Tau Kappa Epsilon is an international social fraternity founded on January 10, 1899, at Illinois Wesleyan University. The TKE Pi Chapter at Penn State, founded in 1922, is one of more than 250 active TKE chapters and colonies throughout the United States and Canada.
Tau Kappa Epsilon aspires to become the leading 21st century college fraternity with a focused mission on building better men who, in turn, will build a better world. We define our success by how well we advance our members’ character and personal development so that society is enriched by their leadership and contributions throughout their lives.
The Fraternity strives to make the Teke experience something special for every man – collegiate and alumnus alike. A Teke will excel academically, treat his fellow Fraters and others with respect and dignity, and have the opportunity to network with others who share these beliefs and experiences. The Teke experience begins at affiliation and continues throughout life, and the Fraternity strives to provide this experience for every man who meets our membership criteria, without regard to wealth, rank, or honor, but based on their personal worth and character.
Tekes are men from diverse backgrounds, but the TKE Nation is one which unites us all in a common bond, where we make an immeasurably positive impact on the lives of every member, in every community, and around the world.
Questions and Answers About TKE
Q: Why join TKE?
A: Through our membership development and education programs, each member of TKE is provided with the resources and tools that will help him achieve his personal best in all areas of college life and prepares him for success after graduation. Our men embody the principles promoted by the Fraternity and are poised for success. They belong to TKE…”The Fraternity for Life.”
Q: Aren’t fraternities just like the one shown in the movie “Animal House?”
A: Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, after the showing of that movie, fraternity members have been categorized as partiers, irresponsible, and abusive. Take one look at the TKE Houses at USC and you will immediately recognize that we are not “Animal House.” In reality, TKE is a value-based organization dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendship.
Q: Don’t fraternities promote excessive drinking?
A: Absolutely not. Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with the ideals of Tau Kappa Epsilon. While there is no doubt that TKE can throw a good party, every individual member is expected to uphold federal, state, county, and city laws, as well as university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol.
Q: I’m concerned about my son’s grades – what impact will fraternity membership have?
A: Tau Kappa Epsilon at USC maintains one of the highest GPAs of any fraternity. Our house GPA is consistently way above the all-men’s average. As a member of TKE, your son will be able to access the network of brothers who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisors. While Tau Kappa Epsilon is concerned about the academic achievement of its members, your son is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available.
Q: What about pledging or hazing?
A: Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone or tolerate any form of hazing and is committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college.
Q: Who is actually in charge of the fraternity?
A: Members elected to officer positions manage the day-to-day operations of the local chapter. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors.
Q: Being in a fraternity sounds like it takes a lot of time.
A: Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one’s time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through his involvement with Tau Kappa Epsilon, your son will learn how to balance his academic, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.
Q: What is my son going to get out of his membership in Tau Kappa Epsilon?
A: You’ll be amazed at what your son will get from his experience in Tau Kappa Epsilon. Joining TKE will expand your son’s collegiate experience. In fact, most alumni say that TKE completed their educational experience by teaching them valuable skills that are not taught in the classroom. Here’s what TKE offers: lifelong friends, leadership opportunities, social and athletic activities, academic support and excellence, and networking opportunities.