History

History Collage2

 

National

Since 1852

Over 160 years ago, two college students, William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore, in the little college town of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, were nursing their stricken friends during an epidemic of highly contagious typhoid fever at Jefferson College. They chose to stay with their friends while most students fled the school. Through the long night vigils, an appreciation of the great joy of serving others came into their lives. Soon after, these two called upon others to join them, to form a Brotherhood called Phi Kappa Psi, founded on February 19, 1852.

The fraternity flourished and gradually extended to many other colleges and universities throughout the United States. It was the idea behind Phi Kappa Psi that fueled its growth and, over the years, thousands came to know and live by its ideals.

Our motto today, “The Great Joy of Serving Others,” was founded upon these ideals. We believe that service to one’s community helps develop us as men of integrity and is the greatest compliment to our education. There is no more powerful way to affect the world than to care for one’s community and fellow man. To this day, we are the proud philanthropic partner of The Boys and Girls Club of America.

 

Local

Since 1904

The Texas Alpha Chapter was founded in 1904, making Phi Kappa Psi one of the oldest fraternities in continuous existence at The University of Texas at Austin. With over 110 years of history, the brothers of Texas Alpha carry on a rich tradition of our own, being one of the mainstays of both Phi Kappa Psi nationally and the University of Texas Greek system. Phi Psis have produced a solid record of success in many areas such as intramural sports, campus events, social activities, philanthropy, and a host of campus leaders and prominent alumni. Texas Alpha has also initiated the second-most members of any chapter in Phi Kappa Psi, despite being founded 50 years after the fraternity’s oldest chapters.

Our chapter originally grew out of a small regional fraternity founded in 1897 called Phi Phi Phi (Tri-Phi). In 1902, this group sought affiliation with Phi Psi and, after a long process, gained their charter on October 27, 1904, becoming the fraternity’s Texas Alpha Chapter – the first Phi Kappa Psi chapter in the Great Lonestar State of Texas.

The history of Texas Alpha is one of tremendous success. The chapter has made its mark, producing war heroes, politicians, entrepreneurs, business executives, academics, doctors, sports stars, and artists. Many great stories exist in the chapter’s past, and members of Texas Alpha carry on a long tradition at The University of Texas at Austin. For example, in the 1950s the Phi Psis operated a bus taking students to campus that eventually evolved into the current UT shuttle bus system. Also, a Phi Psi who was president of the Silver Spurs was instrumental in bringing the Longhorn mascot, “Bevo,” back to campus after World War II. It is impossible to briefly detail the many other accomplishments of Texas Alpha on this website. However, you can learn more about our fraternity by ordering the library-quality, hardbound illustrated book published for the chapter’s centennial, Texas Alpha – 100 Years of History.

Please contact Brother Brent Monteleone if you wish to purchase a copy, at (832) 922-1041 or e-mail bmonteleone@embarqmail.com.

 

Notable Alumni

The fraternity has produced a phenomenal amount of alumni who have greatly impacted business, government, law, banking, medicine, religion, publishing, science, education, the military, sports, the arts, and entertainment.  The list of Phi Psis who have led Fortune 500 companies and major banks or served as presidents of national professional organizations is astounding. In government, there have been 12 governors, several cabinet-level appointments, and over 110 members of Congress, including 17 senators. Among the many who could be listed, some notable Phi Psis include:

National

Woodrow Wilson, Virgina 1879 – president of the United States and founder of the League of Nations

General Tasker Bliss, Bucknell 1870 – U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War I

Frederick Jackson Turner, Wisconsin 1878 – one of the most influential American historians of all time

James Watson, Depauw 1881 – U.S. Senate majority leader

Pierce Butler, Carleton 1885 – associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

John Davis, Washington and Lee 1889 – Democratic presidential nominee and nationally-prominent attorney

A. Mitchell Palmer, Swarthmore 1889 – U.S. Attorney General known for the Palmer Raids and “Red Scare” following World War I

Orra Monnette, Ohio Wesleyan 1891 – founder of Bank of America

Brigadier General Billy Mitchell, GWU 1896 – considered the “Father of the U.S. Air Force”

Major General “Wild Bill” Donovan, Columbia ’03 – leader of the OSS during World War II (CIA precursor) and known as “America’s Spymaster”

Phog Allen, Kansas ’05 – considered the “Father of Basketball Coaching” and legendary Kansas Jayhawks coach

Herbert Dow, Case Western Reserve ’06 – founder of Dow Chemical Company

Frank Morgan, Cornell ’08 – venerable character actor best known as the title character in The Wizard of Oz

Ford Frick, Depauw ’13 – Major League Baseball commissioner

James Thurber, Ohio State ’18 – one of America’s greatest humorists and authors of the 20th century

Pat Weaver, Dartmouth ’27 – pioneering television executive who created “The Today Show” and the “Tonight Show”

Nile Kinnick, Iowa ’38 – Heisman Trophy winner

Lynn Compton, UCLA ’40 – Decorated World War II hero portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers

John Astin, Washington and Jefferson ’49 – actor best known for starring in the classic television series The Addams Family

Owen Garriott, Oklahoma ’49 – NASA Skylab and space shuttle astronaut

General Robert Sennewald, Iowa State ’50 – U.S. Army 4-star general with several high level commands

Jerry Nelson, UCLA ’52 – founder of Ticketmaster

Roy Scheider, Franklin and Marshall ’54 – Academy Award-winning actor who gave one of movie history’s best lines in Jaws – “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”

Bob Coleman, Oklahoma ’54 – president and co-owner of the San Antonio Spurs

Jerry Colangelo, Illinois ’59 – National Basketball Hall of Fame; owner of the Phoenix Suns (NBA) and Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Paul Coverdell, Missouri ’59 – U.S. senator from Georgia; Director of the Peace Corps; sponsored legislation creating Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

Michael Bloomberg, Johns Hopkins ’61 – founder of the Bloomberg financial empire and recent mayor of New York City 

Bill Gross, Duke ’63 – co-founder of PIMCO

Kenneth Minihan, Florida State ’63 – director of both the National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency

Stephen Hadley, Cornell ’66 – U.S. National Security Advisor

Ron Yary, USC ’66 – NFL Hall of Fame lineman and Outland Trophy winner

Mark Spitz, Indiana ’69 – Olympic swimming legend who won seven gold medals in 1972

Bob Dudley, Illinois ’74 – current CEO of BP 

Evan Bayh, Indiana ’75 – recent U.S. senator and governor of Indiana

Terry Bowden, West Virginia ’75 – football coach at Auburn University

J. French Hill, Vanderbilt ’76 – current U.S. representative from Arkansas

Tony Horton, Rhode Island ’77 – exercise instructor and creator of commercial home exercise regimen P90X

Charlie Dent, Penn State ’82 – current U.S. representative from Pennsylvania

Jerry Yang, Stanford ’87 – co-founder of internet search engine Yahoo!

George Driskell Hopkins, Georgia ’90 – Grammy Award-winning bass guitarist and vocalist for Zac Brown Band

Ben Lutch, Stanford ’91 – co-founder of internet services portal Excite

Zach Braff, Northwestern ’94 – actor, director and producer best known for the television series Scrubs

Taj Gibson, Southern Cal 2007 – current NBA player for Chicago Bulls

Local

Among many others, a few prominent Longhorn Phi Psis include:

Angus Wynne, Sr. ’04 – noted Texas attorney; founder of Gardere & Wynne law firm; first president of the State Bar of Texas; known as the “King of the Boomtown Lawyers”

Sam Neathery ’04 – UT Board of Regents (1925-31)

James North ’05 – Editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

William Ruggles ’07 – Major General, U.S. Army; editor of the Dallas Morning News

Henry Terrell, Jr. ’08 – Major General, U.S. Army; commander of the 90th Infantry Division during World War II

E.O. Thompson ’13 – chairman and longest-serving member of the Texas Railroad Commission (1933-65); mayor of Amarillo (1929-32); Lieutenant General, U.S. Army; commanding general, Texas National Guard; two-time Texas gubernatorial candidate; recognized as the country’s foremost expert on the oil industry 

George Simmons ’19 – president of the University of Montana (1936-41)

Roy Crane ’22 – Reuben Award-winning nationally syndicated cartoonist and creator of the comic strips Wash Tubbs and Buz Sawyer; pioneered the adventure comic strip genre; UT Distinguished Alumnus 1969

Joseph Keith ’30 – member of the Texas House of Representatives (1937-41)

Preston Shirley ’31 – Long-time leader and benefactor of the UT Law School and other University organizations; UT Distinguished Alumnus 1982

Angus Wynne, Jr. ’33 – Six Flags founder; CEO of Great Southwest Corp. and Great Southwest Industrial District; started Wynnewood in Dallas

John Jones ’39 – publisher and chairman of the board of the Houston Chronicle and chairman of the Houston Endowment; most important figure in desegregating Houston’s public spaces

Tex Schramm ’40 – Pro Football Hall of Fame; president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, creating “America’s Team” and the Cowboys Cheerleaders; devised the AFL-NFL merger; one of the most important and innovative figures in NFL history; featured as a “Longhorn Legend” on the Longhorn Network; namesake of the Tex Schramm Freshman Scholarships at UT awarded by Phi Psi

Theodore Votteler ’44 – one of the country’s foremost pediatric surgeons; performed one of the first separations of conjoined twins

Elliot See ’45 – NASA Gemini astronaut; killed in 1966 during training as command pilot of the Gemini 9 space mission

Lloyd Hand ’48 – U.S. State Department Chief of Protocol during the Johnson administration (1965-66); prominent Washington, D.C. attorney

Tom James ’48 – national president of Phi Kappa Psi (1974-76); member of the Texas House of Representatives (1958-62); justice of Texas Court of Appeals for the Fifth District

Jamie Clements ’49 – nationally prominent health law attorney; mayor of Temple, Texas; served in the Texas legislature while still in law school; UT Distinguished Alumnus 1999

Bill Putnam ’49 – president of the Atlanta Hawks (NBA); President and Co-Founder of the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)

Clay Fulcher ’51 – Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; noted scientist for the Navy and NASA; one of seven Texas Phi Psi legacies, the most of any family

Gib Ford ’51 – Olympic gold medalist basketball player and team captain in 1956; CEO of Converse, Inc., maker of Converse shoes; Longhorn Hall of Honor

Howard Richards ’53 – UT Board of Regents (1979-85)

Billy Walker ’53 – member of the Texas House of Representatives (1961-65)

Ron Woods ’57 – prominent Houston criminal defense attorney; defended Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols; U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas (1990-93)

Robert Moore ’58 – Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; served in the Vietnam War

Jay Arnette ’59 – Olympic gold medalist basketball player in 1960; prominent Austin orthodontist; Longhorn Hall of Honor

Stephen Smith ’66 – Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; served in the Vietnam War and the Gulf War

Alan Schoolcraft ’72 – member of the Texas House of Representatives (1981-93)

Scott Noble ’81 – recent national president of Phi Kappa Psi (2014-16); president of Noble Royalties

John Boog-Scott, IV ’85 – creator of several nationally-successful computer games including “Age of Empires”

Texas Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi • Copyright © 2017
2411 Longview, Austin, TX 78705
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