National History

Our Fraternity’s History

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 approximately 25,000 initiated members.

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 club…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 later…in 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.

Although current chapters are located mainly in the Midwestern United States, Alpha Chapter at the University of California, Berkeley continues to lead the fraternity as the most prominent. Alpha Chapter has been regarded by the national headquarters as the most consistent in producing high quality alumni. Members from Alpha Chapter are always bowed to by members of any other chapter, a tradition that stems from chapter hierarchy in the 1930s.

 

Our Creed

I believe in the Five Ideals of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity and subscribe to an emphasis on Judeo-Christian Principles, Leadership, Scholarship, Loyalty, and Self-Support.

I believe in brotherhood as friendship of the highest calling.

I accept membership in Alpha Kappa Lambda as an affiliation that is binding for life.

I pledge myself to treat others as I would have them treat me.

I shall respect the opinion of others.

I shall commit myself to a style of membership in Alpha Kappa Lambda that is an educationally and socially maturing process. The goal of this process is achieving a wholeness of manhood that is prepared to assume leadership responsibilities in fulfilling the obligations of life.