Greek 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 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.

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. 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  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. Shortly after the Civil War, women  began being admitted into college, and 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. Only three of these fraternities are not designated by Greek names: 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.

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. Chapters provides an excellent laboratory for leadership training because of the demands and details of running an organization of peers. 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.