On October 18th, 2000 an organization called AIFA was established with hopes to form an Asian interest fraternity at Purdue. AIFA stood for Asian Interest Fraternity Association and was principally founded by Alex Chen and Wonhee Oh. In the Fall of 2000 the two principle founders of AIFA set out to find other Asian men on campus who shared the same dreams and aspirations as them. Not long after, 8 more members were recruited and AIFA was officially started. Sebastian Thong, Donny Theanchai, Miguel Su, David Ly, Li Liang, Alex Chen, Kuan-Ren Su, Victor Lau, Dohyung Shim, and Wonhee Oh made up the members of AIFA.
During the semester of Fall 2000 AIFA worked hard to make a packet to present to all the chapters of Lambda Phi Epsilon. The packet is purpose was to give the brothers a chance to get to know AIFA and essentially was like their interview. AIFA sent out their packet to the respective chapters on December 6th, 2000. When the members of AIFA went on their Christmas break they all waited eagerly for an answer of whether a bid was given or not.
Returning to Purdue, AIFA got together for one last time, for they were given a bid to pledge for Lambda Phi Epsilon. On January 19th 2001, the 10 men were no longer known as AIFA but as Purdue University Charter Pledge Class.
Chi Chapter University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, was to be the host chapter of Purdue Charter Pledge Class. Under the guidance of Feleo Lady Jaye Tuazon Jr. 10 men worked hard for 12 weeks to learn about what Lambda Phi Epsilon truly stands for, Brotherhood. On April 22, 2001 at 10:45:39 am a new chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon was founded at Purdue University. For the 10 men of the Purdue Charter Class, a long journey had just come to an end, and another was just only beginning.
Important Chapter Dates
April 22, 2001-Purdue University Lambda Phi Epsilon Established
May 25, 2003-Purdue University Lambda Phi Epsilon Obtains Associate Chapter Status
May 28, 2006-Purdue University Lambda Phi Epsilon Obtains Active Chapter Status-ALPHA IOTA
Lambda Phi Epsilon, National History
Ethnic fraternities first developed as a result of the need to share and celebrate diversity of cultural experiences. In 1916, the first Asian fraternity was founded at Cornell as Rho Psi, which now exists as an alumni club with chapters in New York, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Hong Kong. While the concept of brotherhood and unity isn't new, our dedication and commitment towards promoting it is. A new dynasty has arrived- here's our story...
Traditional Asian campus organizations were often split along lines of national origins. The lack of continuity among the memberships in those organizations meant that at best, student associations provided a circle of friends spanning the years of undergraduate study and at worst, a group of familiar strangers encountered during periodic social functions. The yearly turnover of most organizations'officers made it extremely difficult to pursue any extended project as each new officer core set its own agenda. A solution to this dilemma was the adoption of a fraternal social structure.
Not satisfied with the single Asian fraternity on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles, Lambda Phi Epsilon was founded on February 25, 1981, by principal founder Mr. Craig Ishigo and a group of eighteen other dedicated men.
Noticing that Asian fraternities and sororities at the UC campuses were recognized as only service organization due to their memberships focus on Asians and to the exclusion of other ethnic groups, the goal of the founders was to transcend this limitation. The founders hoped to set new and higher standards of excellence for all Asian-interest organizations to follow, while feeling a need to offer a fraternity that would be recognized by the IFC and the Greek system. While the original charter focused on Asian-Pacifics, people from all ethnic backgrounds were welcome to join and support the brotherhood of Lambda Phi Epsilon. Their vision was that the members would eventually become the leaders of their respective communities and bridge the gaps that divided the Asian American community through the affiliation with a common organization.
Mr.Craig Ishigo and Darryl L. Mu signed the charter as president and vice-president, respectively.
The Founders of Lambda Phi Epsilon:
Unknowingly, their efforts had set the stage for the emergence of the largest organization of its kind.
By 1990, six chapters had formed at the University of California at: Los Angeles, Davis, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Irvine, and the University of Texas at Austin. As most of these chapters were founded in the late eighties, it became evident to the brothers of Lambda Phi Epsilon that rapid expansion loomed near. In order to facilitate this process of rapid expansion and to seek standardization throughout the nation, these six chapters came together to form what is known as Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity.
Seeking recognition from the National Inter-fraternity Conference (NIC), the pioneers of the fraternity met in Davis. Representatives from all chapters convened and discussed what needed to be done. Having met the minimum requirements of five chapters and five years of existence, all that needed to be done was to draft a national constitution. The brothers at this meeting also laid the groundwork for the first National Convention.
On May 28, 1990, all six chapters met on the campus of UC Irvine for what came to be known as the first National Convention. At this Convention, a national governing body was established to coordinate the individual chapters efforts. The first order of business was to designate Memorial Day weekend as the official date for the annual convention of Lambda Phi Epsilon National. At this time, Mr. Robert Mimaki from Beta Chapter was elected as the first National President. Eric Naritomi was appointed Southern Governor, while Doug Nishida was appointed Northern Governor. Other accomplishments included the establishment of a national policy, an expansion policy, and an agreement to standardize pledge programs.
On September 8, 1990, Lambda Phi Epsilon became the first and only nationally recognized Asian-American interest fraternity in the United States with the admission to the National Inter-fraternity Conference (NIC).
Over the next few years, Lambda Phi Epsilon National had grown tremendously. Between the years 1990 and 1995, Lambda Phi Epsilon increased in size to over twenty chapters. In 1995, we became a California non-profit corporation changing our name to Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity, Inc. Once again, the first Asian Interest Fraternity to do so.
How did we become a national fraternity?
According to Doug Nishida of Delta Chapter, this is how it happened:
Lambda Phi Epsilon's reputation was fast growing as evidenced by a phone call during my chapter's second year (1989). An interest group from Buffalo, NY had inquired about the fraternity and possible affiliation. Unfortunately, we were unprepared to assist the group because of our limited resources and lack of proximity. Thus nothing came to fruition. So it was with great satisfaction that I learned the group was still interested in affiliating with Lambda Phi Epsilon a couple of years later. The Texas chapter independently contacted Craig Ishigo and received their charter. Michigan soon followed as some of their Founders befriended a group of Stanford brothers aboard the infamous Love Boat.
In order to better serve the fraternity as a whole, legislative processes divided Lambda Phi Epsilon into two separate divisions, Alumni and Active, each with its own officer CORPS, policies and procedures.
In the Active division, numerous programs were developed to address the needs of the collegiate brotherhood throughout the nation and abroad.
The National Service Program adopted several national philanthropies. The most notable is the Asian American Bone Marrow Donor Program. To date, no other organization in the United States has enlisted more registrants to the Asian bone marrow donor library than Lambda Phi Epsilon.
The National Academic Committee developed guidelines and scholarship programs to encourage academic excellence in our collegiate chapters.
The National Expansion Committee (EXCOMM) developed formal procedures and a fair application process for all interest groups.
The National Brotherhood Program sent national staff members to collegiate chapters to demonstrate different methods of building brotherhood and character. The National Brotherhood Program also established an Annual Brotherhood Showcase, where brothers from around the nation exemplify their understanding of brotherhood through artistic expression.
The National Junior-Active Leadership Retreat Program was recently developed to introduce leadership methods and applicable knowledge to our young leaders so they would be prepared and empowered for success.
Lambda Phi Epsilon continues to establish and perpetuate Brotherhood and fellowship among its members. Part of that Brotherhood is expressed in our motto: "To be Leaders Among Men." We not only seek to bring together a diverse group of men who share interest, concerns, backgrounds and cultures, but who believe that the strength of many are forged into the power of being one.
Grounded on the principles of wisdom, honor, and courage; our Active Division continues to teach young men principles of leadership and strong moral character. Our Alumni Division then provides a forum in which brothers may apply these beliefs and become true leaders of society. It is that unique life long commitment to lead in every arena of life that makes the Lambdas the most respected organization of it's kind.