History of NPHC
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was founded on May 10, 1930 at Howard University in Washington, DC. The chartering organizations were:
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.,
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.,
- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.,
- Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
- In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., joined the council, followed by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. in 1937.
- The NPHC incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1937.
- Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. joined the NPHC as its ninth (9th) affiliate member in 1997
To understand the need for and concept of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc., one must first consider, understand and familiarize oneself with the historical accounts and significance of predominantly Black Greek-letter organizations. While having their own distinct heritages, the nine (9) member organizations of NPHC offer insight and a unique perspective into this understanding and the development of Black socioeconomic and cultural life.
Each of the nine (9) NPHC organizations evolved during a period when African Americans were being denied essential rights and privileges afforded others. Racial isolation on predominantly white campuses and social barriers of class on all campuses created a need for African Americans to align themselves with other individuals sharing common goals and ideals. With the realization of such a need, the African American (Black) Greek-lettered organization movement took on the personae of a haven and outlet, which could foster brotherhood and sisterhood in the pursuit to bring about social change through the development of social programs that would create positive change for Blacks and the country. Today the need remains the same.
While NPHC affiliate organizations recognize the social aspect of Greek college life, the primary purpose and focus of member organizations remains community awareness and action through educational, economic, and cultural service activities. NPHC affiliates and their respective members have pledged to devote their resources to service in their respective communities, realizing that the membership experience of NPHC organizations goes beyond organizational membership during an individual’s college career. A lifetime commitment to the goals and ideals of each respective organization is stressed. The individual member is also expected to align himself with a graduate/alumni chapter, following graduation from college, with the expectation that he/she will attend regular chapter meetings, regional conferences and national conventions, and take an active part in matters concerning and affecting the community in which he or she lives.