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National Pan-Hellenic Council (6344 hits)

National Pan-Hellenic Council or the “Divine 9”

Background and Summary

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. is an umbrella organization for nine historically Black, international Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities. Each of the nine NPHC organizations evolved during a period when Blacks were being denied essential rights and privileges afforded to other college students. Because there are nine member sororities and fraternities, the council has become referred to as the "Divine Nine."

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. Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta were the five founding members of the NPHC in 1930. The council's membership expanded as Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma both in 1931, Sigma Gamma Rho in 1937, and lastly, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. in 1996, joined the NPHC.

Serving Greeks

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.

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.”

Today, the primary purpose and focus of member organizations remains community awareness and action through educational, economic and cultural service activities.

Individual members of the sororities and fraternities are also expected to align with a graduate or alumni chapter, following graduation from college to perpetuate the purpose of the council.

The NPHC was established in an age when racial segregation and disenfranchisement plagued Blacks, the rise of each of the Black fraternities and sororities that make up the NPHC bore witness to the fact that despite hardships, Black people refused to assent to a status of inferiority.

The Power of Howard

Five of the Council's nine member organizations were founded at Howard University beginning in 1908, after Alpha Phi Alpha established its second chapter, Beta, in 1907 at Howard.

In 1992, the first permanent national office for NPHC was established in Bloomington, Ind., on the campus of Indiana University through the joint cooperation of Indiana University and the national board of directors of NPHC.

The NPHC collectively sponsors programs at the national level and asks that each chapter implement some or all of these initiatives in their local area. The Pan-Hellenic campaign enlists "Greeks" from all over the world to help construct the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. The member organizations spearhead their own national programs as part of their social and service programs.

 National Campaigns of the Council Affiliates:

1.     National Bone Marrow Foundation

2.     Get Out the Vote Campaign

3.     National Seat Belt Campaign

4.     National African American Tobacco Education Network

5.     Race for the Cure of Breast Cancer

6.     Prostate Cancer Awareness Program

7.     All the “Thrusts” of the nine individual organizations


The Nine Member Organizations:

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Monday, January 14th 2008 at 4:12PM
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