Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Inc.

Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity: 1925-Present


Although the Fraternity would hold only one Grand Council Convention between 1925 and 1941, the Fraternity continued its growth as a pharmaceutical fraternity under the leadership of Preston W. Eldridge, Jr., who was neither a physician nor a pharmacist, A. Richard Bliss, Jr., who served as Editor of The Mask from 1910 until 1941, and W. Bruce Philip, who served as the pharmaceutical Fraternity’s first Grand Regent and Grand Counselor. By the time the next Grand Council Convention was held in 1928 the Fraternity had grown into an organization of 35 collegiate chapters.


The 1930s were the Depression years, a period of serious economic deterioration which created many problems for fraternities. Only three collegiate chapters were chartered between 1932 and 1940. Dr. Heber W. Youngken, Jr., who served as Grand Regent from 1937 until 1941, was a significant leader throughout the Depression era.


World War II had a far greater impact on fraternities than World War I. At the close of the war there were only about 28 chapters listed as active and most of these had but a few members and depleted treasuries. Under the able leadership of Frank H. Eby and Ray S. Kelley the Fraternity survived the war years and experienced its most rapid growth period in history. By 1953 the total of active chapters was 45 including most of the former chapters which had been reactivated along with a number of new chapters.


Since the mid-1950s Kappa Psi has settled into its maturity phase, a maturity marked with stability and controlled refinement of its operation. By the mid-1960s there were 54 collegiate active chapters and 21 active graduate chapters. From 1980 to 1997 the number of active collegiate chapters and graduate chapters remained relatively constant at 60 and 35. Since that time there has been an increase to 82 and 59 respectively.


Highlights leading up to the Centennial in 1979 included the introduction of the scholarship honors certificates in 1958, the education loan fund in 1965, the national scholarship tray award in 1967, and the admission of female Brothers in 1977.


The second 100 years has 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.