Honoring National Pan-Hellenic Council Organizations

A recently unveiled plaza on campus provides a physical monument to and tells the story of Black Greek-lettered organizations.


Black Greek-lettered organizations are an indispensable component when reviewing America’s rich history. The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) is an umbrella organization for nine historically Black, international Greek-lettered fraternity and sorority organizations. These fraternities and sororities were once referred to as the “Divine Nine” by author Lawrence C. Ross Jr, a name which has stuck.

The NPHC was established in the early 1900s when Black collegiate students were denied essential rights and privileges on university campuses. The Divine Nine is composed of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

The NPHC is represented at Southeastern by eight of the Divine Nine. The first of the Divine Nine organizations to represent Southeastern was the Kappa Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1975. Since then, the NPHC has grown to represent many historically Black, international Greek-lettered fraternity and sorority organizations. Southeastern’s eight chapters work together by engaging in collective programming and ideas through a variety of functions and activities. Through community service and philanthropy, they work to create a powerful impact on the University and the surrounding community.

Southeastern recently honored these Black, Greek-lettered organizations, none of which previously had a dedicated physical spot on campus, with the construction of a plaza that marks each of the Divine Nine with a plot. These prominent monuments portray the historical legacy of the nine fraternities and sororities composing the NPHC.


A plot dedication ceremony was held at Student Union Park in Oct., 2022, during Homecoming Week. Southeastern President John L. Crain and members of the NPHC gathered together to celebrate the monumental project that had been in the works for five years.

The opening ceremony allowed members of the council to gather and celebrate their history as Black, international Greek-lettered organizations.

Southeastern joins universities across the world in advocating for and increasing awareness of these organizations. President Crain emphasized the importance of this monumental project that was first introduced by the 2017-2018 SGA President, Seth Leo.

“This is an important day for the University and our students,” Crain said. “This was one of the top projects he [Seth Leto] presented and said was a top priority for SGA. There were a few hiccups along the way, but we stayed the course. I’m very proud of the outcome.”

Southeastern students and community members are encouraged to visit the plots to learn more about the rich history of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. For more information regarding the NPHC, email nphc@southeastern.edu.

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