Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as Pikes came to UW on May 12, 1914, when local UW fraternity Theta Sigma was given a charter as the fiftieth chapter of the national Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The first house they bought had previously been the Delta Gamma sorority house at 4550 18th Avenue Northeast, but they wouldn’t remain in this house for long.
By 1919, after just five years on campus, Pikes already had nearly fifty active members, so the fraternity searched for new housing to accommodate them. They moved to a building further from campus at 1804 Northeast 50th Street, where they would stay from 1920-1940.
The first interruption in Pikes history at UW came in the early 1940s as the campus was transformed by the outbreak of World War II. Everyday more young men left campus to enlist in the military and eventually all fraternities had either been shut down or converted to housing for ROTC units.
Through the efforts of Bob Woock (‘38) and other previous members, Pikes returned to campus shortly after the war, and this time took up residence at 4510 21st Avenue NE. This housing was only temporary as they would soon move to the fourth chapter house, at 4502 20th Avenue Northeast. This building would witness the initiation of nearly two hundred and fifty of our members and today the Catholic Newman Center stands in this location.
The second colonization of the UW campus began in 1979, and soon Pikes took housing on 18th Avenue Northeast, in three houses that were a gift from Oscar Sandberg (’49). They would stay here for the next fifteen years until 1994. At that point in time they wanted to create room for chapter growth and put all of the members under one roof. They struck a deal to rent the Zeta Beta Tau property at 4626 21st Avenue Northeast, as the first step to ownership of a single, larger chapter house.
In 1999, Pikes bought their current house at 4515 21st Avenue Northeast. In this house Pikes have continued their winning ways as they have now won the intramural athletic award 19 years in a row. In addition to this they have won numerous awards, including five Smythe’s which are awarded to the top Pike chapters internationally.