The first chapter of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity was founded on May 30, 1879 at Russell Military Academy in New Haven, Connecticut, by F. Harvey Smith. Known, at the time, as the "Society of Kappa Psi," the fraternity existed as a secret organization which helped teammates come together after a strenuous football game against Cheshire Military Academy. After the two teams met again on November 30, 1879, a second chapter was established at Cheshire Military Academy. Unfortunately, these two chapters were eventually forced to disband in 1899.
The idea of making this society into a national organization developed in the minds of several of its members. In the fall of 1885, alumni from the three chapters came together and established the Alpha Chapter. The Alpha Chapter was comprised of all alumni from the original three chapters that were interested in joining. F. Harvey Smith was made Grand Alpha, with Preston W. Eldridge, Jr., Lewis Bishop, and Lewis Oakley along side him as officers. The officers held meetings until 1899, and, during that time, they made plans to establish collegiate chapters in some of the schools that members were expected to attend.
The first collegiate chapter was established in the fall of 1898 by William F. Clark at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine at Baltimore. This was designated as the Delta Chapter. Around the same time, Albert Kaehrle and his brother entered Columbus University, College of Pharmacy. They installed the Gamma Chapter there on November 20, 1898. Preston Eldridge, Jr. and William F. Clark installed the third collegiate chapter, Beta Chapter, at the University College of Medicine at Richmond, Virginia on March 31, 1900.
The past 100 years have seen the Fraternity computerize its Central Office and continue to broaden its services. The Kappa Psi Foundation was created in 1992. The Fraternity continues to grow in size with over 80,000 initiates. Over 25 percent of these members were initiated in the last 25 years. This is a great force which represents every important segment of the profession and includes many of the most distinguished names in the annals of American pharmacy.
The Gamma Psi Chapter is one of our Fraternity’s strongest chapters. The Brothers work very hard to ensure their membership is well rounded. The Chapter holds an annual Welcome to Atlanta party for incoming first years, a Kappapalooza party in collaboration with Kappa Epsilon, an annual Halloween party, the Gamma Psi Rush Party, the Gamma Psi Pledge Party, Gamma Psi Bowling Nights, Gamma Psi Trivia Night, the annual Gamma Psi Ski Trip, and attend sporting events such as the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks games.
The Brothers are very active in their community and hold Triennial Blood Drives with the American Red Cross, triennial road clean-ups for Gamma Psi adopted highway, Race for Riley with the Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, Strong Legs Marathon with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Memory walk with the Alzheimer’s Association, annual Boys and Girls Club Halloween, Easter, and sporting events, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings with APhA-ASP, and triennial tutoring and mentoring program in conjunction with ProStart Academy and the NCAA.
To recognize their outstanding brothers, the Chapter currently awards Brother of the Year, Pledge of the Year, the Asklepios Key, Scholarship Honor Certificates, and F. Harvey Smith Grand Regent’s Letter of Recognition. The Chapter boasts six faculty brothers, many of whom are in faculty leadership positions. The Chapter has been lead by fantastic Grand Council Deputies including Dr. John Holbrook, Dr. Vincent Lopez, Dr. Ray Green, Dr. Chad VanDenBerg, Dr. Andrew Crowe, Dr. Habeeb Ashiru-Balogun, Dr. Johnathan Hamrick and Dr. Neal Patel. The leadership of Gamma Psi is not limited to the College of Pharmacy. These brothers always have representation on the Atlantic Province Executive Committee and on many International Committees. In the summer of 2013 Gamma Psi Chapter celebrated their 60th Anniversary. Brother Marvin Smith was presented with Gamma Psi’s Lifetime Achievement award. Several brothers from other chapters traveled to Atlanta for the Province IV Interim Meeting to celebrate with us the momentous occasion of Gamma Psi’s 50th anniversary. Gamma Psi Chapter is the top Chapter in the Atlantic Province (Province IV previously) for the last ten years. The Chapter has been ranked nationally as follows: 8th in 2002, 6th in 2004, 5th in 2005, 3rd in 2008, 1st in 2009, 1st in 2010, 2nd in 2011, 1st in 2012, 3rd in 2013, 4th in 2014, 1st in 2016, 1st in 2017 , 1st in 2018, 2nd in 2019, and 1st in 2020.
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