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Tech Fraternities | Essence of Phi Psi | Symbols | Our Chapter | National Fraternity 

Fraternities at Texas Tech University

      These fist few paragraphs of information are provided as a service to new students and to guys who are considering attending Texas Tech. At Tech you will have the benefits of a good fraternity system.

CentaurThe Fall term of 1929 saw the establishment of the Centaur Club, the first men's social club exclusively for students, not long after Tech opened in 1925.  (The Centaur is a half-man, half-horse, creature.)  By 1953 there were eight men's social clubs on campus, and at that time, 50 years ago, these eight clubs affiliated with eight national fraternities, when the college saw the advantages that fraternities would bring to the school.

Centaur Club guests in an automobile set at a danceThe Centaur Club received a charter to become the Texas Beta Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. ("Beta" being the second letter of the Greek alphabet indicates that this was the second chapter in Texas.) (Many Centaur alumni were initiated into Phi Kappa Psi and continued to support the new chaper.)

      In 2008 there are about twenty fraternities at Tech. ranging in size from 6 to 150 members, peak annual size. (Fraternity chapters vary in size by around 30% each year.)  The Phi Kappa Psi chapter is 50+ members, and will expand to about 100.

Fraternity houses at Tech are called lodges and generally do not have living facilities. Not every fraternity at Tech has a lodge. Of those that do---

  • A few fraternities are scattered about town.
  • About nine are in an area called Greek Circle, which is west of the Tech campus and which also contains sorority lodges.
  • Six fraternities are one block closer to campus in a newer area that connects to the original Greek Circle. It is the 1400 block of Orlando Avenue, which also referred to as "Greek Circle 2".

Phi Kappa Psi Texas Beta chapter Lodge at Texas Tech, Lubbock TXThe Phi Kappa Psi lodge is in the best area, the one that has the newest, and generally largest, fraternity lodges-the Orlando Avenue area. Our address is 1406 Orlando Avenue.

Phi Psi's enjoy a

  • Library and computer facility for quiet study time
  • Lounge, wood burning fireplace, large screen, high-definition, satellite  television, and billiards area
  • A separate room and kitchen for meetings and parties
  • A basketball court

Although lodges do not have living facilities some of our brothers do share houses and apartments, and sometimes there is room available.

The Essence of Our Fraternity

We call Phi Kappa Psi our “Noble Fraternity”.

The Phi Kappa Psi chapter is a private association of social, college-educated, men of evidenced talent, ambition, and good moral character and unanimous mutual respect and affinity;
Who strive to be led by truth and to always maintain their integrity and to have their actions guided by their intellect balanced with their heart and their individuality;
Who joined together during college and committed to brotherly love and to building  an ongoing, honored, self-governed association based upon a written constitution, laws, and procedures, to be a chapter of a national organization, with a distinguished meeting place, that is symbiotic with the college, the community, other fraternities, and women's organizations, to assist in promoting each other's interests, improving each other, and maintaining life-long friendships; and
Who committed that both when they were students and when they were alumni they would recruit and help new initiates, encourage the affiliation of qualified sons, grandsons, brothers, and nephews, strengthen their chapter, create and confer with additional chapters, exchange help with them, and cooperate to organize, support, and oversee a great national fraternity,

Like most other fraternities, Phi Kappa Psi is founded on freedom of association—the right to choose one's friends and, as stated in the U. S. Constitution, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble".

* This statement of the Essence of Phi Kappa Psi is one that describes our Texas Beta chapter and we believe the other chapters that comprise our Fraternity as a whole, starting with the first chapter; it is not one that has been approved by a Phi Kappa Psi national body. It was drafted in 2008-2010 by David A. Jones, a Texas Beta 1955 initiate. The version is AE.

Phi Kappa Psi Nickname, Badge, Colors, Etc.

The nickname for the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity is "Phi Psi," which is pronounced "fie sigh," like "Sci Fi" in reverse order. 

     Caution -- there is another fraternity at Tech with a similar name--- "Pi Kappa Phi" that is not connected with us, so be careful with paperwork during formal rush if you participate.

Phi Kappa Psi badgeOur badge is at left and is most often worn when wearing suits or other dress clothes. It contains our Greek letters phi, kappa, and psi: ΦΚΨ. We all wear the same unjeweled gold badge. As with most traditional, Greek letter, fraternities, the words for which these letters stand is a secret that is revealed only to initiates.

Phi Kappa Psi flagOur flag has our colors of Cardinal Red, a deep red, and Hunter Green, a dark green.

Phi Kappa Psi official coat of armsOur coat of arms is at left, as adopted in 1908; however, today we often use a  version with a green field and a red fillet and a red bend:

Blazon (heraldic description) :
     "Sable, a bend between sinister the sun in glory charged on the center with an eye and dexter a closed book or, a fillet and in chief two mullets, all within a bordure, all of the second. Crest an antique lamp or." (Centennial History, v. II, p127)

Phi Kappa Psi colored coat of arms

The symbolism of the two stars, the lamp, the book, and the eye that appear on the coat of arms and on the badge is private and is only revealed to initiates of the fraternity.

We have a lot of songs, including a  hymn, sweetheart songs, rowdy songs, etc. There are links to some of these at the end of this site.

Our unofficial drink is Quimbambuli, a hot wine and rum concoction. We have a song about that also.

Phi Kappa Psi sweetheart pin
Our sweetheart pin is at right
and may be given to sweethearts, sisters, or  mother since we do not allow our badge to be used for that purpose. A large lighted replica is on a wall of our lodge.

Jacqueminot Rose

Our flower, at left,  is the Jacqueminot Rose, a deep red rose


Phi Kappa Psi original monogram badgeOur unofficial monogram badge, at right, composed of the superimposed Greek letters phi and psi, sometimes worn on a neck chain, is a replica the the badge used by the fraternity its first year.

An intertwined Φ Ψ monogram is used as a symbol, such as right, sometimes with a K included.

At left is our alumnus lapel button.

P. K. P.

The acronym PKP is sometimes used in typing or computer labels. This is not some new shortcut; the earliest members of the fraternity used the handwritten abbreviation "P. K. P."  

Phi Kappa Psi unofficial 2008 logo
The logo at right is used on our national headquarters website
and was created in 2008. We have not yet decided in our national governing body, the GAC, whether to approve it as a symbol of our fraternity.

Our motto from about 1855 in Latin and English is

Conjugati Amicitia, Vindicat Honore Et Ducti Vero --
Vivimus Et Vigemus

United by friendship, sustained by honor, and led by truth--
We live and we flourish.

     (The word "honor" is used here in the sense of integrity, the firm adherence to a code of ethical conduct to the degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge.)

A Creed Of Phi Kappa Psi has been adopted, at our 1964 national convention, which states beliefs about the type of men who compose Phi Kappa Psi and how we should behave and which concludes with a solemn pledge to fulfill these beliefs. A link to this creed and to another one about what a fraternity house should be is at the end of this website.

Our Chapter At Tech


     It is not unusual on campus to hear people "type" fraternities, such as being made up of athletes, bookworms, socialites, campus politicians, etc. Phi Kappa Psi is not composed of any one of these types exclusively, but instead is a well-balanced group.


     No, Phi Psi members are not "typed." We are proud to say that each member is individual and excels in his own interests as well as working with the whole fraternity. Phi Psi's are represented as members and officers of many campus organizations as well as  varsity athletic teams.


     The Tech chapter of Phi Kappa Psi is moderate in size, as are many of the Phi Psi chapters  over the nation. Phi Psi believes that the ideal chapter size is one which is small enough to allow the brothers to know each other well and have leadership opportunities, yet large enough to operate successfully on a particular campus. With the growth of Tech and its fraternity system we are now increasing to a chapter peak annual size of about one hundred members. Phi Psi emphasizes the quality of its membership.


     Every man in college should have good scholarship as his main objective. The chapter attempts to promote industrious studying among its members and generally has one of the highest, if not the highest, grade averages among all of the fraternities.


Phi Psi has always been an active participant in intramural competition, and does quite well.

(The foregoing description is almost verbatim identical to one in a 1957 chapter rush brochure.)

Our Fraternity Origin and Status

Phi Kappa Psi founder Charles Page Thomas Moore 1852

   C. P. T. Moore in 1852    

   W. H. Letterman    

Phi Kappa Psi is one of the oldest national fraternities, now being over 150 years old, founded February 19, 1852, at a leading college in Pennsylvania (in Canonsburg) , at a time when the largest college in the U. S. (Yale) had only 475 students.

Phi Psi's Miller Hall, 1884, the oldest building in the interfraternity world still in use by undergraduates.It was founded by two men---one a friendly, athletic, wealthy, 21-year-old pre-law student, Charles Page Thomas "Charley"  Moore, who later became a West Virginia Supreme Court judge, and the other a tall, popular,19-year-old pre-med student, William Henry "Bill" Letterman, who later became a doctor and  geologist, and who is buried in Duffau, Texas. (Moore had became an orphan at 13 and was raised by his  uncle on a Virginia plantation;  Letterman whose physician father had been a trustee of the college was raised by his widowed mother.)

Within a few days of the fraternity's founding, by the end of the month, there were five members, and by the end of the year, ten members. The first written historical record was created within a year:

"The Founders believing that by an Association governed by certain fixed laws and regulations they could advance and promote each other's interests and improve each other morally and intellectually, being firmly impressed with these truths, Messrs. Moore and Letterman, having written out a Constitution ... founded the Phi Kappa Psi Association."

     The fraternity was founded with the goal of becoming a strong national fraternity, and within three years a second chapter in Virginia had grown to forty-six men.

T. Woodrow Wilson, later the President of the United States, was a Phi Psi at this chapter, twenty years after it was founded. He was a very active member of the fraternity.  The fraternity has many, many, other prominent alumni.

Phi Kappa Psi has over 100 active chapters (including 3 colonies) at better colleges and universities in 2008, with well over 5,000 total undergraduate brothers and pledges. We have over 71,000 active alumni living in 50 states and over 30 countries and have alumni associations in cities across the country (and are starting one or more in the Far East). These alumni were really Phi Psi's as undergraduates; they are not just men to whom we gave "honorary" memberships to so we could use their names.

Our national headquarters is probably the finest fraternity headquarters in America. It is historic Laurel Hall, located in Indianapolis, Indiana,

Phi Kappa Psi Laurel Hall  headquarters, Indianapolis

The Phi Kappa Psi Foundation's Endowment Fund is the largest such fund of any fraternity. This charitable fund, over $35 million at the end of 2007, created from alumni donations, is used to provide scholarships and to make loans chapter house corporations. (Phi Psi's Canonsburg Corporation also makes such loans.)

Phi Kappa Psi has long been a leader in the in the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), the organization of the 73 major American men's college fraternities. 

© Phi Kappa Psi TX Beta,1406 Orlando Ave, Lubbock TX 79416  Contact

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