The Pi Lambda Upsilon Fraternity was chartered on the campus of UNC-Pembroke (then Pembroke State ) in October of 1990. The fraternity is composed of men and women from a variety of diverse backgrounds that unite to form an impenetrable bond. What makes us different from the rest? One feature is that we are a local fraternity. Advantages of being local means low membership dues and self-governing powers. Another distinguishing feature is the fact that we are one of only two coed fraternities on campus. But these are merely physical features. Read on to learn more from alumni and current members. How was the fraternity formed? At that time on campus, Greek Fraternities were quite different than they are today. Pembroke State [UNCP] had two National Fraternities: Tau Kappa Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi. [There was also] two local Fraternities: Sigma Phi Sigma (now Phi Kappa Tau) and Alpha Omega Upsilon.
In 1990, a group of 9 + 1 guys lived in West (most of them lived in the same suite). Many of them were freshman. Some of them were much older than typical freshman, in the case of Al Rhyne and John Lauby who served in the Coast Guard for more than four years before enrolling at Pembroke. This group of guys would hang out virtually every night and party (back then it was a little easier to have a keg in your room or play music without the 5.0 hassling you). Al and John were the obvious leaders of this group. They became more popular among the other Fraternities as well. John and Al were asked to pledge TKE, Sigma Phi Sigma and Pi Kappa Phi. They did consider these offers, but refused all of them. In less than 2 years, Sigma Phi Sigma would Change to the Fraternity called Phi Kappa Tau. They refused Pi Kappa Phi because that Fraternity was about to die. Pi Kappa Phi were so desperate at that time for pledges that they even tried to get a very young and impressionable Rocky (lucky for us that he refused) to join without pledging. At that point, Al and John decided that they should create their own fraternity. John and Al organized Winfield Wilson, David Ward, Tim Benton, Chris Kitzmiller, Trent Mcguire, Pete Hanson, and Brian Jenkins. Together they created our bylaws, our crest, and our motto. On October 24th, 1990, the [Inter Greek Council] of Pembroke State University approved the charter of Pi Lambda Upsilon. The rest is history.