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The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. was founded on this day in 1930. The organization, also known as the “Divine Nine,” is composed of nine international Greek letter sororities and fraternities.

The council was founded at Howard University with the charter member groups Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta sororities.

In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma fraternities joined and in 1937, Sigma Gamma Rho sorority became part of the council. In 1995, the Nassau, Bahamas Pan-Hellenic Council was officially charted by the NPHC, becoming the first international council outside the United States to be recognized as a member. Completing the nine member council was the Iota Phi Theta fraternity in 1997.

In his 2001 book, Lawrence Ross, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, is credited with coining the phrase “divine nine” after releasing, The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities. 

The council’s mission is as stated: “unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter sororities and fraternities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.”

In the same year the council completed its nine-member council, it was incorporated in the state of Illinois.

 

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Little Known Black History Fact: National Pan-Hellenic Council was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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