In 2005, Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity was invited to colonize at University of California, San Diego. Despite the existence of 9 other fraternities on campus, an ambitious group of 45 colleagues chose to build something new and different by accepting bids for Associate Membership within Colony 289 of Lambda Chi Alpha. This eclectic group came from all walks of student life, including student government representatives, student athletes and all types of majors. They were officially colonized on April 28, 2005.

Over the course of the following year, the group worked diligently to achieve all 15 charter requirements, while maintaining their grades, integrating into the Greek community and even having some fun. Their motto was “work hard, then play hard” and they built their incentives and by-laws around this. After many late nights & early mornings of debate, they collectively developed financial incentives and social support systems to motivate each other to develop themselves, the brotherhood and the community. With this strong foundation, they got off to a very strong start, holding community service events in the mornings and followed up by sorority socials the following evenings. Throughout this, there were loads of differing opinions, but the brothers were consistent about one thing: they were building something greater than themselves that would last years into the future.

The active brothers had tremendous support from the alumni advisory board, the local area alumni association and the active brothers at both USD and SDSU through financial contributions, mentorship and recruitment. In particular, this crew came together to initiate the first class of brothers. The initial class of Associate Members voted that our first High Phi, Ittai Barzilay, best represented the values that we were trying to represent. With such an honor, he earned the designation of initiate number 1. Today we have over 350 initiates, representing leaders in every industry imaginable.

On April 28th, 2006, exactly 365 days after colonization, the team earned their charter as the Pi-Beta Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Going from Colony to Chapter was a rigorous process, requiring a highly motivated membership to establish full operations in all disciplines such as finance, philanthropy, recruitment, scholarship, fraternity education, and reporting. The Colony membership completed all requirements for Chapter status in the minimum time. These Founding Members include the original class and two more recruited in the Fall and Winter of 2006.

Even while working to set up an organization, build Brotherhood and get chartered, the brothers of Pi-Beta continually supported the development of themselves, UCSD and the community. With these objectives in mind, they went on to serve in multiple school leadership positions within Lambda Chi Alpha internationally, on the UCSD IFC, Student Government and on multiple athletic teams. It is the hope and expectation that the foundational elements that the founders spent hours debating will be the building blocks for many years of success for the Pi-Beta Zeta.