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National Panhellenic Conference
Data
Established 1902
Members 26
Continent North America
Country United States and Canada
Organization type Trade organization


The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), founded in 1902, is an umbrella organization for 26 (inter)national women's sororities.

Each member group is autonomous as a social, Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae. Members are represented on over 620 college and university campuses in the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker and in over 4,600 alumnae associations, making up over 4 million sorority women.

Members

Sorority Year Founded Year Joined NPC Active Collegiate Groups Total Initiates
Alpha Chi Omega 1885 1903 130 180,000
Alpha Delta Pi 1851 1909 137 215,000
Alpha Gamma Delta 1904 1909 182 145,000
Alpha Epsilon Phi 1909 1951 47
Alpha Omicron Pi 1897 1905 184 131,000
Alpha Phi 1872 1902 147 160,000
Alpha Sigma Alpha 1901 1951 72 67,000
Alpha Sigma Tau 1899 1951 80
Alpha Xi Delta 1893 1904 110 150,000
Chi Omega 1895 1903 172 290,000
Delta Delta Delta 1888 1902 138 186,000
Delta Gamma 1873 1902 146 127,777
Delta Zeta 1902 1910 158 220,000
Delta Phi Epsilon 1917 1951 71
Gamma Phi Beta 1874 1902 119 160,000
Kappa Alpha Theta 1870 1902 125 210,000
Kappa Delta 1897 1912 133 200,000
Kappa Kappa Gammamarker 1870 1902 136 230,000
Phi Mu 1904** 1911 120 150,000
Phi Sigma Sigma 1913 1951 115 60,000
Pi Beta Phi 1867 1902 133 240,000
Sigma Delta Tau 1917 1951 90 40,000
Sigma Kappa 1874 1905 108 125,000
Sigma Sigma Sigma 1898 1951 110 100,000
Theta Phi Alpha 1912 1951 47 20,000
Zeta Tau Alpha 1898 1909 148 200,000
*Though Alpha Delta Pi had its origins in the Aldephean Society, an academic society founded in 1851, the group did not take Greek Letters or begin to expand to other institutions until 1905.

**Though Phi Mu had its origins in the Philomathean Society, a literary society founded in 1852, the group did not take Greek Letters or begin to expand to other institutions until 1904.

History

Early histories of women's fraternities contain accounts of "rushing and pledging agreements" or "compacts" among fraternities on various campuses, and also many stories of cooperation and mutual assistance. However, no actual Panhellenic organization existed and no uniform practices were observed.

By 1902, it was obvious that some standards were needed, so the women of Alpha Phi invited Alpha Xi Delta, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gammamarker, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega to a conference in Chicagomarker on May 24. Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega were unable to attend. The remaining seven groups met and the session resulted in the organization of the first interfraternity association and the first intergroup organization on college campuses. National Interfraternity Conference for men's fraternities was organized in 1909, now called the North-American Interfraternity Conference.

This meeting, and the next few, resulted in several mutual agreements, especially regarding pledging. Up to this time, no guidelines had been set, and women could be pledged to groups before enrolling in college and, indeed, even belong to more than one group.

The fact that NPC is a "Conference" is significant to the NPC philosophy because the organization is a conference, not a congress. It enacts no legislation except for the conduct of its own meetings. Other than the basic UNANIMOUS AGREEMENTS which all groups have voted to observe, NPC confines itself to recommendations and advice, and acts as a court of final appeal in any College Panhellenic difficulty. One of its greatest services is providing Area Advisors for College Panhellenics and Alumnae Panhellenics.

AES merger with NPC

Members of Sigma Sigma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Alpha organized the Association of Pedagogical Sororities on July 10, 1915. The membership consisted of sororities, who were primarily located on state campuses where women entering the educational field were predominant. In 1917, Pi Kappa Sigma and Delta Sigma Epsilon joined the association, followed by Theta Sigma Upsilon in 1925, Alpha Sigma Tau in 1926, and Pi Delta Theta in 1931. At the third biennial conference, the name of the association was changed to the Association of Educational Sororities (AES). Later, the word "Educational" was changed to "Education".

The AES was a strong group of leaders that focused not only on educational (providing scholarships) and women-centric issues, but cooperated to support issues outside of the sorority world including defense projects during World War II. One of the projects started by the AES member groups resulted in what is today the world-renowned Leader Dogs for the Blind School in Rochester, Michiganmarker.

After much work on the part of NPC and AES, on November 12, 1947, the six AES sororities were unanimously accepted as associate members of NPC. At the same time, five other sororities were also admitted, including Beta Gamma at University of Colorado. In December 1951, the six sororities became full members of NPC.

Since that time, three have merged with other NPC member groups leaving Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau and Sigma Sigma Sigma as the remaining former-AES members.

References



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