Knight Commanders

Joseph Lane Stern

6th Knight Commander

Alpha–Washington & Lee University, 1867

Joseph Lane Stern was born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1848, and initiated by Alpha Chapter on March 29, 1867. Former Knight Commander Stern was actively involved with the affairs of the Order for many years and was a charismatic early leader.  It was Former Knight Commander Stern, who, along with Practical Founder Samuel Zenas Ammen, decided to weather the hard times of a young struggling Alpha Chapter and forever shaped our Order. He is credited with establishing Zeta and Eta while still a student at Washington College. He became the first Grand Historian of the Order and he succeeded to the post of Knight Commander on December 13, 1875, upon the resignation of W.W. Wadsworth.  In all, Stern served two terms as Grand Historian and two as Convention president.  He was also secretary and treasurer of the first Convention in 1870 and a member of the 1901-1903 and 1924-1930 Electoral Commissions.  Stern served on both the 1873 and 1883 committees that conferred with Northern Kappa Alpha Society about merging the two organizations.  A member of the Richmond, Virginia, alumni chapter, Stern practiced law in Richmond, where he died on May 3, 1932.