UNC Charlotte’s newest fraternity on campus is Pi Kappa Phi (PKP). The organization’s national headquarters are in Charlotte, the third-largest hub for PKP alumni in the country. They have 185 chapters across the country. At only three weeks old, the chapter already has 53 members.
Kevin Crooker, UNC Charlotte freshman and one of the fraternity’s founding fathers, said he joined the organization “because I had a chance to make this fraternity my own. They say you die twice: once when you breathe your last breath and the second time when someone says your name for the last time. In a fraternity, a founding father leaves a legacy.”
Senior Leadership Consultants Andrew Bell and James Maloney from the fraternity’s headquarters spent the last four weeks recruiting on campus.
“I think very often when you look at Greek life on a campus you get a very particular idea of what it’s like. For us, we’re really trying to find a group that doesn’t quite fit that mold, guys that have been looking for a place to call their own, looking for a home on campus. A group of people that are going to mutually support each other personal development, dedicated service and lifelong brotherhood,” said Bell.
Pi Kappa Phi is the only fraternity in the country that owns and operates their own philanthropy. The Ability Experience works to raise money and awareness for the disabled. To date, it has raised more than $15 million for the disabled.
“[Fraternity leaders felt] a lot of times [the disabled] were getting overlooked and people believed they were unable to do the same things as people without disabilities, so for us it was very important to go out there and volunteer and raise money for a cause that at this time is not curable. It’s really just showing people that people with disabilities really can do everything that those without can, they just do it in a different way,” said Bell.
The largest philanthropic event the fraternity organizes is the annual Journey of Hope, for which 130 brothers bike across the country. It has already raised $559,073 this year alone. They stop every night for “friendship visits,” one-on-one experiences with disabled people.
“It’s awesome to be able to get that in-person experience of seeing the kids that you’re raising the money for and either putting on a prom for people that were never able to go, losing horribly in wheelchair basketball or just having an experience to show people what they can do and really bring awareness to all the abilities that they do have and not just focus on the disability,” said Bell.
The previous chapter on campus had their charter revoked in 2008.
“The level of brotherhood, service; those kind of things were just not up to par, so we removed the chapter so we could come back when we chose. We allowed those men to graduate and started over,” said Maloney.
Pi Kappa Phi’s motto is “Exceptional leaders, uncommon opportunities.”
“It’s a lot of how do we make exceptional leaders through the opportunities that we can give them, both through our philanthropy and, at this campus, the founding father experience. How does that shape them to become the best version of themselves and, as we say, to become exceptional,” said Bell.
To find out more about Greek Life’s newest organization, visit: https://www.facebook.com/PiKappUNCC