Greek Letter Organizations: History, Legacy and Impact on American Campuses
The history of Greek letter organizations is a fascinating one. We'll begin with the History of Greece and the Age of Pericles that saw intellectual enlightenment: architecture, literature, music, painting, philosophy, sculpture, and arts. They all revealed the possibilities of human attainment. We'll then trace the first secret societies seen in earliest Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman Civilizations. We'll look at the Masonic order (and later Knights of Columbus), the Flat Hat Club, Phi Beta Kappa (the first Greek letter society with a secret motto, grip, and ritual), as well as the Union Triad. What's most important here is the reason why students felt that they needed to create their own groups in the mid to late 19th century.
We'll look at the first sisterhood, the first organization of college women established as a national college fraternity, and then the first Greek letter society for women.
We'll dive into the chapter houses in the 1890’s, as well as a look into professional fraternities and honorary fraternities. Finally, we get to understand the first multicultural groups and the formation of the multicultural movement, which led to the Multicultural Greek Council in 1998.
We'll look at the common elements in all of our organizations: gender exclusivity, governance, recruitment and new member periods, residency, secrecy/ritual, symbols/naming conventions, and common activities. Finally, we'll look to quantify the legacy and impact Greek Letter Organizations.
Learning Objectives. By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:
1. Summarize the history of Greece, Age of Pericles.
2. Identify the earliest secret societies in Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman Civilizations, as well as the Masonic order.
3. List the significance of The Flat Hat Club, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Union Triad.
4. Describe the reasons why students wanted to form their own groups in the mid to late 19th century.
5. Explore the history of the first sisterhood, Greek letter society for women, and the first sorority.
6. Recite differences between social fraternities and professional or honorary fraternities.
7. Identify the history of multicultural fraternities and sororities, as well as the creation of the MGC.
8. Organize the common elements between all Greek letter organizations and why that’s important to us.
9. Measure the legacy and impact of Greek Letter Organizations
Intended Audience: fraternity members, sorority members, incoming first year class, the entire student body