The origins of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity can be traced back to the city of Bologna, Italy around the year 1400.
At the University of Bologna, a teacher by the name of Manuel Chrysoloras founded an ancient society of students with five of his most devoted disciples. The society was founded for mutual protection against the corrupt governor of the city, former pirate Baldassare Cossa, who would often have students of the University physically attacked and robbed in the streets.
The students used secret words and signs to protect their ranks from betrayal. These forms and rituals became the basis of their organization. It embodied their ideals and allowed for both the safety of their members and the strong unity of the society.
The society slowly grew to large numbers, taking in those students who desired the protection it could offer. With a strong foundation in the loyalty and quality of its members, the ancient order grew into a strong organization. Over time, its strength and unity transformed the order from a protective society against Cossa into something much greater, a true brotherhood.
On December 10, 1869, five students at the University of Virginia met in 46 East Lawn and founded the Kappa Sigma Fraternity in America. They took the traditions of the ancient order in Bologna and created a fraternity that aimed to continue in its noble cause, that of unending brotherhood.
History of the Omicron-Phi Chapter
The Omicron-Phi Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity was founded on Saturday, April 14, 2007. On this day 27 men moved from pledges to initiates of the fraternity and received their charter. The chapter began as a colony in March 2006 when twenty-one of the twenty-seven founding fathers pledged to the Fraternity. From this point forward they sought to achieve their goals through the four pillars of Kappa Sigma: fellowship, leadership, scholarship, and service.
Since the induction of the Omicron-Phi chapter, the brothers have seized collective and individual opportunities to further themselves as fellow brothers, leaders, scholars, and community members. Many brothers have taken on campus leadership positions, such as the SGA Executive Board, Student Events Board, and many other campus organizations. Additionally, it is common to see the brothers actively involved in campus and community activities, events, and organizations. Furthermore, the chapter has earned a prestige on campus for academics by winning the Loving Cup award, which is awarded to the fraternity with the highest overall GPA, in 2008 and 2009.
The chapter has also received national attention from Kappa Sigma Headquarters. In June 2009, at the 67th Biennial Grand Conclave in San Antonio, Texas, the Omicron-Phi chapter received several awards, including: The Founder’s Award for Chapter Excellence, Outstanding Grand Master: Trey Weitzel ’10, Outstanding Alumnus Advisor: Vern Penner, Outstanding First Year Assistant Alumnus Advisor: Dr. Aaron Krochmal, Campus Involvement Award, and Academic Excellence Award.
Being relatively young, the Omicron-Phi chapter has become a successful force at Washington College and continues to set the example by following the pillars of fellowship, leadership, scholarship, and service.