History of the Headquarters
Throughout the years, Pi Kappa Phi
National Headquarters has been located in a number of different cities.
When George Sheetz, Alpha (Charleston), was selected as the fraternity's
first executive secretary in 1924, he operated the "Central Office" out
of his home in Charleston, S.C. In 1928, the National Headquarters was
relocated to Chicago, Ill. The move to the Midwest was a strategic
decision to promote Pi Kappa Phi's growth in the heartland. In 1935, the Headquarters was relocated once again—this time to Richmond, Va., where the fraternity rented its office space for the first time.
In 1953, amid fears that the fraternity
would sustain membership losses during the Korean War as they had during
and after World War II, the Headquarters was moved to Sumter, S.C.—home
of then-Executive Secretary Bernie Jones, Alpha (Charleston). There, he
would be able to manage the fraternity's affairs more effectively and
efficiently should another wartime crisis arise.
The National Headquarters remained in
Sumter for more than a decade. However, the National Council sought to
relocate the Headquarters to a larger city with a more suitable business
climate for a burgeoning fraternity. In 1965, after considering a
number of cities, the National Council selected Charlotte, N.C., as the
new home of Pi Kappa Phi. A two-story colonial home was purchased to
serve at the National Headquarters. The property, located at 1924 Vail
Avenue, would be the first office owned by the fraternity.
By 1975, the national staff had outgrown
the Vail Avenue property and plans were unveiled for a new construction.
Nestled in a stand of pine trees on the outskirts of south Charlotte,
the rustic, Lowcountry-inspired building was affectionately referred to
as "the Cabin."
By 1998, the fraternity had yet again
outgrown its home. Trading quaint and charming for modern and
purposeful, CEO Mark Timmes, Alpha Epsilon (Florida), moved the
Headquarters to a business park in southwest Charlotte. And in 2008,
after a $1.5 million fundraising campaign led by the Pi Kappa Phi
Foundation, the fraternity moved into its current home, the Kelley A.
Bergstrom Leadership Center of Pi Kappa Phi.