The Theta Kappa Nu fraternity was formed by 11 local fraternities on June 9, 1924 in Springfield, Missouri.
With the help of the National Interfraternity Conference in identifying local groups, and Theta Kappa Nu's policy of granting charters quickly to organizations with good academic standards, the fraternity grew quickly, and had approximately 2,500 initiates in 40 chapters by the end of 1926.
During the Great Depression both Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha saw a decrease in membership, ultimately shutting chapters down. In 1939, the two fraternities decided to merge with one another. The merger ceremony was held at Howard College (now Samford University) chapter of Theta Kappa Nu in Birmingham, Alabama.At the time this was the largest merger in fraternity history, with roughly 7,000 members of Theta Kappa Nu joining Lambda Chi Alpha.
All Theta Kappa Nu chapters became Lambda chi Alpha chapters, however they were given special chapter designations that began with either "Theta", "Kappa", or "Nu" to to differentiate them as original Theta Kappa Nu chapters.