Mission and History

Mission

The mission of Greek Life at Creighton University is to enhance student development through involvement in social, Greek-letter fraternities and sororities while complementing the mission of the University.  In the desire to be the premier Greek Life community at a Jesuit, Catholic university, there exist opportunities for all affiliated students through scholarship, responsible social involvement, pursuit of faith, service to others, and lifelong bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood.  Fraternities and sororities act with integrity and strive for excellence while respecting and promoting the dignity of each individual.  The Greek Life community values establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with students, administration, faculty, Jesuits, alumni, advisors, local community members, and (inter)national Greek-letter organizations. 

The six values that each member of Greek Life holds close in their development of a more unified Greek community are Scholarship, Leadership, Social Development, Faith, Service, and Lifelong Brotherhood/Lifelong Sisterhood.

Scholarship
Greek Life members engage in the pursuit of knowledge, value critical thinking skills, and contribute to the learning process in classrooms and through experiential learning opportunities.  Members practice academic integrity and commit themselves to lifelong learning.  Fraternities and sororities promote members academic success and recognize individual and organizational achievement.   

Leadership
As self-governing bodies, fraternities and sororities develop transferable leadership skills for all members.  Greek Life members are actively involved in the cycle of leadership by mentoring new members and applying leadership skills throughout Creighton University and the greater community to affect positive change.  The leadership lessons learned by fraternity and sorority members serve as preparation for meeting challenges beyond the Creighton experience.  Members and organizations are respectful of the recruitment process, show support for University and Greek Life activities, and contribute to the overall success of the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, and the Association of Minority Greek Organizations.

Social Development
Greek members, through ongoing chapter educational programs, make informed decisions regarding alcohol, drugs, and the fostering of interpersonal relationships.  In developing responsible social activities, fraternity and sorority members live with personal integrity and respect the policies of Creighton University and (inter)national organizations.  The Greek Community and its members hold themselves and others accountable for their actions.  To fully express their potential, students create relationships with administrators, faculty, alumni, advisors, and local community members during and after their tenure at Creighton University. 

Service
As Men and Women for and with others, Greek Life recognizes the significance of giving of themselves for the betterment of all.  Rooted in the Jesuit tradition, members are called to embrace and educate others of the injustices present in our world today.  Beyond this, it is everyone's responsibility to be agents for change, and this pledge is evident in the philanthropic endeavors, service and learning, and support of all individuals within the community and beyond.

Faith
In accordance with the Jesuit, Catholic tradition of Creighton University, members of Greek Life are encouraged to pursue continuous spiritual growth.  By recognizing a higher power, members develop a greater sense of their own intrinsic worth, as well as the dignity of all people. Through teaching of respect and observance of greater morality, members of the Greek community contribute to the betterment of society. Additionally, members are encouraged to explore and appreciate varying individual spiritual beliefs.

Brotherhood/Sisterhood
Through beliefs of common values and the celebration of individual ritual, fraternities and sororities seek to forge bonds between members that transcend the collegiate experience. Bonds are strengthened through social events, philanthropy, service to others and leadership opportunities. This shared experience perpetually ties members to alumni through mutual support and understanding. These deep connections between members form the foundation of Greek Life on Creighton's campus.

History

History of Creighton Greeks 

Creighton was the first Jesuit University to have Greek Fraternities.  The Greek community began at Creighton with the founding of local social fraternities and sororities.    Kappa Pi Delta was founded in 1921.  The first National Sorority was Kappa Beta Gamma founded in 1948.  During the 60's, 70's & 80's the majority of Creighton's Greek community was founded.  Current chapters and governing bodies are bolded. Women's organizations are italicized.

Panhellenic Council

 

 

 

1922

 

 

 

Theta Phi Alpha

 

 

 

1952

 

 

 

Alpha Sigma Alpha

 

 

 

1954

 

 

 

Delta Zeta

 

 

 

1962

 

 

 

Phi Kappa Psi

 

 

 

1965

 

 

 

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

 

 

 

1968

 

 

 

Delta Sigma Pi

 

 

 

1969

 

 

 

Delta Chi

 

 

 

1969

 

 

 

Interfraternity Council

 

 

 

1970

 

 

 

Pi Kappa Alpha

 

 

 

1976

 

 

 

Sigma Nu

 

 

 

1976

 

 

 

Sigma Sigma Sigma

 

 

 

1977

 

 

 

Alpha Gamma Delta

 

 

 

1980

 

 

 

Sigma Phi Epsilon

 

 

 

1986

 

 

 

Gamma Phi Beta

 

 

 

1986

 

 

 

Pi Beta Phi

 

 

 

1994

 

 

 

Phi Delta Theta

 

 

 

1995

 

 

 

Lambda Theta Nu

 

 

 

2003

 

 

 

Kappa Kappa Gamma

 

 

 

2004

 

 

 

Delta Delta Delta        

 

 

 

2010

 

 

 

Beta Theta Pi

 

 

 

2011

 

 

 

Alpha Phi

 

 

 

2012

 

 

 

 

History of Greeks in the United States

Fraternities are uniquely American, although European schools have clubs and societies.  The first fraternity began at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, on December 5, 1776, when a group of students formed a secret society which they called Phi Beta Kappa, after the first initials of their Greek motto: "love of wisdom, the guide of life."  Due to the rigid structure at education during this time the social aspect of the fraternity was used to develop friendships and recreation.  Phi Beta Kappa existed as a social group for the first 50 years of its life, and chapters were established at other institutions, including Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth.  It did not become the scholastic honor society until the 1820's. 

American fraternities were created as social organizations and they retain this characteristic to the present day.  The social purpose of Phi Beta Kappa set the tone and instituted many of the characteristics which are considered "typical of fraternities: a Greek-letter name, a Greek motto, an oath of secrecy, a badge, a ritual, a seal, and a secret grip or handshake."  Undoubtedly, the Greek motto and Greek name arose from the fact that all these students studied Greek as an academic requirement.

Many other groups were founded shortly thereafter.  Of the 59 men's fraternities that are now members of the National Interfraternity Conference, 36 were founded in the 19th century.  Young women were finally admitted to all-male colleges and thus wanted their own social groups.  Shortly after the Civil War several women's fraternities appeared within a few months of each other.  All of these groups were incorporated as "women's fraternities," because at that time the word "sorority" did not exist.  This term was created for Gamma Phi Beta in 1874.  By the turn of the century, ten women's fraternities had established themselves as national groups, and in 1902 they organized what is now called the National Panhellenic Conference.  Today the conference has 26 member groups.

In 1909, 26 men's groups founded the National Interfraternity Conference and it now has a membership of 59 general fraternities.  Three of these fraternities are not designated by Greek names; these are Acacia, Farm House, and Triangle. 

In the middle of the 19th century, a change occurred on the American campus that caused fraternities to acquire a secondary characteristic:  the fraternity house.  A number of institutions were unable to main­tain housing for their students.  Consequently, campuses were ringed with boarding houses where students secured their own lodging and meals.  By this time many chapters had grown too large to meet in a student's room and had started renting halls.  The students' reaction to this was to lease, and finally build, their own homes.  Thus the fraternity house came into existence. 

The effects of going into the housing business have been many and varied.  Owning and maintaining property requires the cooperation of the alumni and alumnae, many of whom in the past had simply graduated and disappeared.  Now they may become involved with the management of the chapters h­ouses, which indirectly benefits the University by keeping alumni and alumnae interested in the school.  Likewise, the private ownership of these properties may relieve the financial burden of building additional residence halls. 

Fraternities were created by students to fill a void in their lives, to foster friendships and personal development, to promote scholarship and service, and to provide an outlet for free expression.  Few outsiders looked upon them then or now as agents for philanthropy, as instruments for self-improvement, or as training in leadership.  Yet, that is what they have become through the friendships, the sociability, and the free expression.  The chapter provides an excellent laboratory for leadership training because of the demand of the details to run a chapter.   This training includes attention to scholarship.  Most fraternities require students to attain a satisfactory academic average before initiation. 

Currently, all fraternities are going through a period of intense self-appraisal.   All associations connected with fraternity management NIC, NPC, FEA, NPHC, NALFO and AFA are demanding an end to hazing and irresponsible social behavior.  Although this will not be achieved overnight, signs of improvement are evident.