History of Sororities


All of the women's groups were called fraternities in the beginning because no other word existed. Then in 1882, Gamma Phi Beta was named a "sorority", a coined word suggested by their advisor who was a professor of Latin, and who thought the word "fraternity" was ill-advised for a group of young ladies. However, the Greek-letter societies for women had already been incorporated as fraternities, and in 1909 the National Pan-Hellenic Conference revised its Constitution to use the word "fraternity" throughout. This usage still prevails.

In the early days of fraternity expansion, there was bitter rivalry between the various groups, not only for members but for recognition and prestige. The women's groups were better than the men's about fostering a sense of fraternalism. In 1902, after several preliminary meetings, the seven women's fraternities met in Boston to form the National Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPC). The Conference's mission was to encourage an inter-fraternal spirit among the members, to establish better relations with host institutions and to provide service to members' chapters.

Women societies bearing Greek or classical names were common, such as Adelphean, already named Euterpean, and Philmathean. These became founding chapters of national bodies and claimed precedence by virtue of the initial dates of their local organizations.

The I.C .Sorosis, similar in purpose to the Greek-letter societies, was founded at Monmouth College in 1867. In 1870 at Indiana Asbury University, now DePauw, Kappa Alpha Theta was born. In the same year Kappa Kappa Gamma was established at Monmouth, Illinois. Alpha Phi originated at Syracuse University in New York in 1872, and in 1873 Delta Gamma began at Lewis Institute for Young Women in Oxford, Mississippi. On November 9, 1874, Sigma Kappa was founded at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and on November 11 Gamma Phi Beta followed Alpha Phi at Syracuse. Alpha Chi Omega was founded at DePauw in 1885 and Delta Delta Delta was organized at Boston University in 1888. The same year I.C. Sorosis officially adopted the name Pi Beta Phi, which it had used from the beginning as a secret motto. Other women's sororities founded in the 19th century are Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha and two other women's fraternities were founded at Longwood College: Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Alpha. The National Pan-Hellenic Conference was organized in 1902 and now includes 26 women's fraternities.


The founding of the Adelphean Society (later Alpha Delta Pi) marks the establishment of the first secret society for women. Pi Beta Phi was the first to begin expanding to different chapters.

Sororities had, from the beginning, the difficult objective of proving the viability of coeducational studies; that women could perform academically as well as or better than men while maintaining the Victorian ideals of womanhood was a tall order. Sororities created high academic standards and monitored the social activities of their members from their inception.

The social sororities were one of the few social outlets at most universities. While enrollment had opened to women at most institutions, student organizations like literary societies, student government, and other clubs were still free to restrict membership. Intense curriculum and mandatory religious involvements limited free time but the social sororities and social fraternities began a tradition of interaction. They would put together skits for entertainment, hold events for singing and waltzing after meetings were over, and held socials at the houses of local members.

Sigma Alpha Mu (SAM) was founded in 1909 at the City College of New York as a fraternity of Jewish men. Currently they are no longer just integrating men of the Jewish faith. They welcome all men of good character. In this fraternity, SAM members will have an opportunity to not only build a brotherhood of friends, but help build the students into a stronger individual through community service, philanthropy, and leadership skills that will help through all your stages of life. Fraternities

Alpha Gamma Delta they work together to ensure that their living quarters feels like home. Each member contributes to the residence and the opportunity to participate in the growth of the chapter and continue sisterhood. Sororities

Omega Psi Phi founded in 1911 by three young black men at Howard University. The name was derived from the initials of the Greek phrase "friendship is essential to the soul." Overtime the fraternity has grown and there are over 700 chapters throughout the world including places like Germany, Bermuda and even Japan. One of the great things about this fraternity is the opportunities that it affords to the brothers who join not only career opportunities but chances to travel the world and meet all types of people who share the same ideals as them. Fraternities

Alpha Chi Omega has developed a great pride and a strong sense of sisterhood. A diverse group of individuals involved in many aspects of college life including academic honor societies, tutoring, drama, and varsity athletics to name a few. It is the bond at Alpha Chi Omega that is strengthened by love, loyalty, and friendship. Sororities