In November 1992 expansion consultants Bill Green and Chris Hough came to the University of Louisville with thetask of forming the colony of Pi Kappa Alpha. They spent the first few weeks making presentations to sororities on campus and talking to school administrators. Through all of this effort, they came up with a list of names for possible men to fill the ranks of the new colony. They began to interview students one by one, and word spread of Bill and Chris's presence on campus. Varsity swimmer John Lovell signed the first bid, and soon thereafter, others signed bids. Two and a half weeks after Bill and Chris had arrived on campus, the first meeting of the newly signed colony members was held. There were ten men present in this first meeting, including the first president of the Kappa Zeta chapter, David John Erickson. As the word of the new fraternity spread, more bids were signed and the colony size grew quickly. On November 21, 1992, 33 men of the University of Louisville colony of Pi Kappa Alpha held the first retreat and the first meeting with our newly appointed executive council. Members of the Alpha pledge class were officially pinned by members of the Omega chapter of the University of Kentucky and the Eta Rho chapter of Northern Kentucky University.
Kappa Zeta Gains a Reputation
The first event that the newly formed Colony participated in was the first annual Alpha Omicron Pi Greek Blitz. This was a service event that brought the fraternities of the university together for a clean-up project with a local organization called Operation Brightside. An award was presented to the fraternity with the highest percentage of its members participating in the event. This was only one week after the Colony had been formed and many of the members were still trying to become acquainted with one another. This was also the first time that the other fraternities on campus saw the Colony and what we were about. We answered that question loud and clear by sending seventy percent of our brothers to participate in the event and taking home the trophy for outstanding fraternity participation. We had established ourselves from the beginning as a fraternity to be reckoned with!
January 1993 marked our first full semester on campus as a colony. We immediately made as impact not only on campus, but in the local community as well. A young girl was abducted from her Louisville home and brutally raped. The Colony rallied support in the community and raised over one thousand dollars to assist her family with medical and legal expenses. It was the first time that the brothers realized what we could accomplish as a group and it instilled an even greater sense of pride in the letters that adorned our chests.
Kappa Zeta Earns Respect
As the new kids on the block, all of the sororities were eager to have socials with the Colony. We gave the Delta Zeta's the honor of having the first social with the Colony. The theme for the February social was "Boxers & Blazers." This social was a blast to say the least and it set the precedent for the socials to come. In later February we had our first "Cupid Crush" social at the Rocket Club in downtown Louisville with the sisters of Chi Omega. Once again, a great time was had by all and our reputation among the sororities grew even stronger. Later in the semester, the Kappa Delta's held their first Shamrock Showdown, and again we stood atop the fraternity world at the University of Louisville! We raised nearly five hundred dollars in a coin war event, and at the brother auction our man Brother Patrick gain was "sold" for one hundred dollars! That was forty-five dollars more than the closest competitor! We sealed the victory with an outstanding skit that once again put us on top of the podium. The best way to display the impact we had made on campus was in the way that the other fraternities reacted to the defeat. The fraternity that we had been closest to in the competition, which has come to be our "arch rival" at the university, not only neglected to offer us support or congratulations on our victory—but stood up and walked out before we were even presented out trophy! The Colony was strong and people were scared.
On March 27th of 1993, the colony hosted our first Founders Day event. We gathered with some local area alumni at the Holiday Airport East for a dinner party. Our key note speaker was Pike Alumnus and University of Louisville head football coach Howard Schnellenberger.
U of L has had an annual singing competition since the early 1950's called the Fryberger Sing, which has long been considered one of the most honored awards an organization can win. Our young Colony competed with a "Love and Marriage" theme ala married with children. We finished third overall and took home the $75.00 prize. Other groups concurred that it was quite an accomplishment and we further impressed other organizations by sending the signal that we were here to stay.
We finished the semester with a 1950's social with Pi Beta Phi. Scholastically, we were on the right track. We finished second on campus with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. We were all able to look back on a successful semester and look forward to and even better semester ahead.
The 1993 school year began with our first rush. Nationals sent Steve Heck to give advice and watch the success of our rush. We started with a cookout and volleyball event to kick it off. We also had a scavenger hunt, pool and pizza at the Cardinals Inn, and used some tickets donated by Pike alumnus Tab Brockman for a Louisville Redbirds baseball game. When the final numbers were tallied, we finished fourth on campus with 23 men. By the middle of the semester we had signed 7 more for a total of 30 and moving us to second place for the most successful rush on campus.
Rush wasn't the only thing that we participated in for the first time that semester. Intramurals were also new to the men of Pi Kappa Alpha. We competed in all of the events that counted for points and did well throughout the semester, finishing third overall. We won golf and Badminton singles, finished second in the free throw competition and tennis singles, and made it to the final four in flag football, softball, soccer, and basketball; losing to eventual champions in each. We had a great deal of fun, not to mention success.
The demand for socials with our new colony had not diminished any with the new school year. We continued our good relations with Delta Zeta by having a 50's social with them and having a social with Kappa Delta for the first time. We serenaded the women of Kappa Delta and took them out for a night of fun and bowling. The demand for a social with the Pikes was still high, and we were more than happy to oblige.
The Delta Zeta Fratman competition was the first competition of the year against the other fraternities other than rush and intramurals. The week long event culminated with yet another Pike title. We finished second in the Kappa Delta Shamrock Showdown in the spring of 1994 and third in the Greek Week competition which was also held in the spring.
The 1994 Fryberger competition marked our second year to compete. We used a "Dream Time" theme and went so far as to dress brother Jayce Williams as a child and brother Ben Hall, an offensive lineman at U of L, in a dress. We did better than the previous year moving up a notch to second place and coming home with a $150.00 prize. This was the final punctuation mark on a successful school year.
August of 1994 marked the dawning of yet another new school year and the election of the new president, William Yarber. We looked to replenish our ranks with the upcoming rush to replace past president Matt MacDonald and two others to Medical School. Once again, we had a cookout, night at Cardinals Inn, a scavenger hunt, and the Redbird's Baseball game. We originally signed 18 new members, but ended with 26 as the semester progressed.
Tailgating and watching football games together became a favorite activity of the fall as we watched brother Jaime Asher work toward and surpass school records for most catches in a season and in a career. He went on to be named first team All-American by many publications and associations. Brothers Chris Fitzpatrick and Jason Payne also had outstanding seasons.
Kappa Zeta Now
From our beginnings 13 years ago, we have grown and matured from men, a colony, and finally, a chapter. We have had several varsity sports members from the football, baseball, swim, cheerleading, and tennis teams that we call brothers. We began establishing ourselves as a top notch fraternity, and we have maintained that level of success and confidence. As we continue to strive for that level of success that has given us the reputation that we now have on campus today, we can only think of one thing: coming back to U of L in 20 years from now and seeing Pi Kappa Alpha still continuing to dominate. All of this hard work translates into one thing—PIKES FOR LIFE!!
On December 10th, 1994, the Colony was officially inspected by Memorial Headquarters, and passed inspection by a unanimous vote, becoming the Kappa Zeta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on January 21st 1995.