National Panhellenic Conference

National Panhellenic Conference

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National Panhellenic Conference
Data
Established 1902
Members 26
Continent North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

Country United States and Canada
Organization type Trade organization


The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 (inter)national women's sororities
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

.

Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

 society of college women and alumnae. Members are represented on over 620 college and university campuses in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and in over 4,600 alumnae associations, making up over 4 million sorority women.

Vision Statement and Mission Statement


The National Panhellenic Conference's vision and mission statements were both adopted at their biennial sessions in October 2005.

National Panhellenic Conference Vision Statement


The National Panhellenic Conference will be the premier advocacy and support organization for its members, member groups, college and alumnae panhellenics and a proponent of women’s fraternity membership.

Conference Mission Statement


The National Panhellenic Conference exists to promote the values of and to serve as an advocate for its member groups in collaboration with those members, campuses and communities.

The National Panhellenic Conference provides support and guidance for its 26 member inter/national sororities/women’s fraternities and serves as the national voice on contemporary issues of sorority life. Founded in 1902, NPC is one of the oldest and largest women’s membership organizations representing more than 4 million women at 655 college/university campuses and 4,500 local alumnae chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, NPC-affiliated collegians and alumnae donate more than $5 million to worthy causes, provide $2.8 million in scholarships to women and volunteer 500,000 hours in their communities.

The Panhellenic Creed


Members

Sorority Year Founded Year Joined NPC Active
Collegiate Groups
Total
InitiatesSome of these numbers represent only living initiated members, while others represent all initiated members, both living and deceased.
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Chi Omega is a women's fraternity founded on October 15, 1885. Currently, there are 135 chapters of Alpha Chi Omega at colleges and universities across the United States and more than 200,000 lifetime members...

1885 1903 133 210,000+
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Delta Pi is a fraternity founded on May 15, 1851 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The Executive office for this sorority is located on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. Alpha Delta Pi is one of the two "Macon Magnolias," a term used to celebrate the bonds it shares with Phi Mu...

1851Though Alpha Delta Pi had its origins in the Adelphean Society, an academic society founded in 1851, the group did not take Greek Letters or begin to expand to other institutions until 1905. 1909 137 215,000
Alpha Gamma Delta
Alpha Gamma Delta
Alpha Gamma Delta is an international women's fraternity, who are mainly sluts, founded in 1904 at Syracuse University. The Fraternity promotes academic excellence, philanthropic giving, ongoing leadership and personal development, and a spirit of loving sisterhood. Also known as "Alpha Gam" and...

1904 1909 182 145,000
Alpha Epsilon Phi
Alpha Epsilon Phi
Alpha Epsilon Phi is a sorority and member of the National Panhellenic Conference. It was founded on October 24, 1909 at Barnard College in New York City by seven Jewish women; Helen Phillips Lipman, Ida Beck Carlin, Rose Gerstein Smolin, Augustina "Tina" Hess Solomon, Lee Reiss Liebert, Rose...

1909 1951 47
Alpha Omicron Pi
Alpha Omicron Pi
Alpha Omicron Pi is an international women's fraternity promoting friendship for a lifetime, inspiring academic excellence and lifelong learning, and developing leadership skills through service to the Fraternity and community. ΑΟΠ was founded on January 2, 1897 at Barnard College on the campus...

1897 1905 184 145,000
Alpha Phi
Alpha Phi
Alpha Phi International Women's Fraternity was founded at Syracuse University on September 18, 1872. Alpha Phi currently has 152 active chapters and over 200,000 initiated members. Its celebrated Founders' Day is October 10. It was the third Greek-letter organization founded for women. In Alpha...

1872 1902 152 170,000+
Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Alpha is a US national sorority founded on November 15, 1901 at the Virginia State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia...

1901 1951 76 67,000
Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau is a national Panhellenic sorority founded on November 4, 1899, at Michigan State Normal College...

1899 1951 80
Alpha Xi Delta
Alpha Xi Delta
Alpha Xi Delta is a women's fraternity founded on April 17, 1893 at Lombard College, Galesburg, Illinois. Alpha Xi Delta is one of the oldest women's fraternities as well as one of the ten founding fraternities of the National Panhellenic Conference...

1893 1904 110 150,000
Chi Omega
Chi Omega
Chi Omega is a women's fraternity and the largest member of the National Panhellenic Conference. Chi Omega has 174 active collegiate chapters and over 230 alumnae chapters. Chi Omega's national headquarters is located in Memphis, Tennessee....

1895 1903 171 300,000+
Delta Delta Delta
Delta Delta Delta
Delta Delta Delta , also known as Tri Delta, is an international sorority founded on November 27, 1888, the eve of Thanksgiving Day. With over 200,000 initiates, Tri Delta is one of the world's largest NPC sororities.-History:...

1888 1902 138 238,000+
Delta Gamma
Delta Gamma
Delta Gamma is one of the oldest and largest women's fraternities in the United States and Canada, with its Executive Offices based in Columbus, Ohio.-History:...

1873 1902 146 171,788
Delta Zeta
Delta Zeta
Delta Zeta is an international college sorority founded on October 24, 1902, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today, Delta Zeta has 158 collegiate chapters in the United States and over 200 alumnae chapters in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada...

1902 1910 158 222,000
Delta Phi Epsilon
Delta Phi Epsilon (social)
Delta Phi Epsilon is an international sorority founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School in New York City...

1917 1951 75 55,000
Gamma Phi Beta
Gamma Phi Beta
Gamma Phi Beta is an international sorority that was founded on November 11, 1874, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. The term "sorority," meaning sisterhood, was coined for Gamma Phi Beta by Dr. Frank Smalley, a professor at Syracuse University.The four founders are Helen M. Dodge,...

1874 1902 126 170,000
Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Alpha Theta , also known as Theta, is an international fraternity for women founded on January 27, 1870 at DePauw University, formerly Indiana Asbury...

1870 1902 125 210,000
Kappa Delta
Kappa Delta
Kappa Delta was the first sorority founded at the State Female Normal School , in Farmville, Virginia. It is one of the "Farmville Four" sororities founded at the university...

1897 1912 142 230,000
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Kappa Kappa Gamma is a collegiate women's fraternity, founded at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, USA. Although the groundwork of the organization was developed as early as 1869, the 1876 Convention voted that October 13, 1870 should be recognized at the official Founders Day, because no...

1870 1902 137 235,000
Phi Mu
Phi Mu
Phi Mu is the second oldest female fraternal organization established in the United States. It was founded at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The organization was founded as the Philomathean Society on January 4, 1852, and was announced publicly on March 4 of the same year...

1852Though Phi Mu had its origins in the Philomathean Society, a literary society founded in 1852, the group did not take Greek Letters or begin to expand to other institutions until 1904. 1911 120 150,000
Phi Sigma Sigma
Phi Sigma Sigma
Phi Sigma Sigma , colloquially known as "Phi Sig," was the first collegiate nonsectarian fraternity, welcoming women of all faiths and backgrounds...

1913 1951 115 60,000
Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi is an international fraternity for women founded as I.C. Sorosis on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Its headquarters are located in Town and Country, Missouri, and there are 134 active chapters and over 330 alumnae organizations across the United States and...

1867 1902 133 230,000
Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Delta Tau is a national sorority and member of the National Panhellenic Conference, was founded March 25, 1917 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The original name, Sigma Delta Phi, was changed after the women discovered a sorority with the same name already existed...

1917 1951 90 40,000
Sigma Kappa
Sigma Kappa
Sigma Kappa is a sorority founded in 1874 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Sigma Kappa was founded by five women: Mary Caffrey Low Carver, Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Ida Mabel Fuller Pierce, Frances Elliott Mann Hall and Louise Helen Coburn...

1874 1905 110 156,000
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma , also known as Tri Sigma, is a national American women’s sorority with membership of more than 100,000 members. Sigma Sigma Sigma is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference and hosts chapters on more than 110 college campuses and 89 alumnae chapters in communities all...

1898 1951 110 100,000
Theta Phi Alpha
Theta Phi Alpha
Theta Phi Alpha women's fraternity was founded at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor on August 30, 1912. Theta Phi Alpha is one of 26 national sororities recognized in the National Panhellenic Conference...

1912 1951 46 20,000
Zeta Tau Alpha
Zeta Tau Alpha
Zeta Tau Alpha is a women's fraternity, founded October 15, 1898 at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia. The Executive office is located in Indianapolis, Indiana...

1898 1909 157 207,000

History


Early histories of women's fraternities contain accounts of "rushing and pledging agreements" or "compacts" among fraternities on various campuses, and also many stories of cooperation and mutual assistance. However, no actual Panhellenic organization existed and no uniform practices were observed.

By 1902, it was obvious that some standards were needed, so the women of Alpha Phi
Alpha Phi
Alpha Phi International Women's Fraternity was founded at Syracuse University on September 18, 1872. Alpha Phi currently has 152 active chapters and over 200,000 initiated members. Its celebrated Founders' Day is October 10. It was the third Greek-letter organization founded for women. In Alpha...

 invited Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi is an international fraternity for women founded as I.C. Sorosis on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Its headquarters are located in Town and Country, Missouri, and there are 134 active chapters and over 330 alumnae organizations across the United States and...

, Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Alpha Theta , also known as Theta, is an international fraternity for women founded on January 27, 1870 at DePauw University, formerly Indiana Asbury...

, Kappa Kappa Gamma
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Kappa Kappa Gamma is a collegiate women's fraternity, founded at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, USA. Although the groundwork of the organization was developed as early as 1869, the 1876 Convention voted that October 13, 1870 should be recognized at the official Founders Day, because no...

, Delta Gamma
Delta Gamma
Delta Gamma is one of the oldest and largest women's fraternities in the United States and Canada, with its Executive Offices based in Columbus, Ohio.-History:...

, Gamma Phi Beta
Gamma Phi Beta
Gamma Phi Beta is an international sorority that was founded on November 11, 1874, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. The term "sorority," meaning sisterhood, was coined for Gamma Phi Beta by Dr. Frank Smalley, a professor at Syracuse University.The four founders are Helen M. Dodge,...

, Delta Delta Delta
Delta Delta Delta
Delta Delta Delta , also known as Tri Delta, is an international sorority founded on November 27, 1888, the eve of Thanksgiving Day. With over 200,000 initiates, Tri Delta is one of the world's largest NPC sororities.-History:...

, Delta Zeta
Delta Zeta
Delta Zeta is an international college sorority founded on October 24, 1902, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today, Delta Zeta has 158 collegiate chapters in the United States and over 200 alumnae chapters in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada...

, Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Chi Omega is a women's fraternity founded on October 15, 1885. Currently, there are 135 chapters of Alpha Chi Omega at colleges and universities across the United States and more than 200,000 lifetime members...

 and Chi Omega
Chi Omega
Chi Omega is a women's fraternity and the largest member of the National Panhellenic Conference. Chi Omega has 174 active collegiate chapters and over 230 alumnae chapters. Chi Omega's national headquarters is located in Memphis, Tennessee....

 to a conference in Chicago on May 24. Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega were unable to attend. The remaining seven groups met and the session resulted in the organization of the first interfraternity association and the first intergroup organization on college campuses. National Interfraternity Conference for men's fraternities was organized in 1909, now called the North-American Interfraternity Conference
North-American Interfraternity Conference
The North-American Interfraternity Conference , is an association of collegiate men's fraternities that was formally organized in 1910, although it began on November 27, 1909. The power of the organization rests in a House of Delegates where each member fraternity is represented by a single delegate...

.

This meeting, and the next few, resulted in several mutual agreements, especially regarding pledging. Up to this time, no guidelines had been set, and women could be pledged to groups before enrolling in college and, indeed, even belong to more than one group.

The fact that NPC is a "Conference" is significant to the NPC philosophy because the organization is a conference, not a congress
Congress
A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different nations, constituent states, independent organizations , or groups....

. It enacts no legislation except for the conduct of its own meetings. Other than the basic Unanimous Agreements which all groups have voted to observe, NPC confines itself to recommendations and advice, and acts as a court of final appeal in any College Panhellenic difficulty. One of its greatest services is providing Area Advisors for College Panhellenics and Alumnae Panhellenics.

AES merger with NPC


Members of Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma , also known as Tri Sigma, is a national American women’s sorority with membership of more than 100,000 members. Sigma Sigma Sigma is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference and hosts chapters on more than 110 college campuses and 89 alumnae chapters in communities all...

 and Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Alpha is a US national sorority founded on November 15, 1901 at the Virginia State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia...

 organized the Association of Pedagogical Sororities
Association of education sororities
The Association of Education Sororities was the umbrella organization for teachers' sororities. AES operated in the United States from 1916 to 1947.- History :...

 on July 10, 1915. The membership consisted of sororities, who were primarily located on state campuses where women entering the educational field were predominant. In 1917, Pi Kappa Sigma
Pi Kappa Sigma
Pi Kappa Sigma was a national collegiate sorority operating in the United States from November 17, 1894 until it was absorbed by Sigma Kappa in 1959. "Pi Kap" was the first pedagogical sorority.- Beginnings :...

 and Delta Sigma Epsilon
Delta Sigma Epsilon
Delta Sigma Epsilon was a national collegiate social sorority operating in the United States from 1914 to 1956. It was absorbed by Delta Zeta sorority.-History:...

 joined the association, followed by Theta Sigma Upsilon in 1925, Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau is a national Panhellenic sorority founded on November 4, 1899, at Michigan State Normal College...

 in 1926, and Pi Delta Theta in 1931. At the third biennial conference, the name of the association was changed to the Association of Educational Sororities (AES). Later, the word "Educational" was changed to "Education".

The AES was a strong group of leaders that focused not only on educational (providing scholarships) and women-centric issues, but cooperated to support issues outside of the sorority world including defense projects during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. One of the projects started by the AES member groups resulted in what is today the world-renowned Leader Dogs
Guide dog
Guide dogs are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles.Although the dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, they are partially color blind and are not capable of interpreting street signs...

 for the Blind School in Rochester, Michigan
Rochester, Michigan
Rochester is an affluent city in north Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan on the northern outskirts of metro Detroit. The population was 12,711 at the 2010 census...

.

After much work on the part of NPC and AES, on November 12, 1947, the six AES sororities were unanimously accepted as associate members of NPC. At the same time, five other sororities were also admitted, including Beta Gamma at University of Colorado. In December 1951, the six sororities became full members of NPC.

Since that time, three have merged with other NPC member groups leaving Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Alpha
Alpha Sigma Alpha is a US national sorority founded on November 15, 1901 at the Virginia State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia...

, Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau is a national Panhellenic sorority founded on November 4, 1899, at Michigan State Normal College...

 and Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma , also known as Tri Sigma, is a national American women’s sorority with membership of more than 100,000 members. Sigma Sigma Sigma is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference and hosts chapters on more than 110 college campuses and 89 alumnae chapters in communities all...

as the remaining former-AES members.

Insignia


The National Panhellenic Conference's crest is composed of symbols that are symbolic of its members' beliefs and ideas, as well as the organization as a whole.

The shield symbolizes the organization's protective influence on its members.

Above the shield is a lamp, which represents the pursuit of leadership, scholarship, and enlightenment.

In the shield are is a laurel wreath, which denotes the victory of achieving ideals.
In the center of the shield, a sword that is piercing the wreath. This signifies willingness to fight and stand up for one's ideals, penalty of obligation, as well as bravery, achievement, and discipline.

Lastly, there is a mantle, inscribed with the words "National Panhellenic Conference" surrounding the shield. This mantle symbolizes how education, and thus knowledge, gives its members a protective cloak.

External links