Kappa Alpha Society

From Academic Kids

The Kappa Alpha Society (ΚΑ) is the oldest college fraternity in the United States. It was formed at Union College in Schenectady, New York on November 26, 1825 by a group of college students. Kappa Alpha was the first to combine aspects of secret Greek-letter societies, literary societies and formalized student social groups and is thus considered the first modern fraternity. Kappa Alpha is also the oldest collegiate secret society still in existence. From 1825 to the present, no more than 8,000 gentlemen and a few women have been honored with membership to the society.

Missing image
Emblem of the Kappa Alpha Society

This organization is not to be confused with the Kappa Alpha Order, a completely separate (and much larger) fraternity that operates primarily at schools in Southern and border states.



Chapters at Williams College (CG), the University of Virginia (VV), Cornell University (VC), Princeton University (CNC), Union College (CC), University of Calgary (VAC) and Wesleyan University (VW) are dormant.

Plans are underway to recolonize the founding chapter at Union College (CC) for Fall 2005/Spring 2006.

(Latin abbreviation)

Notable members


Arts and Humanities


Canadian Politics and Law

Prime Minister

Member of Federal Parliament

American Politics and Law


  • Leander Babcock, Union College, 1828. U.S. Representative from New York, 23rd District, 1851-1853.
  • Charles Lewis Beale, Union College, 1842. U.S. Representative from New York, 12th District, 1859-1861.
  • Gabriel Bouck, Union College, 1846. Wisconsin State Attorney General, 1858-1860. U.S. Represenative from Wisconsin, 6th District, 1877-1881.
  • John M. Carroll, Union College, 1845. U.S. Representative from New York, 18th District, 1871-1873.
  • Charles Tappan Dunwell, Cornell Univeristy, 1870. U.S. Representative from New York, 3rd District, 1903-1908 (Died in office).
  • Rodney Frelinghuysen, Hobart College, 1969. New Jersey General Assebly, 1983-1994. U.S. Representative from New Jersey, 11th District, 1995-present.
  • Lewis Henry, Cornell University, 1905. U.S. Representative from New York, 37th District, 1922-1923.
  • Levi Augustus Mackey, Union College, 1835. U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, 20th District, 1875-1879.
  • Jesse Olds Norton, Williams College, 1833. U.S. Representative from Illinois, 11th District, 1853-1857, 1863-1865.
  • Edward Overton Jr., Princeton, 1854. U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, 15th District, 1877-1881.
  • Charles Edward Pearce, Union College, 1861. U.S. Representative from Missouri, 12th District, 1897-1901.
  • Rufus Wheeler Peckham (1809-1873), Union College, 1826. U.S. Representative from New York, 14th District, 1853-1855; Justice of the New York Supreme Court, 1861-1869; Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, 1870-1873 (died in office).
  • John Benedict Steele, Williams College, 1835. U.S. Representative from New York, 1861-65 (11th District 1861-63, 13th District 1863-65).


  • James Dixon, Williams College, 1833. U.S. Representative from Connecticut, 1st District, 1845-1849; Conneticut State Senate, 1st District, 1849; U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 1857-1869.
  • Preston King, Union College, 1826. U.S. Representative from New York, 18th District, 1843-1847, 1849-1853; U.S. Senator from New York, 1857-1863.


  • Herbert James Hagerman, Cornell University, 1890. Second secretary, U.S. Embassy to Russia, 1898-1901; presented the Order of St. Anne (Russia) by the Czar, 1901; Governor of New Mexico Territory, 1906-07.
  • Henry M. Hoyt, Williams College, 1849. Governor of Pennsylvania, 1879-83.
  • Horace White, Cornell University, 1883. Member of the New York State Senate, 1896-1908; Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1909-1910; Governor of New York, 1910-1911.

Supreme Court

  • Ward Hunt, Union College, 1828. Founder of the New York Republican Party, 1856. Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1872-1882.


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