ALPHA KAPPA LAMBDA
First Fraternity to Be Founded West of the Rockies Instilled the Motto “The Truth and the Word”
1930: AKΛ at Illinois Received National Interfraternity Conference Honors as Top Fraternity in the Nation in Scholarship
-and the Tradition Began
The first AKΛ chapter, Los Amigos was born out of a need—a need of Christian men for a place to live and study which was within their means. Several students attending the University of California at Berkeley in 1906 discussed the possibility of forming a house club where they might live together as men and brothers, helping each other, encouraging each other, and perhaps living more economically than they could separately.
In 1907, Los Amigos was born as a house club named from the Spanish translation of “The Friends”. And seven years later, this house club because a national fraternity. The name “Alpha Kappa Lambda” was chosen, with the motto “Alethia Kai Logos” or “the truth and the word.” On April 22, 1914, Alpha Kappa Lambda became the first Fraternity to be founded on the West Coast and the first west of the Rocky Mountains.
Further East, at the University of Illinois, another Club House called the Bushnell Guild was formed as “a social fraternity on a frankly Christian basis seeking to uphold the highest standards of scholarship, citizenship, and fellowship,” as stated in the Guild’s constitution adopted on May 9, 1920. With its principles aligned with the Greek letter organization of Alpha Kappa Lambda, now numbering two chapters, members of the Bushnell Guild petitioned for and were granted membership into the national organization.
Gamma Chapter of AKΛ at Illinois was officially installed on March 18, 1921. The original fraternity house was located on the corner of Fifth and Daniel Street in Champaign. In 1925, a new house was built on the corner of Fourth and Daniel. An addition was added to this original "Tudor" style building in the mid-1960's. And in 2010, Gamma alums completed a $3M+ renovation of the house.
Today, the Gamma Chapter is the oldest continuing Alpha Kappa Lambda chapter in the nation, and one of the oldest fraternities on the University of Illinois campus. Our fraternity remains one of the closest houses to the Main Quad.