In the fall semester of 1991, John Suit had a vision of starting a chapter of Pi Kappa Phi at UMBC. Friends who were members of the Zeta Omega Chapter at Towson State inspired him. The group worked diligently to secure an Associate Chapter status at UMBC. Once that status was obtained, the group lost direction and motivation. Some poor candidates for leadership further complicated these problems. The group struggled to stay alive for a few years until finally the National Office had grown tired of the groups’ dormancy. We were informed on December 7, 1994 that our Associate Chapter status had been revoked. While it should have been no surprise to us the news left the group speechless. We were devastated. However, in retrospect, disaffiliation with Pi Kappa Phi was the best thing that could have happened to the group at UMBC.
It reminded us that we were still far from our goal and it breathed new life into our drive for expansion and growth. The night that we learned we were no longer a part of Pi Kappa Phi, the group made a collective decision to continue to work toward a charter with Pi Kappa Phi in lieu of disbanding. The group began operating under the name Pi Kappa Upsilon, which stood for “Pi Kapps Underground.” We were fortunate enough to rush several key members who helped to inspire and rejuvenate the group whenever it started to falter.
After a full year of diligent effort and successful rushes, we felt it was time to contact Pi Kappa Phi once more. Our first step was to reach out to Paul Stynchcomb. Mr. Stynchcomb was instrumental as a liaison between Pi Kappa Phi and us. We had effectively demonstrated that we had the potential to become an asset to the National Organization. They in turn rewarded our efforts with Associate Chapter status. Since that time we have continued to establish ourselves as the most successful Greek organization in the areas of rush, campus leadership and Public service in the history Of Our University. We currently stand at the threshold of becoming a trend setting presence for Greek Life at UMBC or any other campus.