Dr. Idris Rhea Traylor, Jr.
32nd Knight Commander
Gamma Chi–Texas Tech University, 1970
Idris Rhea Traylor, Jr. was born in Norman , Oklahoma , in February 4, 1935. Traylor would prove to have an indelible influence on the Order. As a professor of history and administrator at Texas Tech University , Traylor began serving as Gamma Chi Chapter Advisor in 1969. He was initiated as a faculty member in February 1970, beginning an illustrious association with Kappa Alpha. Traylor served for 25 years as the Alumnus Advisor for the chapter, founded the Lubbock Alumni Chapter, and was a founder of the original Council of Honor, earning a Knight Commander’s Accolade for his work. National Scholarship Officer for more than two decades, Traylor wrote Brains, Books, Brotherhood, KA’ scholarship manual, which has been adopted by other fraternities and sororities and declared one of the most outstanding such books by the National Interfraternity Conference. He served as Deputy Commander of Hamer Province , Commander of Locke Province, and founder of the Locke Court of Honor. Traylor served 14 years on the Executive Council, including four years as Senior Councilor and four years as Knight Commander, first elected at the Dallas Convention in 1985.
Traylor strengthened the Order by reviving the position of Chief Alumnus and promoting the foundation of alumni chapters, more than doubling the number to over 100 chapters during his tenure as Knight Commander. His priority in undergraduate chapter expansion was rechartering the chapters that had previously existed but had ceased to function, although KA continued to add chapters where they had not previously existed. He introduced the Order’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Traylor provided the first paperback edition of the KA Laws so as to make the publication accessible to all members of the Order. He also doubled the number of Educational and Leadership Consultants and expanded services to undergraduate chapters. It was Traylor’s leadership that the Administrative Offices were moved to Lexington , Virginia.After the move, Traylor was one of those instrumental in the location, purchase, renovation, and furnishing the National Headquarters Building, including donating historical items to KA.