Drew House / Phi Kappa/Alpha Psi II

This building was the second home to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and it began its life as the home of former President Julius Seelye. The fraternity acquired it, and commissioned Allen Cox of Boston (architect of seven Amherst fraternity houses) to remodel it in 1922 (King, 157). Phi Kappa Psi changed its name to Phi Alpha Psi in 1948, in the wake of a struggle with the national leadership over pledging an African-American student named Thomas Gibbs.

The Amherst fraternity refused to back down under pressure from the national leadership, and was suspended in the fall of that year for what the national office called "unfraternal conduct." The fraternity changed its name to Phi Alpha Psi, admitted Mr. Gibbs, and continued to live in this building, which is now known as Charles Drew House (G. Brittan, Amherst Alumni Magazine, Winter 2001).

©1998-2002 Brian T. Meacham