The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia on March 1, 1868. At the time, the University of Virginia was the fifth largest school in the United States, and was considered the first truly American state university, because it was the first to be established totally free from religious control.
It all started in Room 47 West Range when Frederick Southgate Taylor turned to Littleton Waller Tazewell, his cousin and roommate, for help in starting a new fraternity. Also present were James Benjamin Sclater, Jr., a schoolmate of Tazewell, and Sclater’s roommate, Robertson Howard. Those four men voted to add a fifth to their group and chose Julian Edward Wood. In addition, William Alexander, probably a friend of Sclater, was proposed for membership and admitted as a founder.
The essence of the Founders’ vision for Pi Kappa Alpha can be found in its Preamble. A committee was first suggested by Brother William Alexander “to draw up a statement of the origin and the organization of the Fraternity.” The committee was composed of brothers Robertson Howard and Littleton Waller Tazewell.
The resulting statement is now referred to as the Preamble.
“For the establishment of friendship on a firmer and more lasting basis; for the promotion of brotherly love and kind feeling; for the mutual benefit and advancement of the interests of those with whom we sympathize and deem worthy of our regard; We have resolved to form a fraternity, believing that, thus we can most successfully accomplish our object.”