National Pan-Hellenic Council

National Pan-Hellenic Council
National Pan-Hellenic Council
Established 1930
Members 9
Continent North America
Country United States
Headquarters Decatur, Georgia
Organization type Coalition of members

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is a collaborative organization of nine historically African American, international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. The nine NPHC organizations are sometimes collectively referred to as the "Divine Nine". The member/partner organizations have not formally adopted nor recommended the use of this term to describe their collaborative grouping. The NPHC was formed as a permanent organization on May 10, 1930 on the campus of Howard University, in Washington, D.C. NPHC was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1937.

The council promotes interaction through forums, meetings and other mediums for the exchange of information and engages in cooperative programming and initiatives through various activities and functions.

Each constituent member organization determines its own strategic direction and program agenda. Today, the primary purpose and focus of member organizations remains camaraderie and academic excellence for its members and service to the communities they serve. Each promotes community awareness and action through educational, economic, and cultural service activities.



The National Pan-Hellenic Council was established in an age when racial segregation and disenfranchisement plagued African Americans, the rise of each of the black fraternities and sororities that make up the NPHC bore witness to the fact that despite hardships African Americans refused to accede to a status of inferiority.[1]

The organization's stated purpose and mission in 1930:

Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.[2]

The founding members of the NPHC were Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Zeta Phi Beta. The council's membership expanded as Alpha Phi Alpha (1931), Phi Beta Sigma (1931), Sigma Gamma Rho (1937), and Iota Phi Theta (1997) joined this coalition of Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs). In his book on BGLOs, Lawrence Ross coined the phrase "The Divine Nine" when referring to the coalition.[3]

As required by various campus recognition policies, neither the NPHC, nor its member national or chapter organizations dscriminate on the basis of race or religion.

In 1992, the first permanent national office for NPHC was established in Bloomington, Indiana on the campus of Indiana University through the joint cooperation of Indiana University and the National Board of Directors of NPHC.[2]


The members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council are shown below in latin alphabetical order.[2] :

Member Founded Headquarters Chapters NPHC
Alpha Kappa Alpha January 15, 1908 (1908-01-15) (age 103)
Howard University
Chicago, Illinois 950+ 1930
Alpha Phi Alpha December 4, 1906 (1906-12-04) (age 104)
Cornell University
Baltimore, Maryland 700+ 1931
Delta Sigma Theta January 13, 1913 (1913-01-13) (age 98)
Howard University
Washington, D.C. 950+ 1930
Iota Phi Theta September 19, 1963 (1963-09-19) (age 48)
Morgan State University
Baltimore, Maryland 300+ 1997
Kappa Alpha Psi January 5, 1911 (1911-01-05) (age 100)
Indiana University
as Kappa Alpha Nu
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 700+ 1930
Omega Psi Phi November 17, 1911 (1911-11-17) (age 100)
Howard University
Decatur, Georgia 750+ 1930
Phi Beta Sigma January 9, 1914 (1914-01-09) (age 97)
Howard University
Washington, D.C. 700+ 1931
Sigma Gamma Rho November 12, 1922 (1922-11-12) (age 89)
Butler University
Cary, North Carolina 500+ 1937
Zeta Phi Beta January 16, 1920 (1920-01-16) (age 91)
Howard University
Washington, D.C. 800+ 1930

See also


  1. ^ "Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Institutions". Houston Public Library. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "About the National Pan-Hellenic Council". Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  3. ^ *Ross, Jr, Lawrence (2001). The Divine Nine: The History of African-American Fraternities and Sororities in America. New York: Kensington. pp. 37–38. ISBN 075820325X. 

Further reading

  • Brown, Tamara L., Gregory S. Parks, and Clarenda M. Phillips. (2005). African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2344-8
  • Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks (14 June 2007). “Broken Bonds: Are Black Greek Organizations Making Themselves Irrelevant?” Diverse Issues in Higher Education. 24(9): 21.
  • Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks. (9 March 2007). “A Bleak Future for Black Greeks.” The Black College Wire.
  • Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks. (Spring 2008). “The Education of the Black Fraternity and Sorority Advisor, Ten Critiques.” Perspectives: 22-25.
  • Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks. (October 2007). “Measuring Up: Twelve Steps Closer to a Solution on BGLO Hazing.” Essentials: A Publication for Members of the Association of Fraternity Advisors.
  • Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks. (2011). Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0: New Directions in the Study of African American Fraternities and Sororities (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi).
  • Hughey, Matthew W. (2008).“Brotherhood or Brothers in the ‘Hood? Debunking the ‘Educated Gang’ Thesis as Black Fraternity and Sorority Slander.” Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 11(4).
  • Parks, Gregory Scott. (2008). Black Greek-Letter Organizations in the 21st Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2491-9
  • Skocpol, Theda, Ariane Liazos, and Marshall Ganz. (2006). What A Mighty Power We Can Be: African American Fraternal Groups and the Struggle for Racial Equality . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-12299-1.

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