Four men in the cold spring of 1906 in Ohio had a vision. That vision was born of a distaste for the fraternal life that existed at Miami University. These men formed an organization that was a true Brotherhood and that group would become Phi Kappa Tau. 85 years later this type of unrest would once again happen. M. J. Farella, a transfer student from Rider University and a Brother of Phi Kappa Tau, was distressed at the fraternal life at Rutgers University and set out to change it for the better. That change would be much like that of our Honored Founding Fathers of almost 100 years ago--To find a group of men that were not happy with the existing system and form a true Brotherhood. That vision spawned the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau.
Conceived nearly a decade ago the Epsilon Kappa chapter has a tradition of excellence, honor, pride, True Brotherhood, and friendship. During Epsilon Kappa’s early years the Chapter received accolade after accolade from both the National offices of Phi Kappa Tau and at Rutgers University for the outstanding efforts of the members of the chapter in all areas of service, from outstanding academics to the chapter’s contributions within the community for its philanthropic service. These early years are indeed a great source of pride for those affiliated with Epsilon Kappa.
However, life is not a fairy tale and success is only followed by great sacrifice, determination, and hard work. No one is quite sure how it happened but our greatness started to slip away as we started to rest on our laurels. The chapter began a slow downward spiral of complacency--that complacency nearly destroyed the chapter.
Despite record low numbers the Brothers of Epsilon Kappa were determined to revive the chapter and bring back the former glory of Epsilon Kappa and once again stand proud among not only the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity but all fraternities everywhere. In the course of two years the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau doubled its membership roster, revived its community service program, and regained its prestigious ranking of a Category 1 Fraternity, the highest ranking fraternity at Rutgers University.
This year the Epsilon Kappa Chapter applied to win the Angelo Award, an award given by Phi Kappa Tau that is given to the most improved chapter, however the chapter was denied the award for one reason. The Angelo Award cannot be presented top a chapter that has been nominated to win the Maxwell Award, the highest award given by the National Fraternity to the most outstanding chapter in the nation.
In August 2002, the Epsilon Kappa Chapter competed with the other two nominees for the Maxwell award in New Orleans. Although, Epsilon Kappa did not walk away with the Maxwell, the lesson has been learned. Never again will the Epsilon Kappa Chapter rest upon its awards for glory swiftly fades and there are always those who wish to be on top but Epsilon Kappa was founded with one ideal in mind, “To be the Best”. As we look to the future the Epsilon Kappa Chapter will continue to grow and change for the better and always seek out good men and make them better through excellence, honor, pride, friendship, and true Brotherhood.