Visit the Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity website to read all about the history of our great fraternity.
Tau Kappa Epsilon was founded nationally at Illinois Wesleyan University on January 10, 1899 on the principles of love, charity, and esteem. The Xi-Lambda chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon began as a local fraternity on the UGA campus in January 1971. This group was founded as the Upsilon Gamma Alpha Fraternity (UGA).
On October 12, 1971, Upsilon Gamma Alpha was admitted to the University of Georgia’s Interfraternity Council. The local fraternity was later installed as the Xi-Lambda Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon on March 25, 1972.
From the very beginning, Xi-Lambda Tekes knew they were different than many other fraternities on campus. Rather than existing only for social exclusivity, the men of Xi-Lambda strove to make a difference on campus, in the Athens community, and throughout TKE Nation. Needless to say, they were a huge success; winning their first Top TKE Chapter Award in 1972.
To follow their successful chartering and Top TKE Chapter Award, they continued to earn numerous honors within TKE, the University of Georgia, and their peers on campus. The Chapter earned Top TKE Chapter Awards from 1971 to 1983 and again in 1985; to this day it remains the longest streak of Top TKE Chapter Awards in TKE Nation and the second most earned by any chapter.
Follow this link to see all the awards by the Xi-Lambda Chapter and its’ members.
It was not just the Chapter as a whole that was proving to be successful. Individual men within the Xi-Lambda Chapter stood out amongst their peers as some of the best leaders on campus and in TKE Nation. In the 1984-85 school year one man was recognized with both the highest honor a fraternity man at UGA can earn and the highest award given to a Teke. Frater Joe LoCicero, Xi-Lambda 394, was selected as a Top Teke Frater by the International Fraternity (1 of 10 selected each year) and as a Greek Horsemen at the University of Georgia.
The Order of the Greek Horsemen is a secret society at the University of Georgia. Founded in 1955, the organization annually inducts five new members from among the male leaders of the Greek system. The stated purpose of the organization is to “recognize outstanding individual fraternity men who have endeavored to promote and further the aims and ideals of the Greek way. The identity of the five fraternity men chosen each year for membership is kept secret until the annual Greek Week Awards Banquet in April, at which time the five new members are introduced to the public as “the top five Greek men on campus.” Membership in the Greek Horsemen is considered the highest honor a fraternity man at UGA may attain. While Frater LoCicero is not the only Xi-Lambda Teke to earn awards of this caliber, he is recognized as having one of the biggest impacts on Greek Life at UGA. Today, the Greek Life Sophomore Leaders’ Circle program is proudly funded by Greek alumni, family, and friends in Joe’s memory.
His fellow Horsemen said it best, “Joe LoCicero was a 1984 Greek Horseman and student leader who conducted his life in such a way that he left an imprint of joy and encouragement on those around him. He embraced and embodied the character traits of integrity, honor, and faith. His is a worthy legacy to follow.” ~ The Greek Horsemen, Class of 1985
While the ideals of love, charity, and esteem have remained strong throughout Xi-Lambda’s history, every organization experiences pitfalls; the Xi-Lambda Chapter of TKE is no exception. In 2000, due to actions deemed to be detrimental to the success and longevity of TKE at UGA, the Grand Council of Tau Kappa Epsilon revoked the charter of the Xi-Lambda Chapter finally reducing a once shining pillar of the UGA Greek Community to a pile of rubble.
However, while most men would have given up and quit, Xi-Lambda would prove to be resilient. The dedication and hard work of a few men resulted in the re-colonization of the Xi-Lambda Chapter in 2004. Over the next six and a half years the group struggled to compete with the other fraternities on campus. With the fledgling colony about the die out in the Fall of 2010 a dedicated and driven group of men refused to see their beloved fraternity die and vowed to re-charter the group the following Spring. It would be a lie to say people believed in them; most had their doubts. However in the Spring of 2011 with the help of two talented recruiters, the colony recruited the largest Spring pledge class of any fraternity on campus, 21 men, and submitted their Petition for Charter to the Grand Council of Tau Kappa Epsilon. On May 9th, 2011 Grand Council Member, Frater Bob Barr, informed the colony President, Grayson Jacobs, that the Grand Council had voted and approved Xi-Lambda’s Petition for Charter.
July 23rd, 2011 will forever be known as the Xi-Lambda Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s second, and last, Chartering date. With renewed vigor, drive, and passion the future could not be brighter for Xi-Lambda. The leadership, active chapter, and alumni have many goals and plans for the direction of TKE at UGA to once again make it the best fraternity on campus and in TKE Nation.