Phi Kappa Tau, by admitting me to membership, has conferred upon me a mark of distinction in which I take just pride. I believe in the spirit of brotherhood for which it stands. I shall strive to attain its ideals, and by so doing to bring to it honor and credit. I shall be loyal to my college and my chapter and shall keep strong my ties to them that I may ever retain the spirit of youth. I shall be a good and loyal citizen. I shall try always to discharge the obligation to others which arises from the fact that I am a fraternity man.
Roland Maxwell, Southern California ’22
November 19, 1950
The mission of Phi Kappa Tau is to champion a lifelong commitment to brotherhood, learning, ethical leadership and exemplary character.
The vision of Phi Kappa Tau is to be recognized as a leadership organization that binds men together and challenges them to improve their campuses and the world.
March 17, 1906 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
- 155 chapters chartered since 1906
- 86 active chapters
- 6 colonies
- More than 4,700 undergraduate members
- More than 90,000 initiates
- Largest concentration of alumni: Atlanta; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus; Denver; Dallas; Houston; Louisville; Los Angeles; Lincoln, Neb.; Seattle
Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and Foundation Ewing T. Boles Executive Offices 5221 Morning Sun RoadOxford, Ohio 45056
Phone: (513) 523-4193 Toll Free: (800) PKT-1906 Fax: (513) 523-9325
Incorporated as an Ohio not-for-profit in 1945 Asset base exceeds $11.5 million
Phi Kappa Tau Founding
Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity was founded in the Union Literary Society Hall of Miami University’s Old Main Building in Oxford, Ohio, on March 17, 1906. The four honored founders were: Taylor A. Borradaile, Clinton D. Boyd, Dwight I. Douglass and William H. Shideler.
The Fraternity was founded as the Non-Fraternity Association to give Miami’s non-fraternity men a voice in campus political affairs. The name was changed to Phrenocon on March 6, 1909.
Phrenocon became “national” in 1911 when an organization of independent men known as the Ohio University Union chose to become the Ohio chapter of Phrenocon. Additional Phrenocon chapters were established at Ohio State, Centre, Mount Union and Illinois.
At Miami, Phrenocon began to have difficulty retaining members by the early 1910s. Often, men would join Phrenocon, then later withdraw their membership and join a greek-letter fraternity. For that reason, the Miami chapter of Phrenocon withdrew and adopted the name Phi Kappa Tau on March 9, 1916.
The rest of the chapters agreed to the name change on Dec. 21, that year and invited Miami to return to the national organization as the Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Tau.
In 1917, the University of Illinois hosted the 7th National Convention, one that would be regarded as the most important to date. It was at this Convention that the Ritual was written and dramatized; the official badge was created, along with the associate badge and the grand seal, both of which remain unchanged to this day.
The official colors, harvard red and old gold were established, along with the official flower, the red carnation. The office of grand field secretary and the predecessor to our National Council, the Grand Executive Council, were established. It was also announced that Phi Kappa Tau had been admitted to the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), recognizing the Fraternity as an official national organization.
Insignia of Phi Kappa Tau
Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity has available certain insignia for use by its members. All badge designs are patented and the greek-letter combination carries a trademark.
Coat of Arms
The sole rights for use of the articles bearing Phi Kappa Tau symbols is represented by a Norman Shield of gold divided into two sections. Between the upper section and the base is a red chevron bearing three Phi Kappa Tau stars. The Fraternity’s motto is placed below the shield on a scroll.
The flag of the Fraternity shall be divided horizontally in two sections with the lower half Old Gold and the upper half Harvard Red. In the center shall be the Fraternity coat of arms edged in black surrounded by the letters Phi, Kappa and Tau in greek in black.
The associate badge is a Norman Shield edged in white enamel with a field of gold bearing a raised Phi Kappa Tau star. This badge is worn on a shirt pocket or about an inch above the heart on a vest, shirt or sweater. It is never worn on a t-shirt or any undergarment or on the lapel of a jacket.
The member badge is an irregular octagon having the major axis from top to bottom. The center is black enamel bearing a star and the character letters for Phi, Kappa and Tau in gold. The black center is surrounded by a band of gold. The only combination of jewels permitted is a diamond or zircon set in the star and sixteen pearls set in the outer band of gold. The badge is worn in the perpendicular position over the heart on a vest, shirt or sweater. It is never worn on a t-shirt or any undergarment or on the lapel of a jacket.
Seal of Alliance/Grand Seal
The seal of alliance is circular, around the outer edge of which are the words “The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity Grand Seal.” The central portion contains two unicorns rampant against the fasces.
Harvard Red Old Gold
Phi Kappa Tau has enjoyed a rich and distinguished history, since our founding in 1906. This interactive timeline highlights the milestones and achievements of Phi Kappa Tau over the last 11 decades.