National History

The national founders at UCLA (1981)

Sourced from Nationals @ www.lambdaphiepsilon.com

Lambda Phi Epsilon was founded on February 25, 1981 by a group of nineteen dedicated men led by principal founder Mr. Craig Ishigo. Hoping to transcend the traditional boundaries of national origins, the founders aimed to create an organization that would set new standards of excellence within the Asian American community, develop leaders within each of the member’s respective community, and bridge the gaps between those communities. While the initial charter was comprised of Asian Pacific Americans, the brotherhood was open to all who were interested in supporting these goals. Mr. Craig Ishigo and Mr. Darryl L. Mu signed the charter as President and Vice President, respectively.

On May 28th, 1990, the fraternity, now with six chapters total, convened on the campus of the University of California, Irvine for the first annual National Convention, which to this day has been held regularly over Memorial Day weekend. A national governing body was established to oversee the development of individual chapters and the fraternity as a whole, with Mr. Robert Mimaki, Mr. Eric Naritomi, and Mr. Doug Nishida appointed as National President, Northern Governor and Southern Governor, respectively. On September 8th, 1990, Lambda Phi Epsilon reached another milestone and became the first and only nationally recognized Asian American interest fraternity in the United States with the admission to the National Interfraternity Conference.

Rapid expansion followed throughout the 1990s. Chapters were chartered across the nation through interest groups such as those at the State University of New York, Buffalo and the University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor, leading to the fraternity having a notable presence in all major regions of the country. After becoming a California non-profit organization and incorporating in 1995, the fraternity changed its official name to Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity, Inc. The next decade brought the fraternity international status with the formation of a chapter at the University of Toronto in 2004, making it the first Asian interest fraternity established in Canada.

With the organization’s rapid expansion across North America thus far, the national officer corps has begun to revitalize and refocus the efforts of individual chapters and the fraternity as a whole to better reflect its size and influence in the Asian community through academics, leadership, brotherhood, and service.