Tau Kappa Epsilon
The official coat of arms of Tau Kappa Epsilon
FoundedJanuary 10, 1899; 125 years ago (1899-01-10)
Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL
AffiliationNIC (former)
MottoBetter Men for a Better World
  Crimson Lake Cherry
  Pure Silver Gray
SymbolEquilateral Triangle
FlowerRed Carnation
Patron Greek divinityApollo
PublicationThe Teke
PhilanthropySt. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Chapters221 active[1]
Members10,590[1] collegiate
298,000[1] lifetime
NicknamesΤΚΕ, Teke
Headquarters7439 Woodland Drive, Suite #100[1]
Indianapolis, IN 46278
United States

Tau Kappa Epsilon (ΤΚΕ), commonly known as ΤΚΕ or Teke, is a social college fraternity founded on January 10, 1899, at Illinois Wesleyan University. The organization has chapters throughout the United States and Canada, making the Fraternity an international organization. Since its founding in 1899, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity has never had an exclusionary or discriminatory clause to prevent individuals from joining and has instead admitted members based on their "personal worth and character".[2] As of fall 2023, there are 221 active ΤΚΕ chapters and colonies with over 298,000-lifetime members.[1]

While Tau Kappa Epsilon is primarily mentioned as a collegiate fraternity, the organization emphasizes that it is a "Fraternity for Life".[3] Many chapters have active alumni associations that support philanthropic causes, mentor collegiate members, and host social events.[4] Famous Teke alumni that continued their involvement with the Fraternity include NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw, country music singer Willie Nelson, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan.[5][6][7]



The five founders of Tau Kappa Epsilon. Clockwise from top left: James Carson McNutt, Owen Ison Truitt, Clarence Arthur Mayer, Joseph Lorenzo Settles, Charles Roy Atkinson

On January 10, 1899, Charles Roy Atkinson, Clarence Arthur Mayer, James Carson McNutt, Joseph Lorenzo Settles, and Owen Ison Truitt met at 504 East Locust Street in Bloomington, Illinois, to draw up the first constitution for a new fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan University. The purpose of the new organization was to be an "aid to college men in mental, moral and social development". The founders sought to be a different organization than the other fraternities at the time by establishing a fraternity where membership would be based on personal worth and character rather than wealth, rank, or honor. Mental development would be emphasized by the study of classic literature at weekly meetings, and thus the new fraternity became known as the Knights of Classic Lore. The first public announcement of the Knights of Classic Lore appeared in the February 1, 1899, issue of the Argus, which is the student publication of Illinois Wesleyan University.

During formation, the Knights of Classic Lore were trying to get the Illinois Epsilon chapter of Phi Delta Theta restored. Prominent Phi Delt alumnus Richard Henry Little became a persistent sponsor for the Knights to petition Phi Delta Theta for a charter. The Knights first petitioned Phi Delta Theta at its 1902 convention in New York, but efforts were unsuccessful. After renting rooms at several locations beginning in the spring of 1899, the Knights of Classic Lore finally acquired its first fraternity house, known as The Wilder Mansion, in September 1902. Simultaneously with the acquisition of the new house, the Knights also adopted the name Tau Kappa Epsilon. The name change was expected to create a better impression in future petitions to Phi Delta Theta. The second petition was presented at the Indianapolis convention of 1904, but it was withdrawn to gain unanimous support of all chapters in Phi Delta Theta's Zeta Province, which included Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. If this support was achieved, then the charter would be granted to the group without any action from the convention. The Knights of Classic Lore gained the support of all Phi Delta Theta groups in the province, except for Wisconsin Alpha, Illinois Beta, and Missouri Alpha. The Knights in turn unsuccessfully presented the petition at the 1906 convention in Washington, D.C. During the continuing struggle for acceptance from Phi Delta Theta, ΤΚΕ continued to grow stronger in its existence.

In late 1907, ΤΚΕ was preparing to petition Phi Delta Theta once again at the 1908 convention when an event took place that would forever change the course of history for the fraternity. At the annual initiation banquet on October 19, 1907, speeches were made that both advocated and questioned the continued petitioning of Phi Delta Theta. At the banquet, Wallace G. McCauley delivered a blistering speech known as "Opportunity Out of Defeat".[8] The powerful address called for an abandonment of the petitioning initiative and a new campaign to make ΤΚΕ into a national fraternity itself. While there was some opposition at the time, the movement ultimately took hold, and by 1908, ΤΚΕ was well on its way to becoming a national fraternity in its own right. The speech was published in the first issue of The Teke in January 1908, and by November of that year, work was beginning on a new constitution. At the chapter meeting held on Monday, February 15, 1909, the new constitution became official. The first Conclave of the Grand Chapter of the new national fraternity of Tau Kappa Epsilon convened on February 17, 1909.


In 1909, ΤΚΕ approached the Chi Rho Sigma local fraternity at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. There were no national fraternities at Millikin at this time, and ΤΚΕ had just established its intentions to become a national fraternity. Representatives from ΤΚΕ presented their case, and after thorough consideration, Chi Rho Sigma voted to accept ΤΚΕ's offer. On April 17, 1909, Chi Rho Sigma was installed as the Beta chapter of ΤΚΕ. In November 1911, the Beta Rho Delta local fraternity was founded at the University of Illinois. ΒΡΔ petitioned Tau Kappa Epsilon in January 1912, and they were installed as the Gamma chapter of ΤΚΕ on February 3, 1912. Following the installation of the Gamma chapter, The Teke magazine noted that the triangle was completed. The geographic location of ΤΚΕ's first three chapters form a perfect equilateral triangle. The equilateral triangle was at that time, and continues to be, the primary symbol of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

The national fraternity Sigma Mu Sigma merged with ΤΚΕ in March 1935. The merger resulted in the new Alpha-Pi chapter of ΤΚΕ at George Washington University and additional members for the Gamma chapter at the University of Illinois and the Alpha-Zeta chapter at Purdue University.

Before 1939, ΤΚΕ chapters were installed after local fraternities petitioned ΤΚΕ for approval. In 1939, a colonization process was established to promote expansion and to ensure that potential chapters met all requirements prior to installation. The first two ΤΚΕ colonies were the Eta colony at the University of Kansas and the Chi Beta colony at the University of Missouri.[9]

Tau Kappa Epsilon expanded for the first time into the Deep South region of the United States in 1946. This expansion was made possible when Alpha Lambda Tau, a small predominantly Southern national fraternity, announced its dissolution. Five of Alpha Lambda Tau's eight active chapters affiliated with ΤΚΕ, resulting in new ΤΚΕ chapters at the University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, Auburn University, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, and Tri-State College.[10]

Presidential recognition

President Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president and a TKE member, speaks about Tau Kappa Epsilon

On January 20, 1981, Tau Kappa Epsilon member Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States. Reagan joined ΤΚΕ at the Iota chapter at Eureka College in 1929. Throughout his time as President of the United States, Reagan remained actively involved in Tau Kappa Epsilon.

In 1983, President Reagan created the Ronald Reagan Leadership Award to recognize selected student members of ΤΚΕ that have demonstrated superior academic and leadership accomplishments.[11]

In March 1984, President Reagan sponsored a ΤΚΕ alumni luncheon at the White House. Approximately 60 members of ΤΚΕ were invited to the White House luncheon. At the luncheon, Reagan was awarded ΤΚΕ's Order of the Golden Eagle and the Gold Medal of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) recognizing his lifelong efforts to support and promote college fraternities. Reagan was the first Teke and first U.S. president to receive the Gold Medal of the NIC.[11]

During the Spring Quarter of 1985 at the Alpha-Omega chapter (UCLA), Frater Reagan was hosted to an informal reception by the chapter's active members. There was no pre-screening of the house or its members by the Secret Service. Photos were taken to commemorate the event and the meeting was both up-building to the chapter and Frater Reagan. Coincidentally and as of June 2010, the brand-new UCLA Medical Center was named in his honor (Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center), a leading teaching and research hospital, and is a stone's throw from the chapter house.

In October 1984, President Reagan attended lunch at the ΤΚΕ house at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, which hosted President Reagan for lunch following a rally in which he was speaking at Ohio State.[11]

In June 1988, President Reagan hosted a special ΤΚΕ ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House, where he presented the Ronald Reagan Leadership Award/Scholarship to ΤΚΕ member Alan Friel. During the ceremony at the White House, President Reagan was presented with ΤΚΕ's Order of the Silver Maple Leaf by ΤΚΕ Grand Prytanis Bruce Melchert.

Responding to changes

By the late 1980s, public perception of fraternities and their conduct was deteriorating, which affected recruitment and membership growth across many of Tau Kappa Epsilon's chapters.[10] In response, the Grand Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon voted to eliminate traditional pledging and implement several membership development programs including a formal candidate education program and membership quality boards (MQBs), which were constituted at each chapter to review membership conduct.

The fraternity continued to enact various changes to its structure and operations throughout the remainder of the 20th century. In 1991, the Grand Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon voted to abolish female auxiliary groups associated with chapters, also known as "Little Sisters".[10] Membership decline continued throughout most of the 1990s, which prompted the fraternity to respond with additional long-range plans to boost membership recruitment and minimize risk management costs.

The early 21st century brought a reinvigoration of the fraternity. Considerable resources were invested to upgrade the fraternity's infrastructure, improve its communication strategy, and reorganize professional staff across the United States and Canada.[10] In the following years, Tau Kappa Epsilon saw improvements in numerous areas of the fraternity including average chapter size, philanthropy projects, and public service hours.

Symbols and traditions


The mythological ideal or patron of Tau Kappa Epsilon is Apollo, an important and complex Olympian deity in Greek and Roman mythology. Apollo is the Greek god of music and culture, of light and truth, the ideals toward which the organization strives in their development of manhood.


ΤΚΕ membership badge

The official membership badge, made of gold and adorned with three white pearls, is by far the most important item of ΤΚΕ insignia in general use. This badge may be worn only by initiated members. Jeweled badges, crowns set with pearls, diamonds, rubies, or emeralds, according to choice, may be worn by alumni members. Frequently the standard membership badge is used as a token of engagement. Miniature badges are also available for mothers, sisters, wives, chapter sweethearts, or for engagement purposes. The ΤΚΕ 'badge of gold,' unique in its design and distinctiveness, has never been changed since its adoption.

Red carnation

The red carnation is the flower of the fraternity. From this flower, the color for the coat-of-arms, flag, and other symbols are derived. Red carnations are also worn at ΤΚΕ banquets. The Red Carnation Ball is a dance that many chapters celebrate and is named after the flower.


The coat-of-arms may be used only by official members of the Fraternity on stationery, jewelry, and other personal effects. Modified slightly several times during the early years of Tau Kappa Epsilon, the present Coat-of-Arms, adopted in 1926, was designed by Dr. Carlton B. Pierce and Ms. Emily Butterfield.[12]


The ΤΚΕ flag properly displayed horizontally and vertically

The present design of the ΤΚΕ flag, as adopted at the 1961 Conclave, features five voided triangles, in cherry red, on a gray bend surmounting a cherry field. Because it is patterned after the shield of the fraternity Coat-of-Arms, the flag is readily associated with Tau Kappa Epsilon. Individual chapters may also purchase and use pennants and wall banners of various designs. These usually employ the name or Greek letters of the fraternity and chapter and may incorporate the basic ΤΚΕ insignia. ΤΚΕ insignia may be purchased only from the Offices of the Grand Chapter or a merchant licensed by the fraternity headquarters.

The Horseshoe

In April 1921, members of the Fraternity at Ohio State University made their way to the Conclave in Madison, Wisconsin. After the vote granting their charter as the Omicron Chapter, one of the members pulled from the pocket of his pants a rusty horseshoe which the fraters had picked up along the way. Believing that the horseshoe had granted the chapter good luck, the tradition began to pass the horseshoe down to each chapter. The original horseshoe was lost during World War II at the Alpha-Chi Chapter (University of Louisville), but it was replaced with a new horseshoe to continue the tradition.

In mid-1995, the original horseshoe was discovered by Past Grand Prytanis Rodney Williams among some artifacts belonging to the Alpha-Chi Chapter, which had been held for years by a charter member of the chapter. At the 49th Biennial Conclave, the original ΤΚΕ horseshoe from the Omicron Chapter was displayed, and the story behind its loss was explained.

The horseshoe, now an adopted symbol, is traditionally displayed on a plaque given to new chapters at their founding.

The Sweetheart Song

The tradition of singing a Sweetheart Song to a fraternity's sweetheart is one shared by most fraternities. ΤΚΕ is rare in that it has three different Sweetheart Songs (Sweetheart of T.K.E., recorded by The Lettermen in 1969, found on I Have Dreamed (The Lettermen album); Iota Sweetheart Song and the Old Sweetheart Song).[13] The Old Sweetheart Song was started at the Alpha-Xi Chapter (Drake University) in Des Moines, Iowa.

Grand Council

The Board of Directors of the Fraternity is known as the Grand Council, which is composed of the Grand Prytanis (Grand President) and seven other Grand Officers elected at Conclave, one representative selected by the Collegiate Advisory Committee (CAC), and two other alumni selected by the Grand Officers as ex-officio, voting members.[14] The Grand Council is entrusted with authority over managing the property, assets, and finances of the Fraternity, adopting budgets and financial estimates, proposing amendments to the Fraternity's Articles of Incorporation, and authorizing the establishment of colonies or affiliated local fraternities. The Grand Council also oversees the chief executive officer (CEO) of the International Fraternity who manages day-to-day operations, subject to the direction and control of the Grand Council.

The CAC and its chairman are active undergraduate members appointed by the CEO of the Fraternity and approved by several past Grand Prytani (Grand Presidents) to act as advisers to the Grand Council with the CAC chairman serving on the Grand Council.[15]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conclave 2021 was postponed to 2022 as declared in the Fraternity's Statement of Emergency, which resulted in the officers of the Grand Council serving beyond their normal 2-year term.[16] In September 2021, Grand Prytanis Dr. James Hickey announced his retirement and Ted W. Bereswill succeeded him as the new Grand Prytanis until Conclave 2022.[17]

Current officers

The below table lists the current Grand Council officers and members.[18][19]

Current Grand Council
Office English Equivalent Name Original Chapter University/College
Grand Prytanis Grand President Ryan J. Vescio Esq. Rho-Omega Chapter University of South Carolina
Grand Epiprytanis Grand Vice President Mike J. McEvilly Beta-Eta Chapter Missouri University of Science and Technology
Grand Grammateus Grand Secretary Jim H. Johnston Epsilon-Eta Chapter Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Grand Crysophylos Grand Treasurer Erich M. Ploog Epsilon-Omicron Chapter University of Houston
Grand Histor Grand Historian Shimmy N. Mehta Theta-Zeta Chapter Rutgers University
Grand Hypophetes Grand Chaplain Edward E. Daizovi Alpha-Zeta Chapter Purdue University
Grand Pylortes Grand Sergeant-at-Arms John K. Fabsits Xi-Eta Chapter Missouri Western State University
Grand Hegemon Grand Educator Cole Conner Epsilon-Omicron Chapter University of Houston
Grand Council at-Large Grand Council at-Large Alex C. Rudloff Xi-Iota Chapter University of Central Florida
Grand Council at-Large Grand Council at-Large MGEN Chuck W. Whittington Jr. Pi-Psi Chapter University of Southern Mississippi
CAC Chairman CAC Chairman Drew Solt Rho Chapter University of West Virginia

Past Grand Prytani

Every Grand Prytanis, or Grand President, serves for a two-year term after being elected at Conclave. However, early fraternity elections were yearly and some elections were irregular or interrupted, such as during the two World Wars and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous Grand Prytani are listed below.[20]

Notable members

Main article: List of Tau Kappa Epsilon members

Frater Ronald Reagan is signing autographs for his fellow Tekes
Frater Ronald Reagan signing autographs for his fellow Tekes

The list of Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers spans multiple careers including politics, business, athletics, and entertainment. Among the most recognized include U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who was the recipient of the Order of the Golden Eagle, the fraternity's highest honor.[21] Other widely recognized political figures include former West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who at the time of his death was the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Congress, and former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who while running for president launched a ΤΚΕ-specific website and visited Tekes on the campaign trail.[22][23][24]

Dozens of top CEOs and university presidents have also made the list such as Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, and Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine, who was the fraternity's 250,000th initiate.[25] Numerous athletic and music superstars are also Tekes including NFL quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms, and Aaron Rodgers, Olympians Douglas Blubaugh, Sim Iness, and Johnny Quinn, and singers Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and the Everly Brothers.

Chapters and colonies

Main article: List of Tau Kappa Epsilon chapters

The ΤΚΕ chapter house at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri

ΤΚΕ chapters and colonies are individual organizations of initiated members associated with a university or college. After the first, or single-letter Alpha series, chapters are named with a two-letter Greek letter combination in alphabetical order of the Greek alphabet, such as Alpha-Alpha, Beta-Alpha, etc. The Greek letter "Eta" was skipped over as a named series. Naming occurs according to the date when the chapter's charter was granted. In one exception to this general rule, the group that would have been the Sigma chapter received special permission to be referred to as the Scorpion chapter, honoring the name of a long-standing local affiliate into the Fraternity.[26]

A colony is defined as an unchartered organization of the Fraternity until officially granted a charter by the Grand Council, which is the board of directors of the Fraternity. Once a colony has obtained at least 20 qualified members and has petitioned for a charter, the Grand Council may grant a charter by a two-thirds vote.[27] As of 2022, "colonies" are officially referred to as "emerging chapters" by the Fraternity.[28]

Chapters may have become inactive after being granted a charter, due to membership decline, misconduct, or school closure. In some cases, the Fraternity and alumni volunteers may restore a dormant chapter using the same chapter name. Numerous chapters that were once closed have recolonized and have successfully reestablished themselves in their school and community.

Tau Kappa Epsilon is also affiliated with the German fraternity system known as the Corps of the Weinheimer Senioren-Convent (WSC). The WSC serves as an umbrella organization for 60 student Corps in 22 cities all over Germany.[29] In furtherance of this International fraternal friendship, Past Executive Vice President Timothy J. Murphy became part of Corps Franconia Darmstadt (Darmstadt Technical University) receiving the status of "Inhaber der Corpsschleife" (IdC), a rarity for a foreign national. He has since spoken at fraternity congresses and gatherings in Weinheim and Würzburg, Germany.

Local chapter or member misconduct

Chapters or members occasionally make news for harmful choices, with situations ranging from full-on tragedies to more benign rule-breaking. Where these occur the range of outcomes can include individual and chapter suspension, lawsuits, and possibly even closure. With a combination of risk management techniques, education, and mentor focus, ΤΚΕ nationally has banned and renounced hazing as inconsistent with fraternity values.[30][31] Regular member education is used to raise awareness and redirect behaviors away from prohibited conduct. The Fraternity similarly promotes awareness of the dangers and harm caused by violence and sexual abuse.[32] Likewise its national rules require that chapters and members adhere to local legislation regarding alcohol and substance abuse.[33] Nevertheless, the following events have been cited as impacting chapters and their communities:

The Central Michigan University chapter was placed on suspension due to alcohol and hazing pledges violations.[34]

The University of Georgia chapter was suspended after a video of four of its members showing them using racial slurs and mocking slavery surfaced on the internet. This incident also resulted in the expulsion of the aforementioned members from the organization[35]

The Oregon State University chapter was suspended following an investigation of several reported hazing incidents. While the fraternity house was left vacant, the Corvallis police arrested two homeless people found in the house on charges of first-degree burglary, theft of services, second-degree criminal mischief, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine.[36]

The Sonoma State University chapter was banned from campus for five years following a hazing investigation.[37]

The California Polytechnic State University chapter was banned from campus after a hazing investigation revealed pledges were forced to drink alcohol and do push-ups.[38]

A member of the Indiana University chapter was arrested for selling illegal drugs in the fraternity house and off-campus.[39]

The University of Nevada-Reno chapter was suspended for one year following information of its membership songs that promote violence toward women and other fraternity men on campus.

The Ohio State University chapter was suspended for three years after a thorough investigation found the chapter guilty of hazing, endangering behavior, and improper use of alcohol.[40]

The Florida International University chapter was suspended for two years after a thorough investigation found the chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon had violated the university's student code of conduct, following the release of screenshots depicting "inappropriate content" in the group's ΤΚΕ private chat, where the fraternity's group chat revealed photos of nude women, which had been shared without their consent, and offensive statements including Holocaust memes, jokes about rape and pedophilia and conversations about drug sales. The fraternity also got in trouble for hosting a tailgate party where a minor was served alcohol. As a result, Florida International University enacted a month-long suspension of all fraternities and sororities on campus, while the administration reformed the policies concerning Greek Life.[41]

The Towson University chapter was suspended after WBAL News Radio reported that a student was "forced to eat cat food and a liquid he was told was vinegar and pickle juice by members of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity" and that "the student started vomiting blood hours later and was taken to a nearby hospital later that day".[42][43]

The Florida State University chapter was suspended for hazing and misconduct violations. The pledges were forced to participate in a hazing activity called "Old South" where pledges acted like slaves in blackface while serving drinks to members. Also, the pledges were twice blindfolded and dropped off hours away from campus without their wallets and cellphones and then told to find their way back to campus.[44][45]

The University of Maryland chapter was kicked off campus due to the distribution of a video showing disturbing hazing rituals.[46]

The Northwest Missouri State University chapter had a member arrested and charged with first-degree rape of a female student at the fraternity house on campus. The chapter was placed on suspension for the incident.[47]

The California State University, Northridge chapter was kicked off campus until July 2018 due to hazing and sexual misconduct.[48]

The Quinnipiac University chapter was kicked off campus due to "serious" allegations of hazing.[49]

The Arizona State University chapter was expelled by the university after photos surfaced of a racially-themed "MLK Black Party" on Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, although it later surfaced that the event was not planned by members of the fraternity. The party included guests wearing basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs, and drinking from watermelon cups.[50] The school's decision to ban the chapter was also because the ΤΚΕ chapter had recently been placed on probation after two members of the fraternity pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of a student from another fraternity.[51] The national fraternity issued an apology and condemned the event but insisted that the party was "without malice or forethought", that there were fewer than 30 men and women at the event which didn't meet Arizona State IFC guidelines for an official fraternity function, and that the ASU chapter was one of the most "multi-cultural social fraternities" at the university.[52]

The Rowan University chapter had two men suspended for an illicit sex tape recorded in the fraternity house that was leaked to the public.[53]

The California State University San Marcos chapter was suspended after several different complaints of sexual assault and date rape were made against the fraternity.[54]

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee chapter was suspended after several women falsely accused the fraternity of drugging and raping them at the fraternity house. One fraternity member was arrested for possession of marijuana.[55]

The Johnson & Wales University chapter had a former pledge sue the fraternity after a brutal hazing ritual that left him hospitalized for over a month. He was branded, urinated on by members, paddled, deprived of sleep, forced to exercise, forced to swim in his vomit, and asked to participate in a host of many other demeaning activities. He was the only remaining pledge after the rest of his pledge class dropped due to abuse and harassment perpetrated by members of the fraternity.[56]

The American University chapter was disciplined for forcing pledges to binge drink, smoke marijuana, and perform various humiliating tasks.[56]

The Arizona State University chapter was placed on probation after 20 ΤΚΕ members attacked three members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity. One DKE member was beaten so badly that he had to be transferred to an emergency room with a concussion and broken jaw.[57]

The Butler University chapter was shut down and placed on probation for an undisclosed period. School administrators at the time did not release a reason for the chapter's closure.[58][59]

The Radford University chapter made national headlines after a pledge died partaking in a drinking hazing ritual. Six members of the fraternity were arrested and charged with his death.[60]

The Whitman College chapter was publicly accused of abusing and mistreating pledges by a former pledge. The former pledge stated that misconduct by the fraternity was the reason why many members of his pledge class quit the fraternity.[61]

In 2000, the San Diego State University chapter was expelled for four years after a drinking hazing ritual hospitalized a pledge with alcohol poisoning.[62]

In 1996, the La Salle University chapter was suspended after a group from the chapter assaulted members of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. The ΤΚΕ chapter's charter was subsequently revoked.


The Teke

The Teke is the award-winning[63] official quarterly publication for undergraduate and alumni brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon. The magazine features in-depth articles related to topics of interest for ΤΚΕ members, including chapter news, alumni news, service and foundation annual reports, and articles relating to leadership, professional development, chapter operations, and general interest to the fraternal world. On October 19, 1907, Wallace G. McCauley delivered his "Opportunity out of Defeat" speech at the annual initiation banquet of the fraternity, and not only did this speech mark the decision to become a national fraternity, but it also marked the beginning of the official magazine of ΤΚΕ. In the speech, McCauley stated, "Then let us issue a magazine, quarterly as first, name it The Teke, make it attractive and artistic in form." The Teke magazine first appeared in January 1908. The first edition was a 20-page booklet of 7 by 10 inches bound with a gray cover and the title The Teke within a red triangle. Illustrations and photos were first used in Volume II, No. 2 of The Teke. The magazine expanded to the 8.5 by 11.5-inch size in 1935. The Teke was suspended in the 1990s amid financial difficulties for the fraternity, but it was re-established in 1999.[64][65]

The Teke Guide

The pledge manual of Tau Kappa Epsilon is known as The Teke Guide. Development of the manual began in 1927, and The Teke Guide was first published in 1935. The book was developed to acquaint pledges of ΤΚΕ with the history, government, organization, idealism, functions, aspirations, and traditions of Tau Kappa Epsilon. The Teke Guide was the first fraternity pledge manual to use a two-color printing process. The original book was designed, compiled, and edited by Grand Histor Leland F. Leland. Through the 1950s, The Teke Guide was a spiral-bound book of nearly 150 pages. The book was rich with illustrations, including photos of all ΤΚΕ chapter houses. In 1966, a new hardcover version of The Teke Guide debuted; however, the new version contained significantly reduced content and very few photos. By the 1980s, The Teke Guide had been reduced to a soft cover magazine-like format. The hardcover format returned by the 1990s, and over the next few years, an effort was made to restore the in-depth historical content and photographs that had been stripped from previous versions to make the book more of a permanent ΤΚΕ reference manual for the life of each member. In 2007, the first edition to be printed in full color was issued.[64][66]


Tau Kappa Epsilon provides support for numerous philanthropies and charitable services, most notably St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was founded by Danny Thomas, a member of the Gamma-Nu Chapter at the University of Toledo.[67] In 2019, Tau Kappa Epsilon increased its commitment towards St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with pledging to raise $10 million within the next 10 years.[68] As of July 2022, ΤΚΕ has raised $3.3 million towards this commitment.[69]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved October 19, 2023.
  2. ^ "Becoming an Honorary Initiate of Tau Kappa Epsilon" (PDF). Tau Kappa Epsilon. November 2020. p. 3. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  3. ^ "Keeping You Engaged With the Fraternity for Life". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "About Alumni Associations". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  5. ^ "Tekes in Football" (PDF). The Teke. Tau Kappa Epsilon. Winter 2012. pp. 12–13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-11. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "Entertainers from NIC Member Fraternities". North American Interfraternity Conference. Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Redeske, Heather (Summer 2004). "Remembering Reagan" (PDF). The Teke. Tau Kappa Epsilon. pp. 8–15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-14. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  8. ^ McCauley, Wallace G. (October 19, 1907). "Opportunity Out of Defeat". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Leland, Leland F. (1949). The Golden Book of Tau Kappa Epsilon. "Paragraphic History of TKE". pp. 15–16, 81. Tau Kappa Epsilon.
  10. ^ a b c d "The History of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Completed in Grand Fashion". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Redeske, Heather (Summer 2004). "Remembering Reagan" (PDF). The Teke. Tau Kappa Epsilon. pp. 8–15. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Staff Writer (May 21, 2012). "A Women's Fraternity Founder Influences TKE". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  13. ^ Seagrave, Malcolm (1986). "Songs of Tau Kappa Epsilon" (PDF). Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  14. ^ The Black Book (PDF) (2019 ed.). 7439 Woodland Drive, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46278: Tau Kappa Epsilon. January 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2022.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location (link)
  15. ^ Staff Writer (Winter 2017). "Collegiate Advisory Committee Appointed". The Teke. Tau Kappa Epsilon. p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  16. ^ Baker, Alex D. (February 22, 2021). "Conclave 2021 Postponed Until 2022". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  17. ^ Baker, Alex D. (September 29, 2021). "Venerable Grand Prytanis Hickey Retires, Bereswill New Grand Prytanis". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  18. ^ "Grand Council". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  19. ^ Johnson, Cierra (October 12, 2022). "Frater Andrew Solt Elected Collegiate Advisory Committee Chairman". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  20. ^ "Past Grand Prytani". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  21. ^ "History of the Order of the Golden Eagle". Tau Kappa Epsilon. August 20, 2012. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  22. ^ McAninch, Thomas (June 19, 2007). "Frater Launches TKE Presidential Web Site". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  23. ^ McAninch, Thomas (November 12, 2007). "Frater Huckabee Joins Alpha Nu for a 5k". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  24. ^ McAninch, Thomas (January 24, 2008). "Frater Mike Huckabee Visits Tekes and Other Supporters in Florida". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  25. ^ "TKE Announces 250,000th Initiate to be Steve Forbes". Tau Kappa Epsilon. July 28, 2009. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  26. ^ "Collegiate Chapter Names" (PDF). The Black Book (2019 ed.). Tau Kappa Epsilon. p. 11. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  27. ^ "Colony" (PDF). The Black Book (2019 ed.). Tau Kappa Epsilon. p. 12. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  28. ^ "Conclave 2022 Proposed Legislation" (PDF). Tau Kappa Epsilon. May 16, 2022. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  29. ^ Klimczuk, Stephen; Warner, Gerald (2009). Secret Places, Hidden Sanctuaries: Uncovering Mysterious Sites, Symbols, and Societies. Sterling Publishing. p. 225. ISBN 9781402776410.
  30. ^ Noted most recently in the Don't be a Bystander member education segment, accessed 1 Apr 2021.
  31. ^ TKE's anti-hazing stance was more broadly discussed in in this 2013 member education segment, accessed 1 Apr 2021, as was the broader scope of Risk Management in this educational piece, accessed 1 Apr 2021.
  32. ^ An example is the adoption of the "Its On Us" campaign as noted in a recent member education segment, accessed 1 Apr 2021.
  33. ^ Noted most recently in the Understanding Drinking and Hazing member education segment, accessed 1 Apr 2021.
  34. ^ Frick, Melissa (February 28, 2020). "Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity Temporarily Suspended, Under Investigation by CMU". Central Michigan Life. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  35. ^ Sicurella, Savannah (May 23, 2019). "UGA Fraternity Suspended After Racist Video Goes Viral". The Red & Black. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  36. ^ Rimel, Anthony (January 8, 2019). "Police Charge Six for Squatting In and Vandalizing Corvallis Fraternities". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  37. ^ Beale, Andrew (February 1, 2019). "Sonoma State University Frat Banned From Campus Over Hazing Allegations at Tau Kappa Epsilon". The Press Democrat. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  38. ^ Leslie, Kaytlyn (April 9, 2019). "Cal Poly Bans Another Fraternity for Hazing – This Time for Alcohol and Forced Push Ups". The Tribune. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  39. ^ Jefferson, Steve (February 21, 2018). "Police Say Drugs Were Sold in Frat House". WTHR. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  40. ^ Daugherty, Owen (January 8, 2018). "Ohio State Tau Kappa Epsilon Chapter Suspended for Three Years". The Lantern. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  41. ^ Gurney, Kyra (February 5, 2018). "Greek life returns to FIU — but there's a catch". The Miami Herald. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  42. ^ Boteler, Cody (April 6, 2016). "Towson TKE Temporarily Suspended". The Towerlight. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  43. ^ Wells, Carrie (April 6, 2016). "Towson University Student Hospitalized, Fraternity Suspended After Alleged Hazing". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  44. ^ Bennett, Lanetra (April 20, 2016). "FSU Fraternity Suspended Following Hazing Allegations". WCTV. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  45. ^ Etters, Karl (April 1, 2016). "FSU Leads SUS in Hazing Reports". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  46. ^ Staff Writer (March 3, 2016). "UMD's Tau Kappa Epsilon Chapter Loses Charter After Hazing, Risk-Management Violations". The Diamondback. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  47. ^ Brown, Tony (March 3, 2015). "Man Charged with Rape at TKE Fraternity House". Maryville Daily Forum. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  48. ^ Rocha, Veronica (February 19, 2015). "Third Cal State Northridge Fraternity Suspended over Hazing Allegations". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  49. ^ Staff Writer (January 6, 2015). "Quinnipiac University Shuts Down Fraternity". Campus Safety Magazine. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  50. ^ Hamedy, Saba (January 21, 2014). "Arizona State Fraternity Suspended After MLK-themed Party Mocks Blacks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  51. ^ Dries, Kate (January 24, 2014). "Arizona State Expels Frat Responsible for Racist MLK Day Party". Jezebel. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  52. ^ Baker, Alex (January 24, 2014). "TKE at ASU Investigation Statement". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  53. ^ Dunn, Phil (September 25, 2014). "2 Rowan Frat Members Suspended for Posting Sex Video". USA Today. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  54. ^ Staff Writer (August 23, 2014). "Frat Date Rape Scandal at Cal State San Marcos". KFMB-TV. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  55. ^ Dwyer, Meghan (February 18, 2015). "Lawyers for President of UWM Frat: There was no Date Rape, no Drugging; UWM Police to Blame". WITI. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  56. ^ a b Zadrozny, Brandy (April 22, 2015). "Beatings, Branding and 'Butter Torture': Frat Hazing Sent Kid to the I.C.U." The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  57. ^ Ryman, Anne; Ruelas, Richard (September 8, 2013). "'Republic' Puts Discipline Histories of ASU, NAU Fraternities Online". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  58. ^ Fischer, Jordan (October 9, 2015). "At Least 7 Indiana Fraternities Closed Since 2005". WRTV. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  59. ^ Staff Writer (August 22, 2012). "TKE Chapter Shut Down". The Butler Collegian. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  60. ^ Moxley, Tonia (December 18, 2011). "Six Avoid Jail in Radford University Hazing Death". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  61. ^ Smith, Molly (March 3, 2011). "Allegations of Hazing Leveled Against TKE Initiation Practices". The Whitman Wire. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  62. ^ Staff Writer (December 4, 2000). "Two Fraternities Expelled". The Daily Aztec. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  63. ^ Staff Writer (May 16, 2011). "TKE Receives Communication Awards". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  64. ^ a b Leland, Leland F. (1949). The Golden Book of Tau Kappa Epsilon. "TKE and its Publications". pp. 121–129. Tau Kappa Epsilon.
  65. ^ Staff Writer (Winter 2008). "100 Years of The Teke" (PDF). The Teke. Tau Kappa Epsilon. pp. 6–11. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  66. ^ "Preface – Why This Teke Book". The Teke Guide, 1946–1947. p. 9. Tau Kappa Epsilon.
  67. ^ Thomas, Danny; Davidson, Bill (1991). Make Room for Danny. Putnam. ISBN 9780399135668.
  68. ^ "$10 Million in 10 Years: Tau Kappa Epsilon Makes New Commitment to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital". St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. August 6, 2019. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  69. ^ "Tau Kappa Epsilon for St. Jude". St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Retrieved September 21, 2022.