KA traces our roots to a small war-torn college in Lexington, Virginia, in 1865. We have learned from our history, researched it, and documented it. Today, we are proud of where we have come from, and where we are going.

a historic photo

Phi Kappa Chi seal

Dec. 21, 1865

James Ward Wood comes to Washington College by train and horseback in the fall of 1865 with ideas of secret societies in his mind. And with a toast to his new friends, “the two Williams” he pledges mutual faith and loyalty—and with that toast, the idea for KA is born. The first name for his young organization wasn’t KA…

Our heritage

Four Founders

James Ward Wood, William Nelson Scott, Stanhope McClelland Scott, and William Archibald Wash began coalescing around the idea for their fraternity in spring of 1866—read about their background and success in college and thereafter.

Meet our Founders

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

Kappa Alpha Order at then Washington College during Lee’s presidency. His requirement for all students was, “We have but one rule—that every student must be a gentleman.”

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Leaving a Legacy

Members of the Order may leave a permanent legacy through leadership, service, and recognition.

Established in 1867, the Knight Commander is our Order’s highest office.

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Check out some of the most successful and supporting KA brothers in history.

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