Text Box: Kappa Alpha Order was founded on 21 December 1865 at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) at Lexington, Virginia, by James Ward Wood and three others.  During their lives, all four were Master Masons.  Wood was a member of Moorefield Lodge, Moorefield, West Virginia.  The ritual for Kappa Alpha was created by Samuel Z. Ammen, ultimately earning him the title “the practical founder of Kappa Alpha Order” (www.kappaalphaorder.org).

            Ammen, who had already been inducted into Freemasonry in Friendship Lodge, Fincastle, Virginia, later stated:  “I drew heavily upon my experience as a Master Mason in crafting the new ritual.”  That ritual utilizes the symbolism of the Masonic Knights Templar as much as the symbolism of Craft Masonry.  The ritual transformed the fraternity into an order of Christian knighthood, which sought to preserve the masculine virtues of chicalry, respect for other, honor and reverence for God and womanhood.
Other examples of Greek-letter fraternities with Masonic influences granted by either founding members or early members include Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Nu, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Chi, Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Kappa Alpha, Zeta Psi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Psi Upsilon, and Delta Psi.  The last of these, according to the 1899 Cyclopedia of Fraternities, “was dressed up by someone who had access to rituals of the bastard Masonic rites of Misraim and Memphis” (Stevens, p. 346).


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