James T. Pilcher
James T. Pilcher, MD., Phi and Xi 1902, Phi Alpha 1936-1937
James T. Pilcher, Phi and Xi,1902, was a highly regarded physician and surgeon in New York and a storied legacy within Zeta Psi. As an undergraduate at New York University, Pilcher was class president and a member of the varsity football and baseball teams. He attended the University of Michigan College of Physicians and Surgeons and received his M.D. from Columbia University in 1904. He also completed additional medical studies in Germany, Holland and Switzerland.
Brother Pilcher served in the United States military with different units from 1905 to 1919 and was commissioned a major and surgeon of the First New York Calvary in May 1914. During World War I, he was the commanding officer of the 108th Field Hospital
and was discharged in April, 1919. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his military service.
With his father, Lewis S. (Xi 1862) and brother, Paul (Psi 1898), he established a highly-
successful private hospital in Brooklyn limited to surgery. His father, Lewis, served the national fraternity as Alpha Sigma Alpha (1863) and Sigma Phi Alpha (1869). His uncle, Leander, was also
On January 15, 1922 at Zeta Psi’s 75 th anniversary banquet in New York, Lewis, who was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R) and Julian S. Carr, Upsilon 1866, commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans, demonstrated their bonds of brotherhood by shaking hands. In this famous photograph, James Pilcher is pictured between Brothers Carr and Pilcher. Brother Henry Thomas, the toastmaster that evening remarked, “If the North and South had only placed the controversy in the hands of Zeta Psi, there would have been no war. At last the mistake has been realized, and we see our two brothers, each in command of his army.”
Brother Pilcher was an active member of the Zeta Psi Club of New York and supported the Phi Alumni Association as an elder.