The Fraternity's Early Beginnings


The Pan Xenia International Professional Foreign Trade and Fraternity was founded and organized in May 7, 1919, by a group of students and businessmen from the State University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. It was designed to encourage the highest forms of business relationships and goodwill among it members. Due to its meritorious aims and to the extensive business interests of its members, it did not take long before chapters were established in almost all states of the United States. The more prominent are those in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Columbia, (South Carolina), and Richmond with headquarters at their respective state universities. Soon, Pan Xenia spread from the confines of the continental United States, branching out into Latin America, Europe, the Orient and even the Africa. As it grew into international proportions, chapters were established in London, Hamburg, Paris, Bordeaux, Montreal, Rome, Tientsin., Soochow, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, Canton, Yokohama, San Paolo, Bombay, and other international ports among them, Manila.

On September 23, 1923, Dr. Macy Skimmer, then professor at the University of Washington, eat of the Mother Alpha Chapter, founded the Philippine Alpha Chapter in the University of the Philippines. Chosen professors of the School of Business Administration of the State University were inducted as associate members. Professor Fermin Tecson Francisco was designated as the first local adviser, and thus, often was referred to as the "Grand Old Man" Pan Xenia Philippines Alpha Chapter. The few selected members who were the first regular Pan Xenians of the new chapter were Francisco Santamaria, Jr., Dominador Fargas, Dalton Chen, Antonio Aquino, Anselmo Trinidad, Juan D. Quintos and Manuel Rustia. Most of them rose to the rank of associate members.

In 1929, the School of Business Administration was recognized as separate entity from the College of Arts and Sciences in the University of the Philippines. Coincident with this momentous event, then American Trade Commissioner Harvey Rohrer was specially designated by the United States Alpha Chapter to inaugurate a system of initiation for active, associate and honorary candidates by which only the best material for membership could successfully go through and be admitted into the brotherhood. This gave the Fraternity renewed vigor and spirit for a forceful and determined pursuit of its goals and ideals. The first round tbale discussion for that year was made memorable by the presence of several distinguished Pan Xenians, among whom were Dean Conrado Benitez, Bro. Lim of the United States Alpha Chapter of Seattle, Bro. Carlson of the United States Omega Chapter of Berkely, and Bro. Harvey Rohrer.

As it pursued the ideals of Business ethics and goodwill, Pan Xenia started carving a name for itself. In the 1930s, the first honorary members were inducted into the Fraternity, led by Don Leopoldo R. Aguinaldo, a successful entrepreneur and proprietor of a chain of department stores. In 1932, Col. Joseph Emile H. Stevenot of PLDT was elected followed by Dr. Albino Z. SyCip of China Banking Corporation, and Japanese consuls Atsushi Kimura and Kiyoshi Uchiyama. Years later, Dr. Carlos P. Rumulo, the former Prime Minister who first entered the Fraternity in the Seattle Washington Chapter, was also made Honorry member , on August 17, 1939, Don Adrian Got of Tabacalera was also inducted as Honorary member at the Casino Espanol. Two years later, Jan H. Marsman of the great Marsman interest was taken in as Honorary member.

In 1939, the Philippine Beta Chapter was established by Fermin Tecson Francisco Leonides Virata, Jose Palma, Alberto Vergel de Dios, Jose Lazaro and Gov. Raul Garcia at Siliman University. The inauguration materialized largely through the sponsorship of the Honorary members of the Fraternity. The first governor was Capt. Isaac Eceta, Jr., However, the war in the Pacific broke out and a number of Pan Xenians, including the entire membership of the Philippine Beta Chapter, perished in the battlefields.