Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. To Return To N.C. State
DeErricka Green | Managing Editor
This year, NPHC Week will be bigger than ever as it marks the return of the Divine Nine to N.C. State.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), a collaborative organization of nine historically African American Greek lettered fraternities and sororities, promotes community awareness and service through educational and cultural activities. At N.C. State however, in past years only seven of these organizations- Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta Sororities, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities, Inc.- have maintained a strong presence on campus.
This year during NPHC Week, students will have the opportunity to learn more about Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., which round out the Council.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded on Nov. 12, 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. Established in the midst of segregation, the sorority’s aim is to enhance the quality of life within the community through service, leadership development and education. The organization is a proponent for the American Council of Human Rights, the National Marrow Donor Program, as well as other projects dedicated to removing inequalities in American society and improving the welfare of all citizens.
The only NPHC sorority established at a predominantly white campus, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was chartered at N.C. State on Nov. 13, 1987. The Kappa Omega chapter maintained a strong presence throughout the late 80s and early 90s, not only working to spread the organization’s national mission on this campus, but others. The Kappa Omega chapter was instrumental in the chartering of the Lambda Psi chapter at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1990.
Today, the Kappa Omega chapter is under the direction of the Theta Lambda Sigma Alumnae chapter in Cary, NC, with plans for reactivation underway and several programs planned for the Fall aimed at students. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. is following a similar path.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. is young in comparison to its contemporaries; the organization observed its 50th year less than one week ago, while its peers have or are preparing for their centennial celebration soon.
Founded on Sept. 19, 1963, at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, the fraternity was formed as a support system for men of color during the heated social climate of the Civil Rights Movement. The organization sighted the Black Panthers, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and individuals like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael as influences. Today, the organization is involved in activities with the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the National Federation of the Blind, as well as the National Sickle Cell Foundation.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. was brought to N.C. State’s campus in 1997. Since there have been five members of the Gamma Xi chapter, the last of which entered in 2001.
While its membership is not exhaustive, advisor Greg Barnes and other members are working to strengthen the organization’s presence on campus. “We are currently in the process of reactivating [the Gamma Xi chapter]. We were recently voted in by the NPHC and the Office of Greek Life to begin holding programs.” Most recently, members of the Gamma Tau chapter, from neighboring Shaw University, assisted in moving students into residence halls at the beginning of the school year. “We also will be working with the other Divine Nine organizations, hosting joint programs.”
Since its founding, Iota Phi Theta, Inc. has become the fifth-largest, and fastest growing of all predominantly black fraternities in the nation, epitomizing their motto of building a tradition, not resting upon one. “Iota offers diversity and something different from any other male black Greek-letter organization,” said Barnes.
Chelsea Hayes, NPHC President and member of the Mu Omicron chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is particularly excited about bringing the Divine Nine back to N.C. State, as there have only been seven present during her student career. “I feel that it is important that we are representative of our National Council. Including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. in NPHC Week and later NPHC events will allow this campus to have a more holistic view of our Greek community.”
The reactivation of these two organizations is not only an accomplishment for the NCSU National Pan-Hellenic Council, but for students across campus. Active representation of all nine organizations will give students more variety if they decide to pursue one of these groups, taking Greek life at N.C. State to bigger and better heights.
Check out this gallery to learn more information about the N.C. State chapters of NPHC organizations.
Well written! As an Alumnus, this makes me happy!
Very nice to hear that all D9 organizations may be back on State’s campus. Good job on the article.