Kappa Sigma’s History

Scholar Manuel Chrysoloras originally created the Kappa Sigma Fraternity in the 1400s at the University of Bologna in Italy. It was a secret society that provided protection from the city’s corrupt governor Baldassare Cossa, who was ordering his men to assault and rob students on campus. In modern times, Kappa Sigma was officially founded on December 10, 1869 by five men who would later become known as “The Five Friends and Brothers”: Frank Courtney Nicodemus, George Miles Arnold, Edmund Law Rogers, Jr., John Covert Boyd, and William Grigsby McCormick. One frigid, winter evening, these men assembled at 46 East Lawn at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and introduced the Order of Kappa Sigma to North America.

Stephen Alonzo Jackson, a student at the University of Virginia, is viewed by many as one of the most important men in Kappa Sigma’s history, as he is the creator of our ritual, the author of our constitution, and our first Worthy Grand Master. Through his efforts, he laid the foundation for Kappa Sigma to become one of the largest international fraternities ever. Since 1869, Kappa Sigma has been soldering permanent bonds between all of our Brothers as we have become one of the largest fraternities nationally; we have initiated over 290,000 men on campuses in the United States and Canada, with 316 active chapters and more than 200,000 living alumni and 17,500 undergraduate members. We have one of the largest networks of alumni out of all of the existing fraternities.

Click here to see a list of current notable Kappa Sigma Members.

Nu-Alpha Chapter’s History

The Nu-Alpha Chapter of Kappa Sigma at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo came from humble beginnings; they began meeting unofficially in the backyard of one of the brother’s houses in 2012. The colony was recognized by Kappa Sigma on May 6th, 2012 and became recognized by Cal Poly’s Interfraternity Council with 28 pledges on October 8th, 2013. The Nu-Alpha colony had pledged 60 members and became an official chapter of Kappa Sigma on May 24th, 2014. These first 60 members are the Founding Fathers of the Nu-Alpha colony at Cal Poly, and they have helped to start a tradition of excellence on our campus. Our chapter currently consists of around 100 active members.

Our Four Pillars


The Kappa Sigma fraternity puts a very large emphasis on fellowship. As a fraternity that was founded on the basis of fellowship, we still find it important to this day for our Brothers to continue to extol and demonstrate this idea. Members of Kappa Sigma are friends not for a day, or an hour, or a college term only, but for life.


Kappa Sigma takes pride in initiating quality members. One of the criterion that constitutes a quality member is a dedication to academic excellence. We require our members to earn and maintain at least a 2.00 GPA throughout their time in college. Those who fail to meet this requirement will be dropped from Kappa Sigma in hopes that they will begin to devote their time to their studies, which we hold paramount to everything else.


Kappa Sigma provides all of our members with significant leadership opportunities which we strongly encourage them to take advantage of. Our fraternity consists of an Executive Council and various committees that are headed by designated chairmen. The members of the Executive Council are considered leaders, while still being equal to the rest of our members, and have jobs that pertain to ensuring the welfare of our fraternity. Committee chairmen create and assign jobs to their committee members in ways that positively influence our members and further ourselves as a fraternity.


It is truly an honor that Kappa Sigma is one of the leading American fraternities in terms of service hours and philanthropic donations. All of our members are required to extend their services to the community for a certain number of hours every quarter. In doing so, Kappa Sigma is able to give back to our community, which provides us with so much. We require this in hopes that our Brothers will continue to contribute not only to the well-being of each other, but to the well-being of their communities, even after their time in college is finished. We have accumulated over 3,500 community service hours amongst hour members in just a few short years at Cal Poly.