Lambda Chi Alpha began as the dream of one man, Warren Albert Cole. Cole was a young man of pleasing personality, ordinary means, limited experience, and no unusual talents except a dogged determination to found an international college fraternity. After many failed attempts at starting a fraternity: "The Lodge," "Tombs," and "Lambda Pi," Cole met with his first cousin and a more distant relative on November 2, 1909. This date was later selected as the first formal step in Lambda Chi Alpha, but in later years, Cole said that the date had little significance. Lambda Chi Alpha, or "Loyal Collegiate Associates," as it was known was born.

Cole boldly approached many local groups at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast in hopes of finding others willing to join his new fraternity. Before the acquisition of Lambda Chi Alpha's first functioning chapter, Cole had corresponded with or visited 117 institutions.[

True Brother Initiative:

Lambda Chi Alpha General Fraternity recognizes its role as an educational institution, partnering with colleges and universities in providing key elements in the journey of personal, manly development. The True Brother Initiative is a comprehensive concept of Associate Member, Brother, and Alumni Development rolled out by Lambda Chi Alpha General Fraternity in 2007. The Initiative explicitly and publicly states the seven core values of Lambda Chi Alpha:

  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Service and Stewardship
  • Honor
  • Integrity
  • Personal Courage
Further, the Initiative prescribes ways that these core values should be used in every aspect of life within the fraternity, for individual members as well as for the chapter, from Recruitment, Associate Member Education, Pre-Initiation week activities and through the initiation ritual—all functions of the brotherhood referred to as the Outer Circle.

It is no coincidence that the initials of the seven core values are an abbreviated version of the word “LeaDeRSHIP.” Once a man has learned and applied Lambda Chi Alpha’s seven core values as an Associate Member and/or as an initiated brother, the next step of the journey begins: learning and fulfilling the four roles of Brotherhood: Faithful Steward, Servant Leader, Leader of Character, and Lifetime Brother. Not every brother will fully understand or integrate his understanding of these four roles—but every Associate Member and Initiated Brother strives to gain a pure, true understanding of what it means to be a True Brother.

One aspect of the True Brother Initiative that makes it stand above all other programs in the fraternity world is that the Initiative does not stop with the induction ritual. Once inside the Inner Circle, Lambda Chi Alpha recognizes that the development of the man and the brother should continue throughout a man’s time as an undergraduate and his entire life. The True Brother Initiative offers additional tasks that are designed to engage the initiated brother in further developmental, applied tasks that may be undertaken to enhance his personal development as well as his understanding and application of the four roles of brotherhood. Accomplishing these tasks and gaining greater understanding of these roles is recognized and celebrated by additional ritualistic ceremonies that are drawn from the original research, direction and intent of our early founding fathers.

Throughout the entire Initiative, both Outer Circle and Inner Circle elements, learning is based on a model of Continuing Education/Knowledge, Experiential Learning/Skill Building, and Personal Growth and Reflection, all leading to Adopting the True Brother Identity.

  Lambda Chi Alpha’s Seven Core Values

Loyalty: Unswerving allegiance to the organization and its laws, ideals and defining principles prevents us from misplacing out loyalties;

Duty: Delineates the sum total of all laws, rules, and customs that make up our organizational, civic, and moral obligations;

Respect: Denotes the regard and recognition of the absolute dignity that every human possesses, and indicates compassion and sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others;

Service and Stewardship: Signifies the proper perspective that the welfare of the Fraternity and our broader communities come before the individual’s; Stewardship is the holding of something of value in trust for others;

Honor: Circumscribes the complex of all values that comprise the public code of the individual while providing for action and adherence to a public moral code.

Integrity: Encompasses the sum total of a person’s private moral code—breaching any of these would damage this person’s integrity;

Personal Courage: Depicts the premier virtue that enables us to take responsibility and to persevere despite fear, danger, or adversity.