Alpha Rho Chi


Alpha Rho Chi

Alpha Rho Chi (ΑΡΧ) is a professional co-educational college fraternity for students studying architecture and related professions. The fraternity's name is derived from the first three letters of the Greek word for architecture, αρχιτεκτονική.

History

Founding

APX was founded on April 11, 1914, with the joining of Sigma Upsilon at the University of Michigan and the Arcus Society at the University of Illinois to form a national fraternity for Architecture and the allied arts.

Sigma Upsilon was founded four years prior by eight architecture students at Michigan, with the intent of eventually forming a national architecture fraternity, and had drafted their constitution and laws to reflect that. Two years after they were founded in 1912 they were recognized by their school as a fraternity and started negotiation with other schools to open up more chapters.

In 1911 the Arcus Society was formed by 15 architecture students, at first secret and then becoming public a year later. After their recognition by their school, they started correspondence with several other schools in an effort to expand as well. One of those schools was the University of Michigan, which was the start of the collaboration of the two founding brothers of APX, Leo M. Bauer of the Arcus Society and Chandler C. Cohagen of Sigma Upsilon.

The two founding brothers met on April 11, 1914 at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, where they selected the new name of the combined organization, the new constitution and by-laws, and the coat of arms. The brothers decided to keep the colors of the Arcus Society, azure and sanguine, and the white rose, a symbol of Sigma Upsilon to represent both organizations. They also selected the names of the new chapters from a list of prominent Greek, Roman (and later on Egyptian) architects. Illinois selected Anthemios as their name and Michigan Iktinos

Expansion and World War I

Alpha Rho Chi set expansion as their first goal, wanting to embody their vision of being a national architecture fraternity. Several existing architecture organizations petitioned to join, but the only Tau Epsilon Chi of Ohio State University was accepted, being installed as the Demetrios Chapter on February 25, 1916. The Cyma Club became the Mnescles Chapter at the University of Minnesota on October 10, 1916. Recruiting efforts remained active, but with the start of World War I, most of the brothers entered the armed services and the number of chapters stayed at four.

The Great Depression, World War II and Contraction

After the war, the Kallikrates Chapter was installed at the University of Virginia on February 15, 1922. The Andronicus Chapter was installed a month later, on March 22, 1922, with eleven charter members at the University ofSouthern California. Expansion continued at a rapid pace with the addition of membersat Kansas State, which formed the Paeonios Chapter on February 10, 1923. Ten membersof the Delta Club at the University of Texas were initiated on April 19, 1924 to form the
Dinocrates Chapter. The Polyklitos Chapter at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-MellonUniversity) was established on May 24, 1924. With the addition of the Theron Chapter atOklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) on May 23, 1926, the fraternity stoodat ten active chapters and was truly national in stature.

The Depression and World War II affected the strength of the local chapters, and severalfailed to survive. Only six chapters returned – Anthemios, Iktinos, Demetrios, Mnesicles,Andronicus, and Kallikrates – with strong alumni support and renewed membership. In1954, the Vitruvius colony was established at Pennsylvania State University, and it wasinstalled as a chapter on February 26, 1955.

Post-war, further expansion

Next to be installed was a very active group from Arizona State University, who becamethe Satyros Chapter on May 13, 1962. Two surprised representatives from Virginia PolytechnicInstitute (Virginia Tech) were initiated at the 31st National Convention; in turn theyassisted with the installation of the Metagenes Chapter on March 23, 1969. With the additionof the Xenocles Chapter at the University of Texas at Arlington on September 13,1970, Alpha Rho Chi returned to its former high point of ten active chapters.

During the early 1970s, fraternity membership in general dropped again as controversyraged on college campuses over the Vietnam War and any “establishment” organization.Alpha Rho Chi continued on, installing the Cleisthenes Chapter at the University of Houstonon March 11, 1972. The beginning of the 1980s saw college fraternities enjoy a renaissanceand Alpha Rho Chi added four new chapters. In June 1980, the vigorous DaedalusChapter was founded at the California Polytechnic State University to become thefraternity’s second West Coast chapter. After a freezing initiation night at the Anthemioschapter house, the Daphnis Chapter of the University of Arkansas was installed on November23, 1980. The Heracleides Chapter of the University of Oklahoma was installedwith a down-home, Texas-style bar-b-que at Xenocles on September 6, 1981. After collectingthe required ten members for initiation, the Rhoecus chapter was installed at theUniversity of Kansas on April 8, 1984.

The Apollodorus colony was bussed from the University of Florida to Metagenes,a 13-hour trip. They were officially installed as a chapter in Gainesville, Florida on April 10, 1986. OnMarch 29, 1992, Alpha Rho Chi installed the Pytheos Chapter at the University of Nebraska. The SeshaitChapter at Florida A&M University was installed on March 12, 1994, becoming the first chapter with anEgyptian namesake.

The New Millennium

The co-op program at the University of Cincinnati created a unique installation for the Rabirius Chapter,whose members were initiated in two separate ceremonies; one held in Cincinnati on November4, 2000, and the remainder of the members were initiated on January 20, 2001. In September 2001, aprofessor began correspondence with the fraternity in hopes of establishing a chapter of Alpha Rho Chi for the students at the University of Memphis. Up to this point, Alpha Rho Chi had limited expansion to accredited schools ofarchitecture; however, after revisiting the fraternity’s original objectives and mission, itwas determined that there was no reason to exclude the University of Memphis – and onOctober 19, 2002, the Imhotep Chapter was installed in Champaign, Illinois.

Improved communications – including the alpharhochi.org website and nearly universalemail access – helped interested students of architecture discover and contact thenational fraternity, accelerating the pace of expansion of new and reactivated chapters.
Nicon Chapter was established at Florida International University on July 11, 2004. In theNortheast, the Vitruvius Chapter sponsored two new chapters simultaneously. Vitruviusinstalled the Domitian Chapter from the New Jersey Institute of Technology on January30, 2005 and the Senenmut Chapter from the University at Buffalo on February 26,2005 – the chapter’s fiftieth anniversary. A colony at Tulane University was preparing itspetition to establish a chapter when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, closing theschool for a semester and scattering the students across the country and to other continents.After regrouping, the Hadrian Chapter was finally installed on November 4, 2006.

After rocky beginnings, students at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco successfully formed the Cossutius Colony, and were installed at the Andronicus chapter house on January 20, 2008. Representatives from Andronicus, Daedalus, Satyros, Anthemios, Hadrian, and Vitruvius chapters were on hand to usher in the newest chapter.

Recent history

The Anthemios chapter house is currently a landmark at the University of Illinois. The Andronicus chapter house is a recognized historical structure by the County of Los Angeles, and is awaiting placement on the Federal Register of Historic Structures.

The Alpha Rho Chi Medal

The Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal is presented annually at over 100 schools of architecture to honor graduating seniors who have demonstrated leadership, service, and the promise of professional merit. The recipents of the medal are decided by the faculty of each National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited school. Membership in the fraternity is not a criterion for the award, nor is membership conferred to the medal's recipients. The medal program was established in 1931. Designed by sculptor Merrill Gage, the medal is cast in bronze and features an image of a seated Athena holding a skyscraper.

On occasion, Alpha Rho Chi recognizes other individuals with two other classes of medals. The fraternity awards the Alpha Rho Chi Silver Medal for fraternal service. The Gold Alpha Rho Chi Medal honors an outstanding practitioner of architecture or an allied art. Recent recipients of the gold medal include I.M. Pei and Samuel Balen.

Master Architects of Alpha Rho Chi

"Master Architect" is a special classification of membership in the fraternity to honor brothers who have gained national prominence in the field of architecture, the allied arts, or who have made significant contributions to the built environment.

The following individuals have been installed as Master Architect (with year honored):
*Nathan Clifford Ricker (1914)
*Cass Gilbert (1924)
*Eliel Saarinen (1942)
*John Wellborn Root, Jr. (1951)
*Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1966)
*Richard Buckminster Fuller (1970)
*I.M. Pei (1981)

Pei is the only Master Architect of Alpha Rho Chi not to be a member of the fraternity.

Chapters

Chapters take their names from architects of ancient Egypt, Greece, or Rome.

Active Chapters

*Andronicus Chapter: University of Southern California
*Anthemios Chapter: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
*Apollodorus Chapter: University of Florida
*Cleisthenes Chapter: University of Houston
*Cossutius Chapter: California College of the Arts
*Daedalus Chapter: California Polytechnic State University
*Dinocrates Chapter: University of Texas at Austin
*Domitian Chapter: New Jersey Institute of Technology
*Hadrian Chapter: Tulane University
*Iktinos Chapter: University of Michigan
*Imhotep Chapter: University of Memphis
*Metagenes Chapter: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
*Nicon Chapter: Florida International University
*Pytheos Chapter: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
*Rabirius Chapter: University of Cincinnati
*Satyros Chapter: Arizona State University
*Senenmut Chapter: University at Buffalo
*Seshait Chapter: Florida A&M University
*Vitruvius Chapter: Pennsylvania State University

Colonies

*Sostratus Chapter: Washington State University

Inactive Chapters

*Daphnis Chapter: University of Arkansas
*Demetrios Chapter: Ohio State University
*Heracleides Chapter: University of Oklahoma
*Kallikrates Chapter: University of Virginia
*Mnesicles Chapter: University of Minnesota
*Paeonios Chapter: Kansas State University
*Polyklitos Chapter: Carnegie Mellon University
*Rhoecus Chapter: University of Kansas
*Theron Chapter: Oklahoma State University
*Xenocles Chapter: University of Texas at Arlington


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