The University of South Alabama National Pan-Hellenic Council Park, located east of the USA Bookstore and Meisler Hall at the old swimming pool site, was recently dedicated during homecoming week with more than 150 attending the ceremony. This new park pays tribute to nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities and their impact on Mobile and surrounding communities.
“The purpose of the park is to celebrate the historical heritage of the NPHC and recognize their many contributions to the greater Mobile area, our nation and the world,” said Dr. Michael Mitchell, dean of students at USA. “This will be a gathering space that will bring all students together.”
During a Greek Life student organization assessment process, the NHPC student leadership proposed the idea to create the park. The department of student affairs and the USA administration worked with the students to make this vision a reality.
“This is a great day for the University of South Alabama, said Dr. John W. Smith, vice president of student affairs and special assistant to the president. “This park is also a tribute to the generations of alumni who have served USA and the broader community and to the students who will continue that legacy of service.”
The nine monuments are set near a bench on stones with an 11-by-14 plaque etched with each organization’s crest; it’s national and local founding dates and the names of the charter members. There’s also a stone at the entrance of the park that provides the history of the NPHC and there’s a stone at the second park entrance that provides a space for each crest.
“This beautiful park will bring about awareness of the NPHC organizations,” said NPHC President Kierra Station, member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. “We are grateful to the administration and promise to cherish and take care of this symbol of unity that honors the diversity on this campus and a rich heritage.”
The NPHC organizations were founded during a time of racial segregation and discrimination and are important parts of the African-American community and the community at large.
Fraternities and sororities in the NPHC are listed here with their founding dates and locations:
1906 Cornell University Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, 1908 Howard University Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 1911 Indiana University Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, 1911 Howard University Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, 1913 Howard University Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, 1914 Howard University Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, 1920 Howard University Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, 1922 Butler University Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and 1963 Morgan State University Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.
NPHC –On May 10, 1930, on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC, the National Pan-Hellenic Council was formed as a permanent organization with the following charter members: Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternities, and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities. In 1931, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternities joined the Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority joined in 1937 and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity completed the list of member organizations in 1997.
The stated purpose and mission of the organization in 1930 was “Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.” Early in 1937, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and became known as “The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated.”
The council was chartered at the University of South Alabama in 1996, with efforts to serve its members, the campus and the Mobile community.
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