National Pan-Hellenic Council
At Belmont NPHC, we know what it takes to enhance our students’ education. Our unique approach to learning and top quality faculty makes Belmont NPHC more than just a physical College - it’s a life experience. We invite you to explore our dynamic and diverse community, and stop by for a visit at your convenience.
The History of NPHC
Motto: Building A Tradition, Not Resting Upon One!
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated (NPHC) is currently composed of nine (9) International Greek letter Sororities and Fraternities: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. NPHC 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.
On May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC, the National Pan-Hellenic Council was formed as a permanent organization with the following charter members: Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities, and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternities joined the Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined in 1937 and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity completed the list of member organizations in 1997.
On February 4th, 1995, The Nassau, Bahamas Pan-Hellenic Council was officially chartered by the NPHC, becoming the first international council, outside of the United States of America to be chartered.
The stated purpose and mission of the organization in 1930 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.” Early in 1937, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and became known as “The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated.”
There are nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Collectively, these organizations are referred to as "The Divine Nine." Each of these fraternities and sororities is rich in history - ties to one or more of these organizations may be found in many college-educated Black families in the United States.
Dr. Myiesha Taylor
Dr. George Washington Carver
Dorothy Irene Height
Dr. Carter G. Woodson
Famous Black Greeks
Did you know that many of the significant contributions to society & the world came from members of black Greek letter organizations.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Marc Lamont Hill
Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Charles Drew
Dr. Percy Julian
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Mara Brock Akil
Melissa Harris Perry
Dorothy Irene Height
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. George Washington Carver
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Zora Neale Hurston
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
Jason Manuel Olazabal
NPHC Chapters at Belmont University
At this time there are three of the nine historically black Greek letter organizations chartered at Belmont University. For more information on chapters that are not chartered at Belmont please refer to their national websites.
Founded 1908, Howard University
Confined to what she called “a small circumscribed life” in the segregated and male-dominated milieu that characterized the early 1900s, Howard University co-ed Ethel Hedgeman dreamed of creating a support network for women with like minds coming together for mutual uplift, and coalescing their talents and strengths for the benefit of others. In 1908, her vision crystallized as Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Negro Greek-letter sorority. Five years later (1913), lead incorporator Nellie Quander ensured Alpha Kappa Alpha’s perpetuity through incorporation in the District of Columbia.
Together with eight other coeds at the mecca for Negro education, Hedgeman crafted a design that not only fostered interaction, stimulation, and ethical growth among members; but also provided hope for the masses. From the core group of nine at Howard, AKA has grown into a force of more than 290,000 collegiate members and alumnae, constituting 1,007 chapters in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Germany, Liberia, South Korea, Japan, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East.
Through the years, Alpha Kappa Alpha has used the Sisterhood as a grand lever to raise the status of African-Americans, particularly girls and women. AKA has enriched minds and encouraged life-long learning; provided aid for the poor, the sick, and underserved; initiated social action to advance human and civil rights; worked collaboratively with other groups to maximize outreach on progressive endeavors; and continually produced leaders to continue its credo of service.
Founded 1913, Howard University
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate women at Howard University to promote academic excellence and provide assistance to those in need. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of college educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. is a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Since its founding more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. The organization is a sisterhood of predominantly Black, college educated women. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea.
The major programs of the sorority are based upon the organization's Five-Point Programmatic
Founded 1914, Howard University
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The Founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.
The Founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community. They believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits, rather than his family background or affluence…without regard to race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. They desired for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the “inclusive we” rather than the “exclusive we”.
From its inception, the Founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, they held a deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrored in the Fraternity’s motto, “Culture For Service and Service For Humanity”.
So you think you want to be greek?
People often see the line jackets, strolls and other paraphernalia but being a member of a historically black Greek letter organization is much more than strolls and paraphernalia. It's about a life long commitment to service, scholarship, and sisterhood/brotherhood. . Our members are congresswomen, senators, educators, scientists, activists, writers, producers etc. The history of Black Greekdom is exceptional and an integral part of world as we know it.
It is also important to keep in mind that you should seek out the organization that is truly meant for you. To do that it takes research as well as some soul searching on your part to find the right fit. Joining at the collegiate level is great but there is absolutely nothing wrong with joining at the graduate level.
So again do your so that you can choose the organization that is the best fit for you.
The Talented Tenth is a term that designated a leadership class of African-Americans in the early twentieth century. The term was publicized by W. E. B. Du Bois in an influential essay of the same name, which he published in September 1903. It appeared in The Negro Problem, a collection of essays written by leading African Americans.
Du Bois used the term "the talented tenth" to describe the likelihood of one in ten black men becoming leaders of their race in the world, through methods such as continuing their education, writing books, or becoming directly involved in social change. More often than not members of the Divine 9 are & were referred to the Talented 10th.