The National Pan-Hellenic Council was founded in a time when racial segregation and lack of education were some of the greatest challenges to the African American community. The Sororities and Fraternities that make up the council saw these injustices and decided that they would make the change. Nine groups of men and women all decided to form Greek letter organizations with similar goals of scholarship, service and a bond between sisters or brothers.
The founding members of the NPHC were Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Theta, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Zeta Phi Beta. The council’s membership expanded in 1931 with the addition of Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma. In 1937 Sigma Gamma Rho joined and finally in 1997 Iota Phi Theta completed the group that Lawrence Ross coined as the divine nine.
At it’s founding the purpose and mission of the organization was “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.”
1906 Cornell University Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
1908 Howard University Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
1911 Indiana University Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
1911 Howard University Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
1913 Howard University Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
1914 Howard University Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
1920 Howard University Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
1922 Butler University Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
1963 Morgan State University Iota Phi Theta Fraternity