Warhawk Almanac: A History of Lambda Chi Alpha at UW-Whitewater

Lambda Chi Alpha Coat of Arms
Lambda Chi Alpha Coat of Arms, 1966.

One of UW-Whitewater’s most prestigious fraternities, Lambda Chi Alpha, has a long history of establishing connections between young men attending university on a local and national level. Campus recognized the fraternity as Beta Kappa Nu and Chi Delta Rho. The original Chi Delta Rho fraternity began operation in 1930 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, at the Central State Teacher’s College (Now UW-Stevens Point). The chapter in Stevens Point would become the Alpha chapter after the Beta Chapter began coordination at Wisconsin State College in Whitewater.[1]

In 1965, Chi Delta Rho officially affiliated with the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.[2] Lambda Chi Alpha started operating as a national fraternity in Boston, Massachusetts in 1909.[3] The fraternity built its foundation around the goal of producing “well-rounded men” through the prioritization of scholarships and fellowship.[4] In celebration of the fraternity’s new affiliation, a plethora of events occurred on campus, including group photographs, a luncheon, presentations by guest speakers from other Lambda Chi Alpha Chapters, appearances from previous Chi Delta Rho alumni, the designation of the fraternity’s sweetheart, “The Crescent Girl”, formal banquet and open house.[5]

Lambda Chi at a homecoming event, 1975.
Lambda Chi Alpha Members at Homecoming rally, 1975.
Chopper, the Lambda Chi Alpha House St. Bernard.
Lambda Chi Alpha Member with the fraternity St. Bernard, Chopper, 1967.

Lambda Chi Alpha was known for its academic prowess and taught leadership skills by participating in events like intramural sports. Lambda Chi Alpha quickly became an avid supporter of university athletics and established a tradition of running the game ball to an away game. The first example of this loyalty display came in 1966 when the fraternity brothers set out to La Crosse to support the Warhawk Football Team. The run would conclude once a member of Lambda Chi Alpha made it onto the field and gave a game ball to the referee.[6] Lambda Chi Alpha additionally hosted and participated in many campus events. During May Week in 1969, the group hosted the first “piano bash”, which served as a race between Lambda Chi Alpha and other fraternities to destroy a piano and fit all the pieces through a 6-inch hole.[7] In 1973, Lambda Chi sponsored “Fall Frolics” also during the campus’ May Week festivities. The event was planned to span over three days, and would have a wine-drinking contest, a Jell-O eating contest, vintage cars, a water fight, carnival rides, and all benefits would go to the Whitewater Senior Citizen’s Leisure Club.[8] In 1991, the fraternity started a teeter-totter fundraiser in collaboration with the Alpha Sigma Sorority. Lambda Chi Alpha and Alpha Sigma members rode a teeter-totter for a combined 100 hours to fundraise $5,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation.[9] In 2023, Lambda Chi Alpha won the “Best Greek-Sponsored Event” award after successfully collecting 2,000 pounds of items for the nonprofit organization, “Feeding America”.

Lambda Chi Alpha members on the roof in 1989.
Lambda Chi Alpha Members on roof, 1989.
Lambda Chi Alpha Officers, 1986.
Lambda Chi Alpha Officers, 1986.

Lambda Chi Alpha has served the UW-Whitewater campus through its philanthropy and social opportunities for students. They have also done so while maintaining an exemplary academic standard and often had the highest fraternity grade point average of all the fraternities. [10] On September 30, Lambda Chi Alpha will host an event celebrating their legacies at UW-Whitewater. The event will include tours, a barbeque, a historical exhibit, and Lambda Chi Alpha alumni from throughout their existence. Thank you, Lambda Chi Alpha, for the continued commitment to UW-Whitewater’s academic, social, and philanthropic initiatives!

Lambda Chi Alpha house in 1989.
Lambda Chi Alpha House, 1989.
Sign in front of Lambda Chi Alpha's house in 1989.
Lambda Chi Alpha Members on roof, 1989.

[1] “Beta Chapter of Chi Delta Rho Adopts State Charter,” Royal Purple, February 18, 1935, https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.32491114.

[2] “Chi Delta Rho to Become Lambda Chi Alpha on Saturday”, Royal Purple, March 31, 1965, https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.32934919.

[3] Minnieska, 1989, UW-Whitewater Archives and Area Research Center, 176.

[4] Minnieska, 1965, UW-Whitewater Archives and Area Research Center, 160.

[5] “Weekend of Activity Sees Chi Delt Become Lambda Chi Alpha National”, Royal Purple, April 7, 1965, https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.32934920.

[6] “Lambda Chis to Carry Game Ball From Whitewater to Oshkosh”, Royal Purple, November 10, 1966, https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.32934981.

[7] “Dance will follow piano smashing”, Royal Purple, May 5, 1969, https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.32935097.

[8] “Fall Frolics, September 8”, Royal Purple, September 5, 1972, UW-Whitewater Archives and Area Research Center, 1. 

[9] “Two Greek organizations teeter totter for charity”, Royal Purple, April 24, 1991, https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.34305537.

[10] Minnieska, 1991, UW-Whitewater Archives and Area Research Center, 147.

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