Lambda Phi Epsilon
FoundedFebruary 25, 1981; 43 years ago (1981-02-25)
AffiliationNAPA and NIC
Colors  Royal Blue and   White
PhilanthropyNational Marrow Donor Program
Members10,000[1] lifetime
NicknamesLPhiE, LFE, 人中王
HeadquartersLos Angeles, CA

Lambda Phi Epsilon (ΛΦΕ, also known as LPhiE and LFE) is the largest Asian-American-Interest fraternity in North America. Lambda Phi Epsilon is affiliated with the National APIDA Panhellenic Association, and is a former member of the North American Interfraternity Conference.[2][3]

Organizational goals

Lambda Phi Epsilon's vision is to be the preeminent international Asian interest fraternal organization, and to provide leadership, philanthropy, and advocacy in the community.[4]

The mission of the organization is to promote Lambda Phi Epsilon and its members by:


Lambda Phi Epsilon was formed on February 25, 1981, at the University of California, Los Angeles. Noting that Asian fraternities and sororities at the University of California campuses were recognized only as service organizations due to their membership's focus on specific Asian groups and exclusion of other ethnic groups, the founders aimed to create a fraternity that transcends the traditional boundaries of national origins, bridges the gaps between those communities, and is recognized by the Greek community at large. While the original charter focused on Asian Pacific Americans, people from all ethnic backgrounds were welcome to join. Craig Ishigo and Darryl Mu signed the charter as president and vice president.[5][6]

Within a few years, the fraternity had chartered to the University of Texas, Austin (Zeta chapter), the State University of New York, Buffalo (Nu chapter), and the University of Michigan (Xi chapter). In 1990, the organization was recognized by the North American Interfraternity Conference, being the first Asian Interest fraternity to do so. State University of New York, Buffalo (Nu chapter) was Lambda Phi Epsilon's first chapter to be chartered on the American East Coast. Starting as Delta Gamma Tau, on September 15, 1992, this fraternity merged with Lambda Phi Epsilon (effectively taking on Lambda Phi Epsilon's letters) to unify organizations with identical purposes and to strengthen the Asian American voice in the campus community. On December 5, 2004, Lambda Phi Epsilon established a colony at the University of Toronto (Alpha Xi chapter), which was the first chapter of the fraternity established outside the United States.[6]


The fraternity's national philanthropy works to raise awareness for bone marrow drives. For patients with leukemia or any other blood disorder, the best chance of finding a matching donor lies within their own ethnic community. Asian donors comprise a small fraction (7% as of January 2013)[7] of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Because of this, every chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon hosts several bone marrow drives in conjunction with organizations like the Asian American Donor Program, Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, and the former Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation to inform, educate, and recruit potential marrow donors for the NMDP. Lambda Phi Epsilon recognized bone marrow drives as the national philanthropy when Evan Chen, a member from Stanford University, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1995. The fraternity organized a campus-wide movement to find a bone marrow match for Chen. What resulted was the largest bone marrow typing drive in the history of the NMDP and AADP[8] (Asian American Donor Program). In a matter of days, over 2,000 people were typed. A match was eventually found for Chen, but by that time, the cancer had taken its toll and he died 1996.[9] Since then, the fraternity organizes annual bone marrow drives to help others find matching donors.[10] Collectively, chapters of Lambda Phi Epsilon amass hundreds of new registrants every year in national campaigns like Save Janet Liang[11] and Save Nina Louie.[12]


Lambda Phi Epsilon currently awards three merit-based scholarships to active brothers in good standing who have been chosen from a pool of applicants. The Rising Leaders Among Men Scholarship recognizes first-year members, The Academic Excellence Scholarship recognizes academic achievement, and The Lambda of the Year Scholarship recognizes students who epitomize the organization's mission statement.[13]


Lambda Phi Epsilon holds an annual convention during Memorial Day weekend at various locations across North America, co-hosted with the sisters of alpha Kappa Delta Phi. Throughout the weekend, members have the opportunity to learn about the state of the fraternity as addressed by the National Board, network with alumni in career-oriented workshops, and socialize with fellow actives from around the world. Convention ends with an annual banquet that recognizes incoming and outgoing fraternal leadership, announces chapter promotions and awards, and showcases brotherhood step performances and other perpetuating traditions of the fraternity.[14]

Hazing incidents

Main article: Hazing in Greek letter organizations

Lambda Phi Epsilon has experienced the most hazing incidents among Asian-American fraternities, including three deaths. All deaths occurred in the last 13 years.[15] As of 2019, eighteen chapters have been closed.[16] Hazing activities include (but are not limited to) knuckle push-ups, consumption of large amounts of alcohol and miscellaneous condiments, tackle football, and calisthenics.

In 2005, two pledges at separate universities died in hazing incidents. In August of that year, UC Irvine student Kenny Luong died after being tackled in a football game that pitted a 10-member pledge group against approximately 40 active members and alumni. The game lasted for more than 3 hours and was played without the use of pads. Prior to the football game, the pledges were forced to complete vigorous calisthenics such as close-fisted push-ups on gravel; jumping in the air while standing, landing on their chests without using their hands to break their fall; and drinking two gallons of water in one sitting.[17] The chapter was officially shut down by UC Irvine in 2007.

In December 2005, Jack Phoummarath, an 18-year-old at the University of Texas, died from alcohol poisoning in what was described by his family as a hazing incident. Three former leaders of the chapter pleaded no contest.[18] A settlement was reached with the fraternity for $4.2 million. The fraternity organization did not have insurance, and was unable to pay the entire settlement.[18][19] The fraternity later established the Jack Phoummarath Memorial Scholarship in his honor.[20]

In 2008, The Daily Northwestern, the newspaper of Northwestern University, published an article revealing hazing violations as part of the chapter's pledging process. Pledges were forced to drink jugs of liquid believed to be a mixture of ketchup and Tabasco sauce and perform calisthenics all night. After an official university hearing, Lambda Phi Epsilon received a four-year suspension from Northwestern.[21]

In 2013, another fraternity member died at San Francisco State University. Eighteen-year-old Peter Tran died due to alcohol poisoning during a "crossing" event at the house. The university later expelled Lambda Phi Epsilon from the campus following a full review.[22][23]

In 2018, Bwog, a Columbia University news blog, received a detailed report about the initiation process of the Alpha Rho chapter at Columbia University. Bwog reported that, "In the last week of the pledging process, the Columbia pledges were taken to the University of Pennsylvania's chapter. There, they were made to compete with the Penn Lambda pledges in physical activities, including push-ups and high knees. The exertion was so extreme that our source recounts passing out and being doused with ice water to forcibly awaken him."[24] On Friday December 21, 2018, the Sigma chapter at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was voted to be shut down by the Board of Directors due to "significance evidence of hazing being practiced as part of the new member education process." The chapter has been suspended indefinitely.[25]

In 2018, Cal Poly's investigation took place in regards to systemic hazing of new pledges in recent years."The university received anonymous reports that members of the chapter had taken part in the hazing and began the investigation September 28." Ultimately, it was determined the fraternity was involved with multiple accounts of painful and unsafe hazing such as forcing pledges to perform knuckle push-ups and late-night submersion in the ocean. In addition, the chapter forced pledges to consume large amounts of alcohol and provided minors with access to alcohol. The accounts were supported by corroborating testimonies from both current and former members of the fraternity. "All anonymous sources said they were left with broken skin and bloodied knuckles. Some said they were left with scars." On Thursday, October 18, 2018, the chapter was officially suspended for a minimum of two academic years or until all the past members have graduated.[26]

In June 2019, Pennsylvania State's Office of Student Conduct and Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc., launched a joint investigation after receiving allegations of hazing during the new member education process. The recommendation for suspension came from the university. On June 17, the international organization revoked the fraternity's charter. Suspension of the Tau chapter at Pennsylvania State University results in losses of all privileges as a recognized student organization." The chapter has been suspended through 2023.[27]

Chapter suspensions

In March 2016, the UC Santa Cruz chapter was suspended following the arrests of several members accused of running a drug smuggling ring. The alpha Kappa Delta Phi sorority was also suspended for the same reason.[28]

On May 29, 2020, screenshots of the NYU chapter group chat surfaced showing members of the fraternity making statements saying "black peoples were lazy" and "it's only logical that police brutality is more common with those communities". These comments were in response to the George Floyd protests. Both the university and the fraternity suspended the chapter pending investigation.[29][30] The incident prompted a push from New York activists to address racism among New York's Chinese community.[31]

On November 1, 2022, the Purdue chapter was suspended after investigations following allegations of hazing, sexual assault and relationship violence, academic dishonesty and underground functions. The results of the investigation prompted the Purdue chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi to end official relations with the fraternity [32]

Notable members


Main article: List of Lambda Phi Epsilon chapters

Lambda Phi Epsilon has a total of 68 chapters in 6 geographic regions.[6][when?]

West Coast

  • California (13)
  • Washington (2)


  • Texas (5)
  • Oklahoma (2)
  • Arizona (1)


  • Illinois (4)
  • Indiana (1)
  • Kansas (1)
  • Michigan (2)
  • Nebraska (1)
  • Wisconsin (1)
  • Ohio (1)

North East

  • Connecticut (1)
  • Massachusetts (3)
  • New York (3)
  • Ontario, Canada (2)


  • Maryland (2)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • New York (5)
  • Pennsylvania (3)

South East

  • Florida (2)
  • Georgia (1)
  • North Carolina (3)
  • Virginia (4)
  • Tennessee (1)

See also


  1. ^ "Alumni". Lambda Phi Epsilon. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ "NAPA Chapters". National APIA Panhellenic Association. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  3. ^ "North American Interfraternity Conference Chapters". North American Interfraternity Conference. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, About/History". Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity. 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  5. ^ "History of Lambda Phi Epsilon". Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), section showing Lambda Phi Epsilon chapters". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 1 January 2022. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2013-09-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity Saving Lives". Asian American Donor Program. 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2019-12-07.
  9. ^ "Community Service". Stanford Lambda Phi Epsilon. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
  10. ^ In particular, the fraternity seeks out minority donors for the National Marrow Donor Program.
  11. ^ Chapters also raise awareness for the National Marrow Donor Program by organizing local concerts that feature Asian American artists.
  12. ^ Lambda Phi Epsilon cohosts drives for the Save Nina campaign with sister sorority alpha Kappa Delta Phi.
  13. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Scholarship Programs". Archived from the original on September 17, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  14. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Convention". Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  15. ^ Hu, Winnie (October 12, 2015). "Hazing and Drinking Deaths at Asian-American Fraternities Raise Concerns". New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  16. ^ "Membership". Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  17. ^ Miller, Brandon (March 5, 2007). "Pledge Death Witnesses Break Silence". New University.
  18. ^ a b Barajas, Erik (15 July 2008). "UT student death lawsuit over". ABC News (KTRK). Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Family reaches settlement in UT hazing death case". News 8 Austin. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Jack Phoummarath Memorial Scholarship" (PDF). Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  21. ^ Jackson, Peter (1 May 2008). "Hazed: A Greek Tragedy". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  22. ^ Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (14 July 2013). "Fraternity booted from S.F. State after party death as school looks into hazing allegations". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  23. ^ Farrell, Nena (23 August 2013). "Frat Death Spurs Alcohol Responsibility Program". Golden Gate Express. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  24. ^ Staff, Bwog (2 December 2018). "Former Lambda Phi Epsilon Pledge Details Culture Of Hazing". Bwog Columbia Student News.
  25. ^ "Closure of Sigma Chapter". Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  26. ^ Linthicum, Austin; Paoletto, Isabella; Fish, Quinn (2018-10-20). "Lambda Phi Epsilon disaffiliated for hazing: bloodied knuckles, water submersion & alcohol". Mustang News. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  27. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity suspended through 2023". Penn State University. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  28. ^ "UCSC Fraternity, Sorority Suspend Activities After Drug Ring Busted". KPIX. CBS News. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  29. ^ "Statement from NYU President Andrew Hamilton and NYU Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation Lisa Coleman".
  30. ^ Stallone, Cole (30 May 2020). "Fraternity Suspended After Racist Messages Leaked Amid Nationwide Anti-Racist Protests | Washington Square News". Washington Square News. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  31. ^ Song, Zijia (10 June 2020). "A Push to Make Chinatown's Shopkeepers Say 'Black Lives Matter'". Bedford + Bowery. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  32. ^ "Lambda Phi Epsilon suspended for 4 years". Retrieved 2 November 2022.
  33. ^ "Master Strategist Yul Kwon Wins Survivor". People Magazine. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  34. ^ "Survivor Winner Yul Kwon Joins FCC". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  35. ^ Holmes, Linda (11 April 2012). "'America Revealed': The Ups And Downs Of The Quest For More Of Everything". NPR. Retrieved April 22, 2012.