania Alpha Gettysburg College Gettysburg Founder Theta-Pi
12 Missouri Beta Westminster College Fulton 1924 1931 Theta-Omicron
13 Alabama Beta Birmingham-Southern College Birmingham 1924 Theta-Mu
14 North Carolina Beta Wake Forest College Wake Forest 1924 Theta-Tau
15 Mississippi Alpha Millsaps College Jackson 1924 Theta-Eta
16 Massachusetts Alpha Clark University Worcester 1925 Theta-Theta
17 New York Alpha Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn Brooklyn 1925 Theta-Upsilon
18 Pennsylvania Beta Thiel College Greenville 1925 Theta-Xi
19 Illinois Alpha Eureka College Eureka 1925 Theta-Chi
20 Indiana Beta DePauw University Greencastle 1925 1935 Theta-Omega Xi
21 Indiana Gamma Rose Polytechnic Institute Terre Haute 1925 Theta-Kappa
22 Louisiana Alpha Louisiana State University Baton Rouge 1925 Theta-Nu Upsilon
23 Louisiana Beta Centenary College Shreveport 1925 Theta-Rho
24 Louisiana Gamma Louisiana Polytechnic Institute Ruston 1925 Theta-Psi
25 Ohio Alpha Marietta College Marietta 1925 Kappa-Alpha
26 Indiana Delta Franklin College Franklin 1925 1932 Kappa-Gamma
27 North Carolina Gamma University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 1925 Kappa-Epsilon Gamma-Nu
28 Pennsylvania Gamma Washington & Jefferson College Washington 1925 1931 Kappa-Zeta Gamma-Zeta
29 Minnesota Alpha University of Minnesota Minneapolis 1925 1933 Kappa-Iota Gamma-Omega
30 Michigan Alpha University of Michigan Ann Arbor 1925 1933 Kappa-Lambda Sigma
31 Georgia Alpha Oglethorpe University Atlanta 1925 1934 Kappa-Beta
32 New York Beta Alfred University Alfred 1925 Kappa-Sigma
33 Ohio Beta Baldwin-Wallace College Berea 1926 Kappa-Phi
34 Illinois Beta University of Illinois Champaign 1926 Kappa-Delta Chi
35 Alabama Gamma Auburn University Auburn 1926 Kappa-Pi Omega
36 South Carolina Alpha Wofford College Spartanburg 1926 Kappa-Omicron
37 Missouri Gamma Culver-Stockton College Canton 1926 Kappa-Mu
38 Virginia Alpha Randolph-Macon College Ashland 1926 Kappa-Tau
39 Virginia Beta Hampden–Sydney College Hampden Sydney 1926 Kappa-Eta
40 Arkansas Alpha University of Arkansas Fayetteville 1926 Kappa-Theta Gamma-Chi
41 Illinois Gamma Bradley Polytechnic Institute Peoria, Illinois 1927 Kappa-Upsilon
42 Pennsylvania Delta University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 1927 1931 Kappa-Xi Gamma-Epsilon
43 California Alpha University of California Berkeley 1928 Kappa-Chi Mu
44 Kentucky Alpha Georgetown College Georgetown 1928 Kappa-Omega
45 Maine Alpha Colby College Waterville 1929 Kappa-Kappa Alpha-Rho
46 Oregon Alpha Oregon State University Corvallis 1930 Kappa-Nu Alpha-Lambda
47 Michigan Beta Michigan State East Lansing 1930 Kappa-Rho Gamma-Omicron
48 Idaho Alpha College of Idaho Caldwell 1930 Kappa-Psi
49 Wisconsin Alpha University of Wisconsin Madison 1931 1934 Nu-Alpha Alpha-Beta
50 New York Gamma Cornell University Ithaca 1931 Nu-Gamma Omicron
51 Pennsylvania Epsilon Muhlenberg College Allentown 1931 Nu-Epsilon
52 Ohio Gamma Wittenberg University Springfield 1932 Nu-Zeta
53 Texas Alpha Southern Methodist University Dallas 1932 Nu-Iota Gamma-Sigma
54 Maryland Alpha Washington College Chestertown 1935 Nu-Lambda Epsilon-Theta[*]
55 Mississippi Beta Mississippi State College Starkville 1939 Nu-Beta Epsilon-Chi
  • - The Washington College chapter was not allowed by the college administration to merge with the local Lambda Chi Alpha chapter. Instead, it briefly reverted to local status and chartered as the Beta-Eta chapter of Theta Chi fraternity in 1940.[2]


  1. ^ Peyser, Charles (1992). The History of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Indianapolis, IN: The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. p. 45. 
  2. ^ Peyser, Charles (1992). The History of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Indianapolis, IN: Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. p. 54. 

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