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Lambda Phi Epsilon
LFE Crest.jpg
Founded February 25, 1981 (1981-02-25) (28 years ago)
Type Social
Scope National
Colors Royal Blue and White
Chapters 49
Nicknames Lambdas, LPhiE, LFE
Headquarters Kerckhoff Steps
Los Angeles, California, USA
Homepage Lambda Phi Epsilon, Inc

ΛΦΕ (Lambda Phi Epsilon, also known as LPhiE, LFE) is a nationally-recognized Asian-interest fraternity based in the United States. Lambda Phi Epsilon's goals include servicing the community through various philanthropies, increasing Asian awareness, promoting academic scholarship, and strengthening the Asian American voice on campus. Lambda Phi Epsilon is currently the largest Asian-interest fraternity with a total of 49 chapters in the United States and Canada, and continues to expand to other campuses every year.[1]



Founding Fathers

Not satisfied with the single Asian fraternity on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles, principal founder Craig Ishigo and a group of eighteen other dedicated men decided to form Lambda Phi Epsilon on February 25, 1981. Noting that Asian fraternities and sororities at the UC campuses were recognized only as service organizations due to their memberships focus on specific Asian groups 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 Americans, 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 an affiliation with a common organization. Craig Ishigo and Darryl L. Mu signed the charter as president and vice president, respectively.[2]

  • Hunter Chang
  • Randy Fujimoto
  • John Hanvey
  • Craig Ishigo
  • Jeff Kaku
  • Bobby Kawai
  • Dean Kumagawa
  • Jim Lee
  • Bruce Mau
  • Ted Mihara
  • Neil Miyazaki
  • Darryl L. Mu
  • Kelvin Sakai
  • Kevin Shida
  • Albert Sun
  • Weyton Tam
  • Jamie Watanabe
  • Bennett Wong
  • Fred Wong

National Expansion

Since its founding at the University of California, Los Angeles, Lambda Phi Epsilon has continued to grow and establish presence on campuses all over the nation. Within a few years, the fraternity had chartered to the University of Texas, Austin (Zeta Chapter), the State University of New York, Buffalo (Nu Chapter), and the University of Michigan (Xi Chapter). In 1990, the organization was recognized by the North-American Interfraternity Conference, being the first Asian Interest fraternity to do so. The fraternity has since expanded to all corners of the United States and beyond.

State University of New York, Buffalo (Nu Chapter) was Lambda Phi Epsilon's first chapter to be chartered on the American East Coast. Starting as Delta Gamma Tau, on September 15, 1992, this fraternity merged with Lambda Phi Epsilon (effectively taking on Lambda Phi Epsilon's letters) to unify organizations with identical purposes and to strengthen the Asian-American voice in the campus community.

On December 5, 2004, Lambda Phi Epsilon established a chapter at the University of Toronto, thereby granting Lambda Phi Epsilon unofficial status as an international fraternity.

The fraternity has also began a new tradition with their Lil Sis Program. Although the beginning of this tradition is not so clear, many Lambda Phi Epsilon chapters have opened their doors to new friendships with this unique program. Promising lifelong friendships and mentorships, the brothers of Lambda Phi Epsilon have welcomed a group of girls they called their "lil sisses." Each brother is specifically paired with a girl - creating the titles "big bro" and "lil sis." With this responsibility, the big bro promises to take care, guide, and respect his lil sis, just like a real big brother would. This program has proved to be quite successful, each year creating strong friendships between the two. Not only does this program heed results between the big bro and the lil sis, it also helps create bonds between the Lil Sis Class. With time, the group of girls grow closer together - creating a real sisterhood.


The fraternity's national philanthropy are the bone marrow drives. For a patient living with leukemia or any other blood disorder, the odds of finding an appropriate match are already slim; their best chance of finding a matching donor lies within their own ethnic community. Unfortunately, Asian donors make up just a small fraction of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Because of this, every chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon hosts several bone marrow drives in conjunction with the Asian American Donor Program, the Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation, and Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, to inform, educate, and recruit potential marrow donors for the NMDP. By increasing the number of Asian donors in the national registry, Lambda Phi Epsilon hopes to better the chances of Asian patients finding donors that they are compatible with.[1]

Lambda Phi Epsilon recognized bone marrow drives as the national philanthropy when Evan Chen, a brother from Stanford University, was diagnosed with leukemia. The fraternity, along with Evan’s friends, organized a joint effort to find a bone marrow match for Evan. What resulted was the largest bone marrow typing drive in the history of the National Marrow Donor Program and AADP (Asian American Donor Program). In a matter of days, over 2000 people were typed. A match was eventually found for Evan, unfortunately by that time the disease had taken its toll on him and he died in 1996.[3] Since then, chapters across the nation hold annual bone marrow drives to help others find matching bone marrow. In particular, the fraternity seeks out "minority donors because they are the hardest to find." [4]

In addition to hosting bone marrow drives on a national level, individual chapters of Lambda Phi Epsilon participate in their own local philanthropies including Habitat for Humanity, AIDS walks, beach clean-ups, adopting highways, and assisting the elderly community. On many occasions the fraternity teams up with other student organizations to help fund raise for various charities. [5]

In Canada where bone marrow drives are not as visible, brothers participate annually in Relay 4 Life, a 12-hour walk or run marathon hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2007, Lambda Phi Epsilon at the University of Toronto raised over $1500 in support of funding cancer research. In addition to Relay 4 Life, brothers have participated in the blood drive along with weekly sandwich runs throughout the summer.


Lambda Phi Epsilon has a total of 49 chapters in North America, with more than half of its chapters concentrated in California, New York, and Texas. A complete list of Lambda Phi Epsilon's chapters and links to their websites can be found at the link given above.

West Coast

  • California (13)
  • Washington (1)

The South

  • Texas (4)
  • Oklahoma (1)
  • Florida (1)

The Midwest

  • Illinois (3)
  • Indiana (1)
  • Kansas (1)
  • Michigan (2)

East Coast

  • Florida (1)
  • Georgia (1)
  • Maryland (1)
  • Massachusetts (3)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • New York (8)
  • North Carolina (1)
  • Ontario - Canada (1)
  • Pennsylvania (3)
  • Virginia (3)

National Convention

Convention XIV in New York (2003)

Every year, Lambda Phi Epsilon holds an annual convention during Memorial Day weekend at various locations around the world. Convention is a national event for members to get together for business and pleasure, and is one of the largest Asian American gatherings in the United States. Parties, after-parties, as well as Brotherhood showcases where members from their respective chapters can perform a dance or step are held all weekend long. The winning chapter is awarded a sword called the "Keight." Named after the original eight step team members from the University of California, Santa Cruz (Kappa Chapter), the "Keight" is a figurative trophy passed down from the previous year's winner. Meetings are held to elect national board members and review current policies, and career development workshops are set up to help current members develop skills used in the professional world. The weekend is closed off with a final banquet.

In 2006, Lambda Phi Epsilon's UCLA chapter hosted Convention XVII which marked the twenty-fifth (silver) anniversary of the fraternity and was held in the fraternity's founding city, Los Angeles. Over 90% of the original founders were confirmed to attend.

Notable alumni

  • Yul Kwon - winner of Survivor: Cook Islands , one of People magazine's Sexiest Men for 2006.[6], and deputy chief of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau [7]


External links

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