Gamma Xi can trace it origins to the local fraternity, Phi Epsilon, which was founded on November 21, 1922. After six years of active petitioning Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Epsilon was granted its charter as Gamma Xi on October 26, 1929. The Pi Kap Building Association was established March 6, 1930 and is designed to act as a board of trustees who oversee the finances and maintain the property on which the chapter resides.
In 1932, Brother Sidwell Collins was killed in a car accident in Spokane. The following year his father, Dr. I.S. Collins, donated part of his book collection to begin a library in memory of his son. By 1937 he had donated more volumes and had established a trust account. At this time, the collection was acclaimed as one of the most outstanding fraternity collections in the country. The original collection included two personally autographed original volumes by Mark Twain as well as other priceless volumes and collections.
In 1953, fire destroyed the front portion of the chapter house, now at its present location of NE 710 California Street. Along with the loss of the house, a large portion of the Sidwell Collins Library was also lost. In 1959, Brother Bob Patrick (’54) was elected as ASWSU President. In 1960 the Chapter was awarded National’s Chapter Reporting Award.
In 1979, Brother Don Nelson became Chapter Advisor, a position he would hold until 1989. In 1985, Gamma Xi was awarded its first Chapter Excellence Award from Pi Kappa Alpha International.
In 1988, the Gamma Xi Alumni Association was formed and the organization has since earned the International Fraternity’s Nester Award numerous times as a top Pike Alumni Association.
In the early 90’s brother Scott Stewart led plans to renovate and add a new wing on to the back of the house. May 14, 1991 marked the ground breaking for the new addition which made Gamma Xi one of the largest fraternity houses at WSU.
Following the remodel of the chapter house, Gamma Xi was a top rushing house on campus and by 1997 was over a 100 man chapter. Since 1997, Gamma Xi has won four Robert Adger Smythe Awards (’98,’99,’10,’11) which recognizes the top 5% of Pi Kappa Alpha Chapters for their excellence. During this period, Gamma Xi has also been recognized multiple times as top five in the country for pledge education, alumni relations, membership education, rush, housing, and community service.
In 2008, WSU named its Student Services Building after Pi Kappa Alpha alum and long-time WSU donor, Phil Lighty and his wife June.
In 2015, the members of Gamma Xi recommitted themselves to pursuing Chapter excellence in all that they do.