National Pan-Hellenic Council

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National Pan-Hellenic Council
NPHC 75.jpg
NicknameDivine Nine
FoundedMay 10, 1930; 89 years ago (1930-05-10)
Founded atHoward University
TypeCoalition 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. with Matthew W. Bullock as the active Chairman and B. Beatrix Scott as Vice-Chairman. NPHC was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1937 and is headquartered in Decatur, Georgia.

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 (1996) 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 discriminate 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 order of founding:[2]

Member Founded Headquarters Chapters Members NPHC M/F
Alpha Phi Alpha (1906-12-04) December 4, 1906 (age 112)
Cornell University
Baltimore, Maryland 706[4] 200,000[4] 1931 M
Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908-01-15) January 15, 1908 (age 111)
Howard University
Chicago, Illinois 1,005[5] 290,000[5] 1930 F
Kappa Alpha Psi (1911-01-05) January 5, 1911 (age 108)
Indiana University
as Kappa Alpha Nu
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 720 160,000 1930 M
Omega Psi Phi (1911-11-17) November 17, 1911 (age 107)
Howard University
Decatur, Georgia 750 1930 M
Delta Sigma Theta (1913-01-13) January 13, 1913 (age 106)
Howard University
Washington, D.C. over 940[6]
(including alumnae chapters)
1930 F
Phi Beta Sigma (1914-01-09) January 9, 1914 (age 105)
Howard University
Washington, D.C. 740 290,000 1931 M
Zeta Phi Beta (1920-01-16) January 16, 1920 (age 99)
Howard University
Washington, D.C. 800 1930 F
Sigma Gamma Rho (1922-11-12) November 12, 1922 (age 96)
Butler University
Cary, North Carolina 700 1937 F
Iota Phi Theta (1963-09-19) September 19, 1963 (age 55)
Morgan State University
Baltimore, Maryland 300 30,000[7] 1996 M

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Institutions". Houston Public Library. Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  2. ^ a b c "About the National Pan-Hellenic Council". Archived from the original on 2009-12-22. 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 0-7582-0325-X.
  4. ^ a b "Home". Alpha Phi Alpha. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  5. ^ a b "Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc". Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  6. ^ Delta Sigma Theta website. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Iota Phi Theta® Fraternity Inc. | Founded 1963 - Chapter Locator". Retrieved 2016-09-07.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.

External links[edit]

Official website