Phi Kappa Sigma

Phi Kappa Sigma
Founded October 19, 1850 (1850-10-19)
University of Pennsylvania
Type Social


 United States
Motto Stellis Aequus Durando ("Equal to the Stars in Endurance")
Colors      Black
     Old Gold
Symbol Maltese Cross
Flower Yellow Chrysanthemum
Publication Maltese Cross Magazine
Philanthropy Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Chapters 42 active, 5 colonies
Nickname Phi Kaps, Skulls, Skulls and Bones, or Skullhouse
Headquarters 2 Timber Drive
Chester Springs, PA 19425
United States

Phi Kappa Sigma (ΦΚΣ) is an international all-male college secret and social fraternity. Its members are known as Phi Kaps, Skulls and sometimes Skullhouse, the latter two because of the skull and crossbones on the fraternity's badge and coat of arms. Phi Kappa Sigma was founded by Dr. Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell at the University of Pennsylvania. Mitchell recorded the initial ideas and concepts of Phi Kappa Sigma on August 16, 1850. He then began to discuss the idea with other students, first Charles Hare Hutchinson, and then Alfred Victor du Pont (son of Alfred V. du Pont), John Thorne Stone, Andrew Adams Ripka, James Bayard Hodge, and Duane Williams. The seven men formally founded the fraternity on October 19, 1850 becoming the founding fathers of Phi Kappa Sigma[1] Phi Kappa Sigma was a charter member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, and is headquartered in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.

Objects of Phi Kappa Sigma

The objects of the Fraternity shall be the promotion of good fellowship and the cultivation of the social virtues among its members; the protection of the just rights and the advancement of the best interests, present and future, individual and collective, of all those who shall be associated together as members of the Fraternity; the encouragement of good scholarship and breadth of training for its members; and cooperation in the educational and cultural programs of institutions of higher education in which Chapters are located.[2]


The fraternity's badge was designed by its founder, Dr. Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell. Outside of changes in size, its official design has remained the same. In the shape of a Maltese cross, the badge is old gold with black decoration. The center of the cross is anchored by a skull and crossbones. The four leaves of the cross display, individually, the Greek letters Phi, Kappa, and Sigma, starting at the left leaf and rotating counter-clockwise. The fourth and top leaf display a six-pointed star. The back of the badge has an engraved serpent echoing the serpent from the fraternity's coat of arms.

Statement of Core Values

At the fraternity's 90th Grand Chapter (June 24, 2000 in Philadelphia) and as part of the celebration of the fraternity's 150 year anniversary, undergraduate chapter representatives composed and adopted the fraternity's "Statement of Core Values". The values of trust, honor, respect, knowledge, wisdom, responsibility, and integrity were adopted as a re-commitment to the founding values of the fraternity.[2]

Public mottos

Phi Kappa Sigma has taken on multiple public mottos, each pertaining to a different aspect of the fraternity:[2]

Chapter listing

See List of Phi Kappa Sigma chapters

Notable members

The Phi Kappa Sigma chapter at Washington & Jefferson College in 1872

See also


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