Chartered in March 1963, the Lambda Chi Alpha (alternately abbreviated as either LXA or LCA depending on the pedantry of the author) chapter at the University of the South. The chartering ceremony has been described as relatively amicable, mostly due to the fact that someone had brought cake.
There were several influential members who guided the early fraternity and assisted them in various ways
James “Ajax” Elkins – A disgruntled Sigma Nu pledge who, when ordered to wash his fraternity brother’s car, washed it with Ajax cleaning products, ruining the paint job (But gaining a nickname in the process). He then depledged and formed the local fraternity Upsilon Sigma in the spring of 1961 with 11 fellow men. It was this local fraternity which was approached by over 9,000(!) national fraternities. With the advice of a transfer student, they chose to become a Lambda Chi Alpha chapter
John McDonald – A transfer student who had initiated at the LXA chapter at his previous instituion. He talked at length to the group during that February, persuading them to make contact with LCA headquarters in Indianapolis. He later served as High Kappa for the first pledge class, in the fall of 1961, and as the colony’s second High Alpha, the following year.
George Spasyk – George was then the number two man in Indianapolis (his title was Service Secretary), had dreamed of a chapter at Sewanee for many years, against the advice of many of his colleagues who argued that the atmosphere was too hard to crack (small enrollment, so many chapters that had been on the Mountain for decades). He attended a meeting of Upsilon Sigma on March 6, and four days later, the group formally petitioned LCA for colony status. Brother Spasyk served the National fraternity with distinction for over 40 years, including 22 years in the top staff position, before retiring in 1990. He retained his interest in Iota-Nu for all those years and beyond, returning to the Mountain several times and helping, behind the scenes, when the very small, struggling chapter appealed the Grand High Zeta’s suspension of its charter, in 1992.
The Rev. S. George “Doc” Dirghalli – He was, at the time, a Traveling Secretary (today known as ELCs). He visited the Mountain several times, most notably to help rush the first class in the fall of 1961. While serving full-time as an Episcopal priest, he also was very active in the International organization, eventually rising to the position of Grand High Alpha and serving for many years as the fraternity’s leading expert on the ritual. Those in attendance credited his eloquent appeal to the review committee at the 1992 General Assembly with helping to save the chapter. Though very ill with emphysema, “Doc” returned to the Mountain in 2003 to help us celebrate our 40th Anniversary.