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Alpha Kappa Lambda

Alpha Kappa Lambda
Founded April 22, 1914; 101 years ago (1914-04-22)
University of California - Berkeley
Type Social
Motto "Αλήθεια Και Λόγος"
 Alethia Kai Logos
("The Truth and the Word")
Colors Purple and Gold
Symbol Coat of Arms
Flower Souvenir de Claudius Pernet
Publication The Logos
Philanthropy These Hands Don't Hurt
Cystic Fibrosis
Adopt a School
Chapters 33 active
Members 1,600 collegiate
22,000 total lifetime
Headquarters 354 Gradle Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Alpha Kappa Lambda (ΑΚΛ) is an American collegiate social fraternity for men founded at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1914. Today, it operates approximately 45 active chapters and colonies and has approximately 25,000 initiated members.

History & Tradition

Alpha Kappa Lambda was founded on April 22, 1914 by a group of young men attending the University of California, Berkeley. Its birth, however, dates back to 1906 when a group of friends discussed the "need of Christian men for a place to live and study that was within their (financial) means."

After assisting in the cleanup of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, four students re-addressed their desire to organize a house club during a YMCA conference in Pacific Grove, California. It was decided to form "Los Amigos" in 1907, which was a house club named from the Spanish translation of "The Friends." Shortly after, seven more men joined Los Amigos. Reverend Gail Cleland, one of the original eleven members of Los Amigos, recalled, "When we organized Los Amigos as a house clubs and fraternities were dime a dozen. They came, they lived for a few months or a few years, then they went out of existence again. But Los Amigos did not go out of existence."

He continues, "And seven years response to the suggestion of Benjamin Ide Wheeler, president of the University of California, we organized our house club as a national fraternity of one chapter."

The founders of Los Amigos were a diverse group, but they shared a common desire for studious living in a college environment and continued integrity after their formal education concluded.


Alpha Kappa Lambda's cornerstone is its "Five Ideals":

  • Judeo-Christian Principles
  • Leadership
  • Scholarship
  • Loyalty
  • Self-Support

Alpha Kappa Lambda teaches men that the commitments outlined in the Fraternity's Ritual are not merely remote ideals, but areas of discipline for daily life. ΑΚΛs support, and in turn have the support of, their brothers in living these principles. Through Alpha Kappa Lambda, men with different backgrounds but similar ideals unite with a common purpose: to foster excellence in scholarship, leadership, individual growth, and involvement in community service. ΑΚΛ is dedicated to Men of Character, Committed to Making A Difference.

Fraternity Motto

The motto of the fraternity is "Alethia Kai Logos," which in Classical Greek means "The Truth and the Word". Former National President William B. Herms explains, "The motto is a symbolic statement of our Ideals. We are seekers after Truth, the highest Truth . . . and the Word, which again lends itself to interpretation."

Fraternity Badge

The official badge of the fraternity is made of ten carat gold. An alpha and a lambda rest in the background (covered with the flowers of a dogwood, representing Christian Principles) and the Kappa is raised, set with eleven whole pearls. The eleven pearls represent the 11 founders of the Los Amigos Club. The badge is to be worn only on collared shirts, sweaters, or suit vests, and in the traditional position over the heart. The badge may only be worn by initiated members of the Fraternity.

The Yellow Rose

The Souvenir de Claudis Pernet, described as a tantalizing yellow rose, was adopted as the Fraternity's Official Flower at the 6th National Conclave in 1927, because "it was not expensive, and its deep golden color matched well with the colors of ΑΚΛ." The flower was a popular rose in early 1900s. While the Souvenir de Claudis Pernet itself is no longer widely grown, it has many hybridized descendants. The rose was originally bred by a famous French rose-breeder, Joseph Pernet-Ducher, who named the rose after one of his sons who died in World War I.

National Service Projects

These Hands Don't Hurt

Alpha Kappa Lambda realizes that sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses and believes that it can be fought through education, service, and philanthropic projects. The philanthropic fundraising aspect is the most visible of the three. The fundraising is performed via a “Promise Wall.” The Promise Wall is displayed prominently in a high traffic area of campus. Students, faculty, and members of the community are asked to add their “hand” to the Promise Wall for a contribution of $1. By placing their “hand” on the wall they make a promise that their hand will not be used to harm others. These Hands Don't Hurt was started in ΑΚΛ by the Beta Rho Chapter (Elon College) in 1994.

Cystic Fibrosis

The fraternity adopted cystic fibrosis as a national philanthropy at the 1990 National Conclave. Chapters support the fight against Cystic Fibrosis in many ways. Chapter fundraisers provide financial support to local organizations, research, and individuals. Chapters provide manpower to help local organizations' events. Members can have holiday or birthday parties for children suffering from CF. There are countless ways to touch the lives of CF sufferers and their families.


The Adopt-A-School program was endorsed by the National Executive Council during their 1994 Winter meeting. The goal of the program is to provide for the formation of one-on-one relationships between local college students and local elementary students. This program provides an opportunity for college students to give something back to their host communities while devoting time and energy to be a role model for young children.

Notable alumni

See also


External links