Developing Men of Character
History of Phi Lambda Chi
The Lamb Society was organized in 1920 as an organization for high school boys. Each year this society was composed of boys who were interested in conditions that would help to keep up the standard of morals on the campus and the high ideals for which the school stands. The majority of the boys having graduated training school continued to Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas. Dr. Dean Depew McBrien, who served as a professor of history, debate coach, and advisor of the fraternity council on campus, approach nine of the young men about developing a new fraternity on campus. On March 15, 1925, the nine men discontinued their organization as a training school society and united with three fellow students to form a new secret society to be known as AZTEC. The twelve members made up the charter roll of this new fraternity. These men were: Dr. Robert L. Taylor, Robert B. Clark, Wendell H. Collums, Grant H. Collar, William E. Huddleston, Basil Howard Perrin, J. Louis Moles, Marvin Crittenden, Jeff D. Shemwell, Dr. Doyle Patton, Dr. Thomas Lester Adair, and Evan M. Douglas.
In 1927, the college allowed fraternities to assume Greek letter names. The name AZTEC was dropped for the name Phi Lambda Chi, in 1930. In 1934, the college faculty voted to allow the fraternities on campus to nationalize. However, it was five years later that Phi Lambda Chi would nationalize. The group considered the 300 plus alumni from their brotherhood and preferred to continue to operate with the name, values, and principles that they currently had.
On January 19, 1939, Phi Lambda Chi voted to nationalize and elected a provisional Grand Council with Troy Jones, Faculty Advisor, as provisional National President. This provisional National Council authorized to grant charters to new chapters and to set up a provisional constitution. It was authorized to govern the national fraternity until such time as there were three chapters in existence when the fraternity called a national convention.
The provisional National Council was instructed to develop the fraternity as a national fraternity along lines that would qualify it for admission into the Association of Teachers College Fraternities. This council voted to charter the local Phi Lambda Chi at Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway, AR to become the Alpha Chapter of the national fraternity and at once began to make contacts with groups at other colleges. The fraternity established a national magazine and named it "The AZTEC" in honor of the original name of the fraternity.
The first conclave was held March 15–16, 1940, at the Arkansas State Teachers College, the home of the Alpha Chapter. At this meeting, the pouring of the national foundation was completed with the setting up of permanent constitutional and administrative structures.