During the winter months of the 1903-1904 academic year at New York University, the idea of starting a business fraternity was first brought up. Howard M. Jefferson, one of the founding members, later suggested that it was Frederic R. Leach who first developed the idea. Leach and Jefferson, along with Nathan Lane, Jr. and George L. Bergen, came to be known as the "Brooklyn Four." These four men grew to be close friends while attending night classes, and they walked home together each night over the Brooklyn Bridge. As the spirit of brotherhood grew strong in the hearts and in the minds of the men from Brooklyn, they decided to suggest to the other members of their class that something be done to perpetuate it. They received hearty support from the men approached regarding their idea, and by the latter part of April 1904 things were beginning to take definite shape. Before the academic term came to a close, a date was set for a meeting to take place at the Hotel Saint Denis, in which a plan for the organization would be outlined.

On June 9, 1904, The Brooklyn Four were joined at the Hotel Saint Dennis by Robert S. Douglas, Irving L. Camp, Daniel V. Duff, Morris S. Rachmil, and Herbert M. Wright. William O. Tremaine was to be invited, but he was not in attendance at the meeting, as he later stated that the invitation had never reached him. The nine men in attendance were all strongly in favor of forming a fraternity, and many points worthy of being incorporated into a constitution were suggested. The Brooklyn Four were appointed to draft a constitution and present it the next time all of the men met. On July 16, 1904, a group of them traveled by steamer to Sea Cliff, Long Island, and at this meeting the draft of the constitution was presented. The social aspect of the fraternity was emphasized early on, as Jefferson later recounted, "The greater part of the day, however, was spent in having summer fun, and although the party did no real work on the constitution, yet the friendships were strengthened."

After school resumed in the fall, a meeting was held on October 5, 1904 in the Assembly room at 32 Waverly Place. All ten men, including Tremaine, were present at the October 5 meeting, and the decision was made to officially organize the fraternity along the lines of the constitution that had been presented by the Brooklyn Four. On written ballots, Robert Douglas was elected president, Howard Jefferson was elected secretary, and Nathan Lane, Jr. was elected treasurer.

In the spring of 1905, formal application was made to the State of New York for a charter of incorporation for Alpha Kappa Psi. The application was approved and the charter of incorporation for our Alpha chapter was officially issued in the name of Alpha Kappa Psi on May 20, 1905.