Lambda Phi Epsilon was founded on February 25, 1981 by the principal founder Mr. Craig Ishigo and a group of eighteen other dedicated men on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles. The goal of the founders was to transcend the limitations to which traditional Asian American organizations were subject. While traditional Asian Campus organizations were often split along lines of national origins, the founders sought an organization that drew its membership equally from the different segments of the Asian American community. Their vision was that the members would eventually become the leaders of their respective communities and bridge the gaps fragmenting the Asian American community through their affiliation with a common organization. The greatest hurdle in reaching this goal, however, was the lack of continuity among the memberships inherent in traditional Asian campus organizations. At best, student associations provided a circle of friends spanning the years of undergraduate study--and at worst--a group of familiar strangers encountered during periodic social functions. The yearly turn-over of most organizations' officers made it extremely difficult to pursue any extended project as each new officer core set its own agenda. The founders' solution to this dilemma was the adoption of a fraternal social structure.
By forming Lambda Phi Epsilon as a new Asian American fraternity, the founders hoped to set new standards of excellence for Asian social organizations. The founders not only formed strong bonds of brotherhood with each other during their undergraduate experience, they also made commitments to the organization as alumni even after graduation. By 1989 Lambda Phi Epsilon had chapters on five campuses in California and one in Texas. The first National Conference over the May 1990 Memorial weekend at UC Irvine established a national governing body to coordinate the individual chapters' efforts. The conference also saw the adoption of a national philanthropy and implementation of a national expansion policy. With the admission to the National Inter-fraternity Conference (NIC) on September 8, 1990, Lambda Phi Epsilon became the first national Asian American fraternity recognized by the NIC. Today, Lambda Phi Epsilon continues to expand across the United States and has become the largest and fastest growing Asian American fraternity in the country.
Today, there are thousands of brothers in the United States and throughout the world. Lambda Phi Epsilon National Fraternity continues to strive to achieve its motto, "To Be Leaders Among Men," by providing services to assist brothers in achieving their fullest potential. Our Active Division continues to teach young men principles of leadership and strong moral character. Our Alumni Division then provides a forum in which brothers may apply these beliefs and become true leaders of their communities. Ultimately, it is the principles of Lambda Phi Epsilon that will inspire all brothers to lead their communities to a better, brighter way of life.
The Boston University chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon was organized during the spring of 1996. A group of young men sought to bring a new and different organization to the BU campus. They all agreed that the present Asian groups did little or nothing to truly represent Asian Americans on campus nor did they make a significant impact on the university or community. The founding fathers were honored by a visit from Mr. Doug Sugimoto (UC Berkeley Delta Chapter) who had been studying at Harvard Law School at the time. Through the help of the Pennsylvania State University chapter, the University of Pennsylvania chapter, and other alumni in the area, the founding fathers were able to get in contact with the National Expansion Chair and soon became an official Lambda Phi Epsilon Interest Group. During the next few months the founding fathers engaged in many activities that helped strengthen the bond of the group. They went paint balling, saw a Red Sox game, clubbing, played sports, and had endless meals together. The founding fathers also used this time to work on their petition packet and video as well as setting up a community service program with the Quincy After school Youth Program.
During early June, the interest group received word from Nationals that they had been granted the prestigious opportunity to become a Lambda Phi Epsilon Chapter. When the founding fathers return to BU in the fall, they wasted no time. With the help of Mr. Sengsavarth Lei Phouthakoun of the Pennsylvania State University Chapter, brothers from the Johns Hopkins Chapter, Mr. Paul Chiu and all the other brothers at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Nu Chapter, the men of the Boston University Charter Pledge Class were able to become "Leaders among Men" on Nov 2, 1996 at 6:35 a.m. through dedication and commitment.