Syracuse University Fraternity & Sorority Life
The American college fraternity concept began in 1776 when Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Phi Beta Kappa had all the characteristics of the modern fraternity, the mystery of secrecy, a ritual, oaths of fidelity, a grip, a motto, a badge, a commitment to high ideals, strong ties of friendship and comradeship, and an urge for demonstrating its values through a nationwide expansion. Shortly after its organization, chapters were established at several other institutions, including Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth.
The Syracuse University fraternity system has been a part of campus life since 1871, beginning with the colonization of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. The sorority system’s rich history has included the founding of three national sororities at Syracuse, Alpha Phi in 1872, Gamma Phi Beta in 1874, and Alpha Gamma Delta in 1904. During the late nineteenth century, six additional national fraternities and four national sororities established chapters at the University. This trend continued through the 20th century, and as a result, there have been many additions of Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations to campus.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) first arrived at Syracuse on March 28, 1910 with the chartering of the Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. A few years after the first World War, the chapter became dormant and was eventually disbanded in 1923. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. – Kappa Chapter, chartered in 1922, remained as the only Black Greek Letter Organization at Syracuse for 50 years, until the first NPHC sorority at Syracuse, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Kappa Lambda chapter, was chartered in 1973. The National Association for Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) joined the community in 1991 with the founding of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, Inc. in 1992. Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. became the first Asian-interest sorority in 1997 and played a leading role in forming the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). In 2014, the Professional Fraternity Council (PFC) was created to support collegiate professional fraternities and sororities.
The fraternity and sorority community at Syracuse University continues to expand in response to the evolving needs of the student body.